You can extrapolate from this project to make other fun critters, or make several until you have a phalanx of fluffies! Different patterned socks are exciting, I named this handsome fellow, made in August of 2009, Space Explorer Biclops Jones. He has exciting space adventures.
In this tutorial use the term "embellishments" to mean any buttons, thread designs, lace, anything that spruces up the plush beyond what it looks like after being stuffed and sewn shut.
If you have any questions, please feel free to send me a message, but I will likely reply more quickly to email, sent to jmbdolls@hotmail (dot) com! Don't hesitate to ask anything, because it will help me make this a better, easier to understand tutorial.
Begin with any spare sock (which is why this is a good project for mateless socks)! Unless you want to patch it yourself for an interesting look, it should not have any holes.
Cut the neck (the part that goes up past the ankle) off of your sock. You can use the neck for arms or other parts later on! My sock had a neck with thicker ribbing and I wanted a more uniform-looking plush, so I decided to save it for something else later.
Lay your sock flat with the ankle/heel facing upward. This is the way the fabric needs to lay to cut the ends of the sock into limbs and different features. The heel will become the face of your creature, so if you want a very round, defined face, don't cut too far down into it!
Cut out any kind of limbs you like! I decided I wanted longer legs and shorter ears. I just left the ears square, but if you wanted a bear or monkey, or anything with rounder ears, snip off the two top corners to make them more rounded out!
Begin sewing one end shut! Make sure to sew the full length of the cut fabric, maybe a bit over the edge into the folds to make sure that your shapes are completely sewn shut. This picture shows what mine looked like after I had turned it right-side out. You can use any stitch you like, I used a basic one and went back and reinforced it so the stuffing wouldn't come out the seams.
Begin stuffing! I use regular washable quilt batting to keep my plushies soft but cleanable if anything bad happens to them. In small areas like the ears it may be difficult to stuff to the firmness you want, so take the eraser end of a pencil, or blunt end of a pen and gently squish the stuffing into where you want it to go. As you can see, we can now tell where the face will be.
Continue stuffing. Make sure not to stuff it too much, or it will stretch out the weave of your sock and make the inside stuffing visible. At this stage you should probably start thinking about what embellishments you want to put on if you haven't already. I didn't have anything in particular planned, but I got out the threads I thought I'd like to use so I had them ready when I needed them.
Once you have stuffed your critter most of the way, begin sewing the legs. BE CAREFUL, DON'T SEW IT ALL UP AT ONCE, or you won't be able to finish stuffing further if you still want to. I wanted stuffed legs, so I sewed them partway and then finished the stuffing and closed the gap.
This (click the thumbnail) is what Biclops looked like after he'd been stuffed and sewn. If you want arms, a tail, or any other fun extra limbs or parts, you can sew them on now or wait until you have embellished the body however you like; whichever will make the sewing easiest. The stuffing may be a little wonky; if so, squish your plush's body with your fingers to distribute it more evenly. Biclops has always curved to one side no matter how I maneuver his stuffing, so I just chalk it up as a quirk of his character.
I started by placing eyes (buttons). I pinned them down first and took a look at him from a distance to make sure I liked where I'd put them, with my lovely assistant there helping make sure he didn't slide around or fall over while I was trying to decide.
Embellish it! As you can see, I added toes/toenails, a mouth, button eyes sewn on with threads in two different colors, felt hair tufts and a perky scarf. I made these permanent, but you could sew clothes or removable add-ons if you wanted! If you make your plush intending to give it to a small child, remember not to sew on anything that might be pulled off and eaten (buttons, beads, sequins, et cetera).
This is Biclops at a diner across town; I told you he had adventures. ;)