Tonari no Totoro

I am really enjoying this felt thing, but I am in need of more good felt (cough… um, Aug 6…cough… just saying). I got that stack of six-inch squares at the sewing expo, but I need to build out my stash with larger pieces and a variety of color groups. The squares were mostly darker colors, I really need some bright and pastel colors as well.

My latest creation was a stuffed Totoro. Someone shared a tutorial for it (Aimee I think) months ago on Facebook, I can’t even remember when. At the time I bought some cheapo felt to make it, but it got put aside and I nearly forgot about it. After making my little felt birdies though, Totoro was on my mind… so I pulled out the felt and made him over the long weekend when I decided I needed a break halfway through piecing my mini quilt.

Totoro came out okay, but he could have been better. I might have to make another one with his trademark open mouth grin using good felt.. and if I do I will definitely make a leaf to put on his head. Maybe I will even see if I can give him some little buddies too. And whiskers!

Next, I think I want to make this Yeti Monster! Or maybe this owl garland. But alas, I lack the right felt colors. See?? I need to build a felt stash! Although the next thing I am truly itching to work on is my Geranium Basket table topper, for which Sean has promised me Valdani threads as a birthday gift!

The lessons learned when making this guy include:

  • actually read the directions (should have left a seam allowance when I cut some parts, so ended up trimming other parts to compensate)
  • cheap felt sheds and just doesn’t feel nice like the wool/rayon blend felts
  • when using poly pellets as a filler, be prepared to vacuum immediately afterwards and work over a large bowl
  • needle nose tweezers are hugely helpful in stuffing tiny pieces like ears (tweezers were a relic of my model-making days)
  • I dislike rayon embroidery thread
  • look at a picture when making a stuffed critter because Totoro’s nose should be higher up and it is going to bother me forever
  • while I never used it for its intended purpose, this formula dispenser makes a good funnel for poly pellets

Here is a video of Anna playing with Totoro for the first time… she seems to like him.

Totoro... I should give him a leaf. He is made with cheapo felt though, so maybe I will just make another one with the good stuff and give him a leaf.
Totoro. He is made with cheapo felt though, so maybe I will  make another one with the good stuff and give him a leaf and try making some whiskers as well.
Totoro's backside
Totoro’s backside