Studio Ghibli's My Neighbour Totoro is one of my favourite movies of all time. I just get so ridiculously happy whenever I watch it. There's something so simple and so magical and so awesome about it! So when I received a request for a custom designed Totoro MacBook Case, I was extremely excited to do it but at the same time, so very cautious too! Totoro is one of my all-time favourite characters and I definitely wanted the spirit of Totoro to shine through!
This case was for Apple's new 15" Macbook Pro with Retina Display. Initially, I had designed a case that was more representative of the shape of Totoro, ears and tummy and all. Luckily I tend to make sure that I keep in contact with my customers while creating custom orders because I found out that my customer wanted it to fit within his messenger bag. That limited the size of this case right down so I had to abandon the idea of Totoro being Totoro-shaped. I had a few inches to play with but definitely not enough to convey the right shape and I was not going to create a bowling-pin shaped Totoro!
So I simplified it back to a rectangle and adjusted the proportions of the Totoro features. I utilised embroidery for Totoro's eyes and nose and also for the eyes of the sootballs. This case made me really nervous because I had a limited quantity of the grey felt so there was no margin for errors!
Besides getting the design and proportions right, the hardest part by far was sewing on the sootballs with all their little spikes! But it was well worth the work and I'm really happy with the case. Here's some photos of the finished product:
My customer just received the case and sent me a photo of it in action too:
While creating the case, I went around my home looking for all things Totoro to use as reference and to get me in the Totoro mindset. I discovered I have a lot of Totoro things! :D Here's a tiny part of my collection: