Bubs Neighbor Totoro – Grannies Totoro Jumper…..the sequel!!

So you’ll remember in my last post I was showing off the amazing Totoro jumper that my Granny knitted Little Man for Xmas and also mentioned I that hoped she may get the bug and create some more amazing one of a kind Totoro things for him. Well Granny came through, on our last visit she handed us not only another amazing jumper which comes with its own take along Totoro complete with pocket, but also a Totoro hat (I am yet to get a picture of little man happy in this as he is having some teething pain at the moment, but as soon as he smiles in it I shall post a picture pronto!). All of this was done yet again without a pattern. She’s the best!

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I’m going to start documenting my quest to be more domesticated, and less, well….lazy, and, so I hope that you continue to follow me, hopefully it shall be lots of self deprecation, sensory play, geekery and food as well as serving hopefully to be somewhere to celebrate all angles of parenthood, both the highs and the lows.

Bubs Neighbor Totoro – Grannies Totoro Jumper

Have been meaning to share a picture of the jumper that my incredible Granny knitted Little Man for Christmas.

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She proudly told me that she didn’t even use a pattern, when she visited us she snuck into LM’s nursery, took a picture of the Totoro decal on the wall and used that as a guide. LM is still a little too small for it but we can’t wait for him to be able to wear it.

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Bubs My Neighbor Totoro Nursery

As mentioned in a previous post, it was decided very early on that regardless of bubs gender we wanted a My Neighbor Totoro themed nursery, its one of my favourite animated movies and I loved the idea of filling the room with Totoros, toadstools and other woodland wonders.

As we rent our house (and lack artistic ability) a full wall style murial like this amazing Ghibli themed room was out of the question

We decided to use something more like this as our inspiration, using wall decals that we can easily take with us should we move.

Even though we rent, I wanted the room to be colourful so we have painted it with Dulux Melon Sorbet, originally I wanted a pale sagey green for the walls and this is slightly brighter but I love it now as its much brighter for my little one and feels like more of a childs room.

After a lot of hard work and a few lengthy projects the outcome was this:

We brought the large colour Totoro wall decal on Etsy, I made the patchwork blanket using Totoro fabric found on Spoonflower, my Gran helped to make Bub’s one of a kind Totoro Amigurumi mobile, and we painted Ikea Spice Racks with satin paint to create forward facing bookshelves.

We made the Tree shelving ourselves.

We also made the shelving unit above the changer, and we printed soot sprites on to vinyl decal paper ourselves and stuck them up in the corner of the room.

We are so happy with the outcome, its perhaps not as Totoro heavy as I’d have liked but living in the UK options are limited without paying large shipping costs from Japan, but hopefully over time we can add a few more bits and bobs that come up on Ebay or Etsy.

All the room needs now is for its new resident to make his appearance, hurry up Bub, we are so ready to meet you!!!

You can see all of my posts about creating Bub’s Totoro Nursery here!

Bub’s Roomate Totoro: Amigurumi Totoro Mobile

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but that doesn’t mean my obsession with preparing for Bub’s arrival has stopped, there are just several large projects all on the go at them moment, the main one being getting the nursery sorted, but I did this week manage to finally finish one element of the room, Bub’s My Neighbor Totoro Amigurumi Mobile.

I’d seen several examples of a crocheted Totoro mobile online and instantly fell in love with the idea, but not with the cost, this amazing one goes on Etsy for over £50, and when you add on the shipping to get it to the UK it was just simply too much for us to spend on a mobile.

Crochet Totoro Nursery Mobile (Made-To-Order) CustomizableDisheartened I showed it to my Gran while discussing her various knitting projects that started as soon as she found out we were expecting (she is really incredible and has knitted us so many lovely bits for Bub), after a few minutes of looking bemused while I explained exactly what Totoro was and why we wanted this rather than just say ”Winnie the Pooh” she said that if I could find her some patterns she’d happily give one a go.

I managed to find some amazing free amigurumi patterns online (listed below) and emailed them over to my Gran and sent down some wool I’d picked out, a few days later when ringing to talk her through the patterns, she informed me she was done (like I said…she’s incredible!) not only that but she’s fallen in love with amigurumi and has been out and brought a book so she can make Bub some more Japanese influenced cuddly critters. A few days later I received a box full of Totoros and foresty goodies in the post!

