Two Smaller Projects – Tiny Bat and Heat-Up Owl

I figured I would go ahead and post both of these projects together, since they are smaller things that I’ve been working on off-and-on between bigger projects. Neither of them are anything big or special, but I think they’re cute little guys.

20160905_170546

The first of the two was this little bat. I got the pattern off of Etsy (link at the end of post). For the most part, it was pretty straight-forward and easy to follow. There were a couple of alterations I made as I went though, to try to get the look that I wanted. Though in the end, I was reminded how difficult it is to do detail work on plushies this small. 

20160905_170711

I used this as an opportunity to test out some broadcloth cotton that I picked up on sale. I probably won’t be using it again, unless it is doubled-up. It was so thin, and had a bad tendency to fray at the edges. Oh well, lesson learned! In the end, this guy is super tiny, but very cute sitting up on the shelf.

Next up was a project I’ve been wanting to try for awhile. This guy is stuffed with a bag filled with rice, buffered with cotton trimmings. Because everything used is microwave safe, he can be put in the microwave and heated up to be a cozy, snuggly heating pad. 

20160905_170356

I’m really happy with how this turned out. At least conceptually — the detail work is pretty derpy, and the wings didn’t want to attach properly, and again the fabric was pretty thin and frayed. BUT, this is one of the BEST, most cuddly heating pads in the history of ever! The shape is perfect for a heating pad. I think I’m going to try to make more of these, but with better material, and in different varieties of animal cuddle-buddies.  If things turn out well, they might be the first thing worth going up on an Etsy shop! Fingers crossed.

20160905_170441

Links:

Little Bat Pattern

Microwaveable Owl Instructions  (This one doesn’t really have a pattern, but does have instructions and discusses various options for stuffing.)

Adipose Plush – Success!

What’s this? A plush that turned out pretty much the way I intended it to? It looks that way! Behold, my third attempt at a plushie, a cuddly little adipose!

IMG_1656

I shall call him Chubbs.

(I once again forgot to take progress pictures of this one, but this was when I noticed my mistake, so that shouldn’t happen again. Furthermore, both the dog and the cat were thoroughly engaged in nap time, so neither of them turned up to assist.)

This one went really well! It was my first time working with a pattern that utilized not just a front and back panel, but side-panels as well (I don’t know where you’d classify spheres in terms of paneling…). It was awkward pinning it all in place at first, but once I had the basic shape pinned down things went quite well. I also think I have gained a better grasp of seam-allowance, which probably helps a lot of things.

This pattern also made an interesting suggestion that I hadn’t seen before — clipping into the edges of the seam allowance, which they suggest gives the shape a better form once it’s turned inside out. I can’t tell if the results I got were strictly from this crimping, or from my better use of seam allowance, or some combination of both. But I was very pleased with the rounded-shape that I got.

This is also my first attempt at attaching limbs since my first plush. It’s still not an easy task, and I think I need a lot of practice yet before I get better at hiding my stitching there. But the limbs on this one are definitely sturdier than my previous attempts.

IMG_1659

So there you have it, the latest addition to my collection of plushie attempts. Looking at the picture above, I do feel like I’m making progress with each new attempt. A good feeling! The holiday weekend is coming to a close, so I expect my posts will thin out a bit as I go back to work. But I have a lot of patterns lined up for further projects, so more updates will be on the way!

Resources!

Adipose – Free Pattern and Tutorial

My First Two Plushies!

They aren’t pretty. They are derpy. They are filled with mistakes. But I have made my first two plushies ever! And holy cheese, I have learned so much already. Let’s start from the start.

(A list of resources relevant to this post will be given at the bottom.)

Plushie #1 – Totoro!

IMG_1647

Ah, look at it. So many mistakes. So much derp. But he’s my very, very first. In hindsight, I almost definitely chose a project too complicated for my first try. Hey, it looked simple at the time! But it was a big learning experience. 

What did I learn? First off, felt is a great starter material based upon all the research I have done, but color selection is crappy. The colors above were the closest I could get to correct (shy of ordering them online), so please pardon the off-ness of his coloring.

I also learned to PAY ATTENTION to which side of the fabric is getting stitched… I’m looking at you, ear-piece #4!  >_>

Also, ladder stitch is harder than it looks, but not as hard as I was afraid it would be. I’m going to need a LOT of practice to hone my skills there. I also realized that I probably need to leave a smaller “fill hole”. My gut-impulse was to leave a large one so that turning it right-side-out would be easier. But that means a much larger area to ladder stitch.

For this guy, I actually remembered to take in-progress pictures, something I forgot to do at every point after. But here are some of said pictures.

IMG_1637

All the pieces traced out and ready for cutting.

IMG_1640

The supervisor is not impressed. (Apologies for the blurriness — she moved right as I snapped it.)

IMG_1644

Pieces all cut out and ready for stitching.

IMG_1647

Finished product

So I didn’t get all the pieces lined up perfectly, my stitching is dodgy in places, and I definitely need to work on attaching limbs. But it’s a start. He may be a derpy, mis-colored Totoro, but I’ll cuddle him all the same. And as my very first, he will always be special to me!

Plushie #2 – Slimes!

Now on to Plushie #2. Because of that wallet-ravaging monster that is the Steam Summer Sale, I have found myself in possession of a game called Slime Rancher. And holy hippo handbags, the Slimes are adorable!

image-11-700x393

So much cute!

I MUST make an army of Slime plushies! But that means that I need to start figuring out the best way to make them. That’s where Plushie #2 comes in! (Sadly, I forgot to take in-progress pictures for this one.) 

I have heard that stitching spheres is a great way to get practice, so this seemed like a good place to start. I tried a couple of four-panel spheres, but never quite got the shape I was looking for. At first I chalked this up to my own inexperience, or the fact that felt is probably the wrong material for this, but then I stumbled upon something — a FIVE-panel sphere pattern! That did the trick. I still think a Slime would be better served by a different fabric, but at least the shape is closer to what I want.

IMG_1648

Also not in the correct color due to fabric selection. Joy.

Is it exactly what I was going for? Absolutely not! But it does give me a solid basis for making Slimes moving forward. For one thing, I like the size of it. Looking at the finished product,  I think the mouth needs to be much bigger. The eyes need to be closer to the mouth and perhaps wider-set, to more closely resemble the game Slimes.  I may also try to get a little bit of a taper on the top. Those are all issues I will address in Slime Mk II.

What did I learn on this one? For one, my stitching was much better than on my Totoro, so that feels like improvement. Following the sphere tutorial for the five-sider, I found that it saved me a lot of mistakes to sew two sets of two panels, and then connect them together with the remaining panel. 

I also forgot to stitch on the facial appliques BEFORE closing and stuffing the sphere. Because I had the right color thread (ie, black!), I think it turned out ok. But it was much more work to try to hide my knots. 

So there it is, my first two plushies. The first was terrifying, and was certainly a crash-course and a learning experience. While the first reminded me that I have a long way to go, the second gave me hope that practice (and research!) leads to improvement. At the end of the day,  I learned a lot and I had a BLAST making these two! It certainly proved to me that this is something I enjoy a lot, and I can’t wait to make more!

Resources!

How to Sew a Ladder Stitch

Totoro Tutorial and Free Pattern

Five-Sided Sphere Free Pattern and Tutorial (Note: for the Slime plush, I used the “Supersize” sphere pattern)