Sew & Tell: Totoro Costume

See the full Totoro Costume Tutorial HERE!

**I do not make Totoro Costumes for sale. **   *UPDATE: Since this post has been getting a lot of views, I figure I should at least add one photo of the finished hood.  This post was published with photos from her first fitting and after these were taken, I decided to add the whiskers and the leaf.  You can read more about that in this tutorial.  Hope you like it!* This year, I really wanted to make Yuki’s costume, but we could not decide for a long time what she should be.  We threw around some ideas, but none of them really excited me.  I’ve had this idea of dressing Yuki up as Totoro for a long time (since she was born?), but was worried that no one would know what she was.  But since I couldn’t think of anything better, I decided to go for it.  So what if I would have to explain a hundred times who she was supposed to be!  At least she would be adorable and original . . . right? Well, I finished most of the costume EARLY this year (meaning not the night before or morning of) and I’m a little unsure of how I feel about it.  It came out better than I expected in some ways and not as cute as I imagined in other ways.  In terms of the construction, I’m pleased.  I’d never made a full body suit before.  I’d never done an outfit with sleeves.  Or made a hood.  I just kinda made it up as I went along and it surprisingly worked out alright.  Actually, better than alright, it came out looking pretty damn clean.  On the other hand, it doesn’t look like Totoro to me.  I think there is something wrong with the shape.  Or the face.  Or the proportions.  I’m not quite sure and I might have to do a little more fiddling around (eek, that means I’m not actually done yet!), so maybe you can give me some feedback. I’m actually so impressed that I was able to get these pics of Yuki.  She does NOT like hoods or hats.  She generally rips them off the second we put them on.  I’d tried to get this hat on her a few times while sewing to see if it fit and she hated it.  She wouldn’t even let me get near her with it towards the end.  But I realized that if you keep her really really distracted, she won’t notice it for quite awhile. So in case you don’t know who Totoro is, he is a character from a Japanese animated movie, となりのトトロ or My Neighbor Totoro.  Although it’s a foreign film, there are quite a few people in the states that have seen it.  Here he is! So cute, right?!  Ok ok, so here’s our little Totoro . . .

Something about this costume reminds me of Max from Where the Wild Things Are.  It’s well suited for making mischief!

I’m actually hoping that it’ll be cold on Halloween because this costume is made out of fleece and SUPER warm!  I need to make some adjustments, but here are some of the basic details of the costume.  Overall, it’s a pretty simple design that I based off of Yuki’s pajamas.

I zig zag stitched the chevrons on the chest and the white tummy to the rest of the suit.  This was the first part of the costume I sewed, and the first thing I sewed on my brand new machine.  It was dreamy 🙂

Instead of a zipper and snap in the front, I moved it to the back.

I also added elastic to the wrists and ankles and snaps to the legs for easy diaper changes.

For the hood, I used a hooded jacket to trace the shape.  I cut two pieces and sewed them together, then made the snap collar thing with a long rectangle.  I made ears (and the tail) with scraps of fleece and stuffed it with poly-fil.  Then I hand sewed the ears and face on.

I want to add whiskers to the costume.  Any ideas for what I can use??  I want to use something smaller and not as sharp as pipe cleaners.  Maybe some yarn with fabric stiffener?  I’m taking suggestions.

Now I gotta work on my costume.  It’s going to be super simple this year.  What are you going to be for Halloween??


214 thoughts on “Sew & Tell: Totoro Costume

  1. Pingback: Tutorial: Making Whiskers and Bendable Parts | you and mie

    • Your costume is amazing!! It came out so well, I can’t believe you’ve never sewn before! When we went out, we got a pretty mixed reaction – people either recognized her immediately, or had no clue. Oh well!

  2. I LOVE your totoro costume. 😉 my husband and I really want our son to be totoro for Halloween this coming 2012. 😉 do u by any chance sell these? Or can you tell me where to get the fleece onesie? Thank you!

  3. Pingback: Totoro Toddler Cosplay |

  4. Pingback: » Adorable Toddler in Totoro Costume

  5. Hi lucy, that was an amazing experience just scrolling down aha. I was disappointed when I realized that you can’t buy one): . If you ever make another one I would be happy to buy one.

