The comic strip Calvin and Hobbes was wildly popular through its run in the papers. Like most people, I've always been a fan, and now my kids are as well. For Christmas a few years ago, I thought a stuffed Hobbes doll would make a great gift for one of my sons.

The artist of the strip, Bill Watterson, refused to allow his characters to be licensed and capitalize on their popularity, feeling that doing so would undermine the integrity of the strip. Despite obvious interest, Calvin and Hobbes merchandise was never available.

Since you cannot buy a Hobbes doll, I figured I'd make my own. For anyone interested in duplicating this Hobbes doll, I'm sharing the pattern I came up with for free.

The pattern shared here is for personal, non-commercial use only.

My son loves his Hobbes and has been happily dragging him around for years. If you make one, please post a photo in the comments!

2015 Edit: If you happened to see the story about the lost stuffed Hobbes tiger at the Tampa International Airport and all his ensuing adventures with the airport staff, that Hobbes was made from this pattern! Woo-hoo!

Step 1: Pattern

I spent a while digging through my Calvin and Hobbes books studying the Hobbes character when he was in the stuffed-toy form.

Early versions of Hobbes were very cartoony, and things like the shape of the nose and the number and placement of stripes were not always consistent. His proportions also appear to have changed slightly over the years. Later versions were crisp, clean and very consistent in the features. I based my Hobbes doll off of pictures that appear in the later strips.

To create the pattern, I broke the doll down into separate basic shapes. After some trial and error, I had a pattern that yielded all the needed body parts that fit together to my liking.

This pattern requires creating and stuffing all of the different body parts separately, hand stitching them all in place, and then hand stitching all of the stripes in place individually.

If that wasn't completely clear, this project requires a ton of hand stitching. You've been warned!

Begin by printing out my homemade Hobbes pattern, preferably on stiff paper like card stock.

You will need about 1/3 yard of orange fleece, some little bits of black, and a couple small pieces of white. You will also need some polyester stuffing, poly stuffing beads if you want, two black 3/4" plastic buttons, and some thin black cording or yarn.

