Alrighty, so this post is not exactly what most people would consider to be “high art”(whatever that considered to be) so, if you are a “high-arts-only” person, DISCLAMER: individuals with not-so-happy-feelings about works of the arts and crafts variety should probably take a deep breath… or go google something else to read… I’ll give you a minute to do decide…OK, here we go.
I love making things of any kind with any material, and that really frees up my creativity. For my most recent project I turned to a skill I learned when I was about 10 years old: knitting! Who knew that at age 10, with the direction of a good friend, a long summer day, a ball of yarn, and a pair of Chinese-take-out chopsticks you could learn a useful life skill.
Baymax (the robot from Big Hero 6) has been a fave character of mine since I first saw him, and I’ve been wanting a Baymax plush-doll for a while…and I’m too much of a cheapskate to by one off Amazon…besides, I knew I could make a unique alternative more quickly than Amazon could ship theirs anyway. 😉 I was going for a soft and huggable vibe, and, for me, fuzzy-knitted stuff usually does the trick. 😉 Below I’ve worked up a tutorial of sorts showing what I did so that hopefully anybody can do it!
You will need:
Yarn: white and black
Knitting needles: a size that will make a knitted weave small enough to keep stuffing fibers from poking out
Sewing machine or mad hand-stitching skills (either will work, but a sewing machine is definitely faster if you have one)
Large plastic sewing needle: like they make for little kids
Chocolate chip cookies – or alternative snacking material (snacking materials are strongly suggested, but not required for this project.)
Start by knitting basic sheets of “fabric” out of the white yarn. I didn’t feel like taking the time to knit a large piece, since I knew I would be cutting it down anyway, so I just made what I needed. In the picture on the left, the small rectangle (top left) will be the head, the largest rectangle (lower left) will be the body, one piece of fabric (used for BOTH legs) is on the top right, lower right is the piece used for BOTH arms. You could choose to knit individual pieces for each arm and each leg, which would be 6 pieces, and there’s nothing wrong with doing that… I just did 4…for some inconceivable reason… The size is relative to how large you want your doll to be, mine was only about 10 inches when finished. You will form all of your basic Baymax body shapes from these pieces.
For the body, run a piece of yarn through the knitted loops along the top and bottom of the long sides and loosely synch up the top and bottom to give it a more ovular shape when sewn. Fold the piece so that the two short ends meet together in the back, then stitch the two short ends together with a sewing machine. Imagine that there is a seam line running down the center of the Baymax’s belly in the picture on the left. That is what it looks like on the back. I had to gather the material at the top so that it would be narrower near the head and get fatter down toward the bottom. I also sewed the seam along the bottom of the piece in a semicircular “U” shape, so that the bottom would be rounded instead of squared. You are going for an egg sort of shape…think saggy oval. NOTE: you will probably need to cut off some access fabric, so you will want to use a zig-zag stitch along the fraying edges that you cut, or they will unravel your project and you will be very sad… Do NOT sew the synched up neck area closed yet.
Run a strand of yarn along the top and bottom of the long sides of the head piece like you did for the body, then sew the short ends of the fabric together. Next, synch the top and bottom of the piece so that you are creating a ball. Synch the top of the head completely closed and secure it by tying it off. Leave the bottom open for now.
Alright, so if you chose to knit one piece of fabric from which to cut both arms, then this is a little complicated. In hindsight, I would recommend knitting each arm and leg piece individually. In fact, just do that, I’ll pretend it’s what I did. It’s so much easier to explain. So, you have two rectangular pieces for arms. You want to fold each rectangle in half so that it makes a long tube like you see in the last picture above. You’ll sew one end of the arm closed (I did a semicircle again so that it would have a softer, rounded look rather than just a squared off end.) Do this for both arms. Leave one end of each arm open for now.
LEGS: You are going to basically repeat the same process that you used for the arms. The legs are shorter than the arms, but otherwise it’s all the same process. Think sausage.
Stuff each piece with stuffing (fiberfill) whatever you like to call the stuffing stuff. I stuffed the lower arms a little fatter than the upper arms, and I stuffed the lower belly fatter than the rest of the body area, ’cause Baymax is a bit rotund.
Now, you are ready to put it all together. You will take your plastic sewing needle, and using more of your white yarn, you will sew each piece onto the body where it goes (you could sew them on on where they don’t go, but then it won’t look like Baymax and people will look at you funny…) Go ahead and synch the bottom of the head closed. You will be closing off the other open ends simply by attaching them as you sew each piece to the body, so there is no need to sew them closed separately.
Since everything you are swing together is made from the same white yarn, it is really easy to attach the parts and not even see your stitches. On the left you can see how mine looked when it was all assembled…you can also see my cat’s feet…for what it’s worth…
All that’s left for you to do now is to add the eyes. I did this by making little yarn balls/knots from black yarn, and then putting a short length of yarn between the two for the classic Baymax look. 🙂
Next (if you haven’t already), consume your snack, and you’re done! You can always make changes – make it bigger or smaller, add more details, use buttons for eyes, whatever you like! I wish I had super knitting powers and could make cool design or patterns. Alas, I’m not that good. You can find a lot of tutorials on Youtube which can teach you to knit (it’s super easy.) I just used the basic knit stitch and popped it together. As a side note, this doll is very huggable…just in case you were wondering. 😉
Feel free to leave any comments or questions, and share pictures if you decide to make a Baymax too!!!