Today is Mother’s Day which I think it’s the perfect day to post this stuffed stuff.
I’m a big fan of Sword & Sworcery. It’s an indie adventure game created by Superbrothers and Capybara Games, with music by Jim Guthrie. So when I heard that they were doing an A/V jam, for fan art on their tumblr, I had to make something.
It was a rush project and I did such a crappy job just to make the deadline.
After I submitted, Craig from Superbrothers said he really liked it. I don’t keep plushes I make and it’s always an honor to give them to the creator of the character. So I was ecstatic when I offered him the Wolfmother plush, and he gladly accepted. it was then that I realized that I couldn’t send her to him as it was. I wanted to fix her up a bit first. I said to myself “well the plush is already done. How hard could it be?”
What I learned is trying to fix something I’ve already made is as hard as making it from the start.
The problem with the first Wolfmother was that she could not stand on her own. I had to fake it for the photo shoot. So I tried to figure out how to make her stand up on her own and also lay down.
As I started to take the Wolfmother plush apart, I felt like the fabric I used felt so “cheap.” I didn’t like how the teeth & fangs were overstuffed, and also the body of the Wolfmother looked a bit off.
“Dammit. I’m making a new one!”
I got nicer black faux fur which is so much softer than the one I originally used. It might be a bit too black and doesn’t have that “almost gray/silver in the light” look, but it feels so nice to run your fingers through it.
As I tweaked the pattern of the body, I was wondering if the faux fur fabric could hold its shape. Also I wasn’t sure if the faux fur fabric was strong enough to hold the limbs. So I decided to make a core shape with felt to reinforce it.
I searched online for life-size stuffed animals to see how their limbs were attached. Unfortunately most of them had their limbs in a fixed position. I looked up information on animatronics but that would involve ball joints and stuff that I couldn’t easily get. After many hours of research & planning, I decided to use plastic joint discs.
Joint discs are awesome. I don’t really use them since I don’t make many traditional stuffed animals anymore, but they come in handy when I want to attach limbs to a body. As a matter of fact, the most recent project I used joint discs on was my Songbird plush from BioShock Infinite. Disc joints come with a “pin” (more like a disc with a piece sticking out of the center), a washer and a locking washer. Once the limbs are attached with disc joints, the limbs can be moved around. I think the discs I used were 7-8 cm in diameter which is the biggest I’ve seen. I wish they made the pin longer for the bigger discs though.
After the core shape for the body was made, I made the “skin” for it. It’s basically the same as the core shape but it’s slipped over the core. I also re-made the teeth/fangs. The first time I made them I was in such a rush that I didn’t make a pattern for it. So I had to start from scratch by drawing and cutting out new patterns. After some tweaking, I cut out the fabric, sewed, and stuffed them. Just like the first one I used a spandex / vinyl fabric so they would have a smooth surface.
I tweaked the limbs too, and also made the core shape out of felt. I used armature wire to create the “bones,” put stuffing around it and tied the stuffing to the wire with twine. Then I put the black faux fur fabric skin over them.
The front legs were easy because they’re straight but the hind legs were a pain. I knew it’d be a problem because of their shape and how I wanted them to rotate. The disc should be in the top middle of the limb. But even the biggest disc I had was way too small to be in the hind legs. I thought about attaching a panel on the back of the disc but if the panel came off the disc, it’d be completely useless. So I took the risk and put the disc where I wanted it to be and attached them to the body.
I didn’t think the new faux fur and felt core shape would add that much weight. I was wrong. Now it was a lot heavier than the original one. I didn’t weigh the first one but it felt heavier… Crap.
No point in panicking now. I sewed the ears, the eyes (which are huge red flat stones for beading), and the tail on and there she was!
Unfortunately, my attempt to make her stand was defeated again by poor weight balance and gravity. But she can sit up and lay down like a puppy! Also it was extremely bright this day, so all the photos look like she has a shiny fur but it’s not.
Trying to fix something that’s already been made is has hard as making it for the first time < SPEND TIME TO MAKE IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME
If you have’t played Sword & Sworcery (available on iOS, Steam and Android!), you definitely should. The art and music are gorgeous, the game is puzzly and the dialogue is hilarious. I like the game so much that I even made a Sword & Sworcery bento & Derek made a video of me making it with the music from the game, composed by Jim Gurthrie. My sweet Inari who has since passed away shows up in the video too!
Also make sure to check more awesome art on Sword & Sworcery on tumblr!
For more pictures of this plush, visit stuffed stuff: stuffed stuff: Wolfmother ver. 2 from Sword & Sworcery set!
You can also check out more stuffed stuff on my flickr.