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He's snuggable and huggable and oh, so cute! The troll plush pictured above was a Christmas present from player Jezika to her boyfriend Yajirushi. Both players hail from <Moderately Epic> of Sargeras (US-H), but there is nothing moderate about this plush toy at all. From the careful stitching on the tabard to the painstakingly placed hair, it's obvious this little guy took a lot of time and a lot of ingenuity. Jezika was kind enough to take a few minutes and chat with us about the creation of the plush. Take a peek at the gallery for a glimpse into the toy-making process, and follow us after the break for a few words with its creator.
World of WarCrafts: That is a really awesome doll! Is this your first foray into Warcraft-related projects?
Jezika: This would be my first time doing an actual craft for WoW. I've done some artwork, but nothing craft-wise and tangible like this.
How did you come up with the idea for the plush? Did you use any references for it?
The Christmas before, I had made him a plush of one of his characters, and he loved it. One night in November, I think, he brought up that he really liked when I made him things, and it meant so much to him when I did. We joked about me making him a plush of Yajirushi, and that's when I decided I would attempt it. I looked online for a troll plush, actually, and found two by the same person. By looking at the pictures, I created a pattern for the doll. The most challenging part was probably trying to translate the troll form into fabric, as my usual simple dolls wouldn't make a good base for something as lanky as a troll.
What kind of process went into making it? Did you sew it by hand or by machine?
It was both, actually! The majority of the doll was sewn on the machine, since my hand stitches are weak for a big object, but the nose, ears, hair and tusks were hand-sewn. Parts of the clothes were hand-sewn, as they wouldn't fit over his arms and feet, and I also made simple little buttons out of Sculpey to hold the cape on.
Basically, the process was to decide if I wanted to make him cute or more "troll-like." I decided to make him unlike any other doll I've made and experiment with it. I looked up the pictures for reference and then went from there. I honestly had no idea what I was doing. The head and feet were sewn and stuffed apart from the body; then afterwards, I attached it together. The nose was very triangular, and I did my best to try and form it like a troll's actual nose with the nostrils and all. The nose, the tusks, and the ears were sewn on after I painted the eyes on with a mixture of acrylic paint and fabric paint. The hair is yarn sewn together, then hand-stitched on.
The tabard was both the most frustrating and fun thing to do on this project -- fun because I loved painting the design, frustrating because that sheer type of fabric pulls apart very easily and I had seams ripping out here and there. That's about it though -- I made his tabard a little too small for him, so I ended up hot-gluing a strip of ribbon to the edge to extend the fabric, then added Velcro to hold it together. Other than the Sculpey buttons, that's about it!
Oh, how I wish I had gotten a picture of his face. He was thrilled to see it, and he is still telling me how much he loves it! I think he was as surprised, if not even more so on how well it turned out. His expression was that of a boy receiving something he had wanted for a long time on Christmas morning mixed with an "oh my gosh" look on his face! I asked him what he thought and he said, "I was pretty damn surprised you were able to make a troll plush so well. I've mulled the idea over at least twice before, and it was difficult to imagine doing!"
How did you get into sewing?
When I was a wee little kid, I would always sew straight lines on scraps of fabric. I loved the different patterns of stitches the sewing machine could do. What really got me into sewing was knowing that I had the potential to create anything I wanted to.
When I was about 14 years old, there was a character plush I wanted really bad, but sadly, it was too expensive, so I grabbed some fabric and started sewing a simple rag doll. I would sew off and on from there out. Mainly, if I saw a character I liked from an anime that they didn't sell dolls for, I would make them. I loved how I could manipulate the fabric to form something recognizable. I started sewing simple dolls of my own characters and my friends' characters. Doing this troll doll was very experimental for me!
Thank you for your time, Jezika! For more of Jezika's non-plush work, check out her page on Deviantart.
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