Pattern Review and Project Complete: Mario

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Huzzuh!  After spending nearly six months in a project bag, Mario has finally been finished 🙂  He’s meant to have buttons on his bracers, but as he’s a gift for a very little person I’ve left them off.  Stitching together amigurumi is still something I need to work on, so check out the great version by the very talented designer before making a decision on the pattern as I can assure your the slightly odd angles, disproportionate limbs and crazy eyes are entirely my fault (he does look better in person though, the eyes are less, weird).

So, about this pattern.

Review:

  • Name: Mario Plushie
  • Designer: WolfDreamer
  • Medium: Crochet (Amigurumi)
  • Cost: Free!
  • Skills needed: single crochet, magic ring, invisible decrease, working in the round, basic colour changing, applique, amigurumi assembly
  • Difficulty: Intermediate (None of the stitches are hard, but he has a lot of small, symmetrically placed parts, so if you add too many or few rows or don’t have consistent tension it’s easy to end up with mis-matched bits.  Also, the many bits means a fair bit of sewing together)
  • Availability: On WolfDreamer’s blog here: http://wolfdreamer-oth.blogspot.com.au/2009/08/mario-plushie.html
    or here on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mario-plushie
  • My Rating: 4/5

I really liked this pattern and enjoyed making Mario.  As this is my first review I don’t want to blow the full five stars too early.  As a pattern offered for free, it is amazing.  For me the best bit was finishing the ears.  The pattern reads “F/O and tie the 2 ends together creating a slight curve (ear shape)” and I remember being amazed at how this little half circle-ish thing suddenly became a very real looking ear.  It was both awesome and freaky at the same time.  For many months I had all of the face bits tied together by their yarn ends as I kept putting off the final assembly; the lifelike ears gave a really macabre feeling to my little bundle.

Here are some more pictures of Mario while on his way to finished.  In the first one where he had a face but no limbs Miss2 was totally convinced that he was duck.

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yarma_medium2 (1)

This was my first time pre-pinning the pieces of an amigurumi.   I have absolutely no idea why it hadn’t occurred to me until I read it in this pattern as when machine sewing I tend to pin like a mad woman (though I am getting better, and starting to use an overlocker more is doing wonders to break the habit).  It did help a lot, especially with placing the face bits.  Unfortunately I got into a bit of a frenzy to finish the project towards the end and didn’t lock down the arms as much as I needed too.  That and I got sick of cutting little felt eyes that kept fraying in odd ways and made a decision to just pick the best pair and blanket stitch them down already!  I think being more patient, having longer pins and a curved needle would have helped (note that this advice is here and I ignored it to my own peril).

Tips:

  • Do the pinning thing on the way to sewing up.  There are a lot of symmetrically placed pieces and so errors in placement really stand out.
  • Don’t try this as your first amigurumi, try something with fewer pieces first to get the hang of assembly (check out PlanetJune for some tips).
  • Make sure the eyes are oval and not round or he looks really insane, trust me.
  • Stuff the head very firmly, I left mine too soft and didn’t realise until trying to stitch on the face bits.  It worked out ok in the end, but a bit firmer would have been nice.

Overall this was a great pattern with clear instructions, but the assembly is not for the faint of heart.  I very much recommend giving it a spin for the Mario fan in your life.  Also, check out some of WolfDreamer’s other patterns while you’re on her site.  There’s a range of free fan art patterns for Mario (and his friends), Pokemon, Sonic, the Penguins from Madagascar and more.

So, what’s your favourite piece of fan art/craft?  Do you manage to stay patient until the end or do you get the ‘nearly finished crazies’ too?  What are your tips for assembling amigurumi?

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