Totoro, the big lovable forest spirit featured in Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro (if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it!!) is a classic and cute costume for any sort of anime or comic con. This tutorial teaches you how to make a cute Totoro beanie, complete with side flaps to keep your ears warm. One of the flaps even has a little zippered pocket to hold all your must-have items!
Note: This tutorial is very similar to this Penguin Beanie DIY, but is slightly more complicated because of the side flaps and the pocket.
Outer and Inner Layers
- Cut out two grey semicircles and two white semicircles. Mine are about 6 inches tall and 11 inches wide; include a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Make sure that fabric stretches horizontally so that it can accommodate many head sizes.
- Fold each semicircle in half and cut out a triangular dart from the center. This dart helps make the hat 3-dimensional.
- Sew along the dart. Do this for each of the four semicircles
Face and Ears
- Sew the face onto the right side of one of the gray semicircles. Use a picture if you need inspiration for Totoro’s face.
- Cut out two diamond shapes for the ears and sew all around, leaving the base open.
- Turn the ears right side out and stuff lightly. If you want the ears to stay up straight, you can add wires in them for support.
Compiling the Outer Layer
- Places the ears on the face semicircle, pointing inwards. Each ear should be slightly angled inwards and their tips should touch.
- Place the back semicircle on top of the ears, right sides facing in. At this point, there should be a sandwich of semicircle – ears – semicircle.
- Sew around the semicircle, leaving the base open.
The Pocket (Note, this is completely optional, but I think it adds a really unique touch to the hat :))
- Cut out a piece of fabric on fold that is as long as the hat. The side of this shape should be half triangles in order to form the ear flaps. Make sure to leave room for seam allowance!
- Measure the desired length of the zipper and adjust the zipper as desire. Check out this tutorial here if you need help with zippers!
- Install the zipper into the gray piece of fabric.
- Cut out a white piece of fabric identical to the gray. Sew along the bottom edge of both these pieces, right sides facing in. Do NOT sew the unfolded side.
- After the bottom edge is sewn, place the unsewn edges of the pieces together, right sides facing in. Sew along this edge. This will close of the hat edge.
Putting Everything Together!
- At this point you should have a grey semicircle with ears and a face, a white semicircle, and the edge of the hat, pocket sewn in.
- Place the white lining inside the grey semicircle with right side facing outward. Fold the edge of the hat so that the white part flips over. Line the lowest edge of the rim with the edge of the hat. Sew around. At this point, pinning helps to make sure the numerous layers don’t shift. DO NOT SEW THE WHITE IN AS WELL.
- Flip the rim over and tuck in the white. Sew around the hat again, matching the new stitches to the old stitches to put in the rim.
That’s it! You now have your very own Totoro hat, complete with warm ear flaps and a tiny pocket. Add as many pockets as you like, and be creative with the design!