  6. this is so cute! it be a little cuter w/ a puffy big tummy, teehee! but, even so my little baby saw this & regardless you think its not totoro, she said “TOTO” .. her way of saying totoro : ) . i, too have always wanted my baby to be totoro & worried others will not recognize her.. but, who cares! this is awesome! is there any chance to have you make one or sell one? i would love to have my baby as totoro!

  7. Pingback: The Cutest Totoro Costume [Cosplay]

  8. Pingback: My Tiny Totoro | PathtoAtaraxia

  9. BEST COSTUME EVER! “Toto-lly” in love with it. My daughter LOVES Totoro, and you I’m so doing this. Thanks for the inspiration. I wish I could just pay you to make it for my little 2 year old. Seriously, GREAT JOB.


  10. Pingback: The Cutest Totoro Costume [Cosplay] | My Blog

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  12. Awesome costume! Me and my partner are expecting a baby in September and you have inspired me to sew a little Totoro costume for it. I was looking for something to base it off and this is perfect! Amazing work, thank you!

  13. Hey! I was wondering if you sell costumes? I was wondering because I want one for my brother in laws son for halloween this year.

  14. I would like to order for my friend’s son 1 year old birthday this May..!! He is kinda big for 1 years old boy, Can I have your email address to contact you please? Thank youuuu

  15. After seeing the pictures of your daughter somewhere else in the Internet, I wanted to find one for my new-born daughter … It is pity that I recognize that it was the one-and-only-one hand-made clothes after reading your blog …

    BTW, I would say you are a very great mum … keep going ~!

  16. Your costume is adorable! I was just wondering how exactly you sewed the ears on. Did you see in a circle or cut holes in the hood?


  17. Hi! I sent you an email couples of weeks ago. My son is a fan of Totoro (he wants to see the film 3 times a day and he tries to sing the sonds in japanese, seriously) and I would like to see if you sell this custome…Rafael will love one. Thanks! Silvina

    • Hi Silvina – I’m sorry, but I never received an email from you! My daughter loves this movie so much too! I am not selling the costume right now though – sorry!!

  18. This is so incredibly cute. My 18-month-old daughter LOVES Totoro, and would go nuts for the outfit, I will try to make one the same. Thanks for the inspiration, you are very clever.

  19. Excuse me~ May I ask how is the price??
    Does this item keep selling??
    I very like your works!!!!!
    Thank you ~

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  22. what an adorable costume! I wish I was young enough to get away with wearing one, I think at 25 years old though I might get a few odd looks if I walked down the street in a Totoro costume. Thanks for sharing this – it is absolutely amazing!

  23. so adorable! I wish you did had the pattern to make it, I have a 2 yr old and he absolutely loooves this movie, would love to get him this costume. if is ok email me if you be willing to sell me one or even just the pattern. THANK YOU.

  24. Pingback: Totoro Costume – Dress Up Kawaii | Hawaii Kawaii Blog

  25. oooohhhhh… she’s so cute! and the costume is very fabulous!! You have a great work! I would like to dress my boy with this totoro costume, I love totoro!

  26. This makes me miss living in Korea! (I secretly have a big person sized zebra suit! Whoops, did I write that out loud?)
    I love your stuff, so creative! Have just started my own handmade business this year… partly inspired by my experiences in Asia… Oh, now I want to eat kimchi! Keep up the cute work!

  27. My goodness this is the second cutest thing I havee seen today (the cutest being my 4 month old giggling hysterically after I sneezed). I have been thinking of making him a Totoro custume… Pretty much since I found out I was pregnant, but I was never sure if it would work… You have proven to me that it can, very well! Wonderful costume 🙂

  28. Hi, I like the totoro costume so much. May I get one from you? My son is now 3 months only. Wishing to let him wear around six months and a year. May I know the price and the estimated price for this costume? The costume is so cute and can’t wait to own one.

  29. Hello!! Thank you for all of your inquiries but the Totoro costume is not currently for sale! I hope to be able to make a pattern available for sale eventually (so you can make your own) and maaaaybe one day I’ll take orders for more costumes, but as of now, they are not available. Sorry!

