Introduction: Deepsea Murloc Hat
First Prize in the
Sew Warm Challenge
Deepsea murlocs appeared in Azeroth after the Cataclysm. They can be found in the depths of the Great Sea in areas like Vashj'ir, just off the coast of Khaz Modan and Stormwind. Unlike their amphibious coast-dwelling cousins, deepsea murlocs are seemingly blind, have a monstrous underbite, and sport a bioluminescent growth at the end of a tendril sprouting from their foreheads.
I like how they look and think a deepsea murloc makes a great hat.
I collect cashmere and other types of wool sweaters from thrift stores. I wash them in hot water to felt them, and use them to sew warm things for my family. Cashmere is softer and floppier than other types of wool. You could use another fuzzy fabric for this hat if you like. I've included a pdf pattern for this hat so you can make your own. I'll also explain my process for creating the pattern in step 1 in case you'd like to try your hand at making your own pattern.
I considered having the bioluminescent globe actually glow; I considered embedding a UV led in epoxy mixed with glow powder, coating it with more epoxy and glow powder until it was a decent sized teardrop shape. I could easily attach wires to that LED, run them through the forehead tendril, and attach them to two AA batteries.
I don't want batteries in my hat, though, especially since I plan on wearing it outside in the snow.
I used felted 100% cashmere for most of the hat, some polyfil batting for the insides of the appendages, craft foam for the spikes, and cotton flannel for the teeth.
Step 1: Designing Process
You can skip this step if you just want to make the hat.
I first sketched how I wanted the hat to look. I had some cheap scraps of fleece and sewed them together to get the shape of hat I wanted. It took a few adjustments. I'd sew them, trim a bit if I didn't like the shape, then sewed the new seam. After I was happy with the general shape of the hat (without any added murloc parts), I cut the hat along the seams and traced the pieces onto paper, labeling each.
I cut some shapes out of more fleece for the legs, arms, eyes, etc. and arranged them on the pieced together hat to make sure they were the right proportion. After a couple fine adjustments, I traced those pieces as well.
Once I'd traced all the pieces I needed onto 8.5 x 11 inch paper, I scanned them and turned the images into a pdf. Now others can print out the pdf and trace the shapes onto their own fabric.
Step 2: Cut Out Fabric
Print out the pdf pattern. Cut out the pieces of paper, pin them to your fabric (or trace them), and cut out the shapes. Be sure to leave at least a 1/4" seam allowance. If you're using a knit fabric that's a bit loose, leave more of a seam allowance, say 1/2 inch.
Pay attention to the dotted lines; those should be placed along a fold of fabric. Make sure there's enough fabric in both layers so you don't clip the pattern short. Some shapes will need more than one cut out. I've listed the number of each below:
Jaw Flap (optional; cut 2 if you intend to use)
Tail - cut 2
Tooth 1 - cut 2
Tooth 2, 3, 4, and 5 - cut 4 of each
Front of Hat - cut 1, but make sure to place dotted line along fold in fabric
Ear Flap - cut 4 of the finger looking part, not the webbing
Head Tentacle - cut 1
Eye Socket - cut 2 (the inner circle is to know where to place the eye; no need to cut that out)
Jaw - cut 2, make sure to place dotted line along fold in fabric
Spines 1 through 6 - cut 2 of each
Side of Hat - cut 2
Leg - cut 4
Arm - cut 4
Eye - cut 2
Step 3: Sew and Stuff Appendages
This part is a little time consuming, but it really brings the hat to life.
Beginning with the teeth, sew the matching pieces together, right sides facing each other, along the long sides of each tooth. Leave the bottom edge of the teeth open. I used a straight stitch.
Turn the teeth right side out.
Line the teeth up along the top edge of one of the jaw pieces, but point the teeth downward. I put tooth 1 in the middle, teeth 2 on either side of that, and the following teeth on the outsides so they'd get smaller as they got farther away from the middle. The piece of jaw fabric should be right side up, and the main part of each tooth should be overlapping that jaw piece, with the unsewn edges of the teeth sticking out along the upper edge. Place the other jaw piece of fabric over this, lining it up with the bottom piece, right side down. Pin this stuff together to hold the teeth in place.
Sew along the top edge of the jaw. You can sew a little farther on either side of the jaw, sewing around the sides and along part of the bottom if you want; this will lessen the amount of hand sewing you'll have to do on this part.