Finally after a few months of figuring out how to put it all together and how we would hang it over the cot, I by chance came across my old mobile in my mums loft this was the result:

I’m so chuffed with the outcome and after cleaning up my old mobile, removing the old sticker on the music box and replacing it with my own, printed onto Vinyl paper and wrapping the arm in green wool to cover up the evidence of age I couldn’t clear up with soap and sandpaper, I had the brainwave to wrap the wooden top of the mobile in wool also, up to that point they had been connected by a large crocheted ball similar to the Etsy example, I’m much happier with how it looks now, as it meant that I could hide the wool attachments, where as before the wool had simply been wrapped around the wood and looked somewhat messy.

So that’s one thing crossed of the never ending list of things to do for Bub’s room, we are getting there, slowly but surely and with only 6 weeks left we need to get a move on. I can’t wait to share the finished room with you all.

Amigurumi patterns used for mobile:

White Chibi Totoro: http://lucyravenscar.blogspot.fr/2012/04/all-totoros.html (Gran also made the smaller blue pattern, but it was too big for the mobile)

Totoro: http://www.amigurumitogo.com/2012/12/large-grey-totoro.html

All of the rest my Gran did from looking at pictures of crocheted raindrops, toadstools, trees and acorns and for the Soot Sprite I just asked her to do a black sphere similar to the colored ones she’d already done and add some eyes, there is also a marble inside of him to help counteract the weight of Totoro.

My Neighbor Totoro Patchwork Baby Blanket

As soon as we started trying to get pregnant, it was decided that whether Boy or GIrl, our Nursery theme would be My Neighbor Totoro. It’s one of my favourite animated films and I love the idea of nature being important to my little one, so the opportunity to make a nice foresty themed Totoro nursery where Totoro could possibly be joined by a range of woodland animals, seemed perfect.

As I planned and pinned away my inspirations for Bubs room, it became apparent that being in the UK, choosing a Japanese theme may not be the most convenient and cost effective choice…however, my Gran had already crocheted an amazing Totoro mobile for us (post coming soon) and I really did love the idea, so I decided I would just have to use some workarounds.

So when I found this amazing Totoro print fabric on Spoonflower and discovered that they only charge $2 for postage to the UK, it was decided, instead of spending a lot of money importing a blanket from Japan, I was going to make him a one of a kind, patchwork Totoro blanket with my own two hands…..once I found a way to cut the fabric to size and sew the blanket seeing as it had been 12 years since I last touched a sewing machine.

I checked out Pinterest for inspiration and tutorials suitable for a beginner, my post on my inspirations can be found here and as mentioned in that post the tutorial I ended up following is this one. And also sourced the rest of my fabric:

This cute one from frumble.co.uk

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and this plain fabric from plushaddict.co.uk

One of my best friends is an avid sewer so I recruited her, along with her rotary cutter, mat and ruler and we spent an afternoon cutting all the fabrics to 5”x5” squares, then I borrowed my Nan’s ”vintage” (read super old!) sewing machine, laid out my squares in the right order, took a picture to follow and got to work following the steps of the tutorial.

           Blanket LayoutPiecing the strips together

My blanket is 5 squares by 8 squares, so about 40”x25” give or take a bit due to my inexperience at sewing seams of the same width, my squares don’t line up perfectly and sewing the strips together got messy, but I don’t care as once it was all put together, it looked great and I was super chuffed with myself, it only took me a few hours and I was eager to find some backing material so that I could finish it off.

Fabric completed

I decided to get a fleece throw from Tesco for the backing material and found one that was the perfect colour, I cut it down to size, pinned it; right sides together, to my patchwork and got to work sewing a 1/4” (ish) seam, leaving one corner open so I could turn it right way out.

All backedThen after practicing my top stitch on a blanket of less importance, I pinned the corner opening, ironed the blanket and finished the blanket up with a top stitch.

I am so happy with the way this turned out as it was my first sewing project in years, and I have developed a new obsession with patchwork blankets and next plan on turning all my old gig shirts into a rag t-shirt quilt before starting work on another blanket for bub. I have my eye on this adorable Soot Sprite print fabric, just need to find some other fabrics to go with it.

We are starting the Nursery this weekend, so stay tuned for a before/after style post and also that post about the amazing crocheted mobile that my Gran made for us…here’s a sneak peek.

Totoro & Chibi-TotoroPattern sourced here.