I've written a few posts before about how I teach English to three little girls. Each lesson they earn points and with their points, they can "buy" little prizes. If they save up to 200 points, they can request me to make some little felt thing. The items are up to the individuals, so I have gotten some odd requests - Santa, a bear face, a hamster (which the mom told me is very much loved), macarons, roses, and this time Totoro!! The youngest girl requested, "a really fat owl...no Totoro! But I want him to have a pocket and I want the pocket to say his name." Hmmm...
I started by checking the internet for photos of Totoro.
Once I found an easy enough image to go off of, I checked my felt stock and found that I had just enough gray, plus black and white. What a relief - I didn't even have to go to the fabric shop to buy anything. I cut out Totoro's body and then got to work on all the details.
Once I was satisified with the general shape/style of the details, I got to sewing. I started with the white tummy and then moved onto the gray chevrons. Then I wrote "Totoro" in fabric marker on the pocket and sewed that in the middle. Next were the eyes and nose. Then the line above the nose, the mouth, and his whiskers. Finally I sewed the front to the back.
As I was going, I stuffed difficult to reach spots - his ears, feet and hands - and once I was close to finishing, I added heaps more stuffing.
I didn't want to distort his shape, so I didn't stuff him super full, but he's definitely plush.
Of all the felt toys I have made for the girls, this is my favorite. He turned out so cute! At first I was confused as to why she requested the pocket with his name. I showed it to Y and his response was, "because it's cute." Good enough for me. K fell in love with Totoro, which was odd since he's yet to even see the movie, and kept saying that I couldn't give him to the little girl. "No, K's Totoro." I said if he really wanted one I would make him one too, but I think he might be over it already.
The little girl was super stoked. Her smile when I gave it to her was one of the cutest things ever. Luckily, I snapped a quick photo!