After twenty years working in the advertising agency, author Daniel wanted to do something different with his creative energy. He began creating stuffed creatures with stray socks. Years of crafting these creatures for his personal pleasure and his experience with teaching others to do so in workshops led him to produce this book for home crafters to use to teach themselves STRAY SOCK SEWING.
Part One has 75 pages of photos of Daniel's sock dolls in humorous poses indoors and outdoors. I'd describe these dolls as happy, cheerful, bright and sweet. They look new, bright, clean, and tight (versus grungy, scrappy, messy or slouchy). Nearly all are creative interpretations of real animals that exist in real life, some are hybrid combinations of two animals, and a small number are figments of his imagination . Only one is a silly monster (reminding me of the STUPID SOCK CREATURES book and creations of John Murphy). Daniel uses colorful socks including socks with patterns or socks with printed graphics on them such as socks for girls with butterflies or flowers on them. Daniel also uses striped socks and incorporates brand names or numbers on the creatures. When the socks are plain, Daniel adds texture and visuals with hand embroidery. Interesting buttons are used for eyes and other body parts or accents.
Part Two has 15 pages of how to directions with many photographs showing each step in the process. The writing is well done, the photos are useful and there are many tips that Daniel has learned through trial and error and finding what works best.
Part Three is 60 pages of step by step instructions in text and photographs for eight projects.
This is an example of green crafting, taking something that would normally be thrown away, a stray sock, adding some thread and embroidery floss, some old buttons and some new stuffing and making something new and original from it. Although after seeing the interesting socks that the author has used you may wind up shopping for new, colorful socks in order to make some sock dolls!
It seems that "stuffies" or "plushies" or "softies" (or whatever else they are being called), whether from new materials or from reused materials destined for the trash is a fad at the moment, with a number of books on the market giving ideas and tutorials on how to make them. Each book has the individual style of the author and this book is no exception, therefore if the creatures in this book appeal to you will qualify as a "must own" or at least a "must read". It was STUPID SOCK CREATURES that introduced me to the idea of using stray or hole-y socks to make imaginative sock monsters with more of an edgy look. The dolls in STRAY SOCK SEWING are almost opposite looking sweet and cute and mostly fun interpretations of wild animals and pets.
The photos are inspirational and the tutorials are well done. As with all crafting books the projects may be done step by step to learn the technique or the crafter may just glean the information from the tutorials then go off to create their own unique stuffed dolls from stray socks, it's up to the crafter how they want to use this workshop-in-a-book!