Turn the jaw right side out. The teeth should now stick up nicely along the top edge of the jaw. Stuff the inside of the jaw with some batting, then hand sew it shut. I find it looks best if you fold the raw edges in and use a blind stitch to sew it shut. After you finish stitching it closed, tie a knot close to the stitches, then pass the needle through some puffy part of the jaw, pull the thread through, then snip it off where it comes out. That should leave the tail of the thread inside the jaw and out of sight.
Sew the arms and legs in a similar way; I used a straight stitch around them. I chose a straight edge of each to leave open to turn the appendage right side out. Yes, the fingers are a pain in the butt. You might choose to hand sew those. Stuff them with batting then hand stitch them shut. Note the dotted line in the leg pattern. Use a straight stitch to sew along that line after the leg is stuffed and sewn shut to make an indentation.
The tail has similar dotted lines; treat them similarly. Sew the tail pieces together right sides facing each other, turn it right side out, stuff it, then stitch along the dotted lines to make indentations. I didn't bother to hand sew the edge of the tail.
Sew the spikes with the right sides facing each other. I chose to use the other side of the knit sweater as the outsides for these. Turn them right side out and stuff them. If you want the spikes to be floppy, use batting. I wanted them to stick up, so I used craft foam inside the spikes. I got the shape of craft foam by tracing the spike after it was turned right side out. I used the machine to stitch the bottom edge of these closed, since they wouldn't be visible anyway.
I stitched along the outside edge of the earflaps, leaving the finger edges open. Then I turned those right side out, traced a webbing shape on some gauzy fabric, and machine stitched the finger edges of the ear flaps together with the gauzy fabric sandwiched in between.
The tentacle can just be stitched along the long edge, then turned right side out. You can ignore those little lines on the fatter end of that tentacle. I stuffed the tentacle with two long strips of craft foam.
I forgot to add a shape to the pattern for the globe thing on the end of the tentacle (partly because I was originally going to do an epoxy/glow powder drop instead). Cut a circle out of fabric about as large as the eye socket shapes. Cut four V shapes around the edges of the circle to make a flower-like shape with four petals. Sew the sides of the petals together, so that the flower folds up to form a basket shape. Turn this right side out, stuff it with batting, then gather the opening. Stitch it shut, and hand sew the smaller end of the tentacle to the bulb, trying to make sure the tentacle fabric covers some of the scrunched up folds of the bulb.
Step 4: Sew Body of Hat
The two sides of the hat should have a back edge and a front edge. Sew the sides together along the back edge, right sides facing each other. Sew the front panel to the side panels; the front edge of each side panel should meet up with the edges of the front panel.
Turn the hat right side out. Fold a thin edge under and sew along it to finish the edge of the hat.
Step 5: Add Appendages to Hat
I hand stitched the arms and legs to the hat. I machine sewed the outside edges of the jaw, then hand stitched the rest of it along the brim.
I pushed each spike into the seam along the back of the hat, then machine stitched them so they'd be held in the fabric securely and stick up. I attached the tentacle the same way, positioning it forward from the tallest spike.
I machine stitched the tail to the back of the hat.
I wanted some webbing between the spikes on the hat. Once the spikes were sewn in place, I traced the shape of webbing I wanted onto some gauzy fabric. I sewed two layers of the gauzy fabric together, then stitched the gauzy sections to each spike. The webbing helps hold the spikes up on the hat.
The spikes and tentacle were still a bit too floppy for my taste, so I found a long piece of wire. I poked one side into the tentacle from the underside of the hat, and poked the other end into the first spike. I bent the excess loop of wire into three loops to gently cradle the head; this gives stability to the ends of the wire holding the spike and tentacle up. I then bent the wired tentacle so the end of it would hang down.
You can sew a panel of fabric to the inside of the hat over the wire if you want, but I found the wire soft enough to be comfortable; since there aren't any cut ends inside the hat, it doesn't catch on my hair. Try to bend the cut edges of the wire into a small loop inside the tentacle and spike. It might take a bit of fiddling, but it'll make sure the end of the wire doesn't poke out.
Stitch around the outside of the eye, then pull the thread to gather it; this will make it puff slightly. Add a little stuffing, then hand stitch the eye to the eye socket. Stitch through the eye socket to gather it slightly, making a ridge around the eye, then hand stitch it to the hat.
A certain naughty kid deleted some of my photos, but I'll take more of the finished hat tomorrow when we have sunlight. Thanks for reading!
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