Friday, 2 August 2013

DIY Totoro bag

I'm not gonna lie when I first saw Totoro I thought that the people who made it were on drugs :D It was the first studio Ghibli film I'd seen, but after a while I loved all of the studio Ghibli animes. Totoro is one of the best ones though so I decided to make a Totoro bag.


Awww look it's a baby Catbus, a little bit creepy but lol :D I'll probably end up making a Catbus bag too!

And here are some cute Totoro backpacks that I found.

This is what my Totoro bag looks like:


What you will need:

  • Grey fabric - about 10" x 25" and another piece about 5" x  40", the fabric I used was recycled from a pair of trousers.
  • White fabric - Just a small amount as wide as the bag half as tall, this came from a shirt.
  • Lining fabric - this can be any fabric, you'll need as much of it as the grey fabric. I used some black cotton with pictures on it.
  • Ruler.
  • Tape measure.
  • Thread - black and white.
  • Embroidery floss - brown use two strands.
  • Scissors.
  • Pencil.
  • Zip - 18" long.
  • Sticky tape.
  • Pins.
  • Paper - three A4 pieces.
  • Felt - Black, white and brown.
  • A strap.

Whoa just realised how long that list is... Anyway here's how you make the pattern for your Totoro bag.

So lets get started, draw a rectangle measuring 25.5 cm x 18 cm on one A4 paper.

On the top edges measure 5 cm on each side and mark it, then mark 6 cm down on each side as shown.

Draw a curve connecting the two marks on either side.

Fold the template in half (measure to make sure the fold is halfway across the bottom of the rectangle shape), Draw a line 6 cm high in the middle.

On the side of the rectangle measure a point 4 cm high, this is shown by the arrow.

Draw a curved line to connect the top of the line in the middle and the mark on the side.

Repeat on the other side, the shape you just made is Totoro's belly.

Draw a line vertically that goes from the midpoint of the bottom and the top (halfway between the fold and the edge, basically it's a quarter line).

Mark a horizontal line on the vertical one where you want his eye to be.

With the mark in the center draw around the sticky tape, the tape I used was the perfect size for Totoro's eyeball and pupil.

This is what it should look like.

Repeat the same on the other side, If you have tracing paper you can use that to make it symmetrical.

Now you can rub out the guide lines you used, it looks weird at this stage. When I made it I thought I'd have to redo it but it will look better once you complete the rest of the features.

Draw a horizontal line on the fold that is in line with the middle of the eye, (make the line 3.5 cm long).

Draw a nose using this line.

On the belly draw three identical curved shapes.

Make a mark where the top of the curves are and make another mark 3.7 cm away from it on the top line this is where the ears will be. Make two marks on the side where you want the arms to be, these should be 4 cm apart.

On another A4 page trace on the eyes, nose markings and belly. Create the ears and the arms, refer the the pic when drawing the shape.

Now moving on to pattern cutting:

Cut out all of the templates.

Trace the template of the belly onto your white fabric.

Trace the main template, markings, ears and arms onto the grey fabric (you need two main shapes, three markings, four ears and four arms. Trace them onto the fabric that is 25" x 10") With the little markings could just cut it because the fabric I used didn't fray, you can use felt for it instead of the main fabric. If the fabric you do want to use frays use apply bondaweb to the back.

Trace the eye template twice onto the white felt, and trace the nose template onto the brown felt.

Cut out the inner circle on the eye template, cut around it twice so that you have two black circles.

Cut out all of the templates so that you have this pile of fabric.

Finally we can move on to putting the bag together:

Pin one of the white felt circles onto the main body of Totoro (on the right side), make sure that you use your template to put it in the right place. Sew it on using your white thread, make the stitches really small.

Repeat it with the other white circle.

Sew on the black circles in the middle of the white ones using your black thread.

Pin on and sew on the nose using the brown embroidery thread.

Get your white fabric with the belly drawn on it, pin across the curved line at the top of the shape.

Turn it over on the right side a iron on the curved line at the top using the pins as a guide.

Remove the pins and iron it again, it will look like this.

Pin it onto the main shape.

Sew along the curved line and remove the pins.

Using your white thread sew on the markings.

This is how you can make the sides:

Lay a piece of thread all the way around the edge of the template traced onto the grey fabric, cut it when it goes once around.

Stretch out the thread so that it's straight, measure it with the tape measure mine measured 33".

Get your other piece of paper and cut two strips 3.5" wide.

Stick the strips together using tape.

My string measured 33" so my strip had to be half as long, I cut it 16.5" long.

Trace this onto the other grey fabric twice.

Now we get to put it together finally.

Split one in half horizontally by drawing a line.

Cut the strip on the line that you just made.

Draw a line parallel to the cut that is 7mm down from the top (my zip was 1.5 cm wide, I made sure that if I had sewed the zip to both strips that it would be the same width that it was before I cut it).

Pin the line that you just made to the edge of the zip.

This is how it looks on the other side, sew along the line where the pins are.

When you remove the pins it should look like this after you've flipped the grey fabric back.

If you use a sewing machine to sew the zip on you should use a zipper foot, it makes it easier to sew because the foot makes room for the zip.

Repeat with the other piece of the side that you split earlier.

Trace the side pieces and the main templates onto the lining fabric, I don't have a pic of this because the fabric I used was dark so you couldn't see it properly.

Split one of the sides as you did with the grey fabric.

Pin the pieces of the lining that you split to the wrong side of the zip, it should be directly under the grey fabric.

On the right side sew a line parallel to the edge of the grey fabric.

This is what it would look like on the right side when one piece of lining is sewn on.

And this is what it will look like on the under side, fold the flap to the side where the sewed line is.

This pic shows both pieces sewn on on the under side, this will be on the inside of your bag.

This shows both pieces sewn on the right side.

Pin and sew the other side of lining and the front and back/ main pieces together to make a box shape with some of the side missing.

This is a photo of the inside of the bag, sorry the pic is a bit crappy : / But it's supposed to be looking into the shape you just made.

Pin and sew the box (made from the lining fabric) to the lining of the zip, do NOT sew it to the grey fabric.

This is what it should look like, open the zip and you can have a look at the inside of your bag.

Now to build the outside... This post is already really long so I've made another page that will show you how put the rest of the bag together, visit part 2 here  =D have fun making!