Luci said to me the other day, "Annika, you really are a fan of things that are other things." Well put, I thought. My favourite things that I own are a pair of ear muffs that look like hamburgers (which you can see on my instagram here).
So I was enviously viewing pictures from the 15th Harajuku Fashion Walk (envious because I just missed out on getting to join in! Ahh!) and loving the bags a lot of the lolita girls were holding, which looked just like stuffed toy animals (and probably were). And then I thought it would be pretty easy to make one myself! So here's a cute little DIY for you all :) If you have a loved childhood toy that just sits all lonely at the back of a cupboard, then why not perform a little surgery on them, so you can carry them around with you everywhere you go but not look like a (completely) mad person for doing so?
Alright, so I have to admit that I could actually never do this to a loved childhood toy, either. I ended up finding the most unloved toy in our house, making absolutely sure that no one had any kind of sentimental attachments to it whatsoever, and I still felt really bad doing this. I felt properly evil. Like I was destroying happy childhood memories.
I think the best option for this DIY - if you've got weird guilt-problems like me - is to visit a thrift store/op-shop and pick something up there. ANYWAY that's enough neuroticism - here is the DIY!
A plush toy
Fabric for bag lining
A belt/matching fabric for your bag strap
Thread and a needle
An evil heart that makes you okay with cutting up plush animals that did NOTHING WRONG (alright, I need to stop anthropomorphising my toys now or this is never going to get off the ground)
1. Using a pair of scissors, cut down the back of the toy, the same length the your zipper is. I cut down the seam that was already there. You can also take this time to remove any tags on the toy.
2. Remove the stuffing. You might want to leave some stuffing in so the bag maintains it's shape - I left the stuffing that was in the seal's head, arms and tail. Then, if you're a hoarder like me, keep that stuffing somewhere safe to use in a future project sometime :)
3. Now you're going to make the lining for the bag. I just used a scrap of left-over fabric I had - but you could also use an old shopping bag or lining from an old coat, etc.
All you need to do is cut the fabric to the width of the slit you made in the toy, fold it over, and sew down both sides like this:
...so that you have created a pouch. Then turn it inside out.
4. Match the lining up with the edges of the opening in the toy. If you've been using a sewing machine thus far, you'll probably want to hand-stitch the lining on, especially when you do the second side (you'll see why when you get up to this point yourself).
Hopefully you will end up with something like this...
Which you then just need to push down back into the toy...
And your bag is now taking shape!
5. This is probably the most difficult part - adding the zipper.
Make sure that your zipper is the same length as the opening you made in the toy.
Un-zip the zipper, and place it upside-down on one edge of the opening, like this:
And hand-stitch it onto the very edge of the opening, right where the lining meets the material of the toy. Repeat this on both sides.
6. You're almost there! You just need to add some kind of a bag strap. I'm using an old belt for this part - but you could use a strip of fabric, straps off an old bag or backpack, a piece of cord - anything that you think could work!
This is the belt I used (I cut off the bow before sewing it on):
You just need to insert the belt ends into each end of the opening in the toy - there should be a small hole at either end of the zipper you inserted. Then you just need to sew the belt to the bag, using a (thick) needle and thread.
What you do next is pair your new bag with your favourite novelty pieces, and pretend you live in Harajuku.
sweater - c/o Koogal (10% off use ANNIKAVICTORIA)
skirt - c/o Sheinside
shoes and suspenders - Body Line
headband and necklace - Claire's
If anyone tries this out, please send me pictures!
Love love love,