Introduction: Xena Warrior Princess Amigurumi
First Prize in the
It's a tiny warrior princes!
The body for this amigurumi is a pattern I came up with by starting with the Little Devil pattern from First Floor Crafts and I making some adjustments. I've also added a bunch of notes and tips to help you out. :) The clothes and accessories I designed myself based off pictures of Xena
Here's the list of what you will need:
-Worsted weight yarn in brown, beige and black
-Tapestry or yarn needle
-Polyfil or some other polyester stuffing
-Rice or plastic stuffing pellets (basically any heavier material to fill the doll’s feet)
-Dark brown felt
-A pipe cleaner
-9mm safety eyes (or some other sort of doll eyes)
-Gold fabric paint
-Red embroidery floss or yarn
-Hairpin lace loom (or ~4” wide piece of cardboard)
-Glue that will stick to yarn and metal(I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue and E6000 glue)
-Small washer (about 1" diameter)
-Gold and silver paint
-Black sharpie and wet-erase marker
Step 1: Notes
Sc – single crochet
Dec – decrease (single crochet 2 stitches together)
Inc – increase (single crochet twice in the same stitch)
Sl st – slip stitch
Dc – double crochet
A note about decreases: I use invisible decreases for amigurumi, because they make the appearance of decreases much less noticeable. All you need to do is put your hook through the front loop of the first stitch and back loop of the second stitch when pulling up a new loop instead of putting your hook through both loops on both stitches.
Step 2: Head and Arms
This is a basic amigurumi sphere. To make the more elongated, add more rows in the middle at 30 stitches. Use the beige yarn
1. 5 sc in magic circle (5)
2. 2 sc in each stitch (10)
3. *Sc in first stitch, inc in next stitch*- repeat (15)
4. *Sc in first 2 stitches, inc*- repeat (20)
5. *Sc in first 3 stitches, inc*- repeat (25)
6. *Sc in first 4 stitches, inc*- repeat (30)
7-12. Sc in each stitch around (30)
13. *Sc in first 4 stitches, dec*- repeat (25)
14. *Sc in first 3 stitches, dec*- repeat (20)
15. *Sc in first 2 stitches, dec*- repeat (15)
At some point between rounds 15/16, stuff the head. You can also attach the eyes now, or glue them in later
16. *Sc in first stitch, dec*- repeat (10)
17. Dec around (5)
18. Sl st into first stitch of next round, fasten off and close the opening.
Make 2, use the beige yarn
1. Using skin color, 4sc in magic circle (4)
2. *Sc, inc* repeat (6)
3. Sc around (6)
4. Sc, inc, sc, sc, inc, sc (8)
5-10. Sc around
11. Sl st in first stitch of next round and fasten off. Leave a long tail for sewing on later
Step 3: Legs and Torso
The legs will start out separate and then be crocheted together to form the body.
The legs are identical up to and including row 10. At that point you will fasten off the first leg and continue on with the other.
1. Start with the dark brown yarn. 5sc in magic circle
2. 2 sc in each stitch (10)
3. 2 double crochet in the first 3 stitches, sc to finish out the round (13)
4. Sc in each stitch (13)
5. Dec across the first 6 stitches using only the back loops of the stitches, sc to finish out the round (10)
6-10. Sc in each stitch around. After round 7 switch to skin color.
Fasten off first leg. Continue with second leg
11. This part is a little tricky. We’re going to be joining the legs by crocheting around the tops of both to make one big circle. First, put the legs side by side with the feet facing the same direction. Sc in the first stitch of the 11th round of the second leg. Now you should be at a stitch next to the first leg. Go through that stitch on the first leg and continue the row around the first leg. When you get to the end of the first leg, cross back over to the second leg and finish off the row. You should now have one continuous row joining the two legs. (20)
12. You are going to be increasing in 4 stitches this round. Orient these increases across the back of the amigurumi to form a tiny butt :) For me this worked out to 3 increases at the beginning of the row and one increase as I finished off (24)
13. Sc around (24)
14. Sc around (24)
15. Decrease across the back of the doll 4x (where you made the increases in row 12), then sc in the rest of the row (20)
At this point, you are going to want to stuff the legs. Fill them with heavier stuffing like plastic pellets or rice. You can also use heavier metal pieces in the shoes. This helps the doll stay upright. Then add some polyfil fluff on the top to keep the heavy stuff from falling out as you continue crocheting. If you're using pellets or rice, it's very helpful to use a funnel for pouring them into the legs.
