After seeing audratron's amazing knitted totoro hat (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=49162.0
), I thought to myself "I want to make that! But not knitted." So I made the amazing UNknitted version. Here are the pictures:
somewhat blurry closeup of the ears:
I made it out of scraps from a dress that seems like boiled wool. The features and the leaf are made out of felt. Although not entirely visable, I embroidered little whiskers on both sides. It has two extra-warm earflaps and ties with cords made out of twisted gray yarn. I used a little bit of stuffing in the leaf and the ears to make them more poofy. So...whaddya think?
Because of people's requests, I added this little tutorial. I have no pictures of me making this, but just ask if you need to see a diagram or something. (Unfortunately the hat was a present for my sister, so I can't model it for you. But I'll ask her to send me some pics so you can see it on a person.)What you need:
warm gray fabric (I used wool)
craft felt: one square black, one square white, two squares green
yarn or string for the ties
white, black, and green thread (my fabric was dark enough to use the black thread for sewing the hat, but you may wish to use a matching gray)
black embroidery threadHow to:
1. Measure your head all the way around, and from front to back. Divide the first measurement by 4 (this is the base of your triangle) and divide the second measurement by 2 (this is the height of your triangle). Draw your triangle on a piece of paper for your pattern. The sides of the triangle should curve outwards (you can always adjust it later). The bigger the curve, the wider your hat will be. These will make up the basic hat form. Use your pattern to cut out four of these triangles from your gray fabric.
2. Sew the triangles together in twos along one side. You should now have two half-spheres.
3. Now you need to make the ears. On a piece of paper, draw the ear shape (you can see this in the bottom closeup). It's a kind of arrow, with a base and a point. Cut out four of these shapes from the gray fabric. Now cut out four little tufts for either side of the ears (again, see the bottom picture for reference). These are basically a rectangle with a triangular bit cut out of one end. Try comparing them with your ear shapes to make sure they're the right size.
4. Pin two ear shapes together with a tuft sticking out either side of the base, right beneath the point. (I chose to leave my seams exposed here but you could always have the tufts pointing inward and then flip the ears inside-out to hide the seams. Your choice!) Starting at one side of the base, sew until you reach the bottom part of the point on the other side. Poke a tiny bit of stuffing into the point to make it poofy. Then continuing sewing the ear closed. Repeat for the other ear.
5. Pin your two half-spheres together, positioning the ears at equal distances from the center. The two center seams should meet in the middle. Remember: you're sewing inside out, so the ears are actually pointing downward into the interior of the hat. When you're done sewing, turn the hat inside out, and try it on your head. Make adjustments to the size as needed. (The ears I made are actually kind of floppy, since I didn't want them to be poking straight up. You could make them stand up more by using more stuffing, making the base shorter, or even putting in some florists' wire.)
6. Fold the edge of your hat over and hem all the way around.
7. Now we make the ear flaps. On a piece of paper, draw a triangle shape. (These are regular triangles, without the curved sides). Measure it against your head to make sure it fully covers your ears. Cut out four of these shapes. Pin two of them together to make one ear-flap. Pin the string or tie at the point of the triangle, so that the long part of the tie goes between the two pieces. Now sew around the edge, sewing several times over the string to reinforce it. Repeat for the second ear-flap.
8. Pin the ear flaps on opposite sides (try the hat on to make sure they're in the right place) and sew them on.
9. Now for the fun part! Cut out two large circles from the white felt and two smaller circles from the black felt. These are your eyes. Position the pupils where you want (I made my Totoro looking off to one side) and sew them in place with the black thread. Now, here's the sneaky part: if you're using a sewing machine, change the top thread to white, but leave the bobbin thread as black. Pin the eyes in place and sew them on. The thread should be invisible from both sides, inside and out.
10. Cut out a squat triangle for the nose (see pictures for reference) and sew it in the middle, using black thread for top and bottom.
11. Now we make the leaf. Put the two pieces of green felt on top of each other and cut out a leaf shape. Cut out a rectangle for the stem. Try testing it on the hat to make sure it fits between the ears. Now change the top thread in the machine to green, but leave the bottom thread as black. Pin the two leaves together, with the stem sticking out the bottom. (Again, my seams are exposed here but you could choose to do it a different way.) Starting at the base of the leaf, sew around. When you are 3/4 of the way around, put some stuffing into the leaf to make it poofy. Continue sewing the leaf shut. Sew from the base of the leaf to the point in a straight line to give the impression of a stem in the center.
12. Pin the leaf onto the top of the hat. I decided to put the point of the leaf off to one side to give it more of a jaunty appearance. Sew all around the leaf on top of the seam you just created. Leave the stem sticking up.
13. Ok, you're almost done! Take out your black embroidery thread and embroider three little whiskers on either side of the face.
Ta-da! You're finished! Enjoy your beatiful new hat!