Hey /cgl/ I was wondering if anyone here has had any experience making plushies.
I'm making one for my friends birthday and it's of her favorite character. I'm using this other plushie as a reference and I want the "chibi" plush I'm making to have similar sizes and what not. I have all the measurements and have been reading some things on plushie making but I also wanted to see if anyone here may have advice on making patterns or may even have a pattern that is similar to this.
If you're making it as a present, make some to practice first. Use felt for practice, minky for real.
You want to basically make two halves of a complete plush before you sew them together. If your plush has belts or other details that go on top of the clothes, pin them on and sew after checking that both halves match up. Sew on the facial features and hair, too.
When you pin the two halves together it'll be pretty thick. You should have needles thick enough to be able to sew through several layers without snapping, and go slowly so you don't mess up. It's a pain to fix.
Don't overstuff it. It's hard at first to judge how much stuffing you need, and it's amazing how much stuffing they can hold, but stop once it starts to get stiff. Use your plush for reference. I know this sounds patronising, but the first few plushes I made were bursting at the seams because I was convinced that more stuffing= better.
I have no idea what character you're doing so I can't help with patterns, but you could use your own plush to draft a pattern and see if it works.
They're usually pretty simple. Tube limbs, tube-with-holes body and generic anime head. If you wanted a rounder head you'd need a slightly more complex pattern, but from what I can see yours is just two head shapes sewn together.
Oh, and please, please don't forget seam allowances. You really don't want to skimp on seam allowances, especially as you'll have to snip the curved parts and turn delicate pieces inside out.
Not original anon above, but the hair in OP's picture is just hair that's sewn into the seam for the front and back pieces of the head. If you dart the hair piece in a way that it follows the curve of the plush (or lack thereof) then you can just sew the hair on if you place it in between the head material while sewing.
Usually its normal to machine stitch if the plush is big enough, but always leave room to stuff which you then need to hand sew closed.
Machine is sturdier and less painful. If you want to practice hand sewing for when you have to close it after stuffing, do so on your mockups. There are tutorials on how to do ladder stitch online, it's a bit tricky at first but it's easy to get the hang of. Don't whipstich or machine sew them shut, you'll be left with this weird little pressed lumpy thing and it'll look awful.
As for the sewing on the good side, I use backstitch. Don't make the stitches too tiny or close together, because you'll be left with holes and this weird stretching after it's stuffed, but make them even and small. Aim for about 1mm or so per stitch. Again, you'll really want to practice this.
Don't be disheartened if your carefully-planned plush ends up looking like ET in a wig. Shit happens, just unpick the stitches and go back to the drawing board. Even if you can barely thread a needle, I guarantee that you'll be able to stitch neatly by the time you're happy with the design. All it takes is practice, saintly patience, and iron fingers.
It's this character called Zonda from a game called Gunvolt.
Here is the picture I am using for reference.
You're gonna need to make the skirt and jacket sleeves separately from the main body. It won't be hard to attach them (you sew them in with the arms) but it might be a good idea to make a diagram of all the parts and where they go when you're sewing to avoid mistakes.
I thought it'd be a simpler one like the one in the first pic. This is going to take a lot longer, if only because of all the trims.
I think if you use the free Baby London Star pattern and shrink it down a bit (maybe 2/3 original size) it will give you a good base to start with. It is in a sitting position but with a bit of modding you can make it a standing figure if you really want.
To make it like your pic in >>8800941, it might be easiest if you plan out to 'dress' it as you're sewing rather than try to make separate clothing. What I mean is, the legs, torso, and arms will all be made in white fabric, the head and hands in skin tone, layer black on the upper torso to replicate the jacket front and back, and then make the skirt and sleeves as >>8801009 said separate. It also might be easier to add the trims as you're doing this rather than try to put them on once its completed. I'd also suggest using a non-fray fabric so you don't have to try to hem every edge. Felt might work, but might also be thick for the parts like the jacket. Something like the faux moleskin/suede slightly fuzzy stuff (which is what your original plush is made of) would work well, though you'll want to Fraycheck the edges just to be sure. Usually the hair on plushies is made with minky that's been bonded to a felt backing for stiffness. Work the back of the hair's shape into a more simplified flat version, and probably for the bangs do two layers (the two sweeping parts that form a w of sorts being the top). Most of the details and seams in the costume I'd suggest just doing with a backstitch in black before you sew it together.
