Introduction: Totoro Plush

Pattern and sewing instructions for a 9" Totoro with eyes open or closed three spots or seven.

Note: This pattern creates a plushie with a flat back. I created this pattern with the intention to size it up for a giant bean bag chair.

Note 2: The instructions are illustrated using a reverse coloring scheme.


  • F:F - Front of the fabric of one piece lays against the front of the fabric of the other piece
  • B:F - Back of the fabric of the smaller piece against the front of the fabric of the larger assembly you are applying it to

Easy Modifications:

  • Make Totoro sleepy by changing the pupils from circles to curved, long thin ovals that almost span the length of the Eye pattern
  • Increase the tail size
  • Increase the size of the ears
  • Change up the color scheme


  • All three PDFs downloaded
  • 2 different colors of fabric (I think it'll take 2 yards of each color)
  • A small amount of stiff fabric for the arm and toe claws ~ 2" x 3"
  • Additional small amount of fabric for the eye pupils and whiskers if you don't want them matching the overall color scheme ~ 2" x 3"
  • Another small amount of fabric for the eye whites if you don't want them matching the overall color scheme ~ 1" x 2"
  • Stuffing: plush and/or bean bag beans
  • Sewing machine or thread and needle

Step 1: Create Pattern

  1. Print out the PDFs of the sewing patterns at 100%. There are inch and centimeter lines on all three. Make sure they match their value (if you want the full-size plush).
  2. Cut out the pattern from the printer paper.
  3. Cut out pieces of the fabric per the number of each required
    1. Be sure to leave a seam allowance around all pieces except for:
      1. Whisker
      2. Toe Claw
      3. Claw
      4. Spot
      5. Nose
      6. Pupil
      7. Eye
      8. Footpad
    2. When cutting out the two Arms, they need to be handed so either fold over fabric when cutting or flip the pattern over for the second piece.
    3. There are colored dots marking the main dark/light color scheme.
    4. Dotted lines indicate where the pattern is to go onto a folded over piece of fabric
    5. Blue rectangles mark on the pattern alignment points needed for later with the letters marking the partners to line up
    6. Suggested fabric orientation is marked with double arrows

Step 2: Sew the Face Assembly

Pattern pieces:

  • Snout
  • Cheek x2
  • Forehead
  1. Sew all cheek darts (F:F)
  2. Sew cheek to forehead (F:F)
    1. CAUTION: There is an orientation to the forehead piece, make sure that the "Front" of the forehead piece is lined up with the curved portion of the cheek and the "Back" of the forehead is toward the flat edge of the cheek. If you get it backwards, it'll just give you a different look to your Totoro so it's not worth redoing.
  3. Repeat for the second cheek (F:F)
  4. Sew the Snout to Face Assembly matching up the letters (F:F)
  5. Sew the Snout dart

Step 3: Sew the Front Body Assembly

Pattern Pieces:

  • Front Body
  • Belly
  • Face Assembly
  1. Sew Front Body Darts (F:F)
    1. There are 8
  2. Sew Belly to Front Body (F:F)
    1. D to the top of the belly
    2. E to each peaked corner of the belly
  3. Sew Belly dart to F tabs (F:F)
    1. Be sure to carefully match up the the bottom of the belly, otherwise you won't get a perfect circle
  4. Sew Face Assembly to Front Body Assembly matching up the letters (F:F)

Step 4: Sewing on the Ears

Pattern Pieces:

  • Ears (x4)
  • Front Body Assembly
  1. Sew 2 Ears pieces together (F:F)
  2. Turn right-side out
  3. Take one side of the ear and sew a line about 0.5" at its center (sew the dashed lines together)
    1. Note: For a softer, less stiff ear, sew the line closer to the outside
  4. If you haven't already, cut slits in the cheek sections at the rectangular hole location on the pattern
  5. Place the Ear part of the way through the slit (from the front), just far enough to see it and be able to catch it with thread
  6. Sew on the Ear (F:F)
  7. Repeat steps 1-6 with the remaining two Ear pieces

Note: I found a chopstick was a key tool in turning the ears right-side out

Step 5: Sew on the Applique Features

Pattern Pieces

  • Spots (x3 or x7)
  • Eyes (x2)
  • Pupils (x2)
  • Nose
  • Whiskers (x4)
  • Footpads (x2)
  • Toe Claws (x2)
  • Front Body Assembly
  1. Applique on the features one by one (B:F)
    1. Match the thread color to whichever piece is the lightest
    2. Eyes must be sewn on before the pupils!


  • I recommend laying out your features on your Front Body, with the body as fleshed out into 3D as you can manage to get the placement the way you want
  • Footpads are located between the two darts at the very bottom, closest to the seam in the middle
  • Leave at least a seam allowance's distance between the Footpads and the edge of the bottom of the Front Body
  • I recommend sewing only part of the way of the whiskers, leaving the tips free to flutter
  • I only sewed the bottom of the toe claws and let the tips stay free
  • Feel free to modify the shapes to give the expression you most want. If you want your Totoro asleep like my reversed-color one, change the pupils to slightly curved long ovals instead of using circles

Step 6: Sew on the Arms

Pattern Pieces:

  • Claws (x2)
  • Paws (x2)
  • Arms (x2)
  • Front Body Assembly
  1. Sew 1 Paw and 1 Claws to 1 Arm with the claws nestled upright against the arm, sandwiched between the Arms and Paw (see images for clarification)
    1. Paw and Arm will be F:F
    2. Claw and Arm will be F:F
    3. Claw and Paw will be B:F
  2. Turn out Arm
  3. Sew Arm to Face (flat edge of Arm to exposed flat edge of Cheek)
    1. CAUTION: Arms are handed, make sure you are sewing it to the correct side by matching the curvature
  4. Sew Arm to Front Body BUT ONLY halfway through the Paw
  5. Repeat Steps 1-4 for the other Arm assembly

Step 7: Sew on the Tail

Pattern Pieces:

  • Tail (x2)
  • Front Body Assembly
  • Back
  1. Sew 1 Tail to Front Body Assembly under one of the Arms (your choice) (F:F)
  2. Sew other Tail to Back (F:F)
    1. CAUTION: Make sure it's on the correct side and about as far from the nub as you put the front Tail from the Arm
  3. Sew just the Tail pieces together (F:F)
    1. Keep the area where the Tails are connected to the Front and Back open
  4. Turn the Tail right-side out and stuff it

Step 8: Back and Finish

Pattern Pieces

  • Back
  • Front Assembly
  1. Match up Head Marks - Letter to Letter (F:F)
  2. Match up Crotch Marks - Letter to Letter (F:F)
  3. Match up Feet Marks - Letter to Letter (F:F)
  4. Match up Back nubs to unsewn portion of the Paws (F:F)
  5. Make sure that the Paws, Ears, and Tail are all inside, between the Front Assembly and Back
  6. Finish matching up the Front Assembly to the Back
  7. Sew the entire Front to Back Assembly leaving a 2 - 3 inch gap under one of the Arms and above the P Lettered Front Body dart
    1. Be sure to skip the area that the Tail is connected to the body. If you sew that opening shut, it'll make for a floppy tail.
  8. Turn right-side out
  9. Stuff
  10. Sew up stuffing gap

Note: You can shape the Face and Arms to a certain extent based on how much stuffing you put in those locations

CONGRATULATIONS! You have your own Totoro to cuddle.