Happy Halloween from the one and only, roly-poly BB-8 Kirby!
This is definitely Kirby’s most elaborate Halloween costume yet!
Kirby didn’t mind sitting for short periods of time on the bottom half of his costume. But he made it clear when he was done with photo time…
Kirby stomped off the way that tortoises always stomp off something above ground level:
Please take a moment to admire BB-8’s tushie:
Kirby’s costume is designed to work both as a full BB-8 and as a half BB-8 that runs around and noms everything in sight.
Trundling BB-8 Kirby was fascinated by the bottom half of his costume. Nose bops were in order!
On second thought, the top half probably makes more sense with BB-8’s head facing the same way as Kirby’s head.
BB-8 Kirby in action!
Confession time: I actually still have not seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens! Not for lack of wanting to–I very much want to see it, but life has been so crazy the last several years that I haven’t been to a movie theater since 2013! I hear Episode VII is on Netflix now, so maybe this unacceptable state of affairs will be remedied next weekend. I expect that BB-8 will only get more adorable when I have finally seen the movie!
Now for the fun part: In-progress photos!
Kirby’s shell cozy is so lopsided in stitches: Treble crochet stitches on this side…
and only single crochets on the other. Crocheting in the round is even more lopsided than I realized!
I like to tailor Kirby’s shell cozy to his exact shell shape. This is likely more work than I need to do, but it’s so much nicer when the cozy fits Kirby’s shell like a glove!
With Kirby’s custom fittings all set, I started on the panels on BB-8’s body. BB-8 has six panels, but I made only five so that Kirby’s head would have somewhere to stick out. I used this image as a guide:
I first crocheted a very rough approximation of the pattern for each of the panels:
Next, I embroidered additional details and fine tuned the patterns to better match what they should look like:
These panels took much longer than I expected. Crocheting them wasn’t too bad, but embroidering them to get the patterns right seemed to take forever–partly because then there were so many ends to weave in! I originally planned to add in little red and blue embroidered stitches to represent the lights on BB-8’s panels. But, after how long it took to make these, I decided not to add the lights. The patterns are recognizable as is.
Next up was BB-8’s head. I originally planned to embroider as little as possible. For example, for the thin orange band at the top of BB-8’s head, I started out with a slip stitch ring in orange, into which the next row was crochet in only the back loops:
Unfortunately, this still resulted in a much too thick orange band. Plus, my first attempt at BB-8’s head turned out to be too small when compared to Kirby’s shell cozy:
So for my second attempt at BB-8’s head, I embroidered the thin orange band at the top and the thick gray band at the bottom, and I also increased the circumference by two stitches.
Luckily, I had one last pair of 12mm safety eyes. The 12mm safety eye is a tad bit small, but the next biggest size I would have been able to get on short notice (18mm from Bored) would have been much too big. So 12mm it was!
I embroidered the thick gray band at the bottom using two strands of gray thread held together. The black circle around the smaller eye is a piece of thick black thread glued on using fabric glue. Embroidering on such a small circle would have been impossible to keep as a nice smooth circle. I am quite proud of how no fabric glue shows around the edges at all!
One last wrinkle in making Kirby’s costume was how much to stuff the bottom half of BB-8’s body. In the early photo above with tiny keychain Pooh, I threw in a little bit of stuffing just for the sake of making sure Kirby didn’t sink too low for the photo. But he did still sink a bit into the bottom half and so much so that the bottom half of BB-8 looked more oblong than spherical. So I stuffed that bottom half with fistfuls of stuffing…
…and clearly went way overboard.
So I abandoned my worries about the bottom half not looking round enough and deflated it significantly.
And then I deflated it some more.
I might have pulled out a little bit more of stuffing after this last fitting…
If you look closely at these last costume fitting photos, you’ll notice that the panel in the back is positioned squarely between the top and bottom halves of BB-8’s body. I originally did that with the plan to Velcro the bottom half of that panel to the bottom half of BB-8’s body. But then I realized Kirby wouldn’t be able to walk when wearing just the top half because the back panel would be sticking out so much. So I rearranged the panels from these photos enough so that they would not impede Kirby’s freedom of movement and sewed them on tight. Twice around each, in fact!
For BB-8’s antennas, I cut pieces of a thin white wire. The wire I used was once a twisty tie, so it was unfortunately not as perfectly straight as I would have liked. But with a bit of patience, I managed to get it reasonably straight. Some coloring with a Sharpie on the long piece, and ta da!
I ended up not gluing the antenna to BB-8’s head, and rather just sticking them in whenever they fell out again. Each had a slight crook at the end to keep it from falling out too easily and to give me an idea of how far into BB-8’s head each should go.
The very last step was attaching BB-8’s head to Kirby’s shell cozy. I wanted to be able to turn BB-8’s head in whichever direction I feel like, so I opted to attach using Velcro.
Wanting the Velcro to not be visible, I sewed it on extra tight and used extra small pieces. This backfired a bit because BB-8’s head still wobbled significantly. If I was careful, this wasn’t too big of an issue for photos:
But I found it annoying to keep adjusting BB-8’s head when it flopped too much to one side. The ideal solution would probably have been more Velcro, but I ran out of time and patience. So I ended up using pins to secure BB-8’s head the rest of the way.
Now for bonus fun facts for actually reading all the way through this super long post: BB-8 loves quilts!
Also soft and squishy pillows!
Halloween 2016 is declared a success. Time for naps all around!