For anyone having trouble finding the link to the pattern, here it is:<br> <br> <a href="http://www.instructables.com/files/orig/F64/GAC3/H994XNS2/F64GAC3H994XNS2.pdf" rel="nofollow">seamster's Stuffed Hobbes Pattern</a><br>
This is so pretty and amazing! I'm not sure if you mentioned this; how tall/big does it end up being?
<p>Hi! I'm really new to sewing and I was wondering if this pattern already has a seam allowance or is it needs to be added on. Thank you so much for your wonderfdul pattern and I look forward to making it! </p>
<p>Seam allowances are included. So just cut the exact shapes of pattern pieces (note where they indicate to be placed on the fold) and you should be good to go! :)</p><p>Good luck!</p>
<p>I love this idea! I plan on making this for my niece soon. </p><p>I was wondering if I could do it with felt? Do you think that would be too stiff?</p><p>Thanks, and thank you for making this awesome pattern! I loved this comic as a kid, and its still very important to me =)</p>
I don't know if felt would be quite as durable, but you could give it a shot. It's also not as stretchy as fleece, so that might effect the way the pieces come together. <br /><br />I'd probably stick with fleece, personally! :)
Thanks! =)
<p>Great job! That looks so professional!</p>
Thanks so much! First Halloween in awhile that I've done it up, and I couldn't be happier.
<p>Nice! Thank you for the photo. Did you win a prize?! :)</p>
No but I voted for an amazing beetlejuice and she won!
Hobbes for my little guy! He is going as Calvin for Halloween this year so he needed an accurate Hobbes! The only alteration I did was I used felt for the eyes so I didn't have to worry about buttons!<br>Fantastic pattern! Thanks so much!
<p>Awesome! You Hobbes looks great. Thank you for the photo!</p>
<p>I'm a very rookie seamstress and I seem to be having some trouble achieving the desired roundness to the ends of the arms and legs. Mine seem to be coming out more square shaped? Any tips or pointers for me? Thanks!</p>
<p>I only started myself and was having the same trouble. Something I was told about which has made a huge difference is to trim your seams. When two pieces are sewn together back to back, cut small triangles or just lines at an angle in towards the sewn edge. Careful not to go the whole way to the stitches, 1/2 to 3/4 way in works well. Then turn your piece the right side out. It should help stop the fabric bunching where the curves are, giving it a smoother round shape. Hope it helps.</p>
Thanks for the tip! I'll keep it in mind for next time!
<p>Hi! I'll try to help.</p><p>Take a look at the very last photo in step 3. On the pattern, those pieces may appear to be fairly straight, but they actually need to be sewn with a slight curve as shown in that photo (each section should be a curve equal to about a quarter-circle). This will result in a more rounded hand and foot, and less pointy. Hope that helps!</p>
<p>I made this for my Grandson Linus.</p><p>He is going to be Calvin and needed his Hobbes for Halloween. He loves him.</p><p>Loved this pattern... it was just awesome.</p><p>Love</p>
<p>Awesome! Thank you for the photo. </p><p>It's always fun to see that people are finding this pattern and making their very own Hobbeses. That's one lucky kiddo!</p>
<p>he looks so cute</p>
<p>Hi there - I'm not sure if this is you on Etsy - but it sure looks like your pattern:</p><p>https://www.etsy.com/listing/163042612/hobbes-pattern-digital-files?ga_order=most_relevant&amp;ga_search_type=all&amp;ga_view_type=gallery&amp;ga_search_query=tiger%20toy%20sewing%20pattern&amp;ref=sr_gallery_15</p>
<p>Nope, not me. </p><p>That is definitely not my pattern, so more power to the seller.</p><p>It is pretty unethical to sell a pattern for a character you do not own the rights to, though . . . </p><p>Free Hobbeses for everyone, I say!</p>
Your pattern is just delightful and it's just wonderful that you've offered it as a free download. My son loved his hobbes when he was calvin for Halloween :)
My grandson wants to be Calvin for Halloween and rather than take just any old tiger, my daughter sent link to this pattern and asked if I could make it. Don't do much of these things anymore but it was very easy to follow. Made the nose a bit bigger just cuz I liked it better. Hand sewing the stripes was not as daunting as first appeared and made it very easy to place exactly. Had to do the mask for his trick-or-treat night!
<p>Fantastic! Your Hobbes looks great. Glad you were able to make one!</p>
Hobbes for my grandson! Thank you!!
<p>Awesome! Glad you were able to make one!</p>
<p>thank you for this great pattern and instructions, it was easy to follow and construct my 30 year old son sent me this link because of his childhood love of Calvin and Hobbes .Now he has a 2 year old son, the tradition continues! </p>
<p>Your Hobbes is fantastic! I love all the accessories you made for him too. So very nice. </p><p>Totally made my day to see this. Thank you!</p>
<p>Very simple pattern to follow, especially for a beginner like myself. I used softer material for him and was quite pleased with the result. I am hoping to make the tie for him and maybe even a suit jacket if I can figure out how to do that! Thank you so much for this pattern! I think I will be giving this to my friend's new baby, but I might just keep him for myself! ;)</p>
