While reading Skyward by Brandon Sanderson, I fell in love with many of the characters. Spensa and Skyward Flight are fun worth spending time with, if you have not read the book already. The non-human characters became my absolute favorites. After Isaac Stewart created an amazingly cute depiction of Doomslug, I had to create one for myself. The little yellow and blue space slug can pull at you with her gentle fluting. This November, readers find out more about Doomslug in Starsight. In support, I thought others might enjoy creating their own space slugs.
My mission was to create a slug pattern to create a cuddly Doomslug that mimics Stewart’s design. After some experiments with dart lines, curves, and other sewing tricks, I hit upon the proper shape to mimic Stewart’s rather rounded artwork rather than using a pattern that looks like an Earth slug (footnote 1).
Making your own space slug requires a handful of tools and a moderate skill level at sewing. The included pattern and instructions will walk you through the process.
- ½ yard of primary material
- ½ yard of accent material
- ½ yard of fusible interfacing medium weight
- Spools of thread of matching colors
- Cotton or polyester stuffing
- Black fabric material for eyes
- Black and white embroidery thread
- Sewing machine
- Sewing pins
- Walking Foot for your sewing machine – Highly recommended.
- Roller cutting blade
- Metal ruler/flat edge
- 1/8 yard Double sided interfacing for eyes
More Optional supplies for an internal weighted pouch:
Reason – This gives the slug more heft and allows it to balance on its own better.
- ¼ yard of third cotton material
- Poly-fil pellets – up to 1 pound
- Cotton or polyester batting
Note on Material:
Any material can be used to create your space slug: cotton, fleece, flannel, velveteen, etc. When working with the thicker sections, a walking foot will save you a number of headaches. If your fabric has a nap, including velvet or micro fleece, it’s best to cut your pattern pieces one layer at a time. Double check that the nap direction is the one you want. Ideally the nap will flow smoothly from the front to the back. If you plan to use velvet, please read this helpful tutorial before cutting your pattern pieces.
The pattern is printed on three pages of 11”x17″.
It will create a slug approximately: 6” tall x 13” long x 16” around.
Scale up or down to change the size of the slug. The ruffle and spines pattern need to be altered less, they are fine for a 15% +/- in size change. Brandon Sanderson said my original design was “just a tad too big.” The original design was 10% larger, creating a slug: 8” tall x 15” long x 20” around.
Lay out the Body Pattern pieces on the main fabric. Match the nap of your fabric if applicable.
Cut matching pieces on interfacing as well. The second cut should be a mirror to the first.
Body Pattern pieces are:
- Body Side (1A) – cut 2
- Body Base (1B) – cut 1
- Face piece (1C) – cut 1
- Top curve (1D) – cut 2
- Top side (1E) – cut 2
- Head Top (1F) – cut 1
- Eye (1G) – cut 2
Accent Pattern pieces cut on accent fabric:
Body Ruffle (2A) – cut 1 – Cut on a double fold – Needs to be at least 40″ to go around the body with extra gathering. For a fuller ruffle, cut a longer piece or sew two pieces together.
Spines (2B) – cut 4 – Zig-zag spines should be cut on a double fold – Need to be between 50″ to 60″ to have enough length for deep loops.
Internal pouch – no pattern, no interfacing – simply cut a rectangle 20” long by 4” wide.
Note: The accent pieces are all long rectangles. It’s easiest to square up your fabric on a self-healing mat. Cut in strips with the help of a straight edge and using a roller blade cutter.
Before you start making your space slug, you need to decide which style you are going to make. Besides fabric choice, each creator chooses the style of eyes and spines they want to make. For the eyes, pick if you want to use fabric eyes or if you will embroider them.
The spines are the harder choice, and often driven by your fabric choice. Thicker fleece will be very difficult to turn into the zig-zag loops.
Spine option 1: Zig-zags – Requires more material and more sewing skills. Your spine strips will each need to be between 50” to 60” in length. Thus the “cut on the fold” note for the pattern could represent a double fold. This design better mimics the official Doomslug design, but are not true spines.
Option 2: Straight Tubes – Requires the spine stripes to be the length of the slug’s body, about 14” each, if you don’t resize the pattern. These are much easier and quicker to attach.
Body pieces have a seam allowance of ⅜”
The full sewing directions with helpful images are found here and can be printed easily.
The basic sewing order of operations are:
- Sew the spine tubes together – four of 2B
- Sew the Ruffle – one of 2A
- Iron the interfacing to all the body parts – 1A to 1F.
- Pick the type of eyes you want to create. Attach or sew them onto the face piece 1C.
- Sew the lower body together: 1A (2 pieces), 1B, and 1C
- Sew the ruffle 2A onto the lower body piece.
- Pin the Spines 2B to first 1D for each side.
- Lay 1E on top of the spines, sew together.
- Attach a Spine 2B to Half of 1F.
- Attach 1F to one side of the top body.
- Layout and attach the Spines to the joined 1F and 1E piece.
- Attach the other side of the body to finish the top half of the slug.
- To attach the two halves together – Right sides of fabric together, line up the center of the piece 1F to the face 1C. Pin around the body. Be sure to leave an opening at the back or on a lower side for turning the body right side out.
- Create the internal weighted pouch by sewing a simple pouch.
- Fill with poly-fil beads, then sew closed.
- Wrap pouch with batting, stuff into the slug body.
- Use cotton or poly fiberfil to stuff the slug body to the density you wish.
- Sew the opening closed. I hand-stitch mine.
Enjoy taking your space slug on adventures!
If you make a space slug, please share your creation with me, Deana Whitney, either by emailing me at Workshop@jordancon.org, sharing it on Instagram at JordanConInc or Doomslug_Adventures, or showing it directly to Isaac Stewart at Izykstewart.
Note: This Space slug pattern is for fun and personal use only. You may not use this pattern to create a for-profit item. Deana Whitney is the creator and owner of the sewing pattern. Copyright of Doomslug is held by Dragonsteel Entertainment, Inc.
All photos copyright by Deana Whitney, 2019.
My first version of Doomslug was made for the signing party, but it looked like an earth slug. To create it, I enlarged the Delilah Iris by 200% to create a 8” long slug. The back spines are a rectangle piece accordion folded, whipped stitched closed, attached to the back piece, then cut in random spikes. The bottom ruffle was another enlargement of the base pattern piece.