  30. Thank you much for sharing! Awesome costume. Wante to know though, how in the world did you get the ears to stick up like that!? I can’t really find any help anywhere that doesn’t involve wire, plastic headbands, and extra extra interfacing. Would really appreciate the tip! Working on a costume with the same kind d ears, and I’m being OCD, I need the to stick upwards. Thanks do much!

    • Hello!! So to get the ears to stick up straight, I first sewed together the front and the back of the ears and turned them right side out, then stuffed them really full. This will help them look nice and stiff and straight. Then, the bottom opening should look like a circle and I hand sewed the ear in a circle to the hood. If you try to close the opening and sew it in a line the ear will just flop over. But if you sew the edges of the opening in a circle and make sure to pull the thread really tight, the ear should stand up. I hope this makes sense and I hope it helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!!

  31. Will you be selling a pattern soon?? This is the BEST totoro costume! My hubby’s in Japan and he said he couldn’t find a better one than yours. I am set on making this for my lil boy for Halloween (he’ll be 1 yr by then and he’s a chunk 🙂 so your toddler pattern would be perfect! I know it will take me a couple months to make this costume (beginning sewer here), so if you wouldn’t mind considering us 1st-time costumers, I’d be forever grateful! Thanks for sharing your special talent with the world.

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  33. I am just heartbroken that you do not make ths to sell. My almost-5 year old daughter Finley is obsessed with Totoro – it is her all-time favorite movie. I’ve been searching the Internet high and low for a Totoro costume for Halloween this year and have been totally unsuccessful. Yours is perfect!! Alas, I can’t even sew a button so attempting to duplicate it is way out of my league. Your little Yuki is adorable. 🙂

  34. @ whiskers- try fiber optic strands- like you see for those kiddie light toys. Whiskery – but flexable and soft on contact

    • No, I did not give them permission to use my photos – thanks for contacting me. Another person pointed it out to me earlier this week and I’ve been trying to get Etsy to remove it but it’s a long bureaucratic process apparently. I’ve contacted them directly and we’ll see if they take it down themselves. Thanks again.

  35. Hi! I was inspired by your post to make my own and it turned out well, despite the fact I haven’t sewn since 7th grade Home Economics class. Thanks so much for the great post!

  36. Pingback: Rain Cloud Costume | you and mie

  37. I’m currently making this RIGHT NOW but I can’t figure out if you sewed the ankles all the way through or if you added a snap so the pants can open entirely? I see the snaps but I’m not 100% please help!

    • Hi! I’m going to send you an email to make sure you get this, but basically there is a snap at the ankle so the pants open completely. So the elastic goes from one snap to the other and do not connect. Hope that helps!!

      • Hi Cherie! Thank you so much for sharing with us, I was so inspired by your post an decided to make one too, for a new baby when he gets older, but in in more of a bunting style. It was my first time sewing, but it turned out pretty good! Took me forever, but I learned so much. Thank you again for sharing your awesome creations! Maybe soon I can start blogging about my stuff too 😉 Have a good day!

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  39. Hi Cherie, I am making this as we speak and I was wondering how the heck did you do the ears? How do you make it stay up like that? This is such an awesome costume. Thank you for sharing!!!

    • Haha. So basically I cut out the ear shape, 4 total. Sew 2 together (right sides together) leaving the bottom open. Flip them right side out, stuff them with filling (stuff them well!) and then I hand sew them to the hood. When I sew them on, I sew around the bottom of the ear creating a circle and I think that’s what helps them stand up. Does this make sense? You don’t want to close up the bottom into a straight line and try to sew that on because it’ll just flop over. Open up the bottom of the ear as much as possible, sew it down and push the stuffing around into the bottom portion of the ear and that should work. When you’re done with your costume, will you send me a picture so I can share it as part of a round up? Even if you don’t want me to share it, I’d still love to see it! Good luck!

      • Aaahhh… okay, that makes perfect sense. Eeesh… I don’t care fro hand stitching (i’m an impatient woman), but I’ll give it a go! Yes, I’d love to show you the finished piece. If only I had more time, I would’ve made all three of my girls Totoro costumes! Thanks Cherie!

