Happy cats to sew, in two sizes! Cause I’m nice like that. They’re quick and easy and there’s tons of room to experiment – add some applique and embroidery to make it resemble somebody you know and love. You can sew by hand or machine. I’ve made a bunch so far and I’m not ready to stop, there is something satisfying about this growing crowd of cat friends.
They are straight out of my daily paintings, the funny little cats who wander around the cobblestone streets and forests. This is a great beginner project and there are a couple tips mixed in the instructions. Let’s make happy cats!
You will also need:
- cotton fabric
- a basic sewing kit
- chopstick or similar
- stuffing – i like wool
- embroidery thread for the features
1. Download and cut out the templates. There is a small and large, you could make a whole cat family. I’ll be demonstrating on the large. Cut out your template and pin it on a double layer of fabric – right sides together. Cut out.
2. Separate the two fabric pieces and mark your seam line. I measure the quarter inch and make little dots around the pattern – every couple inches – as a guide and mark in pencil. Pro tip: place a sheet of fine sandpaper under the fabric piece and it won’t slide around so much. I always recommend marking the seam line and it is essential in this pattern for getting the legs just right. Also mark the area to leave open.
3. Make guide dots for the face. Decide which direction you want your cat to face while looking at the right side (printed side) of the fabric. Mark the dots. Push the pencil through the paper as shown and mark for guides or alternatively you could trace the whole face onto the fabric.
back to the happy cats in just a moment:
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Back to the happy cats:
4. Pin the fabric pieces back together – right sides of the fabric together. Use lots of pins. Sew around the seam line. You can hand or machine sew. I’m sewing on the machine. Leave open as indicated for turning and stuffing.
5. Before turning the cat right side out clip little notches around the curve of each foot as shown on the front foot above and the tip of the tail. Clip off the points of the ears near the seam and remove a little of the seam allowance. Clip a notch into each of the corners where the legs meet the body, Clip notches into the curve where the tail and back meet and at the neck.
6. Turn the cat right side out. Use a chopstick to gently push out the legs, ears and tail. Slow firm pressure and twisting a little help. Stretch and massage the curved seams a little with your fingers to smooth them.
7. Stuff -I’m using this wool stuffing. Add a little at a time and be careful not to block the legs and tail with clumps of stuffing until you’ve filled the toes etc.
8. When the cat is sufficiently filled fold in the edges of the back opening and stitch shut.
9. You can make further adjustments to the stuffing from the outside using a doll needle or large embroidery needle. Pro tip: place the happy cat under a stack of books for a couple hours – it has a smoothing effect I like.
making the face
(you can click the images for a larger view)
I’m using buttons for eyes. You could alternatively make the X shapes shown on the pattern. I’ll shown you the sequence of stitches I use to make the face but you could achieve the super simple features with any embroidery stitch you prefer.
* It helps to read these steps through once before beginning.
10. Begin by making a knot close to the end of the embroidery thread (I’m using Perl DMC 8). Put the needle in a little away from one eye mark and bring it out at the eye mark. Pull the thread to pop the knot inside the fabric. If any thread tail remains sweep it in with your needle. (There is more about this method of hiding thread ends here)
11. Make a tiny stitch and knot it. Sew on the first eye with a couple stitches. Make a knot under the edge of the button, put your needle back in under the edge of the button and bring it back out at the other eye mark. attach the second eye.
12. With the thread still attached put the needle back in under the edge of the button and bring it out at the nose mark.
13. Make a diagonal stitch for one side of the nose bringing the needle back out at the top of the other side of the nose
14. Put the needle back in at the nose pencil mark creating the nose triangle shape.
15. And bring it out a little to one side below the nose.to begin the mouth.
16. Make a diagonal stitch for one side of the mouth and bring the needle back out at the nose mark.
17. Put the needle back in at the end of the first mouth stitch. Bring it out where the other side of the mouth will start.
18. Make the diagonal stitch for that side of the mouth and bring the needle out at the nose mark again.
19. Before making the last stitch make a knot in the thread but do not tighten it.
20. Insert the needle into the knot loop and as you tighten it use the needle to draw the knot down the thread close to the fabric. Move the knot until it is is just a little further away from the fabric than the length the last stitch will be.
21. To make the last stitch insert the needle at the end of the previous stitch.
22. Bring the the needle back out a little away from the face, pull the thread tight to pop the knot through and clip close to the fabric. If a thread tail remains use your needle to sweep it in from underneath.
hello happy cat!
I hope you make lots of happy cats! You can use #annwoodpattern on instagram to share.