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.