16-18. Sc around (20)
19. *Sc in next 2 stitches, dec* - repeat around (15)
20. *Sc in next stitch, dec* - repeat around (10)
21. Sc around
Stuff body with polyfil
22. Sc, dec, sc, dec, sc, dec, sc, (7)
23. Sl st into the first stitch of the next row and fasten off. Leave a long tail for sewing the head on to the body
Step 4: Putting the Body Together
Start by attaching the head to the torso. Use the long tail you left on the leg and the yarn needle to sew the head on. I find that stitching around the little hole formed where the torso closes forms a nice neck width.
Once your head is attached, it's time to sew on the arms. You don't need to stuff the arms with fluff, instead, instead we're going to use the pipe cleaner to give them some bendy-ness. First, cut the pipe cleaner in two. Then, fold over one end on each half to form a dull end. Stick the pipe cleaner in the arm, dull end first. This prevents the pipe cleaner from poking out of the arm. Trim the pipe cleaner so that ~1cm sticks out of the arm at the end. You can then use the pipe cleaners to help position the arms. Stick the bits of pipe cleaner that are sticking out of the ends of the arm into the dolls shoulders. I wanted my arms to be pointing down, so I made sure to position them like this before I started sewing. Once you've got the arms how you want them, attach them to the body with the tails you left on and a yarn needle.
You can add a mouth to the figure using the red yarn or embroidery floss now or later (I ended up adding mine at the end)
Step 5: Armor Pieces
Use the dark brown yarn. We're going to make a long rectangle and then add some points on the top to make Xena's bustier leather armor top.
1. Chain 26
2. Sc across the chain, turn(25)
3. Sc across, turn (25)
4. Sc across, turn, fasten off (25)
5. Count 9 into the last row, then single crochet back into the piece. Make a total of 4 sc, then slip stitch 2, then another 4sc, turn
6. Dec, sl st 4, dec, fasten off and weave in ends
Chain 7. We will attach these later
Lower layer: cut a long rectangle, it should go around the doll's body with some overlap. Then, cut out strips to leave lots of hanging pieces that look like rectangles with pointed ends. Be sure not to cut all the way to the top so you can attach it to the doll easily!
Upper layer: cut out lots of little rectangles about the width of the empty spots on your lower layer. Trim the ends so they are pointy. Set these aside for now
Cut out two long trapezoid shapes from the brown felt. You can measure them against the figures arms to make sure they are the right length (they should take up about 1/3 of the arm)
We're going to add some felt pieces on top of the brown boots already crocheted into the legs in order to get Xena's knee guards. Cut out one long, narrow trapezoid and one short, fat trapezoid. Then glue the fat trapezoid onto the center of the long one. To get the size right, use your figure for measurements. The fat trapezoid should cover her knee and the long one should be able to wrap around her legs. Together they should be tall enough to cover the front of her boot and come up just under her skirt. Because the skirt is part of the measurements, I found it useful to make these bits after I had finished pinning/gluing the skirt on (detailed in the next step)
Cut out a heart shape from the brown felt to go over the top of Xena's bodice. It is useful to do this part after you've already got the crochet part of the bodice on Xena, since you'll need to hold the felt piece up for measurement. The heart should cover the bodice at the top and be about 2/3 as long as the bodice.
Cut out two half-circles from the brown felt. These will be going on top of the bodice straps on Xena's shoulders. Once again, use your figure for measuring/trimming.
Step 6: Armor Construction
To help with this part, I recommend doing a Google image search for Xena to help get the placement of bits correct. I found that Xena cosplay pics were especially helpful!
