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.
seamster (author) 5 months ago
For anyone having trouble finding the link to the pattern, here it is:

seamster's Stuffed Hobbes Pattern
epandise made it!5 days 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)  epandise4 days ago

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

ashaloo21 days 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)  ashaloo21 days 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!

MashaRaczynski made it!22 days 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).


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

seamster (author)  MashaRaczynski21 days ago

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

Thanks for sharing the photos!

For the stripes what do you mean by 1/2 and the other measurements? Is it centimetres or something?
seamster (author)  MilesGreenway24 days 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)  MilesGreenway24 days 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!1 month 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!

chockbreezy1 month 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)  Daisychaingirl3 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)  Daisychaingirl2 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)  Daisychaingirl2 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!

danoomite2 months ago

Thanks for posting this instructable aswell as the patterns! Made this for my girlfriend for valentines day with no experience to sewing took about 2 and a half weeks of sewing! Turned out a little wonky but she loved it! Thank you so much!

seamster (author)  danoomite2 months ago

Nice! A homemade Hobbes makes a great gift. Hope she appreciated your effort!

This is great just like the stuffed animal version of hobbes in the comic!

jsoules2 months ago
You're an amazing person. Thank you for posting this so I could make one for my grandson Calvin. I'm on iOS so I can't see how to post a photo. Will try later- thank you again!!
seamster (author)  jsoules2 months ago

You're very welcome. And thank you for the kind comment! Your grandson will love his Hobbes for many years.

ywang92 months ago
Here is a picture of my completed Hobbes! This was my very first attempt making a plush and have to say it turned out good. Thank you so much for the excellent instructable! Since I don't own a sewing machine I did everything by hand. Next time I will definitely invest in one!
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seamster (author)  ywang92 months ago

Excellent work! Thank you for the photo. You should definitely pick up a sewing machine. I recommend getting a solid older model. They can be had for very little, or even free if you're lucky. Most just need a good cleaning and they're ready to go. Good luck!

Luwho142 months ago

First off, thank you for the pattern! I firmly believe that everyone needs a Hobbes. I decided to be a little over ambitious and make THREE Hobbes over Christmas break (two for my two brothers and one for my cousin Calvin). I haven't sewn since I was in junior high, and I've never sewn anything like this before (plus my kitty was SUPER helpful through the whole process by diving on the pattern and chasing the thread while I was sewing). After I don't even know how many hours and some sore fingers, here's how they turned out. Also, my nieces apparently decided he needed a red polka dot dress to go along with his mask and scarf, and they've already thrown him three birthday parties.

seamster (author)  Luwho142 months ago

Those are awesome! I always get a kick out of seeing people's Hobbeses; it totally makes my day. They look very well done. Nice work!

I just want to say thanks for the fantastic pattern. I made it for my baby girl for her first Christmas, and it was a huge success. As you can see from the pictures, she loves it. Thanks again!

seamster (author)  evangelinesmom3 months ago

Hobbes looks great and your daughter is adorable. Nice work on both!

Thank you for sharing the photos. I'm glad you found the pattern and were able to make a Hobbes for your little girl!

Any tips for the stripes? :\
seamster (author)  knexinventions 493 months ago
Nah, nothing more than I've already written. Well, maybe this one:

Patience you must have, my young Padawan.

That's just an all-around good tip for life. And it applies very well to sewing on Hobbes's stripes.
'Bout how much fabric should I get?
seamster (author)  knexinventions 493 months ago
You'll need about 1/3 yard of orange, a little less of white, and some small bits of black.
Thanks! I'm on the head now. This rocks!!
seamster (author)  knexinventions 493 months ago
Nice. Stick with it. The stripes may be a little tedious if you're hand sewing them. Some people have tried gluing them on, but it's just not quite the same. Post a photo here when you're done, ok? I'd love to see it!
opus26213 months ago
I got him finished just in time and my husband adores him. Hobbes went with us when we visited my family for Christmas and now my BIL wants one too! I'm not experienced at all with following a sewing pattern, but you made it quite simple. Thank you so very much!
seamster (author)  opus26213 months ago
Excellent! I love the photo. Glad you were able to make your own hobbes!
rebslee3 months ago
Finished mine just in time for Christmas! A gift for my 8-year old kid who is a HUGE fan of C & H.

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