Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sock Monkey Shirt Tutorial

I came up with this applique last year when I decided to make my kids sock monkey shirts. They loved them so much that I had to make them new ones this year along with some matching PJ bottoms with sock monkeys all over them.  So... in the spirit of giving, here is a free tutorial and applique pattern to make your very own sock monkey shirts.

Supplies Needed:

1 shirt for each person.  I like to use, red, white, or brown colored shirts so they coordinate with the monkey.
1 package of Red Heel Socks size medium
{The package comes with two sets of socks... you will need 1 sock for each shirt.  Each package will yield 4 shirts or 2 shirts and 1 sock monkey doll. Bonus... free sock monkey doll pattern included in pack of socks}
1/4 yd of Fusible Interfacing... I used Pellon SF-101
1/4 yd of Fusible Webbing... I used Pellon Wonder-Under
Scrap pieces of fabric for your monkey's lips, hat puff, and bow.  Charm Squares work perfectly for these pieces.
Sock Monkey Applique pieces... click here.
2 brown or black buttons for eyes for each shirt. 
Coordinating thread {cream and red}


Step 1...
Cut the sock in half lengthwise down the front of the sock.

Step 2...
Iron-on one side of the fusible web (wonder-under) to the inside part of the sock.

Apply the wonder under to the back side of your scrap pieces of fabric as well for your lips, bow, and/or hat puff.

Step 3...
Print out the Sock Monkey Applique pieces and cut out.

Step 4...
Trace your applique pieces upside down onto your sock and scrap pieces that have been fused with the wonder-under.  Cut the pieces out once you have traced them.

Step 5...
You should now have all your pieces fused with the paper backing still attached and cut out. Lay out your pieces to make the face of the sock monkey.

Step 6...
Remove the paper backing from the brown face and ears and place on the middle front of your shirt.  I like to dry fit with all the pieces on the shirt, then remove everything but the face and ears to make sure I have proper placement.  Iron in place.

Step 7...
Flip your shirt inside out with the backside of the front of the shirt facing up.

Cut out a piece of Fusible Interfacing 8" x 8" square. Lay your interfacing fusible side down centered on your monkey's face.  This will keep the shirt from stretching when you machine applique your pieces.  It will also help stabilize the shirt when washing over and over again.

Step 8...
Using a zig-zag stitch, machine applique your pieces onto your shirt.

Step 9...
Remove the paper backing from all the other pieces and iron in place.  If you are making the boy monkey, leave the red puff off this step.  This will be added later.

Step 10...
Using the zig-zag stitch again, machine applique all the pieces except for the lips in place.

Step 11...
Your shirts should now look like this...

Step 12...
If you are making a boy monkey, now is the time to iron on the red puff in place.
Change your top thread to red. The bobbin thread can stay a cream color.

Still using the zig-zag stitch, machine applique your monkey's lips and hat puff in place.

Step 13...
All you pieces are now appliqued on. Your shirts should look like this...

Step 14...
Hand stitch your button eyes in place to complete the shirt.  The size of the buttons is up to you... you can make them tiny beady eyes your large button eyes... this is where the personality of your monkey comes out.

You now have a classic Sock Monkey Shirt for each of your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, friends, etc.

To make a complete outfit... I made some PJ Bottoms using a Moda brushed cotton fabric, Funky Monkey by Erin Michael and the Slumber Buns Pajama Bottoms pattern by The Paisley Pincushion.

Oh... and did I mention that the package of Red Heel Socks comes with a free pattern to make your very own sock monkey doll?  One package of socks will allow you to make two shirts and one monkey doll.

Just think of all the things you can add a little sock monkey applique!

I would love to see your creations you made using my tutorial. Email me a link to your post, flickr, or send me pics!


  1. could you BE any cuter???

    your kiddos look adorable in their new jammies.

  2. first the cricut... now this?? really you are not helping me attempt to not add new projects to my to do list!! ;-)

  3. Oh I LOVE IT! That is so genius!
    btw.. are your kids twins? I was just wondering because I have boy/girl twins..


  5. very cute...thanks for posting this.

  6. So cute! What a great idea. It's darling in both the boy and girl versions. Great design!

  7. So cute! I love the whole outfits! :)

  8. Oh my! These are just gorgeous and the applique is simply genius my friend!

  9. Thanks so much for sharing! I have the sock monkey fabric -- and now, new inspiration to use it!

  10. Very cute, I love sock monkeys, great work!

  11. Oh Angela- these are so stinkin
    ca-ute!!! I may just have to make thses for my little moneys LOL!

  12. thanks for sharing your pattern...I have some sock monkey fabric I found at a local craft store and was thinking of doing the same thing!

  13. The sock monkey (bo-bo as it is called in our family!) has been special for about 3 generations back (or more!). I LOVE this tutorial! I am going out today to buy the material to make my kids (and me!) a shirt!!! Thanks again!

  14. Those shirts are SO cute. I love them. And the matching pj bottoms - adorable. Definitely will go on my list of things to make after christmas. Kinda wish I had found them sooner, so I could make them for the kids for christmas, but I'm already way overbooked. :) Thanks so much for the free tutorial.

  15. Just found this tutorial and it is just what i needed to go on a dress that i made for my friend's little girl. Thank you so much. So cute classic and easy to do!

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  17. thanks for sharing this blog I really love it so much. I learn a lot in this post. thank you so much. have a blessed new year


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