January 23 2012, 12:13 pm
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muppet legs: a how to


do you own a legless muppet whatnot? well, now there's no excuse.

so, i have this muppet whatnot named reginald. he was pretty fantastic when i brought him home from FAO Schwartz, but immediately i wanted him to have legs. and feet. i waited (procrastinated) for a year in hopes that the whatnot workshop would start making them, and then took matters into my own hands. i'm lucky enough to be making 2 more sets today, and will gladly show you how to do it.

materials:

  • 1 sheet of felt 8.5"x 11": this results in skinny legs- if you'd like a little more meat on the bones, get 2 sheets
  • stuffing
  • infant socks: knee socks are preferable, but they're really hard to find.
  • infant shoes, size 3 or 4: ebay is a great resource for these, and the cheapest
  • cardboard

leg construction:

  • cut felt sheet in half, lengthwise
  • fold each piece in half, lengthwise, and stitch a straight seam 1/4" from the edge. press seam open, and turn legs right side out creating a tube. press again, with seams on the inside of each leg

  • mark the center of each tube, horizontally, and sew a seam through the front and back of felt. these are the knees.
  • stuff tubes as full as possible

foot construction:

  • trace the outline of the shoes onto cardboard. draw another line, 1/4" in from the tracing line
  • cut out cardboard on the inner line. place into base of sock and slip into shoes. this should be a tight fit to endure that shoes don't fall off
  • stuff socks as full of filling as possible

  • sew the socks to the legs

a few tips:
1. the lighter the shoe, the better the outcome. heavy shoes pull down on the socks.
2. for girl's shoes, it helps to have a mary jane style. plain flats don't stay on well.
3. because the shape of the foot is based on the shoe style, if you change the shoes, you may need to change the inner cardboard piece to match the new style. not always, but something to keep in mind.

attaching the legs:

i apologize for the graphic nudity below

  • sew closed the top of the legs with a simple running stitch, 1/4" from the edge. take the stitching back through the first line so the leg is completely sealed off.
  • lay the muppet down on a table with the opening facing you. place the top edge of legs on the bottom front of the body, so that the foot is up by the muppet's head. the toes will be pointing towards the table. start stitching the leg to the body, going over the stitch line on the legs from the inside edge to the outside edge
  • when you get to the outside edge of the legs, turn the muppet around so the opening is facing away from you and fold the leg down to it's normal position. stitch back towards the inside of the legs, and tie off thread. if your muppet sees a lot of playtime, i would do a second round of stitching to be secure. typically, one time around is enough.
  • place second leg about 1/4" from first leg and repeat

make your muppet thank you for all the hard work! next up: underpants and outer pants. you can't let them run around nude, you know.

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