Jo wanted to make a Totoro stuffed animal for a friend from school – and she had a pretty brilliant idea of how to do it without drafting a whole new pattern.
Start with Franklin the Fat Cat! It’s one of her favorites and she’s made it a few times, so she knew it was an easy pattern to work with.
She used Cuddle Fleece in charcoal and camel for the body, plus some felt scraps in black, white, and smoky marble.
She drafted new patterns for the ears, eyes, nose and those things on his chest. (There’s a link to download those pieces at the end of this post.)
She used the tail pattern from Eddie the Teddy Bear to give him a stubby little tail.
And she gave him no feet/legs.
Want to make your own? It’s pretty easy. The only part that’s really different from Franklin (as far as construction goes) is the ears.
Jo wanted them to stand up really well, so she used Soft & Stable foam inside.
Stack a piece of foam, then one ear piece right side up, followed by one ear piece facing down. Sew up and around the top of the ear, leaving the flat bottom open for turning.
Sewing through the foam is super easy. Here’s what that piece looks like from the bottom.
Reach in between the two fleece layers to turn it right side out – the foam will end up between the two layers. Neat!
Fold the sides of the bottom of the ear in to the center and stitch it across the bottom to secure the folds.
Now it has some shape.
Repeat for the second ear and then treat them just like the cat ears in the pattern instructions.
Applique the eyes, nose and chest thingies onto the body front. Jo stuck them down with a glue stick to hold them while she sewed. Clever!
After you stitch around the edges of all the pieces, insert 9 mm safety eyes into the middle of the whites. (If you do that sooner, the shanks of the safety eyes will make it impossible to sew around the whites.)
After that, the assembly is just like Franklin. Easy peasy!
One cute Totoro stuffed animal and his maker, ready for delivery to a friend. 🙂
If you want to make your own, here’s what you’ll need. . .
- Franklin the Fat Cat pattern
- the extra pattern pieces that Jo drafted
- charcoal and camel fleece (Jo used Cuddle Fleece – polar fleece will also work just fine)
- wool felt in black, white and smoky marble
- Soft & Stable foam
- two 9mm safety eyes