Toothless Plush

Toothless is finished!! I’m so happy!

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He was actually finished quite a while ago but I have been putting this post off for some reason. I started Toothless over a year ago and he went through many changes during the process. Normally a project doesn’t take me quite so long, but there were many experimental phases, time when I was stalled while looking for certain materials, and frustration periods where I didn’t work on him for weeks at a time. But I was determined to complete him and make him as unique and close to my vision as possible. I am unbelievably pleased with how he came out, so it was all worth it.

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Body and Legs

I’d never made a plush toy prior to deciding to make Toothless so I wanted a pattern as a jumping off point. I purchased this pattern from Etsy and made tweaks and changes as I went but patterned my own tail and wings because the originals weren’t working for me scale wise. During the initial process of getting the proportions and shapes down he went through two bodies, three tails, two and half sets of wings, six legs, and two heads. I think the only pieces that ended up being unchanged were the fins on his tail.

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His body is made out of very fuzzy fleece/fur fabric and his wings and fins are fleece. He’s very cuddly and soft! The furry fabric was pretty difficult to work with, though, because it stretched in odd ways and had a mind of it’s own (and left little black fuzzies EVERYWHERE. I’m still finding them!) It was also really difficult to see what I was doing around all the fluff, but I really liked the way it looked and felt so I had to experiment with a few construction methods to get it to work. I ended up adding a cotton lining to the entire thing to give it more stability and stop the thread from pulling out. It helped SO MUCH.

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I filled his feet and the end of his tail with plastic seeds just to give them a bit of weight and help him stand up on his own, and there is wire in his wings that make them fully posable! I considered leaving the wings soft for maximum cuddle factor, but I decided to mock them up with wire just to see what it would look like and I ended up liking it better.

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Claws and Eyes

Closely tied with his red tail fin, which I’ll discuss in a minute, Toothless’ claws are my FAVORITE part. This was one of the additions I made that wasn’t included in the original pattern and they looked even cooler than I imagined. I purchased some claw beads from a wonderful seller on Etsy and simply sewed them to the ends of his toes. They can be moved around like how Toothless uses his claws in the movie which makes me happy, but they do have to be adjusted sometimes otherwise they are just all over the place haha.

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The eyes took a while for me to be satisfied with. I bought a green 17mm set at the local craft store, but after a while I decided they were too small and the color was too flat. I took to the internet once more to find larger, slit pupil plastic safety eyes, which was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. I ended up buying some clear 24mm eyes from this shop that I was able to paint to a more accurate Toothless eye color. I used acrylic paint and they’re still not as bright as I wanted them to be, but I decided to let that one go. I even toyed around with the idea of rigging LEDs in his head to illuminate his eyes, but that will have to be a later addition. I made three different versions with various paint layering and I believe I ended up using option 2.

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Tail Fin

Runner up for favorite part of Toothless is his badass red tail fin. This is the only thing that I completely flew by the seat of my pants while I was making it. I didn’t make a mock up and just went right for it. I used some red outdoor vinyl to make the fin and drew the design on by hand with a paint pen. I had this random tiny leather belt laying around that I wanted to use, but when I began working with it the leather started to crack and disintegrate, so I picked up some flat, suede cord from JoAnn’s to replace it with.

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The metal “rods” are headpins for jewelry making and I also picked up a small riveting kit. The entire thing is put together with rivets and hot glue. I considered using my fancy vinyl/leather/plastic/metal/everything ever highly toxic and flammable glue, but I didn’t have time to mess with that! I was on a roll! I was able to put the whole thing together in about three hours total. The buckle is fully functional and the fin can be taken off.

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Head

The head was both the first and last thing I worked on. His original head was where I started this project and his second and final head was what I did last. The consequence of that was that I had a headless dragon hanging around the house for a few months lol.

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The first head was made without the cotton lining and when I would add the polyfill it stretched in all sorts of bizarre and lumpy directions, which is what lead me to the decisions to use the cotton for the body as well. Hand sewing the head took around 26 hours and all the movie soundtracks I posses. Shout out to all the classic Disney movies for getting me through the majority of it. The changes I made to the head were larger side ear fins and a slight tuck in the chin to make the shape flatter and less ball like. I also added some eyelids so he wouldn’t look so bugeyed.

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Let me know what you guys think and thanks for sticking with me through this long post!

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A couple illustrations, Toothless update, and a new page!

I wanted to share a few illustrations I did recently and also point you in the direction of my new Gallery page! There I will keep a collection of all the artwork I post for easy viewing.

This first illustration was a request from a dear friend who asked me to draw her fur baby Sabina, aka Miss Bee. She’s still quite young and crazy energetic, so I tried to capture her playfulness.

Miss Bee

Bee

This one is just something I came up with one day haha. I don’t even remember why I thought of it. I had so much fun drawing it though, and I love how to bubbles turned out!

Kraken in Training

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As for Toothless, he is ALMOST FINISHED! I made a lot of changes to his structure, had to order new materials, and I’m making an entirely new head which I can’t do on my machine so it’s taking a bit of time to hand sew. But he can now stand on his own and has fully posable wings! I don’t want to spoil the reveal because I’ll be making a detailed post about his entire construction very soon!

