July 24, 2011

Patterns: Closet Monsters

Here at Feeling Stitchy, we were very kindly given a copy of Closet Monsters: Stitch Creatures You'll Love from Clothing You Don't by John Murphy to review. Closet Monsters takes clothes destined for the bin and turns them into softies. There is some opportunity for embroidery, particularly freehand machine embroidery, as you personalise your monster.

There are thirteen different monsters made with shirts, jackets, trousers, jumpers, pyjamas, suits and dresses. Each monster in the book, to some degree, takes advantage of the particular design of, say the pyjamas or the dress, so unless you have that exact same pyjamas or dress, it would be difficult to exactly replicate the same monster, specially as there are no patterns in the book, however there are quite detailed instructions on how to cut out your softy pieces. There are also detailed general instructions at the beginning of the book, as well as good construction instructions for each monster. I would say, however, that this is not a book for a beginner softy maker, you'd need a bit of experience before tackling the designs in this book. I'd also recommend reading through the instructions several times before starting.

For me personally, I've made softies in the past, although I've only recently started making them without a pattern. I decided to tackle Maureen McDoover, which in the book is made out of a pair of cord trousers, but on raiding my wardrobe, all I could find was a pair of too small jeans.

pre closet monster

However they were similar to cords in that the fabric is different colour on each side. However they looked more tailored than the cords in the book and I think this is possibly why my Maureen McDoover's nose ended pointing up, instead of down.

closet monsters book

I did like the opportunity to add machine embroidery along the nose and on the chest though. I also personalised mine more by adding some of the labels I had cut out of my jeans.

closet monster front

closet monster back

However, I found the denim a little tricky to work with compared to the normal felt or cotton I make softies with, so I decided to make my monster footless. I also didn't add teeth because I did not have much of the white pocket lining of the jeans left and didn't want to 'cheat' by finding fabric elsewhere.

Overall, this is an interesting book for hardcore softy makers or those looking to make softies cheaply.


  1. Hooray! I love monster craft books! Thanks for sharing your project. It looks great!

  2. I love the nose pointing up. Just discovered your wonderful blog!