Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Tutorial: TOTORO Pram Mobile

Hi everyone! I am back! And guess what?!?! My PC is up and running again. I don't have internet however so I have to alternate between the PC and the laptop. But that's ok for now. Atleast I can get on with my work and edit photos and what not. It was the slot for the network card on the mother board that killed my sweet PC. Expensive to sort out, but luckily I can sort it out temporarily with a USB WiFi to get internet on it again. Since I've been gone for a whole week I have quite a few blog posts lined up for you. I will do one every other day to catch up. So let's start with this Totoro Pram Mobile = O v O =

 As you all know by now my baby is due any day. I am panicking to get everything ready. There is many things I just wanted to buy as I am quite tired at the moment and can't be bothered making EVERYTHING myself. But when I look up things I want and scan the baby stores around here I just get upset and angry over how expensive everything is. It makes me so frustrated as I think things are way over priced, especially if we see to the fact that they'll only be used for a few months and then you have to move on to the next thing. So I have taken things in my own hands as I'm not going to be a slave to the baby and toddler market. Simple as that! My first project has been this Totoro Mobile anyway. It is super simple and super cheap to make on your own, just follow these simple steps and you'll be fine.
Start out with drawing the simple shape of Totoro. If you're not sure on drawing then just get a picture that you like with a good silhouette on Google Image Search and trace it or just cut it out as your stencil. There is plenty of cute pictures out there.
 Make sure you got a stencil for the general shape and then another stencil for the eyes and for the belly. Yet again very simple shapes. I choose to go with Totoros original colours as I think the pram we got looks just like a Totoro pram and his colours would look perfect with it. But you can obviously use whatever colours you want. I used a pretty hard and sturdy felt, as I do with all my work. I don't like the thick soft stuff and think that the harder type just look like much better quality. For the grey shape you need a back and a front. So two exactly the same pieces. Whilst you only need one pair of eyes and one tummy.
 Place everything where you want it and use simple running stitches to sew the tummy into place.
 Since the eyes are so small I wont use any stitching here. Just make a little hole where you want the eyes in the grey felt piece and then poke little holes in the white felt eyes and use safety eyes to fasten them. I cut off a little bit of the safety eyes so they wouldn't poke out the back to much. If this is for a baby or toddler, make sure that you leave enough for the eye to still be secure. We don't want any accidents.
Then I move on to the stitching around the outside. You can use a machine for this if you don't like hand stitching. I find it quite relaxing and I also love the look of blanket stitches, so that was my obvious choice. Make sure you use allot of pins to keep the felt in place. It is easy for it to slide and look a bit funny if you don't.
 Blanket stitches are very easy to learn and once you get the hang of it you don't even have to think. Here's a little tutorial on how to do blanket stitches if you haven't done them before: Blanket Stitches: How to
 Before you finish off leave a little hole and leave the thread and needle in and put a small bit of stuffing into his belly. I didn't want him to look all flat as Totoros belly is what makes him so cuddly and cute. You can of course skip this step if you, unlike me, would like him flat. Once you've got the roundness of the belly you want, stitch him up and voila you got a Totoro. My camera battery died here and since it was pretty late in the evening I decided to finish off the main bits of painting so that everything would be dry in the morning. I also made two Dust Bunnies which are super simple. You just need four circular pieces of black felt and four small white circular pieces of felt for the eyes. Go about the eyes the same way you did on Totoro and then sew the two black circular pieces together with about 1 cm left on the outside so that you can give it little "sun rays". For the rays I just cut little scores all around the Dust Bunny and then cut some out completely. Very simple!
I also painted Totoros nose, whiskers and mouth with Dylon Fabric Paint, and also the grey marks on his chest.

 The morning after I continued with making little decorations for the mobile. I found it a bit plain to only have Totoro and two dust bunnies. So I cut out some leaves in different sizes and once again used Dylon Fabric Paint to do the fibers of the leaves.
 A little picture of the Dust Bunny I did the night before.
 I started out with placing the leaves out on the twine (that I later changed to brown elastics as I don't want any twine bits to come off and land in the pram). I started out with sewing the leaves on individually, but didn't like the look of it.
 So I went ahead and made little flowers instead. I didn't mean to use the buttons at first but found them in my little scrap box with loads of forgotten things. I had enough to make as many flowers as I wanted. You can use any types of shapes here. I decided on a four leaf clover looking shape and you need three pieces per flower. One back piece, one off coloured middle, and one for the front. The reason why I used so many is to give the leaves somewhere to sit without it looking funny. So the leaves can be glued of sewn in between the back piece and the middle piece. Then you keep them all together by sewing on the button and that's that.
 Aren't they super pretty?!
 And when you got all the pieces finished just pull a chord or whatever you fancy between them all. I would recomend elastics as they are very easy to work with and can fit any pram really. Make sure that things don't hang to far down as well. We don't want our baby to pull the whole thing apart. Just look and observe :)
 I am well happy with it and it goes so well with the colours of the pram. Now go and make your own. It is loads of fun and something you can always be proud of and say you made yourself. Absolutely priceless!
Here are some details :D :D :D
Hope you enjoyed the tutorial and that it can be handy. If you've got any questions just let me know and I'll be happy to help!

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