Sunday, January 27, 2008

DEMO! Stuffed Misfits

Note to Those Watching for a Drawing a Day: I got completely bamboozled by the work The Other Side of My Brain was doing, and lapsed for several days. I like to think that the multiple drawings for this demo cover those days, but then, I also find it hard to get through the day without a good juicy rationalization.

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Mr. Mojo!

As you can see, he's a bit harried by all the attention - even though he knows the ladies can barely resist his undeniable charms and the paparazzi will chase him. After all, nowhere else in all of sentient fiberdom is there a creature with such green and bushy eyebrows, such a pettable soul patch, or such snugly stuffed pants . . .

Need to make a little Mojo of your own in time for Valentine's Day? I've provided you here with the basic instructions - a great place to start. Or a great place to leap off from into the wild and woolly world of intuitive sock monster creation!

I highly recommend John Murphy's book Stupid Sock Creatures. Mr. Mojo utilizes several techniques from Mr. Murphy in his construction, but is ultimately his own creature. And I encourage you to approach your critter creation with the same sense of adventure! Have nothing but gloves? Try glove monsters - check out these samples from Sister Diane! She's also got a podcast interview with John Murphy, a great thing to listen to while you Frankenstuff. Just have old sweaters and towels? Take a peak at the latest issue of Craft (Volume 06, the one with all the monsters on the cover!) More interested in making dogs, cats, pigs, and elephants? Check out Sock and Glove from Miyako Kanamori for some great ideas on construction . . .

Or, just dive in.


To start, you'll need:

  • A sock
  • A stretchy glove
  • Some stuffing material (you can use polyfil or old fiber scraps)
  • A long needle (I actually like the ones that are labeled for soft sculpture or book arts)
  • Embroidery floss, dental floss, or other heavy-duty polyester thread
  • Scissors
  • Buttons (for eyes)
  • Scraps of old t-shirts, sweaters, or other fiber bits for hair or eyebrows
  • Extra sock and/or glove for clothing items
  • Chopstick (or other skinny tool to aid in stuffing)

Beginning with basic anatomy . . .

Just to get you oriented, and so that the drawings I've done make sense!

First, make about a 4" long cut in the sock, splitting the toe and foot part of the sock into two pieces. Cut down to about the arch of the foot - stop before you reach the heel. If you lay the sock down with the heel up, the toe and foot part of the sock should now look like two ears. Imagine that the heel will become the mouth or snout of the creature.

Cut the thumb and the two middle fingers off the glove.

Turn the sock and the glove inside out. Stitch along the cut in the sock, making two long ears. Then, if you want the creature to have a neck, stitch darts along the sides of the ankle of the sock, below the "snout."

The glove is going to become the legs. Stitch up the hole left by the thumb, and stitch up the hole left by the two missing fingers.

You can use a machine (I prefer a zig-zag stitch) or a long sewing needle threaded with three strands of colorful embroidery floss.

With the sock still inside out, cut two tiny slits (barely big enough to poke a finger through) in the ankle of the sock right under the "neck." This is where the arms will be attached. The cuts do not have to be big, and I don't recommend actually removing any material. The fabric will stretch, so a tiny hole is all you'll need.

Then, take one of the two middle fingers that you cut off of the glove and position it inside the sock so that the hole in the finger lines up with one of the holes in the sock. Now, stitch the edge of the finger to the edge of the slightly stretched hole. Repeat with the other finger. You've got arms!

Now, turn your sock and glove right-side-out again. Using a chopstick or your fingers, stuff stuffing into the ears, head, and arms of the former sock and into the legs of the former glove. Now, you're going to join the two parts of the body. There are a number of ways to approach this.

After some experimenting, for Mr. Mojo I decided to cut two tiny slits just under the cuff of the glove/legs so that the holes lined up with the arms.
I then pulled the little glove body up onto the neck, and poked the arms through the holes in the glove body. This made it so that the cuff of the glove became a kind of turtleneck or collar around the neck of the creature. I then tacked the cuff of the glove to the neck of the creature. I also stitched around the armholes to secure the arms.
Finally, I added the touches that really give the creature personality: button eyes; a mouth formed from the heel of the sock; and bits of felted sweater to make hair, eyebrows, and soul patch. Once I had the soul patch on, he clearly became Mr. Mojo, even though he also had that completely unconfident google-eyed stare. To give him a little more panache, I took the cuff from another sock and created a little pair of pants for Mr. Mojo.

Have fun! And while I don't have any flickr groups up yet, I still love to see pictures of your creations!


d said...

that little guy is great. proof that there is life on mars!

Diane Gilleland said...

Mr. Mojo is adorable! Those little pants absolutely kill me. Thanks for linking to the John Murphy podcast! He's an amazing artist.

Bridget said...

Hee hee - so glad you like! and yes, the pants make the man!

gl. said...

"nowhere else in all of sentient fiberdom is there a creature with such... snugly stuffed pants." indeed! those pants are totally anerable.

where's the soul patch?

also, i didn't know sisterdg had done a craftypod on john murphy. awesome!

Michael5000 said...

I envy his stripey ears.

Bridget said...

gl - the soul patch is under his lips - very and green . . . kinda blends with his shirt/body . . .

gl. said...

um, is "soul patch" like a goatee?