I got a PM from an online friend asking if I did custom orders. Feeling a bit overconfident I told him I could, then he asked me to make him a plush Gordon Freeman from the Half-Life video games. Now to put things into perspective for you folks at home, I’m not some master crafter by any stretch of the imagination. I taught myself to sew and am very much still learning the ropes as far as proper protocol and making shapes correctly goes. I’ve never made anything even remotely human shaped and certainly nothing with such a detailed armor case to build.
I delicately tried to talk him out of it, assuring him that it wouldn’t come out as amazing as he hoped, heck I haven’t even played Half-Life, what was he thinking? Still he wouldn’t be dissuaded and I finally found myself agreeing to do it. I started googling hardcore and jotted down some sketches to give him an idea of what I could make. After they were approved I went to work on my most complicated piece yet. First up I made the body.
This wasn’t too bad, mostly felt and fleece cut to look like Gordon’s outfit. I really should’ve taken more pictures of the inside to give you an idea of how many layers there were involved in this, but frankly it was way more than I should have needed so lets save me the embarrassment and just pretend I forgot. After the front was finished I laid out the back and matched up the sides as best I could. Then it was time for the real challenge, his face.
This was my biggest concern since there was so much room for error here. With the armor I at least had the advantage that so long as the colors were in the right areas it would look right. Faces require more effort and planning. In the end I went for a “less is more” approach to keep him from looking too busy and hectic. It took a few more days for me to track down from fuzzy hair material, but then he was ready to be sewn shut and stuffed.
Even after I had flipped him rightside out I still had to go around and check all the seams and correct a few places where they weren’t sealed properly or didn’t line up right. I had estimated the final product to be around 16 inches tall. What a liar I turned out to be when Gordon ended up at 21 inches. Still I think the extra space helped me add in a few small details that made it worthwhile. I even went back and made a quick felt crowbar to go along with him so he wouldn’t have to be unarmed out in the world.
So that was pretty much the process I followed and while I have no intention of doing another one of these I figured I’d share it with you guys. Hopefully I’ll find time for more custom’s in the future and will be able to post those as well. I learned a tremendous amount working on this one so the extra work was time well spent in my book.
For more cute things check out my site Story Builder Toys