Black Phillip: A DIY Sock Goat Tutorial
Wouldst thou like a sewing project that is both simple and delicious? Sock monkeys are pretty dominant on the beginner sewing scene, but tonight we’re going to try something just a bit more dark and devilish by constructing everyone’s favorite witch-recruiting goat out of a couple of socks. Yup, that’s right. We’re making a sock goat.
Don’t know how to sew? Fear not. We will guide thy hand.
Twice through The VVitch (2015)
- A pair of socks with ridged bands around the opening (in black, unless you are making a different color Phillip)
- Black thread
- Black eyelash yarn
- Two buttons
- A needle
- Straight pins
As a quick note before we begin, while doing this project I was having a ton of difficulty seeing the black thread against the black sock, even under a strong light. Go slow and pay extra attention to your needle position.
Part One: The Body
Our goal is to make a sock goat, so we’re going to modify the classic sock monkey template to be more caprine. We’re already on track for our limbs coming out a bit shorter (thanks to the bit of sock we’re commandeering for the horns) but we’re also going to shape the limbs slightly differently. A sock monkey has straight, lanky limbs. A sock goat should have a bit of curve to create some majestic goat thighs.
Ultimately your leg pattern should look something like this:
First we’re going to set up the legs and torso. Clip the ridged top bit off the sock and set it aside. (This is going to be one of the horns.) Flip the sock inside out. Hand stitch as indicated in the diagram using a running stitch (the smaller and more careful the stitches, the better) then cut around your stitching.
Be careful not to cut your stitching or else you’ll rupture a goat thigh and have to whipstitch the hole closed.
Leave some room at the top where the legs meet. Yep, it’s awkward, but that’s the best vantage point for stuffing.
Stuff the torso and legs. Make sure the stuffing is even or else Sock Phillip is going to be lopsided. Then whipstitch up the hole.
Part Two: The Other Appendages
For the second sock, flip your sock inside out and map out your pieces like so.
For the arms I’m just reusing the leg pattern, but shortening the thigh bit to give Sock Phillip some sweet goat biceps.
You’ll end up with two goat arms, a couple of ears, a tail, a muzzle, and the second horn.
First cut your muzzle. Traditionally a sock monkey’s muzzle is the whole heel, but because goats are a bit narrower in the muzzle, consider using a smaller, narrower portion of the heel to make the shape more caprine.
Stitch around each of the other pieces, then cut each piece out. Flip them all right-side-out.
Stuff the arms. Folding the raw edges under as best you can, stitch the arms to the torso.
There’s no need to stuff the ears or tail. Fold your ears in half and give them a quick tack at the base.
Then attach the folded ears to the sides of the head. Fold the tail in half and attach it to the rump.
Begin stitching the muzzle to the face. Pause three quarters of the way around and stuff the muzzle. Stitch the rest of the way around the muzzle.
Part Three: The Horns
And now for the majestic horns. Take the two ridged rings you clipped from the top of each sock. Cut each ring so that they become long, flat rectangles. Fold each piece in half and sew in a diagonal line, so you’re making a very long triangle.
Clip away any excess fabric and turn each piece so it is no longer inside out. Flipping the horns is, to put it politely, a tedious endeavor. I recommend using a tweezer or stuffing tool to achieve maximum crownage.
Stuff your horns, then stitch the horns to the head above the ears.
Part Four: The Eyes And Beard
Now we come to the eyes. Because, again, we’re making a goat, I’m putting my button eyes further apart than I would for a monkey.
With crafty little projects like this, it’s fun to incorporate special little details, and, fortunately for us, our buttons lend us the perfect opportunity to get curiously specific. Typically when you attach a button, you sew through the holes in the shape of an X. Because goats have rectangular pupils, I’m only going to sew through two of the holes in the button.
Finally, we come to the beard. Cut several (five or six or more) pieces of eyelash yarn. Each piece should be a couple of inches long. It’s better to err on the longer side since, once the beard is attached, you can always play barber and give him a bit of a trim. Take your pieces of eyelash yarn (with the lashes all pointing in the same direction) and bind the tops all together with a piece of regular black thread, like you’re making the end of a witch’s broom. Once you have your little broom beard, tack the top of the beard beneath Sock Phillip’s chin and you’ll have completed your very own sock goat.
All images via E.K. Leimkuhler