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1  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Giant Plush Axolotl... the Mexican water monster... Cute and cuddly version! on: November 22, 2008 02:09:34 PM
Beneath the surface of Mexico City's rivers lurks a cute little amphibious salamander which is unique for retaining its larval phase for its entire life. It has a big head, cute little eyes, and frilly pink gills. It is strangely cute - often kept as a pet - but these creatures are quickly disappearing in the wild due to the destruction of their habit (pollution from Mexico City, and commercial fishing, are both deadly to their home below the sea). I am talking about the Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). Axolotls are a recent addition to IUCN's list of critically endangered species.

I have juggled these little guys for a long time, so I decided to do a tribute to him. He is in the form of a big plush (good for cuddling). He is made from soft polar fleece and stuffing. His gils are made of felt. He is not perfect, but I am swing to say he at least bears a resemblance to the actual creature. Smiley

EDIT: Here is a pattern I drew up ^^ (click "save as" or "view image" to view full-size)

Now, pictures:





NOTE: I may re-stuff him (he's kind of lumpy on the inside)... But, I couldn't wait to share it here. ^^ I hope everyone likes him!!

Actual axolotls:



Thanks for looking!! I will post pics if I decide to update him.  Smiley
2  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / ~Bjork Swan Dress~ (Pictures and Instructions) on: November 05, 2008 08:31:41 AM
I am fairly new to costuming. While I was deliberating over what to be, I considered my speciality: stuffed animals. Smiley After doing some browsing, it suddenly dawned on me: Bjork's Dress would be both easy and fun for me to make!  So I went ahead and tried it. Here is how it came out.

(Right click & "view full size" to see bigger picture)

(Sorry for the bad pictures.... I will add more "up close" shots when I get my dressform back).  Kiss

Time: About 9 hours

1. White fabric for base dress (I used polar fleece for the base, just for warmth)
2. ~10 yards of tulle (a mix of stiff tulle for volume, and soft/shiny for look)
3. About 1 yard of White fur (for swan's neck).
4. 1 small Scrap of leather for swan's face. 
5. Orange fabric (swan's beak).
6. Black button (swan's eye).
7. Maribou feather boa (for accents)

1. Make a basic dress in the basic shape of the costume. This is what the tulle (the netting) will attach to. Leave the back scooping low. You might want to leave a flap on one side (for a button or zip).

I drew a picture of what MY basic dress pattern looked like:

2. Buy at least 10 yards of tulle. I used both stiff and soft. Cut it into strips (I doubled each strip up for fullness), and pleat each strip

3. When you have enough pleated strips, sew them onto the base.

4. Make the swan neck (this should be easy - it's just a fur tube with a rounded head; but if you need help with this part, let me know). Stitch on the black patch (face). Hand-stitch beak (just a felt cone). (If you don't want to sew a swan neck/head, you can always attach a premade swan stuffed animal from the store.)

5. Add some feathers if you want (at your liberty). Her actual dress doesn't have a lot of feathers. I used a strip of maribou feathers along the top and bottom edges of the dress.

6. Make any minor adjustments (to taste), and voila! You are done. ^_^

Thank you for reading. As always, everyone on these forums are always inspiring!! I hoped you like my post! Any questions or comments, feel free to ask!!!
3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Giant Plush Great Diving Beetle Larva - Huge, Loveable, TERRIFYING!! on: June 10, 2008 07:10:17 PM
Backstory: I work at a nature center in Southeast Michigan, and every day we study the insects in the pond. Over the past few weeks, the Great Diving Beetle Larva has been winning my affections:


More info here:


Anyway, today my longing came to a head..... because the real diving beetles are too small to hug, I had to make my own... Life size:

To see his size:

He's my new boyfriend.  Cheesy He's made of segmented orange faux-fur, with a brown shaggy faux-fur stripe running down his back. He has bendable mandibles, made with pipe-cleaners sewn into brown felt.

He also has a magnet sewn inside his cute head..... I eventually want to make a big, juicy tadpole (their favorite snack), also with a magnet inside, so the diving beetle can pick up his snack more easily.  Wink

It took two days to make - I hope you enjoy!!
4  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Custom Plush "Hobbes" (Stuffed Animal Version), from Calvin and Hobbes on: November 29, 2007 11:49:07 AM
STUFFED ANIMAL HOBBES - "Calvin and Hobbes"

Hi! This is my very first topic on this community.  Cheesy Everything here is so cute. Seeing all of your projects over time has been really inspiring. I'm honored to be posting here with such creative people.

STORY:After a conversation with my friend, who dressed up as "Calvin" for Halloween, I got around to thinking.... it would be awfully neat to make a Hobbes stuffed animal. With all due respect to Mr. Watterson, who never licensed his characters to toy makers, I decided to make one of my own out of appreciation for the comic.

After a quick trip to Jo-Ann's, and about 3 hours of work.... Here's how he turned out: 

This is my second attempt at a stuffed animal. He was very easy-- essentially, he is comprised of simple fur tubes sewn together, with some special little things done here and there. He is made from orange & white "Basic Fur", and his stripes are made of black felt. He has plastic eyes and nose. If you aren't good at visualizing the parts in 3-d, and wanted me to sketch a pattern, I will be happy to post one. I sewed him on my machine, except for his limbs (which I sewed on by hand).

He looks a little silly (and is not exactly perfect), but I'm fairly happy with how he turned out. I am excited to think of something new to make.

Thank you for looking, and I hope you enjoy him -- I am happy to be here. I am also looking forward to seeing everybody else's projects, and talking with some of you, now that I'm registered. Hope everybody has a Happy Holiday.  Kiss

EDIT: Here was a progress pic - to give you an idea of his constituent parts:

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