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I used to love Clifford when I was little, but nothing else comes close to Sofia’s passion for the Big Red Dog. For those of you who don’t know him, Clifford was the miniscule runt of a litter of puppies that grew to the size of a house with Emily Elizabeth’s love. He was born in the 60s in the books by Normal Bridwell and in 2000 also became a PBS cartoon series.Sofia needed a new winter hat to match her red jacket, scarf and mittens, so what better than a Clifford hat? Ok, I admit, it looks a bit more like Clifford the Big Red Rabbit, but Sofia recognized Clifford right away when she opened it up on Christmas and this is the first hat I’ve ever made, so I’m pretty satisfied with it. And it’s gotten loads of compliments no matter what animal people think it is. Here’s how I made him to fit a 2-3 year-old (update: it’s a bit big for a 2-year-old. let’s say it’s really for 3-4 years, perhaps also 5):
I cut this shape out of a folded piece of red fleece. I love sewing with fleece because you don’t have to worry about sewing the edges under as it will not fray like cotton. Then I sewed together the other edge, marked #1, and two of the top triangle edges, #2, which are the top front and back. I then cut out ears. To make them a little thicker, you could put 2 or 3 layers of fleece. If you’re doing a dog, make them wider than mine! Arrange the hat so that the folded part is at the front and sewn seam at the back, pinch the triangle parts #3 together, and stick one ear in on each side from inside the hat so the bottom edge is sticking out the top of parts #3. Pin/baste and sew across the whole top. Trim the edges, roll the bottom edges in and sew in a hem, and turn inside out. Voilà– a hat with ears!
If you want to go all the way, you can cut out eyes from scraps of fleece and just sew themon. For the nose, take a square or rectangle of fleece, fold in half and sew in a semi-circle shape. Trim edges and turn inside out. Sew a smaller black nose on the tip, stuff with small scrap pieces of fleece and hand-stitch to the hat, turning the bottom edges inwards as you go. I didn’t draw the picture this way, but I’d suggest using a longer rectangle or other shape so you have more extra fabric to fold under to help keep the stuffing inside.
This type of hat is a really quick and easy project and you can go crazy with other types of animals, put a bunch of cut strips of fleece sticking out the top, or so many other things.