For the most part making the amigurumi pieces is relatively simple, you can find the basic techniques for getting started HERE if you are an amigurumi beginner. Most people find sewing the pieces together to be the most difficult part and it really does make or break a project. Today I will share with you some techniques using my Dress up Pup to demonstrate how to assemble amigurumi easier and with better results. The Dress Up Pup and Costume Patterns can be purchased in my Ravelry and Etsy Shops, but the techniques shown can be used for any amigurumi ptoject.
Before you begin assembling your pieces, I highly recommend finishing all the parts. It is easier to visualize where the parts are going to go and try different options if you have all the pieces to work with. In my opinion, the placement of the pieces is the most difficult part of the process. A slight change can make a huge difference with the final results, proportion is very important. Notice in the photos below, the placement of the ears completely changes the look of the Pup. Some patterns include the row and stitch count to indicate placement like the Dress Up Pup pattern. Counting the rows up and down is pretty straight forward but the stitches from side to side are a bit more difficult because working in a continuous rounds causes the stitches to slant on a diagonal. When you are learning it is very helpful to stitch a long running stitch in a contrasting colour along the length of the piece to mark the center line. Your pieces should be the same distance from the line on either side to create symmetry. As the photo shows below, you can see four stitches between the center line to the arms. After you have your center line, use stitch makers to show where the pattern indicates placement. You can take it one step further and use straight pins or locking stitch markers to hold the pieces in place. Try different positions to see what looks best, just remember to keep everything as symmetrical as possible to the center line. Keep in mind your character will not look perfect at this point, the pins and stitch markers will just help give you an idea of where your pieces should go. Now that you have all your pieces in position, it is time to sew them on permanently. The most common technique is to use a simple whip stitch. This works well for attaching flat pieces like the Dress Up Pup eye patch and for a 3 Dimensional pieces like the snout and tail. With a whip stitch you are always inserting your needle in the same direction, front to back, in a sort of circular motion. This causes the edge of the piece you are attaching to sit flat against the main body of your project. The photos below demonstrates attaching several pieces with a whip stitch, the needle is inserted in the same direction for each stitch. Be sure to stop and double check the piece is still in the correct place every couple of stitches and adjust if necessary. It is very easy for pieces to move slightly and look very off. Attaching some pieces may be a bit awkward because of the needle. A bent tip needle can sometimes be very helpfull for seeing together amigurumi pieces.
At this point your Amigurumi toy is all stuffed, assembled and seemingly ready to play… But something still doesn’t look right?? He still looks a little 2 dimensional, the face needs some definition. To create a more realistic character you can use a simple face shaping technique that will bring your amigurumi to life and give him more personality!
You are going to create a slightly sunken eye socket by weaving your darning needle back and forth a few times behind the safety eyes and gently pulling them together. It can be tricky getting behind the eyes, so keep in mind it’s not science, it’s an art. You will have to use your own creative judgement for where to place the stitches. It takes a little practice but I promise you, the results definitely make it worth learning.
There you have it, your amigurumi pieces are all assembled! The more practice you have positioning and sewing your characters together the easier it will become! For more amigurumi help head over to my Getting Started with Amigurumi and Essential Amigurumi Tools posts. Be sure to share your Dress up Pup and other amigurumi projects using #madewithloveandyarn, I love seeing your projects and everything you’ve learned! To stay up to date with new patterns and tutorials, follow me on Facebook and Instagram and join the mailing list to get updates straight to your inbox. I hope you enjoyed and learned something new!