Crochet Project: Turtle Pillow Pal

My Sister loves turtles, so when I saw this Turtle Pillow Pal pattern earlier this year, I just knew I had to make one for her. I began the project in early June and finally finished it up a week or so ago, but couldn't publish my post about it until after she opened her birthday gift. :-)
8 photos illustrating the various parts of the turtle as it was completed: Head, body, shell, tail, strap, eyes, and some completed project shots.
To make the turtle's head, body, tail and the pillow strap, I worked a double strand of Caron Simply Soft in dark sage green with a size N (10.0mm) hook. And for the turtle's shell I worked a double strand of Lion Brand Homespun in Fiesta with size P (11.5mm) hook.
Head, Shell & Body:
As I saw mentioned in several others’ project notes, (despite matching the gauge) I also thought the head was a bit large, the shell was a bit small, and the pillow cover was a bit tight/short. So, in the head I left out 2 or 3 of the repeats (during rounds 8-19); I added 1 or 2 rounds to the shell, and I added quite a few extra rounds to the pillow case to give my turtle better proportions.
I decided to make a tail for the turtle - basically I worked an appropriate-sized triangle, sewed it together up one side, stuffed it, and sewed it to the back end of the turtle.
I used a button closure for the strap instead of Velcro as called for in the pattern. The button I used for this matches the brass buttons I used for the turtle's eyes. I think the strap could have been a few rows shorter though, because it is stretchy. The more the strap stretches, the flatter the turtle lays, but I guess it still looks like a turtle anyway.
This project worked up quickly, but since I hate sewing, the construction of the turtle took me a lot longer than it should have to complete. My Sister totally loves this newest turtle in her collection though, so it was definitely worth the time and effort I spent on it.

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