This has a little more detail, that is, I actually remembered to take a photo of the pattern before I sewed it all up.
You will need:
- large piece of paper (I use large drawing paper –you can also tape printer paper together to make a large enough piece, I’ve done that too)
- straight pins
- buttons *buttons are not appropriate on toys for children under age 3!
- pink embroidery floss
- heavy white thread
- embroidery needle
- thread to match the color of the sweater
For this one I made a template (I think I am using the correct term here –to me a pattern has more instructions and a template is simply a shape. At any rate that is how I’m using the term, it’s just a guide for the shape you want to cut). Draw your template on a large enough piece of heavy paper. I have a nice big drawing pad that is perfect, but you can tape together 4 or more pieces of printer paper (I’ve done this, it works fine). Then draw the outline of your cat. I did the simple 3 circles of increasing size (kind of like a snowman). If you want to be very exacting you can find 3 round things to draw around, but I just eyeballed it. I recommend you draw with a pencil, as you may have to draw several times before you’re happy with it.
Once you have a shape you like, cut it out. I suggest you cut it a little larger than you drew it, to allow for your seam. Be a little generous especially around the ears. It’s easier to resew and make them a little smaller than it is to add more fabric!
Turn the sweater inside out and pin the template to the sweater, pinning all the way through to both sides. Cut around your template (again, I leave a little extra fabric on the edges –I can trim it off later, but it gives me something to work with in case the sweater frays or I miscalculated. You should end up with 2 identical pieces of sweater.
Simply stitch your cat up, using your sewing machine (inside out!), leaving enough room to turn her right side and stuff with enough batting to make her plump but squooshy. The fabric I used was a pretty loose weave, so the batting does show. It made me wonder if there was any way to get colored batting (actually my son came up with that thought), but I don’t know. It doesn’t really bother me that much, but it is something to think about when making sweater creatures –if it bothers you. I turned the edges on the bottom and stitched it with the machine. You could do it by hand also.
For her muzzle, I cut 2 round pieces, sewed them up (inside out!), turned them right side, stuffed them and then stitched that up. It made sort of a flat ball. Then, I stitched this onto her face. I had no idea if this would work, it was an experiment, but it actually came out really splendidly! I just kept turning the edge under and stitching until I got all the way around. The first time I thought the muzzle was too long for a cat, so I took it in a little all the way around, and it was just right. It was actually very forgiving.
Then stitch her nose with pink embroidery floss, and stitch a mouth. This is a little difficult, as it’s hard to get the ends secured. I tied it around a thread of the sweater and then stitched over that. I think that will hold. Her eyes are iridescent buttons that I think are made of shell or something out of my button jar. I was actually quite pleased with them because they glow just like real cat eyes. I stitched them on with some of that glittery yarn.
Her legs are just 2 long tubes, stuffed with batting and sewn on, and her tail is a thin tube sewn on the back and stitched in several places to keep it in place as it wraps around her to the front.
I wasn’t completely satisfied with her face. It reminded me of something else (a lemur?) more than a cat. After sleeping on it, I realized she needed whiskers, but wasn’t quite sure how to do that. I didn’t want something that would be pokey like fishing line because I didn’t want the recipient to get a poke in the eye when she gave the kitty a hug. I wasn’t sure it would work, but I decided to try some heavy white thread I had. I simply made a big knot in one end and stitched each one in, 3 on each side. They seem secure, but I’m open to suggestions for a better way. They look cute.
After I was done with the cat I realized I had quite a bit of material left over from the sweater. Enough to make a friend! I won’t go into detail, but I will post some photos of the little dog that will be heading off to live with the cat in Texas. He was a completely different style and I didn’t use a template to make him, as he just sort of came to life piece by piece. I was quite pleased when I was finished that not only could he sit and lie down, but he could also stand!
It seems that with each of these little critters I make I learn something new and think of some new thing I didn’t think of before, which is what makes it fun for me.
At any rate, I think these two are going to make a happy little pair!