I'm trying to make a poseable dragon and I've never made a plush before. When I'm doing the skeleton/frame, is there anything special I'm supposed to attach to it (to keep it in place) or will the stuffing do the job?
The problem with those trims is the edges. It's not difficult to sew, but for someone with less experience it's going to be a pain. You might have to measure the edges and sew the trim in the right shape before sewing it onto the plush. If you try to follow the edges it's going to look messy, because those are some sharp edges and even with bias tape you're going to have to cut bits away to make it lie flat. The sleeves and bottom of the robe will be fine to sew though.
Also, I don't know if it's just the shading on this piece, but the trim on her shoulders looks a bit 3D. Please don't try to make it 3D. I can guarantee it's going to look like utter shit. If you want examples, look in any bad cosplay thread until you find the inevitable stuffed armour.
If you're planning to pose it a lot and want to use wire, don't. It can snap if bent too much. Stuffing should be fine, but use super stiff interfacing on the bottoms of the feet and any other areas you want to lie flat. You might want to make something less complex before, if only to get the hang of it, because there are a lot of pieces and it can get quite complicated. Make a cat or pony to see if you need to work on something that'll affect your dragon (for example, if your practice plush can't stand properly, or the curved seams look lumpy and strained, you need to figure out why and fix it before moving onto the dragon). Can you post a pic of the dragon you want to make?
I don't plan to pose it a lot but I do like my stuff to be durable. Is there an alternative to wire? The main purpose of the plush is actually to be used as a cosplay prop so I'm aiming for more realistic/functional and less "huggable" - Poseability is more so the prop looks natural wherever I place it versus droopy/dangling, if that makes any sense.
Pic is the dragon I'm trying to make. I'm working on a pattern now that I think is turning out OK so far but we'll see how well it translates to fabric. Thank you for the tip on interfacing and troubleshooting... I realize I jumped straight to hard mode on this so I appreciate the advice!
If you're not going to play with it much then thick wire should be fine, though you might want to double the amount of wire used, just in case. The hard parts are... well, just about everything, if it's your first plush. The shape of the arms is awkward and might take a few tries to get right, the spikes will need to be about 99% interfacing for them to not flop hopelessly, the eyes and horns will be tricky to figure out and the orange/russet stripes might have to be painted on because a ribbon or bias tape will probably end up looking weird. You really picked a tough one to start with.
Make the harder parts separately and see if they work individually, then work the pattern around them. Make everything to the same scale but don't be anal about proportions, sometimes you have to tweak things to make them work and it's better to have a 90% accurate plush than one that makes you want to set fire to yourself before you've even started cutting the pattern.
What are you planning to make it out of? I don't think pleather is a good idea, though it's probably the best material for the claws. I know you can get textured minky, but it might make it look childish. (Please don't use cheap felt, that stuff is vile and only good for mockups.)
Oh that's good, thanks about the wire - I'll be sure to account for that when purchasing! Yeah, the spines will be interfaced to keep them from flopping. I will probably cast the eyes and carve the horns; the skin will actually be painted. Again, its primary purpose is to be a prop, so it doesn't need to feel nice, just look it! Do you have any tips regarding how to attach the smaller wing bones to the skeleton? I was thinking of twisting wire around the skeleton and branching off pieces (like pic) but it doesn't seem like a good long term solution.
>Make the harder parts separately and see if they work individually, then work the pattern around them.
Yep, I figured out that's the way to go after redoing the pattern a couple times. It's an interesting learning process!
OH HEY I TOTALLY MADE A TERROR A COUPLE YEARS BACK. I made a post about the process and all the things I did that I shouldn't have here: http://imgur.com/a/l60Er Hopefully it'll be of some help?
I can't wait to see your dragon! Good luck!