  40. Pingback: Mollie Makes and a call for Totoros everywhere | you and mie

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  43. Hi Cherie,
    I saw your totoro costume in your webpage long time ago, it is really really cute. ^^ My friend like it very much too and she is now having a baby girl. Is it for sale now? I saw that currently unavailable but I just give a try and it will be good if I can buy one for her baby girl. Look forward to hear from you. Thanks.

    • I just sent you an email, but no, it’s not for sale. I think there are other people making similar costumes that you can buy online. Maybe someday I will make them for sale, but right now I just don’t have the time 😦 Sorry!

  44. Pingback: Totoros and Rain Clouds Galore! | you and mie

  45. Hello
    BELLO work !!!
    I have a little daughter of 9 month old, I would love to offer her this great creation.
    Is it possible to buy one or do you know where ?????
    Thank you a lot.

  46. Oh my god! My 18 months old girl LOVES Totoro! We watch it at lunch at dinner everyday! LOL! I hope you could made this custome again! I have seen others but this looks perfect! I know you’re not accepting customer’s request, but I’m going to wait until you do! Bookmarking you right now. Also, I’m not from USA but South America. Do you ship internationally? Thanks!

  47. Very adorable! One suggestion for the whiskers .. how about drawing them on child’s face with makeup? I think that would be so cute!

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  50. Hi , i from malaysia . i love ur totoro costume! i really want my son be a totoro for Halloween this year ,do u by any chance sell these?

  51. hi! i just love this totoro costume and i would really love it if you could possibly sell 2 to me. i want to have my niece and nephew. please email me about the details if you can 😀 thank you

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  53. This is the cutest costume! My 2.5 yo absolutely loves Totoro, so I’m going to make her a Totoro costume for Halloween. I think I have time if I start soon! I’ll definitely be inspired by your beautiful costume!

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  55. Can you please let me know when you are taking orders again. I love this and would love to purchase one. Thank you x

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  57. Hi! OMG, I need one!! Please please, would you ever be able to accept an order? I’m in love with your creation. I was looking for a Totoro costume like this, I need it for my niece ❤
    I'm very impressed with your work.

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  63. Hiya, I noticed you are not selling the costume or print. That is quite a shame, because I wanted to wear a bigger one to comicon. Could you please tell we where I should start. This might also help, my age is 13 and I am a slightly lower height than my ages average.
    Thank you!

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  67. So I found your costume on Etsy with another child’s face photoshopped onto it!
    At least that’s better than when they posted your actual child’s face, right? She is adorable by the way, and your costume is inspiring. There’s no better costume than one handmade by mama. I’ve got to get started on my little one’s soon. Will probably find a gray/blue onesie and add onto it. Thanks for all of the tips!

    • Thank you SO MUCH for letting me know. This is NOT the first time they’ve done it. By this time, I just sigh a big sigh and request that the remove the photo – but seriously, they just keep doing it anyways. Each time it’s a new account, but the same exact edited photo. They originally DID leave my kid’s face in the photo but I made a huge deal of it and now they use this lovely photoshopped version! But I really do appreciate you letting me know! Thanks for your comment and good luck with your costume!!

  68. Hi there!! Love this costume! You did an amazing job, hence every parent would love to get this. I understand that you are not taking any orders but I was wondering if its possible to purchase the whole pattern? I’d love to start this for my baby boy. Thanks in advance!!!

      • Thanks for your reply!!! Can you tell I’ve been waiting… :p!

        A tutorial would be so awesome! I was thinking of this years Halloween costume for my son after seeing you blog and this super cute totoro costume u have. I figured if I didn’t hear from you I was going to attempt a diy dust bunny costume and maybe next Halloween we can try for totoro. Since you may have a tutorial up….I might just be tempted to hold off and see!! *crossing my fingers*

  69. My Love for this costume is to great to put into words! Are you going to put the pattern out there for people to buy because I think i need to make this for my son….

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  71. I found this on pinterest. Are you going to sell the pattern? You could sell it on etsy. I would totally buy it! I love totoro!!

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  75. This is really the cutest costume i’ve seen ! Same the Foxy xD i would be so happy, if i would have the chance to get the pattern of you. Is this maybe possible? I’m so sorry for my grammar, i’m German 😀😂

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  84. Amazing work and super adorable! I love Totoro and would love to dress up a small child in this or just wear it myself 😀

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