Introduction: Tiny Totoro Keychain
This is how I made a stuffed "Tiny" Totoro keychain. I live across the planet from my family and my older sister's birthday is coming up. I wanted to send her something but it had to be small and light so it's not too expensive to send it. She likes Miyazaki movies and cute things so I decided to make her a tiny Totoro keychain.
1x old sock (I just used pieces of one I cut up for another project, you'll only need a couple square inches of fabric)
some black thread
pen / felt pen
Step 1: Designing a Tiny Totoro
First up I grabbed some images of Totoro flying on a top from the movie to use as a reference, Then I drew a bunch of pictures based on them until I had one I was happy with. I tried to remove some details so it would be easier to make but still be recognizably Totoro. I found changing his ears from their complicated shape to triangles didn't make much difference, neither did the number of teeth or chest chevrons. Once I had a picture I was happy with I used it to make a pattern.
Step 2: Making a Pattern
To make the pattern I took a piece of paper that was slightly bigger than the image I drew, then folded it in half and marked the fold line. I placed it flat over my drawing, lining up the fold line so it was centered over the drawing, then I traced half the drawing onto the paper. I folded it back in half and cut the tracing out to make a symmetrical pattern for Totoro's body. I repeated this process to make a pattern for the light coloured chest/belly section as well.
Step 3: Marking and Cutting
Next I traced my patterns out on some pieces of sock and cut them out. you're better off to cut it out too big than too small here, I'd try and cut around the outside of your tracing mark, you can trim it down later. I cut out a whole bunch since I was experimenting as I was going but to make 1 Tiny Totoro all you only need to cut out one body and one chest/belly right now. I also cut out some tiny circles to use as eyes and a narrow triangle to be Totoro's mouth. I found it easiest to just get those parts by trial and error rather than tracing a pattern, they were so small that a pattern just made it harder.
Step 4: Adding Details
I glued the eyes, mouth and chest down to the body just with a bit of white glue to hold them in place so they didn't move while I was sewing on them. I used the outside of the sock to be the outside of the body, and flipped the fabric so the inside of the sock was the outside of the eyes, mouth and chest to give it some contrast. Once the glue was dry I added the details to Totoro's face with some thread. For the eyes I just sewed back and forth around the center of the eyes until it made a dot about the right size. The teeth and chevrons were two loops for each line, which made them about the right size. If you used embroidery thread you could probably do it with one stitch each which would make it much faster.
Step 5: Making Totoro's Back
Next up is to attach Totoro's back. flip the cut out body so Totoro's face is against the outside of another piece of sock and stitch around the body, make sure to leave a spot unstitched (I left a spot on the bottom about the size of my felt pen) Once the stitching is done, trim the excess fabric from outside the stitches.
Step 6: Stuffing Totoro
Now flip it rightside out through the part that was left unstitched. I found using a ballpoint pen was usefull to pop the arms and ears out. (if you stop here you'd have a funny little finger puppet!) I used more cut up pieces of sock as the stuffing, smaller pieces for the ears and arms, and bigger pieces for the body. A ballpoint pen was usefull again to make sure stuffing was crammed into the ears and arms. I started sewing closed the bottom opening once it was hard to put more stuffing in without it falling out. I'd sew a bit then cram more stuffing, then sew a bit more and cram a bit more until the hole was totally closed.
Step 7: Adding Keyloop
I added a couple loops of thread between Totoro's ears and gave it a test drive on my keys! One Tiny Totoro keychain complete!!! Now to pack it up in an envelope and send it to my sister! hopefully the mail is as fast as a cat bus =P