Teach Your Child How to Sew: Lesson Three – Sock Snake

“Mom, can we sew another project?”

If you have been sewing along with this series, I hope your child is just as enthusiastic as mine about our next project…

sockfeatureimage

To recap:

  • Lesson One, a fun pillow case, was all about learning new vocabulary, exploring and threading the machine, as well as sewing straight lines and corners with a straight stitch.
  • Lesson Two, fabric letters,  introduced the zig-zag stitch, reinforced the importance of maintaining an even seam allowance, and provided a first experience with concave and convex curves.

Lesson Three, a sock snake, will introduce working with knit fabric, turning a tube, and attaching buttons and ribbon to create a FUN new toy by upcycling!

Here’s what you need…

Materials List

Knit Fabric (10-12 pieces of fabric…use socks that are missing a match or have holes, knit scraps, etc. in fun patterns and colors).

Polyester Filling (or fabric scraps) for stuffing

Thread

Regular Shears

Pins (or clips, wash-away tape, or fabric glue stick)

Optional Embellishments (buttons for eyes, ribbon for tongue, bow for personality, etc.)

Fray Block (optional, but keeps ribbon from fraying)

 

LET’S SEW!

Lesson Three: Sock Snake

Step 1:

Gather and prepare your socks (or scraps).

Cut sock (or fabric) to create a flat rectangle: remove toe, heal, and/or ankle band and then cut tube so fabric piece lays flat (this makes it easier for the kids to sew).

sock1

Step 2: 

Layout your fabric pieces, purposefully mixing patterns, solids, and colors, with the stretch going across the width.  To help give the snake a natural proportioned look, order your fabric to give a narrower ‘head’ and ‘tail’ as shown in image below:

sock2

Step 3: 

Sew segments together, WST, pinning/clipping one segment at a time. This will create the length of your snake.

Remind your child:

  • the throat plate is a hands-free zone while needle is in motion
  • to back stitch at the beginning and end of a seam (this probably isn’t necessary on this step of the project, but it is good practice).

Teach your child:

  • knit fabric requires a stretch stitch to keep stitches from breaking, so use a zig-zag (or a preferred stretch stitch on your particular machine)
  • to gently stretch the knit fabric to make the narrower piece the same length as the next wider piece (real life application: attaching a neck band to a neckline).

sock4

Step 4:

Give your snake some personality! Choose which end will be the head and add eyes, tongue, and even a bow! You can teach your child how to attach a button with the sewing machine or simply have your child hand sew the embellishments on. Tip: if you make a notch in the ribbon, Fray Block keeps the fibers from unraveling.

sock5

 Step 5:

Fold the the length of the snake RST.  To give the snake a more realistic shape you can trim the head with a slight curve and tail at an angle (as shown in image below); then sew from head to tail leaving approximately 2″ unstitched for stuffing.

Sock7

Step 6:

Turn the tube right-side-out and stuff!

Sock8

Step 7:

Stitch the stuffing opening/tail closed.

Sock9

Step 8: PLAY!

I immediately made my son his own snake using fabric scraps from garments I have made him. I knotted the tail rather than stuffing; it looks a little like a rattle snake! I honestly cannot believe how much they have played with their new toys. They love them!

sockfinal

Thanks for sewing along! If your child sews up a snake (or a monster, or a caterpillar, or worm…), we would love to see you share it on the Peek A Boo Patternshop’s FB page!

Happy Sewing!

Melissa

One Response

  1. Good afternoon from South Africa. I just read your mail about teaching my child to sew. I see that this is part 3 though, I must have missed parts 1 and 2 during the craziness of the introduction of lockdown….etc…
    Are lessons 1 and 2 still available on your sight? I would love to do this.

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