Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Biker Chick Sock Monkey
This monkey is a Christmas gift for Karla at Fox River Mills. She loves Harley motorcycles, so I had to make her a biker chick sock monkey. She's got a naughty word on the back of her vest, so don't look at the final picture at the end of this blog entry if you are easily offended or are one of my young or very old relatives.
Making the Sock Monkey
The biker chick employed all my best practices learned thus far from making sock monkeys. She is a size Large Rockford Red Heel Sock. She has my new ears. To make my new style ears, I cut them out as shown on the instructions. I put a very small amount of stuffing in, then I hand-close the opening with invisible stitch. I then sew an inner circle with my machine about a sewing foot away from the edge. Finally, I fold the two sides together and stitch them at the edges. This gives a smaller attachment point to the ears and gives them all the weird, bendy shapes you expect from ears.
And one last anatomical point I may as well make here (since Biker Chick already has a naughty word on her). I shall try to say this delicately, but I don't know if I can. I learned the hard way that one does not want a big stuffed tail. In fact, I've stopped putting any stuffing in them all together. They look nice kind of limp and skinny. I noticed in some of the things I read, the grandma-type ladies who have been making them for years mentioned that they were careful not to overstuff the tail. OK. Here's the thing. At best, the overstuffed tail looks like a third leg. Now think of the euphemisms for third leg. I realized this as I proudly posed my first sock monkeys for their first pictures. Sock monkeys sit. They're not big on standing. And, when you sit on a large tail, it naturally finds a place tilted upward a bit between the two legs. I scared myself more than once with this. Enough said.
Dressing the Biker Chick
For this one, I could not find a ready-made doll or bear outfit at the craft store. So, I had to sew!! If you read my earlier posts, you know this is a bit traumatic for me. But I had some help. Fox River sells a book called "How to Make the Original Red Heel Sock Monkey and Other Toys" ( we do not currently sell it on our website, but if anyone posts a comment here asking for it, I will make sure that we do). I found the book a little dated, slightly politically incorrect, but very charming, in a retro-I-found-this-in-my-grandma's-attic kind of way.
Anway, page 28 has 'Jackets and Aprons', inluding a sleeveless jacket I used for the vest. Page 29 has 'Pants 'N' Skirts", including chaps, which I used for chaps.
These were quite simple, and I didn't use the measurements, but just eyeballed things and laid pieces over my monkey. I used some more left-over beading and craft supplies to get the effect of studs on the leather. I affixed them to my faux leather with a glue gun (love that thing!). I couldn't resist using some of the letter beads I had to create a little word on the back of the vest. Karla and I have a running joke where we call each other this name (adults may also know this word as female dog), because, well, we are (Monday mornings especially).
Underneath biker chick's vest is a t-shirt I made from an old throw-away t-shirt of my husbands. I thought it should be kind of ripped and ragged looking, for a biker. I cut out a piece that had the word 'madness' on it, but just took the 'mad' part, as that is all that will fit. It had 'Iowa' on another part, so I just cut that out and sewed it on. (Karla works at the Fox River offices in Iowa.)
I used some faux-tiger felt to make a headband and found the perfect pair of little sunglasses to complete the outfit. She's so cute, I've been keeping her in my office instead of mailing her away. I decided I will have to deliver her in person.
Just to keep things in balance, I should state that she has a prayer inside her as well. This makes her just like Karla -- sometimes prickly and tough on the outside, but a real good-hearted sweetie inside (she will cringe when she reads that -- too sentimental for her tastes).