Stuffed Hobbes (with pattern)

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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. This year for Christmas, 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 can't 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. It is for personal, non-commercial use only.

My son loves his Hobbes and has been happily dragging him around for weeks. Thanks for taking a look at this. If you make one, please post a photo in the comments.

Update! If you need a great costume to make for your kid to go along with this Hobbes doll, check out my Stupendous Man costume instructable! It's easy and your Hobbes-totin' kid will love it.
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Step 1: Pattern

Picture of 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 cardstock.

You will need orange, black, and white fleece, with thread of the same colors. 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.
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seamster (author) 8 months ago
For anyone having trouble finding the link to the pattern, here it is:

seamster's Stuffed Hobbes Pattern
SpasticPhantasy made it!10 days ago

Thank you so much for this! I came across this about two weeks before Father's Day and on a whim I decided to go for it. (I'd never done anything like this before and only done a few bags for sewing projects.) My husband grew up with the comics and has a whole shelf of books of them. Not sure how long it took me since I mainly did it at night after he went to bed. He's already taken him on two trips when our girls and I couldn't go with him. A much loved Hobbes. Thanks again!

seamster (author)  SpasticPhantasy10 days ago

Very nice! Glad you found the pattern and were able to make one. Thanks for the photos!

mikieat100 made it!12 days ago

Here is my version based on the pattern, Please note this is the first time I have ever made a plush doll (or anything that requires sewing to be honest) It took me about 20 hours.

seamster (author)  mikieat10012 days ago

Alright! This has got to be a pretty difficult first sewing project, so I'm glad to see you stuck with it. Thanks for sharing the photos!

tigerfood15 days ago

Thank you so much for creating and sharing this! My whole family is a big fan of Calvin and Hobbes (my username comes from a comic where Calvin asks why humans were put on earth, and Hobbes replies "tiger food"), and I plan on making this for my nephew.

One question: is there any reason not to machine-sew on some of the stripes before constructing the body parts, like you did with the white belly?

seamster (author)  tigerfood15 days ago
Good question. The answer is yes, or at least it was for me.

I tried sewing the stripes on before hand, but it stretched the fabric all weird and didn't provide a nice clean look when stuffed. It was stretched funny and lumpy. You could try it this way, and you may get different results than I did. Either way, good luck! Let me know how it goes.
kirstygirl17 days ago

I have twins so I made two. The pattern was super easy to follow... thank you! By far, hand-stitching the stripes was the hardest part... although it wasn't hard, just time consuming! Thanks again!

Arrhtheis made it!28 days ago

Thank you for this fantastic instructable, seamster! I had been looking for something special to make my girlfriend for her 21st and this Hobbes pattern just leaped out at me ;-) Congratulations for creating such an authentic looking Hobbes in a simple, easy to follow instructable.

Fab11 month ago

Thanks for the pattern! It was lots of work but he looks beautiful! all done by hand!

Photo on 14-06-22 at 4.31 PM.jpg
Anneannie1 month ago

I made a super sized one, thanks very much for uploading the patterns.

Sorry for the re-post didn´t know how to attach the photo o.o

seamster (author)  Anneannie1 month ago

That is a very large Hobbes. Nice work!

hphumlebaek made it!1 month ago

Now, I have also made Hobbes (called "Stoffer" in Danish)

Stoffer 3.JPG
seamster (author)  hphumlebaek1 month ago
Awesome! Very nicely done. I like the fuzzy plush fabric you used! Somebody will enjoy this for years to come!

Thanks, it was made for a 14-year old guy for his confirmation and is a "substitue" of a very small tiger, that I jused at his christening in order to comfort him - now he hopefully has a comfort for a long time :-) By the way, I am his godmother.

sassechic302 months ago
​Thank you for posting this! My son has been a Calvin and Hobbes fan for a long time. For his 16th birthday he requested this Hobbes. I haven't sewn anything in decades but with a little patience, I finished all those stripes. I used a plush material and he loves it! I think it makes it extra-special that you can't buy one and it's made with love. ;) Thanks for the excellent attention to detail.
14, 9:04 PM.jpg
seamster (author)  sassechic302 months ago

Awesome! He looks so soft and cuddly. I'm glad you found the pattern and were able to make one for your son. He'll treasure it his whole life. Thank you for taking the time to post a photo and leave a note! Seeing peoples' Hobbeses and getting this kind of feedback always makes my day.

