When I was about 11 years old, I wanted some Ninja Turtle toys. Since my parents wouldn't buy me any, I decided to make my own. I made up the pattern for the turtle bodies, and my Mom showed me how to work the sewing machine. They were the first things I ever sewed.
The finished turtles looked like green gingerbread men with lumpy green backpacks, but I thought they were awesome. Their respective purple, blue, orange, and red masks and armbands were made of felt that was hot glued in place, and they each had their own custom-made weapons.
As a kid I was quite pleased with myself, and I've been sewing and making stuff ever since.
I decided to make an updated version of my original homemade Ninja Turtle action figures for my own kids to enjoy. I also used the same body pattern to make a little Darth Vader figure as well.
The turtle design should offer some challenges, but still be simple enough for beginning sewers to complete.
The Darth Vader figure was more of a challenge--especially his helmet. I had to go Boba Fett-style on it, although in tiny scale. His lightsaber handle detaches from the light-beam (you know, for when he's not engaging in combat).
Step 1: The bodies
Constructing the body will require both machine sewing and hand stitching. Someone with a little bit of sewing experience may need to help beginners, as parts of this may be slightly difficult or frustrating.
This is a great sewing project for beginners--boys and girls alike. Homemade toys are more meaningful, plus the creating of them provides some great learning opportunities for kids (not to mention the good time spent with parents).
I decided to make the pattern so the head and body pieces are made and stuffed separately. That way, when they are stitched together, a definite "neck" shape is created.
This is different from what I did as a kid--as a kid I just cut and sewed together two whole pieces and stuffed the body through a section left unsewn on the side. You could do it this way if you wanted--but you would have to adjust the pattern accordingly.
Start by downloading, printing, and cutting out the body pattern. (The body is on two sheets, which will need to be taped together.)