Thursday, 5 November 2015

Bruce the Deer

 I love doing commissions - I get to make some very interesting characters - and the most recent one was no exception.  A friend of mine is a huge fan of the Animal Crossing series of games (as am I) and requested her favourite character - Bruce the Deer.  She sent me some pictures, including some screenshots from the Nintendo 3DS version of the game and I was sure I could do a good job.

After a rummage in my *ahem* extensive stash, I found the perfect DK yarns - a dusky slate-blue and a paler version for his head stripes and muzzle.

Using the pictures as reference, I began by making his head first as that contained the most detail and would set the scale for the whole figure.   The head stripes were then made as one separate piece that was sewn in position, followed by his muzzle.  His nose was embroidered using a small amount of black yarn and his little smiling mouth with one unraveled thin strand of the same yarn, using back-stitch for the lines and couch-stitch to shape it into the curve.

His eyes were made using 6mm safety eyes and ovals of white felt - I took a while to decide if I wanted to give him eyelids, as in some of the pictures, but he didn't look so cute with them so I make the decision to leave him wide-eyed.  I think it was the correct one :)

His ears were crocheted as slightly round-based pyramids, flattened, folded over at the base and sewn into shape.  The detail was then added with orange and yellow felt hot-glued carefully in place.

His body was made to scale based on the size of his head and sewn in place.  I then made his little legs and rather than stuffing them which would have been unsatisfactory as they were so thin I put dark blue pipe-cleaner inside to give the necessary rigidity to allow him to stand up straight, and to be invisible through the stitches.

 His arms also have dark blue pipe-cleaners in them so he can be posed as desired.

His little outfit was made from felt.  His undershirt in red, sewn on at the back, and then the little black sleeveless jacket over the top, open at the front.  His 4 shiny buttons were made from gold brads (paper-fasteners) which had the backs removed with snips and then were carefully hot-glued in place.

His horns were the hardest part.  I originally made them from felt but struggled to make them look right - they didn't have the right curve and weren't large enough.  They looked like horns, but not like Bruce's horns.

 I eventually removed them and remade them using a 1mm crochet hook and pale yellow embroidery cotton.  Fiddly as anything but very effective.  I then used a single strand of dusky grey-blue embroidery cotton to back-stitch the spiral around them as a finishing touch.

The finished product came out really well and exactly as I had hoped.  Really pleased :)

The best part of a commission, the part I enjoy the most, is handing it over to the new owner, and this one was no exception.  She was delighted and later posted this lovely picture on Twitter of Bruce with her 3DS running Animal Crossing and showing his virtual self.

Please note: The character Bruce and the game Animal Crossing are owned by and copyright Nintendo.

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