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-K

Mini-Project Monday – Floral Shrug

Aaahh feel that summer breeze? It’s quickly turning into an autumn breeze! But before the leaves start to turn and Wal Mart puts out the Halloween decor (wait, that already happened?) I’m still making summer clothes!

Over the weekend I decided to whip up this casual, easy shrug from some fabric I bought a few months ago. I saw something like it on a girl once and all she could tell me when I asked her where she got it was “the internet.” Um… ok. So instead I just designed my own.

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It’s basically just a big rectangle folded in half and sewn together at the ends (but leaving holes for your arms!)

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I finished the edges with my surger and added a 2″ band around the body/neck just to polish it up a bit. The whole thing took about 3 hours, mostly because I had to put the band on twice haha.

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It’s very easy to wear and a great not-too-hot layer over tank tops. I think if I made another one I would make it just a smidge wider so the sleeves were longer. They hit at about my elbows on this one. Overall, though, a success!

K

Mini-Project Monday – Frozen Blanket

My chemistry class is finally over! So what’s the first thing I do? Make myself a snuggly Frozen blanket of course! Yes, I realize it’s the middle of summer, but I couldn’t resist when I saw this fabric at JoAnn’s.

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When I decided to make this I opted for blanket binding instead of any of the various tying and “braiding” techniques out there for fleece blankets. Plus, the binding came in my favorite color! I thought, this will be simple! Done in an hour tops! WRONG. This is only my second attempt at putting satin binding on something and I epically failed the last time. I just chalked that up to being 14 and inexperienced with sewing, but at 24 with a college degree I still found about five different ways to screw it up, such as…

  • It was twisting
  • It was wrinkling
  • It was uneven
  • I didn’t catch the underside in the right place
  • I didn’t leave enough for the corners

I think I took it completely off and re-started at least three times.

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After figuring out how it wanted to behave I eventually devised a method that worked for me, which was nothing like any of the youtube videos I watched or how-to articles I read. It involved zero pinning, because that just made things worse somehow, and I had to sort of pull the ribbon taught in opposite directions with both hands while feeding it through the machine. And for some reason it seemed to work better when I put the binding on with the long edge on top, rather than on the bottom as it’s designed. Yeah, I don’t know. I can plan, research, pattern, and build an entire outfit complete with accurate undergarments from just about any time period you want, but apparently blanket binding is too much for me! But it’s finished and looks lovely if I do say so myself. : )

K

Upcoming Projects

Summer is about half over and I thought it was time to evaluate the “summer projects” I started back in May. I’m taking a chemistry class at the moment, so homework has been eating up a lot of my free time since June, but it’s over in two weeks! Phew! Then I won’t be in classes for a while and I’ll have time to sew sew sew!

There are a few things I’ve been ruminating about for a couple of months and I’m finally getting them started, slowly but surely.

1901 Edwardian ensemble/Ingrid Waverly

I’ve wanted to make a turn of the century/Edwardian dress for a while and I came up with two reasons to motivate myself to start it.

Reason 1 – There is a 1901 Singer treadle sewing machine in my house that I recently decided to service and get working again (that’s a separate post), so I thought, wouldn’t it be great to make my Edwardian dress with a machine from the same period? Yay accuracy!

Reason 2 – Last year I started reading a book series called The Dispossessed series by Page Morgan. It’s about two sisters who move to Paris with their mother after a terrible accident. There, they discover a world of demons, secret societies, and gargoyles that shift into humans who are charged with the task of protecting the residents of their buildings. Oh, and it’s YA so of course all the gargoyles are incredibly hot.

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Don’t be fooled by the swoony covers. They’re excellently written, have a  unique idea that’s handled well, and have a great cast of characters. Ok ok, they’re a little swoony, but it’s YA what do you expect? I’ve fallen deeply in love with the series and after reading the sequel that just came out, I knew I wanted to cosplay the eldest sister Ingrid Waverly. From her description I look pretty similar to her, so I’m going to accomplish two projects at once and make a lovely Edwardian dress that can double as a cosplay.

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Elsa

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Ah, Frozen. Yes, I’ve been swept up in it as well, but I’m totally ok with that. I know, everybody has cosplayed Elsa since November, but that just means there are TONS of resources available. The most progress I’ve made on her is to buy some fabric for the skirt, but I did spend about two days cutting paillettes into square sequins for the bodice.

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#dedication

I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted ready-made, so as usual I found a way to make it myself. I think they’ll look really great when I put them on the bodice.

Toothless

I kind of love How to Train Your Dragon, and I think 90% of that love is because of Toothless. If you haven’t seen HtTYD 2 stop what you’re doing and go see it now! It’s really great.

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This is another project I’ve had in mind for a while. Since the first movie came out, really. I’ve been working on him for about two weeks now, but in true Toothless fashion he’s being incredibly stubborn and difficult. I think the first problem was my horrendous fabric choice. I just wanted him to be fluffy and snuggly! But the fluff factor makes the smaller details rather challenging, and when I put it under the sewing machine I can’t see what I’m doing. I decided to hand sew the entire head but I managed to get the body together with my machine. At the moment he’s sort of a Toothless torpedo until I get his legs on.

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And he is nice and fluffy. : )

Well, those are the three, nerdy projects I’ll be working on for the next little bit. I’m really excited to have time to make progress on all of them. This chemistry class can’t be over soon enough!

K