Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Felt Plushie R2D2

This is my first attempt at making a felt plushie doll and I'm really happy with the results.  He's 100% handmade with love.  His head turned out a little smaller than I had hopped and his legs are a little buffer than normal...And I probably could have done without the swivel head but I thought it added a nice unique touch and I'm so happy he can actually support his own head (sometimes...).  Despite me pointing out what I think are his flaws, everything turned out okay because he's super cute in his own little way. ^_^

Here's what you'll need:
  • Buttons (1 big black one, some small black, red and white ones)
  • Blue ribbon (I used some 5/8" ribbon left over from my Pearl Bracelet Project)
  • Polyester Fiber Fill
  • Blue, white, grey felt - I was lucky enough to pick some up in the remnants bin
  • Sewing stuff
  • White, blue, grey thread (You'll probably need to switch out your thread to match the felt color you're sewing so more than 1 needle is a plus)
  • Cotton Cable Cord (I had left over from my Hex Nut Bracelet)
  • 1 rivet if you want a swivel head
  • A small piece of Poster board cut out for the feet
  • Basic hand stitching knowledge - stringing needles, stitching & knotting threads
I was fortunate enough to have the majority of the materials laying around the house already.  The remnants and the fiber fill I bought at JoAnn's on Black Friday and since they had 75% off remnants and 50% off fiber fill I left with everything (and some other stuff) for about $6 which was very exciting!  Make sure to always look in the remnants bin and keep an eye out for sales and coupons!

I used a Progressive soup can to measure out the height and length of the felt that I was going to cut.  I just rolled up the whole can in felt + an extra inch and that is my body size.  I also cut out 4 pieces of felt circles using the same can.  Leave an extra 1/2 inch around the circle as well for sewing room.

I then cut out my blue pieces for the body.  Tip: You can cut out the little arrow like designs in the same pattern and then just flip it once you have the design cut out.  At this point you want to sew on all of the  details from the body before you move on to the next part.  Not pictured, but also cut out 4 little grey strips (that will go on the left of the blue rectangle) and sew those on, as well as your 2 white buttons.

Next, flip the body inside out and attach the top circle to the body.  The easiest way to do this is one pin at a time.  Hold together the edge of the body and a piece of the circle then put a pin through it.

The pinned circle should eventually look like this.  Then sew the very edges together.  Make sure you get this technique down because some of the other parts of his body will get tricky!  Once you're done sewing on the top circle feel free to flip him inside out and see how it looks.  Then set it aside and it's time to start working on the head.

Next you want to cut out about 5-6 panels that look like this.  This part was actually the most difficult for me.   I used a small glass pyrex bowl to gauge the head size but I should have made his head panels a little bit bigger.  I'm also thinking I could have done this in a dome like shape with 2 pieces of felt, but I just tried my luck with this and it worked.  Then sew the head panels together.

So next step is to connect a flat circle piece to the panels.  Same technique used earlier should be applied.

Flip the head inside out and start adding the details to the head.  You want to make sure you sew in all the details now because once you stuff him it will be a lot harder to push and pull the needle through the head.

So your head and body pieces should look something like this.

Cut a tiny hole and snap in a rivet.  Depending on the size of your rivet, I found it was helpful to also include some extra layers of felt to secure the rivet in place.  it will create tension and help hold down the head.

Head and body are now in place!

So to close off the head you will also need a round circle.  I used the white circle as a template but trimmed it off a little towards the edge.  Snip a small line down the middle a wrap it around the top of the head panels and pull the flaps to overlap each other close.  It won't be easy to do, and you might have to cut in further to the center.  Also note it may not be a straight line - see how my cut slants a little to the right.

Stuff the top of the head  and body just a little bit so that you can get a better idea of the shape.  Next I cut out my little head pieces and sewed 3 of them on.  Make sure you line the open cut towards the back of R2D2's head, that way you can hide the seam.  I sewed on the blue pieces for the front and 2 sides while the top head piece was off and occasionally testing the fit onto the top of the head.

This is how your head should look once you're about ready to close it.   I only have it connected with pins holding it together but it's stuffed to the top.  There are only 3 of the 5 top blue pieces sewed down at the moment.

Alright, I'm going to take a little break here since the next part for closing the head gets really tricky.  If you have any questions for the process so far let me know in the comment section and I'll try to answer them as best as I can.  Check back on Friday for the next steps!

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