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!