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SEWING - Totoro Plush

I have already mentioned how much I love Totoro.  I have a Pinterest board dedicated just to the adorable Totoro items I come across in the online world.  Another Totoro item I have made is this cutsie plush.  I also already mentioned how I have only a couple stuffed animals that I keep for myself and this is the other one.  

When I come up with an idea of something I want to make or do, I always google it first to see if someone else has tried it.  My theory is if all the hard work has already been done, why do it again?  Unfortunately if I do not find anything I like or that will be adaptable, I have to do the hard part of figuring it all out.  With this Totoro I was lucky.  I found the perfect template and tutorial here.  

I am happy with the results I got.  He is a little ragged looking which adds to his charm.  If I were to use this template again, I would give myself a lot more seam allowance.  It was a tight squeeze stitching that guy and tricky turning the pieces right side out.  I would also weight him in the bottom.  He does not balance and sit by himself well.  I tried to use the tail to create a balancing third leg (like a picture frame), but it did not work.  With some weight in the tail, I think he could stand on his own.  Last tip, use a free-motion sewing foot.  I used a normal pressure foot and it was extremely tricky stitching those tight curves.  It would also be optional stitching by hand.  I like the tiny, uniform stitches on mine, though.  Each different possibility creates a completely unique looking project.

Good luck and have fun!