**Below you will find the step-by-step picture tutorial for making these adorable Panda Cowls. If you are looking for the free concise written pattern, you can find it here. If you would rather have a large font, ad-free pattern, you can purchase the inexpensive PDF from my Etsy shop here.**
You may have seen an adorable hooded cowls for toddlers on Pinterest or Etsy. If you haven’t, it’s basically a hood that instead of being attached to a jacket, is attached to a cowl or sometimes a long scarf. They initially caught my eye about a year ago and I have been determined to make my own version since then.
Will and I have always had a weird obsession with Panda bears. They are quite possibly one of the most adorable, cuddly creatures on the planet, right in line with sea otters and babies.
Will and I didn’t find out Audrey’s gender until she was born, so prior to “baby squirrel girl” her nickname was “baby panda”. This was my inspiration for making a hooded panda cowl for her. The idea did cross my mind for a hooded squirrel cowl, but that might just have to come at a later date. 🙂
I later decided that it would be fun to make one for myself and offer the pattern with multiple sizes. I think they turned out great and can’t wait to get more use out of them this spring!
My biggest hurdle with the pattern was navigating where to start. I wanted to make it all one garment, rather then the hood being separate from the cowl and attaching the two together. The solution? I decided to work my project in a U shape, giving extra length for the cowl that I would later join towards the bottom.
I worked this pattern in double crochets and made it oversized so it’s a perfect garment for our spring weather here in Chicagoland, but maybe not so great for our bitter cold winters. However, what this pattern lacks in warmth, it totally makes up for in adorableness, amiright?
To start things out, you will begin with a foundation chain. From there you will start your row in the third chain from your hook and double crochet across. When you reach the end of the row you will continue to work around to the other side of your foundation chain (rather then turning your work).
You will be double crocheting 3 into your last chain turning your work as you go so that the pattern starts to resemble a “U”. This step helps to give more height and curvature to your garment. Once you have worked double crochets across the entire back side of your foundation chain, you will chain 2 and turn your work.
You will follow this same exact outline of double crocheting across the top, double crocheting 3 in the end most stitch, and double crocheting across the bottom for a few rows.
Once the height for the top of the head has been achieved, you will continue the pattern by double crocheting in the “U” outline for several more rows (no longer double crocheting 3 in the end most stitch), until the depth of the hood needed is achieved.
Now that the body of the hood has been completed, you will work on seaming up the cowl portion. You will be leaving a long tail once you complete the hood, and use that tail to whip stitch upwards for a few stitches (closing the cowl).
The next step will give a little more detail and definition to the hood by adding ribbing around the face. You will do this by working in the round around the hood portion of the garment, alternating between front post double crochets and back post double crochets. You will do this twice around and fasten off.
The finishing touch is to add on the Panda ears and face. I used black felt and black buttons for the eyes, black yarn for the nose and I crocheted the ears with more black yarn. For the eyes you will cut ovals out of your black felt and stitch them into place on top of the hood. I placed mine directly above the ribbing, far enough a part for the nose to be centered between them. You will then add the buttons on top of the felt for a little extra detail.
For the nose, I ran black yarn around a few stitches at the top of the 1st row of ribbing several times for good width. I then pulled a strand over and down to make the snout part of the nose.
The ears are simple half circles which you will crochet and then stitch in place. To make these, you will start with a small foundation chain and slowly increase in each row until you reach the height and width needed. I fastened these off leaving a long tail and then used that tail to fasten into place on the top of the head just to the side of each eye about 2 rows back from the felt of the eyes.
And thats all there is to it! So simple, so cute and so much fun!
What other animal would you like to see on a hooded cowl? Make sure to share any pictures of your own completed hooded cowl!