07 June, 2010

Totoro felt bag

I'm still in the process of trying to figure out which projects in the Martha Stewart book to show you, but one that I will are some cute little felt bags. Nothing stunningly innovative, but they're really quite adorable and of course the second Hazel sighted them it was the standard "can you make that for me mummy?" I love little projects like that because they're so quick and creatively satisfying so I said yes. Then Totoro came into her life and I had the clever idea I could just whip up a Totoro bag for her - you know, slap on a few bits of felt and voila! there would be a Totoro. Two days later...

Felt Totoro bag

Hazel told me tonight that she really likes my sewing, which was a huge compliment and I have to say I'm more than a little pleased with how it turned out! You know when you do something that you just like looking at because every time you do it gives you a wee rush of pleasure? I don't get it with everything but I do with this.


All I did was find an image from the rainy bus-stop scene (You Tube clip in the post here) and print it off, cut the various bits out and use them as patterns. I cut the brown felt out first, then cut out the tummy, eyes and nose pieces from the picture. I cut the various shapes very carefully and used the empty spaces left behind to position the felt elements on the brown background, and then stitched them down. After I had the tummy, nose and eyes done I cut the arm shape out and attached that. If I were to do this again I'd make the tummy round and put the arm over the top instead of the fiddly way I did this one with the shaped edge. I had planned on doing the little chevrons and claws out of felt but that proved insanely fiddly and essentially impossible so they're embroidered instead. The umbrella gave me no end of grief and there were many versions trying to replicate the inner and outer you can see in the picture. In the end I just made the outside and skipped the angled look to it. I'd love to try and make her a larger backpack with fuzzier fabrics though, that would be freaking amazing!

Other Totoro crafts I've found and bookmarked:

Blue crocheted Totoro from Heaven's Hellcat
Tiny Totoro doll's hat from Netherwood Creations
Knitted Totoro Hat by Hello Yarn
Totoro Norwegian-style mittens by Andrea (free Ravelry download)
Paper Totoro by Cubeecraft
Totoro bag pattern on DeviantArt

And here is Hazel "My destiny. It is out there. I face it with my Totoro bag."

Totoro bag

And look at those lemons! They'll be ripe in a couple of weeks and then it'll be lemons, lemons and more lemons. I'll have to make some lemon curd and some tarts and... They're not lemony lemons if you know what I mean, I think it must be some sort of Meyer cross, so they're fat, sweet and juicy but not very acidic. And they come all at once! So if you visit me in the near future I will probably offer you lemons to take home, which is never very successful in Auckland because most people are having similar problems!


  1. Great work as usual. The little Totoro bag is devine. I didn't watch the clip as my Internet was having a hissy fit, but i imagine its a bit like Spirited Away?

    Hazel i getting more gorgeous and grown up looking by the day :-)

  2. totoro totoro!! I love the big guy!

  3. how gorgeous Jacqui. I'm sure she loves your sewing. she is very lucky. have to check out this totoro thing. I currently trying to make our dvd player multi-region so that we can get dvd's from the states etc.

    There are some people in auckland who have lemon trees that were coming along beautifully for once, nicely laden, and those people were feeling really rather pleased until; the tree got pillaged by two year olds who were enchanted by the green 'apples'. :(

  4. Ooooh, you should make lemoncello! I think Meyer and Meyer-esque lemons work especially well, but I'm not sure.

  5. Oh oh oh... too cute.
    How sweet of Hazel to tell you that she likes your sewing - glad to know she appreciates you.

  6. That's just about the cutest bag ever- I think I just figured out what to make my daughter for her birthday :)

  7. I especially love your caption for Hazel. Are her well.

  8. It's perfect! Totoro is big in our house too.

  9. Totoro is beautiful! Gorgeous work...I bet Hazel just adores her new bag - certainly looks that way!
    if you become perilously close to being buried in lemons, you are more than welcome to send some Rotovegas way! ;)

  10. Love, love love the bag! Does it come in my size? Oh Hazel I am envious.

  11. That is SO CUTE! You're so talented- you captured Totoro perfectly! And I love the photo caption. Hilarious!

  12. oh my goodness, it's so cute! my two kids are totoro crazy, and in fact my husband just came home tonight with a little stuffed totoro for each of them, their first piece of totoro paraphernalia. i just may have to make a bag like this for my wee girl! nicely done :)

  13. That scene is off a the movie called "My Neighbor Totoro"! It's a Japanese animation movie by Hayao Miyazaki!

  14. Me too! And the little ones as well. Actually I read somewhere they're Chibi
    and Chu, not sure if that's true or not though.

  15. We just bought a copy so it will be available for Toby to come and watch or
    borrow when Hazel stops watching it constantly!

    Green apples, oh dear...actually I think there are recipes for green lemon
    things - at least surely there must be! You'll be the first person I offer
    yellow lemons to.

  16. Oooo, good idea! Yes they probably would be great, lots of flavour and
    juice. I'll have to look up a recipe.

  17. Yay! If you want any more detail on how I did it just drop me a line.

  18. Thanks! I just wish I was brave enough to make one in my size :)

  19. Her is. Destiny bright and shiny.

  20. I don't think Totoro is very well-known down here, but I'm doing my best to
    change that! The mental image I get from Totoro being big in someone's
    house is really quite delightful, like he's hiding behind doors
    unsuccessfully or something :)

  21. When she's 16 and utterly obnoxious I'll be muttering that compliment under
    my breath constantly. What a change from even 6 months ago when she just
    played horrible mind games with me over the clothes etc.

  22. That's the question I'm asking myself too. Would it be cool and
    idiosyncratic or just kind of sad and pathetic?

  23. She does love the bag thank goodness (whew). Ooo the shipping on those
    lemons would make them pretty expensive!

  24. I just wanted to say thank you for inspiring me and making this beautiful bag. I made something very similar for my daughter and she loved it! I blogged about it, linking back to your blog & I hope that is alright. I should have commented a long time ago, but have been insanely busy.
    Thank you again for your inspiration!



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