2010/08/13

Brainslug tutorial

I was asked to make a brainslug tutorial. Though I made this toy about a year ago and didn't make any photos during the work, I tried to explain how to make it and drew a few funny pics =)
So I'm ready to present it.
If you're going to repost this tutorial or use it somewhere else, please, don't forget to mention my name and give a link

We will need:
* A piece of green velvet (or any other suitable fabric) about 30cm x 30cm (12” x 12”)
* a ping-pong ball (it’s s standard ball of 40 mm in diameter) – pick white one
* a piece of wire – about 30 cm long (8“)
* something you want to stuff your slug with: cotton, fibers or beads
* needles, pins, threads, scissors and awl (or any pricking tool)
*white and black acrylic paint and a paint brush

What do you need to do:
1) download the pattern:

(click to enlarge)

2) Print it out in the original size, some dimensions are shown there (in mm), so take care to compare them with actual ones (don’t pay attention to the weird numbers after the dot, it’s just the patterned was counted by a few formulas, so it’s actually too precise for a toy =) )

3) Cut out four details. Make sure to outline them on the back side (for easy sewing), to leave 1-1,5 cm more for sewing margins. If you’re using velvet main the grain line: the direction of nap means the color, you don’t want your slug be shiny and glossy on one side and dull and dark on the other?
The lowest line on the pattern is the minimum line. As the slug was shapeless bottom, make the scallops, curves or anything you like below that line.
When the details are cut out, place them face-to-face and sew all four together WITHOUT completing the last seam which will make the slug round: make only three seams.
Next choose the side for the “face” of the slug. From the inside of the toy mark the circle 32 mm in diameter and cut the space within the circle in “triangles” or petals. Don’t cut anything out, only cut and leave. And take care not the cut the outline of the circle – leave a few mm.
Take the ping-pong ball and mark the circle 32 mm in diameter (if you don’t know how to do that: cut a circle in a thick piece of paper and put this piece of paper on the ball tightly and outline it), take an awl and prick the ball along the line with 5 mm distance


4) Turn the “petals” of the circle in the skin of the slug to the inside and squeeze the ball in that hole.
Cover the ball with petals carefully, take the pins and try to find all the pricks you’ve made before and put the pins in them. That will fix the ball in its place.
Take the needle with threads, secure the thread and start sewing. Take one pin out and insert the needle there, take it out from any other hole (remove the pin before doing that). You may need a longer needle, or find the way how it will be easier for you to sew. It probably won’t be the nearest holes and not the opposite ones. Work until all the holes are stitches (some may be stitches even twice or thrice).
If you want to make your slug ultra-reliable you may want to add a few drops of glue between the “petals” and the ball, press together and dry. I didn’t use glue – the ball stayed there pretty well even without it.


5) Turn the slug inside out and see its face, check whether everything’s okay.
Look on its top, mark two spots, where antennae will come out. Pierce the fabric AND the ball at the same time using these marks. Take the wire and insert it in all four holes. The easier way may be the following: stick the wire through the ball. Make something like knots near the ball walls – that will make the wire stay in its place and not sink inside of the ball. The ends of the wire should be inserted in the holes of fabric. When you get it where it should be cut the ends as long as you want them to be: approximately 8 cm long from the top of head. And make small loops at the ends.


6) Stitch the back of the slug. I couldn’t make it from the inside – if you can, do itl if can’t – stitch from the outside.
Stuff the slug. Stuff between the wires and put the stuffing tightly in the top of its head.
Cut out the bottom of the slug. To make it more ”real-to-life” make the bottom shapeless, fold 1-1,5 cm of the bottom and of the slug’s skin in and stitch them together. If you need to add more stuffing – do it through a little hole before completing the seam.
NOTE: if you want to attach any bindings, clips or anything to the bottom of the slug to make it wearable – do it BEFORE stitching the slug all together.


6) Let’s make the antennae. Cut two of each details: trapezium (1,5 cm on top, 3 cm on bottom, 6-7 cm long) and circles 2-3 cm in diameter.
Fold the trapezium in half (face in) and stitch the side together, turn this element inside out. Put it on the wire and stitch the bottom to the head.
Using the “straight” stitch stitch the circle 0,5 cm away from the edge of the circle detail, pull the thread to make it ruffle. Put a small piece of stuffing inside of this “knob”. Do not cut the thread, put this tiny ball on the wire loop and stitch it together with the loop and the detail we have just sewn to the head.
Repeat on both antennae.


7) Take the paint (I used white and black acrylics) and paint the eye: white whites and black pupil.
That’s it. Enjoy your slug =) Or let the slug enjoy your brain =)


If you have any questions - feel free to ask

2 comments:

  1. Гы :) какие забавные комиксы получились :)))
    такие классные инструменты - шило, ножницы, иголка :)))

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  2. Сначала собиралась сделать нормальные картинки, но терпения не хватило, да и найдется от силы 2-3 человека, которые действительно захотят этим воспользоваться, мне кажется. Так что таких корявок вполне хватит, надеюсь ж)

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