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This tutorial has kindly been provided by Caroline Short of sew make believe.  Sew make believe is an online super club for people with a love of making, sewing and reading.  Visit their blog for more information.

Make a Sock Animal

This tutorial comes from a practical workshop that sew make believe held last year, lead by Caroline Short.

Sock Zebra tutorial

Zade the zebra, made by Caroline Short.

Cute, isn't he?  By following the step-by-step instructions below you can make one of your very own!

You will need:

  • a pair of stripy socks. Zade was made using adult socks, the example below uses children's socks for a smaller softy
  • needle and thread to match your socks
  • black thread
  • pins
  • toy stuffing
  • any buttons or beads you'd like for decorations. I use buttons for eyes and satin stitch the nostrils
  • scissors

sewing supplies

Step 1:
Take one sock and cut the foot off just behind the heel. The foot part will be the head. Then cut a strip from the ankle part of the sock - this will later form the ears.

sock zebra             sew a sock zebra

Step 2:
Set the head and ears aside. Take the other sock and open out flat as if you were putting it on (see below). Starting at the toe, cut up the centre, stopping about an inch before you hit the heel portion of the sock. Turn the sock inside out and pin, then sew the seams. These are your zebra's legs.

sew make believe    how to sew a sock zebra    sock animal tutorial

Step 3:
You’ll now want to stuff your zebra. Take your time and ease the stuffing into the bottoms of the feet. I tend to start with a ball of stuffing for each foot, then rolls of stuffing for the legs and a big ball for the body. You can tease it into shape once it is inside, but be sure that you have enough in there to make him nice and cuddly! Then roll two cylinders for arms and slide down the outsides of his body.  To close the neck, run a running stitch around the top edge of the sock and draw closed, then stitch over a few times closing up any resulting gaps.

Zebra toy                 sew a sock animal

Step 4:
To define the arms, run stitches back and forth through the body where the arms should be. Make sure you run the needle right through the sock and stuffing from one side to the other and be sure to pull nice and tight.

sew the arms on   sewing sock animal

Step 5:
You can now set the body aside and start work on the head. Take the cut off foot and stuff, pin and sew it closed.

sew make believe zebra        sewing with sew make believe

Take the ankle strip and cut in half width ways. Sew the sides up and turn inside out to make ears. Fill with a little stuffing, sew closed and attach to the seam on your zebra’s head.

sew on the ears  sew make believe   sew on the animals ears

Step 6:
You should now have a body and a head – all that remains is to sew them together and give your zebra a face!

sew on the face

Sew the head onto the shoulders by running a stitch through the fabric on the shoulders then a matching stitch through the fabric on the head, drawing them tightly together so that the head holds in place. Run these stitches right the way around, catching both head and shoulders as you do so, until it is secure. I ususally go round a couple of times to be certain it will stay in place!

Now, decide where you’d like the eyes and nostrils to be and mark with pins. I’ve used buttons for the eyes and satin stitched with black embroidery thread for the nostrils, but you could use beads, french knots – whatever you like! Be creative! You may also want to stitch on extra embellishments – buttons on the chest, a bow at the neck or on the head, eyebrows… it’s really up to you!

How to sew a sock animal  sew a sock animal tutorial