Monster Jam 2020 has been so much fun, I’ve really loved it and so enjoyed the projects of everybody who played along.
To wrap up a month of fabulous monstery fun, I’d like to offer this tutorial in case anybody feels the need for a little more monster in their life.
I use sweaters made of natural fiber, wool, angora, merino, alpaca, mohair felted or “fulled” in a hot water wash with some laundry soap and then run through the dryer on hot. Wash them more than once to get them really shrunk up good and tight, taking care to remove lint from the washer and dryer, there can be a lot.
Then I cut them apart, detaching the arms, inside seams, neck band, pockets, buttons etc.
Now I start cutting out monstery bodies, you can cut out whatever you like but I often let the shape of the pieces inform the design. See?
Now the ears. A piece of felt cut into any shape and sewn in just like that or folded over on one or both edges.
If you’d like to use a different sort of fabric here woven (non-stretchy, like for quilting) fabric works too. Cut out 4 of the same shape, I use the same fabric for the 2 fronts and a contrasting fabric for the back. Pin the ears together, fronts to backs. The right side or outside (that you want showing) of the fabric will be on the inside here. Sew around the ear shape as shown.
Take a sharp pair of scissors and trim the point of the ear being careful not to clip the stitches. This helps make the point pointy when you turn the ear right side out
The following shows how to insert the ears and where to sew. If you want to add arms you can do so here as well. They can be sewn from felted sweater fabric or felt or woven fabric like you did with the ears. You can stuff the shapes or not. If you do add stuffing make sure it’s not in the way when you sew all the pieces together or your machine may have trouble with such a thick layer.
Remember that the body pieces will be right side in, that means that the fabric that you want to show on the outside will be on the inside for this step.
Sew around the body leaving an opening to turn right side out. You don’t want a really big seam allowance here so if your stitching is pretty far from the edge of the fabric you can trim it a little, so that it’s about 1/4 inch or a bit more. I recommend using pins to hold everything in place before you sew it together.
Want to add different coloured legs? Same process as the arms. You can add legs and arms and ears or any combination of the three, it’s up to you and your imagination.
Now cut out some shapes to use as features, eyes, noses, mouths, teeth, hearts or whatever you’d like. You can use buttons too, get stitching!
Here are some finished monsters, you can see the addition of features and hearts. I sew these on by hand before stuffing the monster bodies so that I can tie off threads inside the body where they won’t show but you can do it any way you wish. You can also embroider the features but sometimes stitches get lost in the fuzz of the wool.
You can use polyfil to stuff your monster or if you want to use up all the little scraps left over from the sweater you can clip them all up into tiny little bits and use that. It takes a while but it’s really nice and makes a terrific fluffy monster as well as leaving no waste.
Now I’d love to see how you do it!