Now that the first two house mascots in the series have been released, I'll be working on Hufflepuff badger plushies next! They will be ready for release sometime next week, between May 6th and May 9th. I'll be heading off to MISTI-Con, a Harry Potter conference in New Hampshire, on Thursday to play a show Saturday night at midnight in the common room. The Slytherin snake plushie will be released the following week, as soon as I finish making a full batch!
Just like the design and development of the lion plushie, I wanted to try something new when I worked on what the eagle plushie was going to look like. I struggled with my approach to designing an eagle in my style for a few months... I wanted her to be cute and cartoon-like, but still recognizable as an eagle. Many renderings of eagles tend to look a bit menacing, so I hoped to avoid that without losing their defining features. I ended up very happy with the final result, and one way that I did that was to aim for her to be a baby eagle, rather than a grown one!
She has one detail that requires a bit of extra work... her wing! I make the wing the same way as I make my plushies' main body shapes, just much smaller. As you can see in this next picture, it's a completely separate piece that is stuffed and sewn shut just like the main part of the eagle plushie!
In order to attach the wing securely, I pin it down (which is pretty difficult, compared to pinning flat, unstuffed fabric together). Then, I hide the knot under the bottom of the wing piece and do what looks sort of like a ladder stitch but instead of stitching across two folded edges, I do one stitch on the main plushie, hop over to the wing, and do my next stitch there. While I'm doing this, I squish the wing down onto the rest of the plushie and follow along the line where the two pieces meet with my stitches.
You can barely even see the stitches in the picture above, but they completely go away when I pull the thread tightly and knot it at the end. It's pretty awesome, and it definitely turns out to be attached as sturdily as I'd hoped. It's a bit of a difficult process, as I need to push the wing down as much as I can while I'm sewing, but it looks great and gives the eagle plushie a great, three-dimensional look. I'm not sure that I would've been able to design it to be this cute without the wing like this. I'm happy with the way her face came out too!
I think that Penelope the baby eagle is super cute and I'm really excited to see how this whole series is coming together. I love that that I'm trying something new with every design and therefore increasing my plushie-making skills the more I make them. I'm really enjoying learning to make these soft little toys and I'm so glad that you guys seem to like them as well!
You can now buy the Gryffindor lion and the Ravenclaw eagle in my etsy shop. Also, in case you missed it, I posted a brand new tutorial on this blog last week where you can learn to make a Hogwarts house badge! I've been having a whole lot of fun getting into the Harry Potter fan spirit with these last few blog posts. Thanks for reading, and I'll hopefully have another crafty post up soon!