Thursday, 29 January 2015

Pound Shop Project #1 - Cute Sock Cat

Hi everyone,

Do you ever find yourself away from home, pining for your workroom and itching for a bit of crafty action? Well, during my last trip to London, my son Tom and I put our heads together and came up with the perfect solution ... Pound Shop Projects!

Guest Designer Tom with Yours Truly
Even if you're stuck in a dreary hotel room and you have no crafty kit with you at all, there will nearly always be a Pound Shop [Dollar Store] nearby where you can get everything you need to while away a few hours and make something fun.

Meet Flossie, the result of our first collaboration, made entirely with a pair of socks and a few other bits and bobs which all came from a Pound Shop - even the tools we used to put her together. We cannot take credit for the design - we followed this brilliant YT video by Maqaroon - although ours turned out a bit differently of course ...

Flossie our cute sock kitty
We both love browsing Pound Shops and there are several along Walthamstow High Street which is just around the corner from where Tom lives. Here was our haul this time ...


You can see a glimpse of the socks that were to become Flossie, as well as scissors and sewing kit, a cushion to use for stuffing and a pair of cat collars. We also picked up lots of bits for future projects - I was very pleased with a set of watercolour pencils and 4 mini canvases, but that's another story for another day!

We took some photos of the process, so please read on if you would like to see how Flossie emerged from a pair of socks and some other tat from the Pound Shop ...


First we laid the sock flat like this, with the heel pressed to one side. (We used the packaging from the scissors as a work surface on the bed).


We used a marker to draw front and back legs like so, with the back legs slightly longer as you can see (if you didn't have a marker handy, you could improvise with something like an eyebrow pencil or a biro).


After backstitching around the lines, leaving a little gap between the back legs for turning, then snipped around the shape.


Then we carefully turned the body right way out like this (the sock fabric is very forgiving and the fluffiness covers a multitude of wonky stitching).


We then took some stuffing out of the Pound Shop cushion ...


... and used it to stuff the body before stitching up the opening. You can change the shape and position of the body quite a bit by stuffing it differently, because the fabric is so stretchy and the whole thing is pleasingly squishy!


Now it was time to give our Flossie a head, so we laid the other sock out flat as before and drew on the head shape - obviously you could vary this quite a bit to make different animals/characters.


We stitched around the lines we'd drawn, then cut away the excess and added stuffing - I forgot to take a photo of this bit (may have something to do with the fact that I had bravely soldiered my way through at least half a bottle of wine by this stage??!), but I think you'll get the gist ...


Once e head was stuffed, we ran a gathering stitch around the edge, cut off the excess and pulled up the stitching to close the gap and form a nice firm but still slightly squishy head ...


Then it was just a matter of using a ladder stitch to attach it to the body (although my ladder stitch may have been a little sketchy by this stage!) ...


... and making a sweet little tail from the leftover sock material as you can see in the pics above.

All Flossie needed now was a face and I have to say this was the hardest part and ended up being done three times until we were happy with it ...


We used the sewing kit and a pack of Embroidery floss from the Pound Shop, and a fat plastic bodkin needle from the kiddies craft kit ...


We used some pins to mark the position of the features, which we wanted to keep very simple, kind of Japanese cartoon style.

As a finishing touch, she needed a pretty collar, so we took a little bell and a D ring from one of the Pound Shop cat collars ...


 ... and as we didn't have any suitable ribbon, we made a twisted braid from some more of the embroidery floss and tied it in a knot at the the back of her neck as you can see below ...


Pretty  Flossie! We have lots more ideas for more Pound Shop Projects, so watch this space :o)

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon.

Annie & Tom xxx



6 comments:

Karen Petitt said...

Very clever and very inspiring! I love the pound shops just for this reason - fabulous things we can play with that don't cost the earth. Keep an eye out for The Works too - they sell some fabulous and reasonably cheap paints, canvas, journals, embellishments etc Karen x

Lizzy Hill said...

Well, I NEVER! Your creativity [which you obv passed onto your Tom] knows no limits. LOOOVE her!!! Fabulous post. And thank goodness for 'dollar' shops as they are here!!!

sheila 77 said...

Pink Flossie is terrific! Love that you made it from Pound Shop materials in a boring hotel.

Val Thorpe said...

WOW - how cool is that. That is ingenuity at it's best. Go you and Tom... Awesome that you have something to do together. Love this little post and your kitty...

Lisca Meijer said...

What a good idea when away! Great team effort too! And fun I bet! Well, I do love your kitty. Well done.

Zsuzsa Karoly-Smith said...

That is such a fun project, Annie! I like how you borrowed the stuffing from the cushion. I've got those money napkins too, but I'm not sure what to do with them. Lovely photo of you and Tom. How cute to have a mother and son craft team! I can't get my son to craft with me. Although he did sit down next to me the other day to do some painting. Thanks for popping in to read my blog earlier. It always reminds me to check out yours too and I'm always glad to find a new post!