On holiday I went into a wool shop full of lovely yarn, but the thing that caught my eye was a row of little knitted cats. The shop owner said that every time she finishes a project, she uses the left over wool to knit a cat. This got me thinking…
Here is the little cat I have made and the instructions in case you fancy having a go.
TOP TIP read through everything before you start. It will be so much easier if you sort of know what you are doing and where you are going 🙂
What you need:-
Fabric for cat:
Body – Two 5″ x 3 1/2″ (front and back)
Tummy – 3″ x 1 3/4″
Tail – 2 1/2″ x 1 1/4″ and Bondaweb for each piece (4)
Ears – Two 3/4″ x 1/2″
Stuffing – I used dried rice and polyester toy stuffing.
Pencil or friction pen (these disappear completely when ironed)
New machine needle
How to make it:-
Begin by making the tummy and tail. Take the larger piece of Bondaweb and use a large cotton reel or something equally round to draw the curve at the top. Iron this to your fabric and cut it out.
For the tail take the other Bondaweb and use a smaller cotton reel to draw a curve at the top then draw the tail shape from that.
Stick the tummy so that it touches the bottom of your rectangle.
Measure 1″ from the bottom of the other fabric and stick the tail in the middle.
Now for the ears. Cut Triangles from the fabric described above. Take the front fabric and measure 1/4″ down from the top corners and 1/4″ towards the middle. Make a pencil dot just a little bit lower than that. Angle the ears as shown in the photo and iron in place.
You can now stitch around all the Bondawebed pieces of fabric. I used zig zag stitch. But a straight stitch or some of the other decorative stitches would also be great. I had a little play with a few different ones.
You can alter the size of your zig zag stitch. Check the handbook or ask whichever adult may know! Because this cat is small – a smaller stitch might be nicer – or not – its your design!! 🙂
For the eyes I used the eyelet stitch on my machine. This usually hides near the button holes if your machine makes button holes. The eyes could also be made of felt or be buttons or even drawn on. I am going to explain how I made the eyelets.
Ask that adult, or look in the handbook to see how you set your machine to eyelet. Find a scrap of fabric and fold it in half. Your machine won’t like stitching an eyelet through one layer of fabric. Make sure you have a foot with a large enough hole in it – your normal patchwork foot will not be big enough.
Have a practice. Just lower the presser foot and press the foot pedal. I find not touching it with my hands is the way to go. The machine will automatically make a stop or fixing stitch when it has finished so just keep the foot pedal down and the machine will do its thing and then stop by itself. Now practice once more and this time notice where the machine starts and finishes the circle. My machine starts at 11 o clock if the circle was a clock face. Yours might be different. Now go back to your cat and with a pencil draw the eyes where you want them to go and the size that your eyelet was. Then the nose and mouth. You can just about see my line in the picture below underneath the stitching
Put a fabric scrap or piece of stitch and tear underneath where the eyelet will go, position the needle where it needs to start stitching and make both of the eyes.
Next stitch the line from the nose and the mouth. Change your stitch back to straight stitch and make the stitch smaller. If you start at the top, stitch down, go one way to the side of the smile, all the way back across to the other side, back to the middle and up the line to the nose – the ends of your thread will be hidden by the nose.
Cut a little triangle for the nose. You can’t really pin or stick this very well. I started with my needle down in the middle of the nose and just put many stitches in, sort of going round.
If you haven’t already stitch around the tail, stitch it now.
Right! Now, measure 1 1/2″ from the top of your BACK fabric (where the tail is) and mark a 3/4″ line in the middle.
Now cut that little line so that you have made a slit.
Now take the two halves of your cat and place them right sides together and pin.
Measure from each bottom corner and make a mark 2 1/2″ up on each side.
Firstly stitch the bottom seam using a 1/4″ foot.
Secondly stitch from the bottom corner to the mark you made on each side. Make a reverse stitch next to that line to keep it strong.
Now you are going to make corners for the base of your cat. This will mean it will be able to stand on its own ….. not have to lean against something. This isn’t difficult to do …. its a bit difficult to explain though!! So I have taken lots of photos.
Hold your inside out cat in your hand and slide your index finger into one bottom corner.
Take your other hand and pinch the corner so that the bottom seam and the side seam line up. This makes a triangle shape.
You are going to stitch across that triangle. Place the triangle under your machine so that the needle is in the middle and the tip of the triangle lines up with the 1″ line on your stitch plate.
Stitch across and then all the way back using the reverse button and then back to the middle. Repeat on the other side.
Now you are going to stitch all the way around the rest of your cat.
Draw a line between his ears with a little curve that will be the top of his head.
Pop him back on the machine inside out and face side up. Stitch from where you stopped at the side up to the top of his head and stop. Repeat on the other side.
Now stitch across the top of his head from the seam you just stitched, down the side of his ear, across the line you just drew and up the other side of his ear. Trim away the extra fabric between his ears.
You can turn him right sides through the slit you made! Do this gently so that the slit stays quite small – though if you need to make it a tiny bit bigger, then do so.
Push his ear points out with a chop stick or similar and also push out the bottom corners.
I popped some dried rice into the base of the cat using a funnel into the slit. If you don’t have a funnel, you can twist a sheet of paper into a cone and use that!
Fill until it gets half way up his tummy. Now fill the rest with polyester wadding starting with the ears. Use the chop stick to get the stuffing into the points. Keep going until you are happy with the feel of it.
Now you need to repair the slit. Just thread a needle, tie a knot in the thread and whip stitch over and over until it is closed.
To neaten this up, take a scrap of fabric and add Bondaweb. Write a word with any sort of pen or rubber stamp. I wrote PURRR on one and MEOW on another.
The iron will be ok to stick this patch over your repair stitching
Use a contrasting thread to hand stitch around the patch – get a cat to help if you can.
Then take the thread through to the face and use the same thread to make whiskers.
I finished the thread by going over and over in the nose where it wouldn’t show.
Last of all, I used a pen to give him some pupils.
These can be made to any size of course and the more you make the quicker you will get. I made three whilst sorting out the design ….. then realised I hadn’t photographed what I had been doing for this post so had to make another!