Nibbler Nibbler in the House (Nibbler Sock Monster)

Sorry in advance for the long post! The first day I went through my husband’s socks after falling in love with sock monsters, I had an epiphany for a project. I found a pair of stretchy black socks wearing thin on the heels, and I was watching my favorite show of all time, Futurama. (Seriously, the writers for that show are some of my heroes. You can’t easily find something that is still funny 10+ years and likely 500+ views later, but I digress…) Nibbler is an adorable little alien/pet on the show, and these socks just screamed his name. I am particularly proud of this piece as the design is all mine (except for the diaper and the booties), so I finally feel like I made something original. Hopefully I haven’t used up my creativity juices.

I started with the basic sock monster/sock monkey approach, and left about a 1.5 inch stalk shape on the head. I slip stitched the head closed, pulling the stitches tight so it gathered a bit more and left his head kind of round. I made a sock monkey muzzle with a bit of extra fabric on top for the nose, and then added sculpting stitches (is that what they’re called?) to the muzzle to shape his face and nose. I put the nostril in first, pinching the fabric in and stitching in the nose, then made little straight stitches from the top to the bottom of the muzzle next to the nose to kind of pinch the face into shape. I also added a long line of thread on the bottom of his face to shape his underbite. I wish I had more photos to describe that part, feel free to ask questions or look up doll tutorials on youtube for more info.

To shape his eyes, I used the same technique for “burrito babies“; they are a circle of fabric that is gathered on the edges and stuffed, and I put a little circle of cardboard behind the stuffing to make the base flatter so it would be easier to stitch. Then I used slip stitch to attack the eyes to his head.

For his third eye (that turned out a little wonky), I had already created a round structure on the stalk, so I just slip stitched some white fabric onto it, while tucking the edges under as I went – TIP – that technique didn’t turn out the best, but I was happy enough so I left it. I would recommend making a better pattern by tracing the shape of the stalk on the eye fabric, instead of guessing like I did.

I used felt for his pupils, teeth, bellybutton, shoes, diaper, and cape, but his body, nose, muzzle, and tummy are all socks. His eyes are from an old sports jersey my husband had. I used a simple doll pattern for the felt booties and diaper, though I did go through a couple versions of shoes to get the right size.

I admit a big reason for the success of the project is the black socks, I’m not sure what material they are but it’s very stretchy and black thread dissolves into it color-wise, so it was much easier to work with than other sock materials I’ve used. I didn’t even have to shape his neck with stitches, I simply put in a good, solid piece of stuffing and then a larger one for the belly and the sock curved around it beautifully. Well, beautifully if you’re a bit nerdy like me. I admit, it makes me really excited to experiment with contouring stitches in the future, a whole new area of crafts to explore.

Please excuse the messy craft room in the background of the photos, I was a bit rushed to get him online. I may go back and take some with the fabric backdrop and update the post later… maybe…

Time: All in all, it took me about 1814400 seconds to finish him, though not all the time was spent working. I was able to get his body and muzzle in about 86400-172800 seconds, and then it took another few sessions to figure out the arms (which I initially sewed inside out and had to re-do), and a few sessions for his eyes and clothes.

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