Totoro Plushie Textiles Project

For my textiles project I decided to make a Totoro plushie out of felt. Totoro has always been one of my favorite Studio Ghibli movies so this would be a project that I’d be happy to display in my apartment. I started out by printing out the pattern on to some A4 sheets of paper, trimmed the margins and then taped them together and cut out the various shapes. For the embroidery aspect of my project I decided to replace the applique details with embroidery; I started by importing the pattern PDF into Inkscape which conveniently converted the pattern into paths that I could easily crop down to the just the belly markings and face. I then converted the paths to PES files through the Brother embroidery software and loaded them up on the embroidery machine. Because my details were larger than the 4″ x 4″ size that the normal machines could create, I used the larger Brother machine that had a 5″ x 7″ capacity. The belly details turned out well, but because I was using white bobbin thread the black details like the whiskers ended up looking strange due to the white thread being pulled up on the edges, but I was able to fix that by running a black sharpie along the edges and letting the ink sink into the thread.


Cutting out the the fabric from the patterns ended being the most tedious and time consuming part of the process, due to the number of smaller pieces that were needed for things like the ears, and the extra care needed to keep the embroidered areas centered in the pattern. Starting the assembly, I had to do a few tricky curved seams (the seam between the belly and the rest of the face especially) but was manageable going slow and using lots and lots of pins to keep everything aligned properly. I did run into a annoying issue where the fluffy part of the fabric would get pulled into the feeder mechanism of the sewing machine and jam which forced me to raise the foot and fix it, bu

t other than that I didn’t encounter any major difficulties. Honestly I think the final product turned out really well. If I were to redo any part of it I think I would opt to do the face with applique instead of embroidery, as I think it looks a little messy as is.