23 June 2011
Photoshop and mechanical pencil for pattern planning
Flannel, polyester stuffing and sewing machine for prototype
So, here's that plushie-making project I've been talking about now and then. (Actually think I only mentioned it once in a journal...) I didn't find any patterns made by other people that I really liked, so I just made my own. That little sketch at the bottom is what I'm trying to get it to look like.
This is actually the fourth one I've sewn. I waited until now to post anything because this is the first one that I thought was at all presentable XD Finally got some of the parts looking pretty close to what I want for the final version. The torso is the one I'm happiest about at the moment - kept making it too short or too long and thin at first. I got roughly the right dimensions in version 3, but the details of the shape weren't right, and I almost threw the pattern out and tried a totally different style. Ended up figuring this out, though, and I'm pretty happy with it now. Would be nice if it had a neck, but this is close enough, I guess. (The limbs stick out more than I'd like, and it has a slight beer gut, but I kind of like the beer gut part.) Also pretty happy with the feet. Only change for version 5 is replacing the lines I drew with the one I actually sewed XD
Head is probably the hardest thing to get right... mainly, the chin. The face was actually pretty easy to figure out - just took a pattern for a four-piece sphere and drew and anime profile on one side of it. The chin is just strange, though. I can't really explain what's wrong with it, though :'D Well, at the moment, the problem is that stuffing comes out the bottom, but that should be fixed when I add an extra bit of fabric there. I'm also considering sewing the heads by hand. It's really easy to mess up the shape at this scale if the sewing machine is a few millimeters off. I'm not sure if my hand stitches would be tight enough, though.
Plushie is held together with pins at the moment, but I'll be using teddy bear joints in the final version. Head is also going to be jointed so that it can look to the side (but not up and down - that's a whole other sort of joint). I'll probably be embroidering the eyes onto a piece of white cloth and then sewing them onto the head after the head is stuffed. The final version is also going to have a zipper in the stomach so squeakers can go inside.
Do you think I should shorten the legs? Anatomically they're about right in relation to the arms, but I think shorter legs might be cuter.
Also, I felt like Dr Frankenstein when I was stuffing this. Probably because I was reusing stuffing from older prototypes, which made me realize that stuffing is basically plushie guts.
If anyone reading this is trying to make their own plushie pattern, I recommend reading [link]
this blog post series. It's techniques rather than specific patterns, so they can be applied to pretty much anything that's going to be stuffed.