Sock Seal Softie

I thought I'd post another "behind the scenes" tutorial. I hope you enjoy these, because it's sort of like walking around town in my underwear. And though that may be fun for some, I only do it when it serves a purpose. (Kudos to those women on the Dove commercials!)

Today's mission: To take this...

and make a replica of this...

(Click on image for image source)

By the way, if you want to brighten your day, just go into any search engine image tool and search for images of baby seals. I can't even tell you how much time I wasted on this project "researching" my goal. I must warn you, though, you'll find lots of images related to the seal slaughter in Canada too.

So back to the project...

I stuffed my sock firmly and closed off the end at the cuff using a rubber band.

Then I placed a rubber band around the middle to form a neck.

I tied a strip of fleece around the neck to make a scarf, covering the rubber band.

I put a pom for the nose, a couple eye buttons for the eyes and a small black pom for the nose.

Then I cut some flippers or feet or legs (what are they on a seal anyway? I'm just going to go with legs) out of a piece of fleece and glued them to the front holding a present.

And this is what I ended up with.

And I hate it. Tacky. Uncoordinated. Cheap. I hate it.

And the part I hate most is this -- the seam at the toes of the sock.

so I turned the sock inside-out and put a rubber band at the end gathering the toe seam.

I turned it back and stuffed it again. So now I have this.

Then I rebuilt my face at the end of the sock, rather than on the side, using a bigger pom to cover the gathers. I experimented a bit with the nose. Seems too big...

Not bad...

Tried using a small black pom...

I settled on this one.

Next, instead of fleece for the front feet, I decided to use glove fingers.

I experimented with different positions. Forward...

and backwards...

And to the sides though I don't have a picture. I like all of them honestly, but decided to go with forward.

I liked it so far, but it needed some bling. I tried a hat, but it didn't do anything for me.

I tried the scarf again from before, though I had already decided to skip the rubber band at the neck.

I liked the scarf. I had to do the scarf before I did the legs or the scarf would have interfered with the positioning of the legs.

Next I attached the legs.

And this is what I have so far...

Next, I finished the tail. I flattened the cuff of the sock and glued it together.

Then I cut the cuff down the middle to make two .... here we go again ... I'll call them flippers.

And of course, I added my trademark snowflake embellishment. These are great! They come in a bag as confetti with about 500 pieces for $1, and they seem to work on just about everything -- everything winter anyway.

I tried several things in his feet, like a cluster of snowballs, a gift package, a clothes pin holding a note, etc. Nothing struck me in particular, so I opted to just leave him empty-handed for now. But I suspect he could be made into something wonderful for Valentine's day (I'm imagining an engagement ring on one of his feet with a note that says,"Let's seal the deal!" Yes, I know, I'm corny, but you get the idea.)

So I started staging him for pictures. I took several, reviewed the photos, and only then did I see something I hadn't been able to see before...

I didn't make a seal, I made a walrus!!!! D'oh!!

Yippee and bummer at the same time. I really like him as a walrus, but walruses aren't white, they're gray. So I guess I have project number two, except that I don't have any gray socks or any gray dye, so that will have to wait for another time. But I suspect you could make your own from the directions from the seal.

So, back to the drawing board -- Err, craft board. He needs a seal nose, not a walrus nose.

So I cut his nose off. I tried it again with a piece of fleece. Too small, but also not right so I didn't even cut a bigger piece.

Tried it with a pom, too small.

Tried it with a bigger pom. Too teddy bear-like, and I'm having Deja Vu, and ideas for another project.

So I tried a piece of sherpa.

Yup, that will do. Definitely more of what I'm looking for.

So I put it together and it came out like this. Much less walrus-like!

And he's right at home in the snow...

I might embellish his face a bit more with a stitched mouth and some thread whiskers, but I need something "wiry" and I don't have any on hand.

And I also think this would be very cute done as a beanbag, but it's 6 degrees outside and the sand is frozen in the sandbox, so that will have to happen at another time.

I hope you enjoyed another journey with me (and my underwear) and that you give this idea a try yourself! Let me know what you think, especially if you give it a try.

And be sure to check out the endless list of inspirational ideas at my home page

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