03 June 2012

Totoro

Well somehow we got it in our collective heads at our house that we needed a giant bean bag chair.  But not just any giant bean bag chair.  A giant Totoro bean bag chair.  This seemed crazily unfeasible (bean bag filling is expensive!) until I found 3 large used (i.e., gross, nasty, covered in who knows what) bean bags for free on Freecycle.  Well that's the filling then, isn't it?

In searching the internet for examples of a giant Totoro bean bag chair, I came up with almost nothing.  But designing a giant Totoro myself seemed crazy.  And then I happened upon this guy, who made himself one, only his is a giant pillow (stuffed with pillow stuffing, not bean bag chair beans).  And he sells the pattern!  Now, the "pattern" is only a one-sheet PDF with all the pertinent Totoro parts measured in inches.  I will take it!  This saved me hours of work.  In fact if I hadn't had a pattern, I might not have tried it.  If you want to see his pattern, you can give him a dollar and he'll e-mail it to you. 

$50 worth of fabric later, and I was sewing.  I modified his pattern somewhat.  Gave Totoro a big smile instead of a tiny mouth, sewed his whiskers flat on his face, left off his tail, and put his arms at his sides.  I also had to go crazy on the bottom.  I needed to put in two layers of zippers since we were going to fill it with extremely messy styrofoam beans.  And I managed to do it!  I'm pretty proud of myself, actually.  I got skills.

[Cutting out the body]


[Parts and pattern]

[More parts]

[Laying him out to pin

[My sewing machine chugged right through this genuine leather like it was butter, but less messy. Old school Berninas, y'all. Seriously.]

[I finished sewing him and Norman decided he had to wear him. Creeptastic!]

[After Norman put in about 2/3 of the stuffing. Comfy, but not quite right.]

[Then I obtained another giant bean bag, and... Full!]

[Such a happy sort]

 
[And we've decided he's best right here.  Lucy can jump onto him without running into anything hard or pointy, and we can lounge on him and watch TV!]

Oh my goodness -- he is so comfortable.  You mush in and it all just molds around you.  Aaaahhh....

All told I spent about $75 on materials (including buying two used bean bags for their filling), and I-don't-even-want-to-know number of hours of work, not to mention the time Norman spent taking the filling out of the bean bags and putting it in Totoro.  This is certainly the biggest and craziest project I've ever undertaken.  I'm quite proud.  And comfy.

PS - If you come visit us, you are welcome to use Totoro as your guest bed. He is totally big and comfortable enough. But then you might not want to leave.

16 comments:

Dorathea Maynard said...

I WANT TO COME VISIT!!

This looks fan-tas-tic! I'd say you have reason to be proud. You do got skills.

Kaitlin said...

WOW!! I'm completely impressed =) Looks awesome!!

Jenny said...

That's pretty awesome. Really awesome.

gems said...

I LOVE this. But the most amazing thing to me as I swelter in 91 degrees??? You're wearing a HOODIE!!! (Just a bit jealous) What a great and memorable project - good for you!!!

Jessie said...

Gail, is that you?

Yep, it doesn't get hot here, pretty much. I mostly love this, but I will admit to being excited about breaking out my summery skirts again come August!

Kelly said...

Tears in my eyes. I want a giant Totoro hug! You did an amazing job, Maynard family!

Katherine said...

I was looking for a totoro beanbag and found your blog. Love it!. you have inspired me to make my own :D

nadie studios said...

Wow Jessi, nice blog! I am from Indonesia.. I just re-watched totoro movie and just thought if i have a HUGE totoro bean bag in my room.. Then i found your blog and i just really amazed with your handmade totoro bean bag! Inspire me to make my own totoro bean bag. Jessi, could you recommend me what kind of fabric material i should use for this bean bag? Am sorry for bothering, but i really in love with your totoro bean bag :D..

Jessie said...

I used these two fabrics from Fabrics.com:

https://www.fabric.com/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=ddbeec5d-43da-4ee4-84d0-956e7679e8c3

https://www.fabric.com/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=a1459a2b-88b9-4c2e-8941-a04a3d0a7335

It seems to be holding up really well, but I double stitched all the outside seams (straight stitch, then zigzag stitch).

The guy who made the original that I patterned mine after has suggestions on his blog post, I think. The link is in this post somewhere...

Mark said...

Could I have the link for he pattern and since I am thinking about making one Jessie. Also how much of that fabric and how much bean bag filling did you use?

Jessie said...

If you go to the man's blog, there is a link in the sidebar for purchasing the pattern. You can pick your price -- $1, $5, or $10. http://stephanroyer.blogspot.com/2010/11/totoro.html

I bought 6 yards of the gray fabric and 2 yards of the beige. This is *barely* enough (and I modified his arms so they don't stick out like they do in the pattern. If you want the arms to stick out, I would order more gray fabric.) The used fabrics from my stash for his mouth, toes, nose, eyes, and foot pads.

Jessie said...

Oh, and I filled him with about 4 large bean bag chairs worth of stuffing. The bags were used, so it was all compressed a little, I think.

Edo Zamboni said...

Freakin' awesome!

Holly said...

This is so incredible! Fantastic job!

Kelsey Branson said...

How long did it take to make this? Its so wonderful!

Jessie said...

I didn't keep track of how long it took (I'm not sure I want to know!). But I will say that the cutting and sewing was probably easier than the effort my husband put into transferring the "beans" from the old bean bags into the Totoro!