Totoro was my first foray into the world of character effects. I was totally responsible for him — from model to groom and cloth. The model was created entirely in Houdini and  groomed with Houdini's fur tools. The soft body sim and the cloth was simulated with vellum. I encountered several issues when working on this project. 
The first was getting the seams of the shirt to be (mostly) procedural. I ended up deleting everything but the edge loops that corresponded to the areas that I wanted to attach seams to, resampling them, and then copying the seams onto those points. 
The second was getting the cloth to sit on the tail properly. I ended up using a set rest shape node and a blend shape node to get the desired effect. 
 Another issue I encountered was getting it to render properly. Originally, I planned to render it out in Arnold, but due to the fact that it wouldn't accept the fur to render (something broke in my scene), I ended up rendering it in Mantra.