A note about order: we're going to be painting some of this armor with gold embellishments. If you prefer to paint the pieces before gluing, there is no reason you can't do that! If you want to paint first. I would take a look over this part to see how everything is going to come together, then skip to the next step for painting instructions. You can come back and assemble the armor when everything is dry. :) For the record, I painted the bodice and arm bands separately and the other bits while they were on the doll.
Also, a note on some of the accompanying pictures (I know, too many notes!). Some of my original pictures got deleted, so I have used pictures from later in the process to give you a good idea of where pieces should be places and glued. If there's something added to the figure I didn't go over yet in any of the pics, don't worry, it will be covered in subsequent steps! If you have any questions or are confused, feel free to leave a comment or send me a note.
I used Aleene's Tacky Glue for all the gluing in this section.
First we're going to attach the skirt. Take the first skirt piece you cut (the jagged rectangle) and pin it onto the doll. Don't glue it on yet, we'll glue the whole skirt to the doll once it's assembled. Now, take those pieces you cut a bunch of earlier and pin them on so they come down where the cut-outs are in the rectangle. We're going for the look of lots of overlapping leather flaps. Once you've got all the top flaps pinned on, you can trim up the bottom to get the skirt to the length you want. I aimed for a row or so above the top of the crocheted boots. Now, glue each top flap on and re-pin it to the skirt. The pins will keep the flaps in place as they dry and slide right out later.
The second step is the bodice. Wrap the rectangle around the doll so the curvy parts you made on the top are covering her chest and the flat part is on the bottom. Pins are helpful here too! You can either glue the bodice on or sew it together. I found gluing to be easier and it created a tighter fit. Now take those straps you made earlier and sew them onto the top of the pointy chest bits of the bodice using a yarn needle. Drape them over the doll's shoulders and sew them to the back of the bodice using the yarn needle.
Now onto all the extra armor bits! I recommend pinning these all onto the doll before you start gluing them, in order to get a better idea of how it all will come together.
Boots: Wrap the double-trapezoid piece around the doll's legs so the taller part is at the front. Make sure to orient these pieces so the skinny trapezoid is on top of the fat trapezoid. Glue the overlapping bits of felt together in the back and pin the felt in place while it dries.
Arm guards: Orient these on Xena's arms so the fat part of the trapezoid is on top the arm and the pointy part of the trapezoid is pointing towards her shoulders. Wrap them around and glue the felt overlap, then pin it down to dry.
Shoulder armor: These bits go on Xena's shoulder's, with the flat bits facing in. Glue them to the bodice straps and pin down while drying.
Bodice: Glue the heart shaped piece you cut out earlier onto the bodice. You should line up the humps on the heart with the curves on the top of the armor. Pin down while it dries.
Step 7: Embellishments
Xena's armor has lots of shiny metal bits, so we're going to add those with some gold fabric paint! As with the armor construction step, I found a Google image search to be very helpful in providing reference material! I've provided pictures of my embellishments to help you out too!
Also, you can tell from my pictures that I added the hair before I did my painting. In retrospect, I recommend against this in order to avoid gold-paint-on-hair incidents. :)
Bodice: This is definitely the hardest part to paint! I painted a simplified version of Xena's metal chest-plate onto the heart-shaped felt, then glued it on when it was dry.
Arm bands: Paint a trapezoid outline about the width of Xena's arms and add some scroll work to the inside.
Shoulder armor: This won't be highly visible, the most important part is that is has some shiny to catch the eye. :) I just did some simple curls and dots.
Boots: Painting goes on the felt. The top trapezoid has a sun-like pattern, the bottom has a couple of accent lines.
Skirt: Half of the strips of leather in Xena's skirt have metal studs. To mimic this I added 4 dots of gold paint to each of the upper-tier felt strips. To make nice repeatable dots, dip you yarn needle in the fabric paint and then press it to the felt.
