Category: Education

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Soft hand sewn toys inspired from Japan made with 6th graders. Featured at


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Created by Julie Huskey :

Created by Julie Huskey Adapted from: Lisa Krannichfeld

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What are they? Softies are handmade, soft, plush toys that are sewn. Softies were first made in Japan but their popularity soon spread across the world.

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The possibilities are endless!!! Here are a few examples made by artists all over the world…

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Use as FEW shapes and SIMPLE shapes as possible!!!! All shapes must fit inside a bigger shape!!!!

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For example… Look how this owl is redrawn using very simple shapes…. (Notice how all the shapes fit inside one bigger shape)

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Here is another example…

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Running Stitch – Push the needle in and out of the fabric in a straight line, along the edge of the seam stitches are equal length.

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Whip Stitch- stitches are parallel and diagonal to each other and whip around the edges.

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10 Famous Japanese Characters

Hello Kitty:

Hello Kitty Hello Kitty is probably one of the more well known Japanese Characters around and her and her friends are quite popular around the streets of Japan. Kitty developed by Sanrio in 1974. Needless to say Hello Kitty merchandise is big business in Japan.

Astro Boy:

Astro Boy Astro Boy was one of the first Japanese television series that featured the cartoon style we now know as anime. Astro first hit Japanese TV screens in 1963 and later was dubbed into English and shown around the world. The crime fighting robot boy is still quite popular in Japan especially with the Otaku (Anime Geeks) of Akihabara.


Domo-kun In Japan it seems every corporation needs a cute mascot and the Mascot of NHK TV is an odd brown monster known as Domo or Domo-kun. He originally features in several stop motion shorts during NHK’s promos but has since become popular across the world thanks to the internet. He lives in an underground cave with an old rabbit known as Usajii , he also tends to pass wind when upset.


Laugh is a blue dog that is the mascot of Fuji TV, while not as well known as rival NHK’s Domo-kun, Laugh is heavily featured around Odaiba in Tokyo where the Fuji TV building is located. If you head there on weekends you may even get a photo with him. Laugh


Pikachu The Pokemon series has a huge array of characters and even those not familiar with the series will be able to identify the yellow Pikachu who often plays a central role in Pokemon’s marketing. he is a type of mouse that can store electricity in his cheeks, the reason why he is often depicted on video game covers with sparks emitting from them.


Doraemon Doraemon is popular in Japan but has yet to achieve the same popularity as other characters outside Japan. Doraemon is a blue and white robot cat that has traveled back in time to help a schoolboy known as Nobita Nobi . The character first appeared in 1969 and most recently has been titled Japan’s first anime ambassador.


Miffy is a small female rabbit that is often mistakenly thought to be of Japanese origin, possibly thanks to Hello Kitty’s similar appearance. Miffy is the work of Dutch cartoonist Dick Bruna and is very popular in Japan. Miffy and her friends can been found on all sorts of merchandise across Japan from stuffed toys to ATM cards. Miffy


Rilakkuma Rilakkuma is a light brown bear with a white tummy and snout, his name can be translated to Relax Bear and he is one of the most popular characters of the San-X company with Rilakkuma merchandise selling like hot cakes across Japan since his debut in 2003.


Godzilla Godzilla is a famed mutant Japanese monster that was first seen in the 1954 film Godzilla. Basically a gigantic dinosaur, Godzilla has atomic powers and can spew radiation from his mouth. It is interesting to note Godzilla’s destructive and atomic powers were dreamed up in the wake of the nuclear attacks of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

China Doll “Zhongguo Wawa“ inspirations:

China Doll “ Zhongguo Wawa“ inspirations

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兔 斯 基 tù sī jī Tuski

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炮 炮 兵 pào pào bīn

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阿 狸 ā lí

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Sketch your idea onto a 5x8 sheet of paper. Make your sketch as LARGE as the paper. REMEMBER….SIMPLE SHAPES! Have your final design approved.

Trace your designs onto felt pieces that are the colors you select.:

Trace your designs onto felt pieces that are the colors you select.

6th Grade Creations:

6 th Grade Creations

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