<p>Very nice!</p>
<p>We are really confused with the arms and legs. On the white part, there are two bumps in the pattern, but the picture shows 4 with one continuous strip. But if I were to do that with the pattern, it would be too long. What am I missing? Sorry, I'm a newbie seamstress.</p>
<p>Hi! No worries. </p><p>Theses pattern pieces are <em>half </em>the size of the final needed piece of fabric. The pattern pieces are marked with "On Fold" which means you need to fold the fabric in half and place the pattern pieces with the "On Fold" edge on the fold of the fabric. </p><p>Then you mark and cut out the piece of fabric, and unfold it to reveal the correct, full size.</p><p>Study the photos in step 3 again with that in mind, and it should make sense. Good luck!</p>
<p>Thanks..I kept staring that &quot;on fold&quot; and knew it must be the key to what I wasn't getting.</p>
Pattern relatively easy to follow. Looking forward to making a cape and tie for him. My brother wanted me to make him years ago, and my boyfriend got me to by winning a bet, guess that means my brother will be getting one next...
I just finished mine for my for my son who is due in October! <br><br>I hand stitched all the stripes as suggested. It was a pain but worth it because I was able to control the placement.
<p>Very nice! </p><p>I'm glad you found the pattern and were able to make one. Hand stitching is a royal beast though, ain't it?!! :)</p>
Hand stitching was tedious but totally worth it! <br><br>The pattern was great and easy to follow, thanks for sharing! I made the limb stripes 3/4&quot; and they are in perfect proportion. <br><br>I think it looks very close to the Watterson's illustrations which is what I was going for.
<p>Great pattern! I handsewed Hobbes in a few days for my then 1 month old daughter! She's already slobbered on his ear. I trust they will have many adventures together. </p>
<p>Awesome! Thank you for the photo. Great looking Hobbes, and an even better looking baby!</p>
<p>We've just finished our Doctor Who fez for Hobbes. Next up, his bowtie and suit! Geronimo! </p>
<p>Hey seamster, would I be allowed to sell a Hobbes made from this pattern? Or would I need to come up with my own pattern if I wanted to sell them :)</p>
No, you cannot use this pattern to make a Hobbes that you sell. The pattern shared here is for personal, non-commercial home use only.<br /> <br /> Technically, it would be wrong to make and sell a Hobbes doll from any pattern, period . . . because neither you or I own the rights to the character.<br /> <br /> You could do it of course (there are a handful of Hobbeses on etsy right now, including this&nbsp;<a href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/217959696/hobbes-plush-doll?ga_order=most_relevant&amp;ga_search_type=all&amp;ga_view_type=gallery&amp;ga_search_query=hobbes&amp;ref=sr_gallery_28">very poorly made one</a>&nbsp;that clearly uses my pattern!), but it's wrong to benefit financially from selling handmade items based on characters that you do not own the rights to. Just my two cents :)<br />
<p>would really love to make him. need the pattern but i cant go pro. can anyone email me the pdf ? email is kinglyrick95@gmail.com </p><p>we dont own a card so we cant do such stuff so easily</p>
You do not need a pro account to get the attached file. It is in the top comment in the comment section. Good luck on your Hobbes, and be sure to post a photo when you are finished with it! :)
<p>I am making your pattern. I was THRILLED to find it!!!! I thank you SO VERY MUCH for the time and effort you expended in documenting all of your steps so well! </p><p>I am just getting started and am wondering your thoughts about a couple of modifications I am considering. I am thinking about sewing the stripes onto the arms, legs, and tail before stitching them closed and stuffing them. I also considered making the limb stripes 1/2&quot; rather than 3/4&quot;. You have obviously given extensive time, thought, and research to your pattern. I wonder what your personal take is on those thoughts.</p><p>Again, THANK YOU SO MUCH!! My son (a grown man) will LOVE this! He grew up with all the Calvin and Hobbes books - we are all huge fans. </p>
<p>Hi!</p><p>A few people have asked this, and I've given the answer a few times in the comments I think :) But basically, I tried sewing the stripes on ahead of time and they looked all wonky and uneven once the limbs were stuffed, rather than smooth and good as when stitched on by hand. </p>
<p>i'm sorry i didn't see the other comments. thanks for the response! i see your results and trust your judgement. (my fingers are going to be so sore!)</p>
<p>Thanks so much for the pattern, I am really happy with the way Hobbes turned out. </p>
<p>Your hobbes looks great, thanks for sharing you photo!</p>

About This Instructable


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Bio: I got an old sewing machine when I was just a kid, and I've been hooked on making stuff ever since. My name is ... More »
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