Introduction: Clara Plushie From Princess Jellyfish (Kurara From Kuragehime)

I recently made a cosplay of Tsukimi in Princess Jellyfish. She's a girl obsessed with jellyfish (that manga / anime is hilarious, I really recommend it). The costume is quite simple but I had to make a plushie of her pet jellyfish Clara. A lot of people seem to have made Clara plushie but I could not find any tutorial, so here is mine!

Step 1: What You Will Need

Caution! After making my jellyfish I realized there were many steps I should have done otherwise to make things easier or prettier. Please read thoroughly each step before making your own plushie so you can decide which way works best for you.

You will need :
- light pink fleece + thread
- dark pink felt + thread
- scraps of black felt or fleece + thread
- scraps of white felt or fleece + thread
- scissors
- a sewing needle
- lots of pins
- a not-too-pointy chopstick
- a sewing machine
- a printer

Step 2: Making the Head

Print the pdf (I wrote what size I used, you may try different ratios but I don't advice making it smaller). In the light pink fleece, cut out 6 head pieces, 1 belly piece and 16 tentacle pieces.

As you may see on the final pictures, the head is not quite round, which means although I tried different sizes, the head pices are still a bit too large. I am terrible at maths and I don't really know what size each head piece should be for the whole head to be nice and round. I am open to any suggestions and you may try and find a better fitting size.

Tip for pinning before sewing with a machine : put the pins perpendicular to the seam you will make. That way you may take each pin away when it gets dangerously close to the needle. It prevents the needle from dropping on the pin and breaking. See the pictures.

Take two of the head pieces. Pin them together right sides facing and sew along one of the long edges.
Take another head piece, pin it to one of the head pieces you just sewed, right sides facing, and sew along the other long edge. You now have half a head. Do the same with the three head pieces you have left.

Pin the two half-heads together, right sides facing, sew along the long round edge. Flip it inside out. You now have a bottomless dome. If the fabric is too wide and makes waves, you can make a second seam, farther from the edge, to tighten it a bit.

Step 3: Making the Face

Fold a bit of black felt / fleece in two. Cut out the eyes. Look at the reference picture : they are ovals with a single eyelash on the side.

In the dark pink felt, cut out the mouth. It looks like a fat triangle.

In the white felt / fleece, cut out small circles for the reflection in Clara's eyes. This time do it one at a time to make it fit each eye. Make them symmetrical.

With white thread, hand sew the white circles on the eyes.

Pin the eyes and the mouth on the head. Use the seams on the head as marks. When they are in place, hand sew them on it.

Cut out a bunch of spots in the dark pink felt. Make different sizes and shapes (rounds and ovals, big and small). Hand sew some on top of the head.

Step 4: Making the Tentacles

Take the ovals and circles of dark pink felt. Hand sew 3 or 4 of them on each tentacle piece, on the right side of the fleece. Try not to be monotonous, and do not put them too close to the edge, you need room for the seam.

Pin two tentacles together, right sides facing. Sew (with your machine) all around the tentacle except for the flat side at the top. You need to keep that open to fill the tentacle. Do the same with all the tentacles.

Flip the tentacles inside out using a chopstick. Be careful not to damage your seam with a too-pointy chosptick. Fill them little by little. You must fill the far bottom before putting some more filling, or you will end with a clog half way through and a chopstick that helplessly goes through it or just can't push anything. Do not fill too much, they will stand stiff anyway. Stop filling at 1.5 cm before the end.

Step 5: Making the Ruff

Place the belly piece of fabric on top of  some dark pink felt. Draw a bigger circle on the dark pink felt and divide it in four. Cut out the a circle in the centre, smaller than the belly piece. You should get 4 banana-shaped pieces of ruff.

(I tried to make my ruff wavy by cutting out funny shapes but it only turned out ugly; you should rather follow the diagram than imitate the shape of the bananas in my photos. Also, my bananas are too thin, make them 5cm-ish large.)

Take two bananas and pin them together. Sew the small end. It makes a crease. Fold the fabric of a banana in two, 2 cm from the seam, and sew it to make another crease. Go on making creases every 2 cm or so. Repeat with the other 2 bananas, and sew the former two bananas to the latter two bananas, on one end only, leave the other end free.

Pin the ruff on the head, starting with the middle of the ruff pinned to the jellyfish face. Leave maybe a little room between the bottom of the head and where you pin (and sew) the ruff. That way when you sew the tentacles and the belly you won't have to deal with the ruff layer. I pinned my ruff at the bottom end of the head and only thought of leaving room under the ruff when it was too late.

Now with all the creases your ruff has lost some fabric length. After pinning the ruff, measure what width is wanting at the rear of your jellyfish to meet both ends. Cut out a piece of dark pink felt to add there. You may need to make one or two other creases in that piece. Sew the newly cut piece to the rest of the ruff, end the circle and finish pinning to the head.
Sew the ruff to the head.

Step 6: Building the Jellyfish

Now comes the hardest part and I don't have many pictures.
You have to sew together : the head, the tentacles and the belly. Place the tentacles between the head layer and the belly. I found it rather unconvenient to pin all the tentacles, so I marked the desired location of the tentacles on the belly piece with a pin (there is a little space between every tentacle) and sewed one tentacle after another.

You have 4 or five layers to sew together : 1 for the head, possibly one for the ruff if you sewed it at the bottom of the head, 2 for the tentacle and 1 for the belly. Do not even think about doing it by hand.
Stick a tentacle between the head and the belly. Keep it in place with two pins forming a cross. Sew all that mess slowly and carefully. Stop when you have sewn 6 tentacles out of 8.

Fill the head with filling. Do not overfill, you still need to sew 2 tentacles easily.
Sew the 2 tentacles left. It will be hard, since you have to press a big plushie under the foot of your sewing machine. You will likely have to stop some times and re-sew a bit that you missed.

Your jellyfish is finished!