MashaRaczynski made it!3 months ago

Hello. Thanks for the pattern, it was really easy to make Hobbes with your instructions! I made two: regular size, and a mini hobbes that is about 12cm (4.7 inches). I used plush instead of fleece, and did everything by hand. Plush really hides the seams well. Big Hobbes took about one 50x50cm orange piece of plush, one 50x50cm black and half of 50x50cm of white or so (and there was enough left for the tiny guy).


these are brilliant. I don't have the skills for making this but would be happy to pay if you would be willing to sell/ make for a present for someone who adores Hobbes?? :-)

Awww, he is so perfect looking!! And the plush is an EXCELLENT idea. Not sure I woulda thought of that one. Thanks!

seamster (author)  MashaRaczynski3 months ago

Those are excellent! I love the little one. Very nice work.

Thanks for sharing the photos!

I'm having so much trouble with this. Do you think you can list this online to sell?

seamster (author)  TheSewingMaster2 months ago

Hi, I'm sorry you're having trouble with it. I don't make and sell Hobbes dolls because the character and likeness belong to Bill Watterson, the author of the comic strip.

Do you have a friend or relative that can help you out? Maybe trade them a case of beer or something for their effort. Sorry I can't offer any more help that what I've already posted. Good luck!

epandise made it!3 months ago

I am not much of a seamstress, but I made this lil guy for as a prop for a college play and he fit the bill perfectly. Took about 4 days (in between classes and such) of hand stitching his body together, and for the sake of time I hot-glued the stripes and then reinforced them with stitches so they wouldn't lift up. I couldn't find white fleece, so I had to use felt for his belly and muzzle. They got kind of pilly (especially in rehearsal where there was sawdust about), but he held up through a week of rehearsing and four shows! (sorry for the wonky angles on the pictures)

10169271_292751890883415_8733967770429056871_n.jpg2014-04-02 17.05.22.jpg
seamster (author)  epandise3 months ago

Glad you found the pattern and were able to use it. Thanks for the comment and photos!

ashaloo3 months ago

OH MY GOODNESS!!! I've been searching high and low for a good, AUTHENTIC looking Hobbes pattern for my son for his C&H themed 1st birthday party! I absolutely CANNOT wait to go and get supplies to make this. I think I might try plush like some others have done; he loves soft blankets and toys. But who knows, I'm notoriously indecisive at the fabric store, lol!

Thanks again and I'll try to post a photo once I've done it!

seamster (author)  ashaloo3 months ago

I found myself looking high and low for a good pattern several years ago too. And I never did find one, so I finally had to make my own. I'm glad you found it!

Stretch your fingers well, because there's a lot of hand sewing ahead. Good luck, I can't wait to see the finished product!

MilesGreenway4 months ago
For the stripes what do you mean by 1/2 and the other measurements? Is it centimetres or something?
seamster (author)  MilesGreenway4 months ago


Note the little quote symbol, that refers to inches. 1/2", or one half-inch is about 1.3 cm. This is the width of the uppermost stripes on his legs. The other arm and leg stripes are 3/4" which is about 1.9 cm. Does that help?

Yeah thanks for the quick reply
seamster (author)  MilesGreenway3 months ago

Great, glad I could help. If you make one post a photo to show it off, whether it turns out good or bad!

Good luck, glad you found this.

Ryburrr made it!4 months ago

FINALLY finished this little guy. Used furry fabric and a 50% template size, so I ended up hand stitching nearly everything! First project of this nature, so not professional work, but I think the GF will be happy with it!

chockbreezy4 months ago
Awesome! Is there anyway I could get you to make me one? Mine didn't turn out so good. I want one to look perfect like yours

Hello! Thankyou so much for posting this pattern. I'm really excited to make it! I was just wondering if you could explain the head pleats please? I feel silly but I really don't understand what is happening in the photo with the pleats. Thankyou :)

seamster (author)  Daisychaingirl6 months ago

See the little wedges marked on the orange head pieces in the photos? You need to fold the fabric over on each one of these, and sew the fabric together creating a small pleat, or dart, as shown in photos 4 and 5.

This makes the piece more rounded, creating the head shape once you sew the two halves together. Photo 4 shows these little pleats very well, both inside and out.

Oh wow, that makes so much sense now! Thankyou and for the speedy reply too! :D

seamster (author)  Daisychaingirl6 months ago
No problem! Glad to help. Any more questions, let me know. When you're done, be sure to post a photo of your Hobbes! I'd love to see how he turns out.

Sorry for the super later reply but here is a photo of my hobbes. I had to make do with certain materials but I'm still happy with the way he turned out- for a first time effort. He was an anniversary present for my boyfriend along with 'The Complete Calvin and Hobbes'. :) I want to say Thankyou again for sharing the pattern and instructions with us :)

seamster (author)  Daisychaingirl5 months ago

You're very welcome. Thank you for sharing the photo. I'm sure your boyfriend was thrilled--that's a thoughtful gift I'm sure he appreciated!

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