I’m bringing back the Ghibli fanart! I’ve been wanting to make something Howl’s Moving Castle themed for a while, and I finally decided to take action after reading the original book and rewatching the Ghibli film. It was a real treat doing that, because I thought the book really complemented the movie. They had their differences, but they worked together in ways that made them both better, which isn’t common. Tales from Earthsea and the book Tehanu I thought had the same effect. But anyhow, after all that I can definitely say Calcifer was one of my favorite parts of the book and movie, so I wanted to make a little palm-sized plush so that I might feel just like Sophie did.
Materials & Tools:
• 1/4 yd. red fleece
• Micro pellets (optional, see step 4)
• Matching sewing thread
• Basic sewing tools (sewing machine, scissors, iron, needles, pins, fabric marker, seam ripper)
• 10” x 7” scrap of orange fleece
• 7” x 5” scrap of yellow fleece
• 2” x 3” scrap of white appliqué fabric
• 1” x 2” scrap of black appliqué fabric
• 1” x 2” scrap of red appliqué fabric
• 1/8 yd. of 20” wide light or heavy duty fusible web
Before you begin:
1. Print out the project pattern here
2. Lay out the pattern pieces on your fabric and cut them out
3. Mark the fabric pieces with the markings from the pattern
1. The most time intensive part of making this plush is probably the appliqué. It’s something that I use really often in my projects. So, just like before, you’ll want to trace the appliqué shapes to your fusible web, iron the fusible web to the corresponding fabric, cut out the shapes, then iron them to your main fabric as shown here. Note that you’ll have to cut two of each of the flame colors, 1 reversed for each color. You can do this by cutting out the shapes from the paper pattern and flipping them when you make the tracings. Make sure to place the pieces according to the pattern guidelines and in the order shown in the photo. If you’ve used heavy duty fusible web, ironing should be enough to hold the pieces in place, or if you’ve used lightweight fusible web you’ll want to sew them on around the edges. I used a zigzag stitch but a straight stitch also works.
2. Up next we add the base to little Calcifer here. This is so that he stands up on his own when all filled. Take the base piece and line it up with the bottom edge of the front. The circle markings from the base should match up with the circle markings on the front. When it’s all lined up, sew the two pieces together.
3. Now we can add the back of Calcifer. Simply apply the back piece and line up all the raw edges, matching up the bottom with the remaining side of the base. Then sew around the entire perimeter of this shape, leaving a small opening at the top for turning right side out.
4. Use your scissors to carefully clip the seam allowances in the tight curves in Calcifer’s flames, then turn him inside out. It helps to use a chopstick or similar blunt tool here to poke out all the little flame wisps. When he’s all turned, it’s time to stuff him! I wanted his bottom to have more weight, so I poured in a few spoonfuls of poly pellets, then filled the rest in with batting. Be sure to stuff the little points with a lot of batting so they look full. The rest of him doesn’t need to be stuffed as tightly though.
He’s all finished! I hope you enjoy holding him in your palm as much as I did! Treat him nicely and don’t drop him and he’ll be sure not to let your bacon burn ^-^
If you do try making the project, I’d love to see it! Send me a photo and I’ll send you exclusive free patterns as a reward!