BB-8 Tortoise

Happy Halloween from the one and only, roly-poly BB-8 Kirby!

Beep boop beep!

Beep boop beep!

New plotline:  BB-8 saves the day by nomming Starkiller Base!

New plotline: BB-8 saves the day by nomming Starkiller Base!

And here I thought I could just sit here and enjoy this beautiful sunset...

And here I thought I could just sit here and enjoy this beautiful sunset…

Just as adorable without the glamour shots.

Just as adorable without the glamour shots.

Did you know BB-8 can dance?

Did you know BB-8 can dance?

This is definitely Kirby’s most elaborate Halloween costume yet!

Still adorable, of course!

Still adorable, of course!

Pattern: All my own!
Hook sizes:

· F/5 (3.75 mm)
· E/4 (3.5 mm) for the panels on BB-8’s body
Yarns & thread:

· Lily Sugar’n Cream in White
· Premier Home Cotton in Orange
· Red heart Super Saver (100% acrylic) in Grey heather
· Aunt Lydia’s Fashion Crochet Thread Size 3 in Black
Other materials:

· one 12mm safety eye
· one 6mm safety eye
· a little white sewing thread
· fabric glue
· some white wire
· black Sharpie
· Velcro



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:

Tortoises are super graceful.

Tortoises are super graceful.

Please take a moment to admire BB-8’s tushie:

Look at those cute feeties sticking out!

Look at those cute feeties sticking out!

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.

My costume is just as adorable without the bottom half!

My costume is just as adorable without the bottom half!

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.

No more heads fighting over which way is forward!

No more heads fighting over which way is forward!


I'm going to take a nap while you're taking all these photos.

I’m going to take a nap while you’re taking all these photos.

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!

I see your hand but no noms???

I see your hand but no noms???

Kirby’s shell cozy is so lopsided in stitches: Treble crochet stitches on this side…

Can I go back to naptime?

Can I go back to naptime?

and only single crochets on the other. Crocheting in the round is even more lopsided than I realized!

Can I nom this green paper with your pattern scribbles?

Can I nom this green paper with your pattern scribbles?

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!

The most important part of inspecting anything is bopping it with your nose.

The most important part of inspecting anything is bopping it with your nose.

The top of my costume fits as perfectly as Pooh's!

The top of my costume fits as perfectly as Pooh’s!

How does Pooh not have a bottom half to his costume?!  Someone get that bear some pants!

How does Pooh not have a bottom half to his costume?! Someone get that bear some pants!

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:

Found by way of GoldenJellyBean's BB-8 pattern here.

Found by way of GoldenJellyBean’s BB-8 pattern (although I did not use their crochet pattern).
The panels I made are arranged below in the same order as in this image.

I first crocheted a very rough approximation of the pattern for each of the panels:

Completed first panel!

Completed first panel on top of Kirby’s shell cozy!


The bottom left and middle panels have some embroidery already.

The bottom left and middle panels have some embroidery already.

Next, I embroidered additional details and fine tuned the patterns to better match what they should look like:

The finished panels!

The finished panels!

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:

Such a promising start...

Such a promising start…

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:

Fail.

Fail.

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.

Looking much better!

Looking much better!
My reference images were the same reference images in GoldenJellyBean’s pattern.

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!

Looking good!

Looking good!

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!

I love fabric glue!

I love fabric glue!

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…

Another costume fitting?!

Another costume fitting?!

…and clearly went way overboard.

WAY overboard

WAY overboard

So I abandoned my worries about the bottom half not looking round enough and deflated it significantly.

Better...

Better…

And then I deflated it some more.

Even better.

Even better.

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!

The finished costume looks surprisingly neat, given how messy the wrong sides of the panels are!

The finished costume looks surprisingly neat, given how messy the wrong sides of the panels are!

Panels all secure on the bottom half, too!

Panels all secure on the bottom half, too!

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!

Much better antenna than I expected!

Much better antenna than I expected!

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.

All disassembled!

All disassembled!

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.

Itty bitty pieces of Velcro!

Itty bitty pieces of 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:

Wobble wobble!

Wobble wobble!

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.

Completed BB-8 head!

Completed BB-8 head!

The embroidered orange band looks exactly as it should!

Bird’s eye view because obviously you were just dying to see what BB-8’s head looks like from the top.

Top half assembled with slightly crooked antennas.

Top half assembled with slightly crooked antennas.

Inspector Kirby approves!

Inspector Kirby approves!

No more wobbling even when Kirby runs around at top speed!

No more wobbling even when Kirby runs around at top speed!

Ta da!

Ta da! Not much of a difference from the earlier photo, but less of a headache for the human!

Now for bonus fun facts for actually reading all the way through this super long post: BB-8 loves quilts!

Who doesn't love a soft and comfy quilt?

Who doesn’t love a soft and comfy quilt?


Someone ought to make ME a quilt of my own!

Someone ought to make ME a quilt of my own!

Also soft and squishy pillows!

BB-8 will sit on this soft and squishy pillow without moving for as long as he is on this soft and squishy pillow.

BB-8 will sit on this soft and squishy pillow without moving for as long as he is on this soft and squishy pillow.


All is good when you are on this soft and squishy pillow.

All is good when you are on this soft and squishy pillow.

Halloween 2016 is declared a success. Time for naps all around!

A spooky and treat-filled Halloween to all!

A spooky and treat-filled Halloween to all!

 

EDIT: Alicia and I coordinated our torts’ costumes this year! Mango was Rey to Kirby’s BB-8!

The best team in the Resistance!

The best team in the Resistance!

Waffles was Starkiller Base, and Torty was Kylo Ren. You can see their costumes over here! May the Force bring noms and head rubs to all!

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “BB-8 Tortoise

    • Aww, thank you! We had lots of fun with this year’s costume! Kirby somehow manages to be adorable from every possible angle, 24/7. 🐢 💖

  1. YESSSSSSSS I’M SO EXCITED

    These photos look so good!! You always take such care to capture all the details. Kirby is so lucky to get to wear all these stylish costumes every Halloween!

    • Aww, thank you! Glad to hear our photos make you happy! Your costumes are adorable as well! Love how you got so many details, down to even Rey’s hair. And I absolutely love how your son can curl up inside his BB-8 costume like in the first photo!!

    • Thank you! We may have had a bit too much fun with this…we even coordinated with our Canadian tortoise friends—just added a photo of BB-8 Kirby with Mango the leopard tortoise as Rey! :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s