Step 8: Hair
This hair method I like to use takes a bit of time, but it provides a really nice hairline for the doll. I promise it is worth it! I've included lots of pictures to help you with this part
1. Get out a hairpin lace loom or a 4-5" wide piece of cardboard. We're going to wrap the black yarn around the loom/cardboard a bunch of times (basically across the whole thing). If you are using a loom, it will be helpful to tie the loose ends of yarn onto loom. Otherwise, tape your loose yarn onto the board.
2. Now to join all those yarn pieces together! You can do this part with any kind of thin black thread, but I like to actually untriwst the yarn and use one of the thin pieces that make up the yarn. For black hair this isn't as important, but using the same yarn to join the hair looks much better when you're making other hair colors, since you don't have to worry about mis-match!
3. Get your length of string and chain 1 onto your crochet hook. I use a tiny hook (C) for this part, but as long as you make sure to pull your stitches tight using a larger hook should not be a problem.
4. Put the hook under the rightmost loop of yarn at the top of the loom. Slip stitch around this yarn loop using the thread.
5. Put your hook around the next loop and slip stitch around it.
6. Continue this through the last loop, then fasten off.
7. Slide the sewn-together loops off the loom/cardboard. Don't cut the bottom loops yet
8. You're going to use this ribbon of hair loops to make the hairline for the doll. Pin the hair around the doll's head to get the hairline shape you want. If the hair piece is longer than the hairline, you can pin it in a zig-zag inside the hairline to help fill in the doll's hair. It's more important to fill in at the top than the bottom, so start there.
9. Sew the hair onto the head using the same thread or yarn fibers you used to join the hair together. You want to be sewing through the slip stitch parts in the top of the hair piece. Once the hair is sewn down you can trim the bottom loops so you have individual hair strands instead of loops
10. Now to add Xena's bangs! Make a shorter joined line of hair like you did before. About 2" of hair "ribbon" should suffice. Then, sew the hair on in front of the top hairline so it falls over her face. Trim the hair so it forms bangs. These bangs will stand up on end, so I usually lightly glue them down with Tacky Glue to keep that from happening.
Note: I added my doll's eyes at this point to help figure out how short to trim the bangs
11. Once the hairline is on, it's time to fill in the hair! You've probably noticed that with just the outer hair attached, Xena looks like she's going bald. This is easy to fix by adding more hair inside the hairline. Cut yourself some yarn that when folded in half will be as long as you want the doll's hair to be. Now use that piece as a template to cut a nice pile of yarn pieces.
12. We'll be filling in the head from the top. One row down from the top hairline, insert your crochet hook so it goes through a stitch and out the other side. Take one of the pieces you just cut and fold it in half. Pull the loop end of the piece through the doll's head using the crochet hook. Then take the ends of the yarn and pull them through the loop to secure the yarn to the head. Repeat this across this row.
13. You can fill in more pieces of hair like this on the rest of the head. I added several pieces about halfway to the bottom hairline. Basically, keep filling in pieces until Xena's scalp doesn't show through.
14. Xena often pulls back the top part of her hair, so I did fasted some of the figure's hair back using some black yarn.
15. Trim up the rest of the hair so it looks nice :)
Step 9: Weapon
The last part in making a Xena doll is her chakram, a sharp metal ring she can throw. The easiest way to do this is to get a small metal washer from a hardware store and paint it with a square wave pattern.
First, draw the square wave pattern on the washer with a wet erase marker. Since wet erase marker comes off super easily with water, we can simply wash any left showing off after we add the paint! There should be nine squares total and a thin gold ring around the center.
Next, paint over the marker using gold paint. I prefer enamel paint because it has a nice shine to it. Once the pattern is dry, paint a dot of silver in each square.
Finally, use a thin sharpie to outline the gold and silver dots once everything it dry.
I glued the chakram to Xena's hand using E6000 glue, which will basically glue anything to anything else. It is amazing, but has terrible fumes, so be sure to work in a well ventilated area!
Step 10: Finished!
Almost finished! As a last step I take a tweezers and go over my amigurumi to pick out any stray polyfil fibers (or more likely at my house, cat hair).
Hooray, now you have a tiny Xena! She can protect your desk :)
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