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How To Sew A Felt Brain Slug

January 7, 2014

If you don’t recognize Brain Slugs from the photo of one stuck to my daughter’s head, they are pests from the popular animated TV show Futurama. (not a children’s program) They enjoy attaching themselves to people’s heads in order to take over their bodies, which sounds sort of gruesome but it’s OK because they’re ADORABLE. :3

After I made a bunch of  Wee Ninjas I had some left over felt in a limited range of colors. Originally I had planned to make forest ninja’s with the green but I got lazy and never bothered. So after much brainstorming regarding what I could do with my leftover green felt I decided on making cute little brain slugs!

That was about a year ago. Now that I’m into felting so much I would probably lose a lot of the stitching in favor of felting pieces together but I’ll have to experiment with that a bit. So until I work out those details I’ve provided the sewing pattern and instructions below for anyone who wishes to make little brain slugs of their own.

brain slug matierals

Materials: 

Green Felt
White Felt
Black Felt
Matching thread for all felt
Stuffing
Needle
Scissors
Barrette (optional)

brain slug1

Right click to save the pattern image, then print it out on normal paper and cut out the pieces to use as templates. You can make the pattern larger or smaller by editing it in Microsoft paint. Just be sure to maintain the aspect ratio

brain slug 2

The only piece that I haven’t made a section for on the pattern is the pupil. That’s because it is really quite pointless to make a paper pattern piece that small. What I do to make the pupil is I cut out a tiny square and then I carefully snip the corners until it’s round.

Please note that you should never use the scissors that you use for cutting fabric on paper. Paper dulls scissors very quickly and you need to keep your snips quite sharp if you’re going to be doing work with small pieces of felt.


brain slug 3

The first thing to sew is the eye.

When I sew anything ever my thread is always doubled because that’s the way I learned to thread a needle. If you try this project using a single thickness because that’s what you’re accustomed to it’s just not going to be strong enough so please be sure to double the thread for maximum strength in your stitches.

To stitch the eye together I carefully, one stitch at a time, bring the needle up through the bottom of the felt almost at the very edge and then when the needle goes back down again to complete the stitch it is directed slightly under the piece that it’s attaching. If you look at the photo closely (click on it for a larger view) you can see what I mean.

Make sure the stitches are close enough together that the felt won’t pucker and look odd once it’s stuffed. If it doesn’t look right you can always just do another row of stitching all the way around to fix it more securely.

The black part is sewn onto the white and then the white is sewn onto the green.

brain slug 4

Next the back gets sewn. There is no front and back to felt so even though the seam will be on the inside, it doesn’t matter which way the felt is facing when you sew it.

Sewing the back requires a lot of tiny stitches running up the length of the two back panels up to the point.

I have sewn many of these little slugs and I always sew up one way and then back down again over my first set of stitches to make sure that it’s sewn together as tightly as possible. If you look closely at the photograph you will see what I’ve done.

brain slug 5

Before you sew the front of the slug to the back you need to position the antennae. It’s sort of a fiddly job because it’s so small and you can’t really use any pins to hold things in place.

Just use the photo above as a guide for how you want them positioned. Make sure a tiny bit is sticking out the top so that they’ll be firmly tucked inside once the whole thing is sewn together and turned out.

brain slug 6

Sewing the body together is tricky because it’s so tiny. You also need to hold those fiddly antennae in place in addition to making adjustments to accommodate the fact that that the back is longer than the front to account for the curve in the back of it’s head.

Just put the two pieces together like a sandwich with the good sides facing inward (inside out) and start from one bottom corner, matching the felt up and sew tiny stitches just like you did for the back panels. Keep puckering and re-positioning the felt as required so that it will match up by the time you get to the other side.

I’m making this sound more complicated than it actually is, the main point I’m trying to get across is that it won’t seem like it should match up but it will so don’t panic and make it work. Tiny stitches and patience! :)

As with the back panel, I also go all the way around the stitches a second time to make sure it’s extra secure.

brain slug 7

Next comes the rewarding part when you get to see your little slug come to life!

Carefully turn the whole thing right side in and tug the felt gently as required to shape the little body, then poke plenty of stuffing inside.

brain slug 8

before you sew on the tentacle piece give it a gentle tug in all directions. This will stretch the felt and make it look slightly wobbly.

Next center the slug on the piece and attach it with tiny stitches the same way that you attached the eye pieces together. One stitch goes up through the bottom and when it comes back down again the needle enters slightly under the body.

I tend to make a few placement stitches to center the slug before I do the stitches all the way around so that I don’t end up making it lopsided.

brain slug 9

Attaching the slug to the hair clip is quite easy.

At first I thought that I might use hot glue but once everything was together I decided that would be a big mistake. the most secure way to fasten the slug to the clip is by sewing it on. If you make sure that all stitching is directed through the body it will be invisible on the finished slug once it’s upright.

brain slug 10

And you’re finished! Enjoy your new adorable hair accessory and stop back to let me know if you found this tutorial useful!

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2 Comments
  1. Thank you :) Those photos were from 6 months ago, I can’t believe how much she’s changed!

  2. OMG what an adorable little girl and lucky one too to have such a crafty and creative mum! :-)

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