Many crocheters wince at the idea of assembling amigurumi. It’s the final step to completing your project, so it’s easy to feel a little antsy about it.
But assembling your amigurumi is just as important as stitching it. The placement of limbs, ears and facial features is crucial to the final appearance of your new fluffy friend.
Assembly doesn’t have to be your least favorite part of the process! To make the assembly a little less painful, we’ve collected some of our favorite amigurumi tips to share with you.
1. Making seaming easier
Before you even begin the process of assembling, there’s one step you can take when crocheting to make sewing easier later: Leave long tails when you fasten off. The length of the tail will depend on the size of the seam you’re going to sew. A small ear, for example, may need a long tail of only 5–6 inches. Be sure to leave extra length for weaving in the ends!
2. Planning the placement
The problem most crocheters have when assembling amigurumi is that they don’t plan out where each part will go. Look at your amigurumi with all the parts in place before you start stitching; otherwise you may end up ripping out some of your sewing because you’re not happy with the placement.
To plan the placement, attach the parts to the body using safety pins, T-pins or a locking stitch marker. Remember that the pattern will tell you where to place each limb or other feature, but feel free to move them around to other spots if you’re not happy with how they look.
3. Stuffing your toy
Stuffing amigurumi is an art. You don’t want to under-stuff — if you do, the animal will sag and lose shape. But if you over-stuff it, the animal won’t be very cuddly. Finding that sweet spot in the middle can be a challenge.
One way you can distribute your stuffing evenly is to stuff as you crochet. This is especially helpful for narrow pieces like arms or long noses. Adding stuffing as you crochet ensures you stuff all the way into the bottom of each limb, ear, or facial feature.
Another option is to use a pencil, chopstick or the back of a crochet hook to ease the stuffing into those hard-to-reach places. If you’ve already crocheted your long nose, for instance, just use a tool to help you ease it evenly into the piece. Smoosh around the piece with your fingers to check for even stuffing as you work.
4. Lining up those stitches
Have you ever attached an ear, eye, nose or arm only to find that it’s all bunched up at the seam or lying crooked against your toy? Perhaps that’s because you didn’t properly line up your stitches.
When you’re stitching, make sure you stitch evenly across the same row. If you’re sewing a leg to the bottom of the body, for example, stitch straight across the same row on the body. This will guarantee that the leg is on straight.
5. Balancing legs and arms
I once made an amigurumi bear that looked like he had a swollen leg. The legs looked identical when I stitched them, but then I under-stuffed one of the legs before sewing it on, causing an imbalance. As a result, my poor bear never could sit up straight.
Stuff arms and legs in pairs and compare them before stitching them to the body. This will avoid that dreaded swollen limb!
Do you have an amigurumi assembly tip to share with us? Leave it in the comments!