Gotta give a shout to my girl, Cassie, for encouraging me to blog more. Dang when she’s right she’s right. Onto 2019 and blogging!
Now let’s talk business.
Yeah, you read that right.
My Mother In Law has received an assortment of stuffed critters over the years. A dust bunny, a reindeer, and this year for Christmas she and my Sister In Law received stuffed halloween cats. I’ll be real with you, I always forget how time consuming it is until I’m elbow deep in a stuffed critters ass wondering how much stuffing is to much stuffing. Let’s run that down.
- A cute fabric is the foundation for your critter. Sometimes I like to use a pattern fabric, sometimes I like a solid, and sometimes I mix them up. Picture your end result and go from there. I like to use cottons, but for the halloween cats I used flannel, because I couldn’t ignore the instant chemistry I felt with that gorgeous black threadage. My husband and I were standing in Joann’s, petting this bolt of fabric. It was beautiful. In retrospect, it was a little harder of a fabric to work with. It tore more easily at the raw edges and even at the seams will stuffing it. I got two yards of fabric, which I knew would be overkill but I’ve got some future crafts I’m going to use it for. A yard will do you!
- Parchment Paper
- You’re going to need some of this magnificent stuff to draw a pattern onto if you’re winging it, like me. If you decide to buy a pattern, well then good for you goody two shoes.
- Sewing Machine/ Thread
- You don’t NEED a sewing machine for something like this, but I’ll tell you it’s sure going to make things easier. Otherwise that’s a lot of hand stitching, and I will personally call the Pope TODAY and have you canonized as a saint if you decide to hand stitch this bitch.
- Critter Fluff
- Poly-fil will do, and really any type of poly-fil will work. I used this poly-fil I got at Joann’s, mainly because I had a gift card to use up from them. But poly-fill from any craft store will do the trick. How much will depend on how big you want to make your critter, but what I like about this brand is they have a template on the back of the bag that shows you what size critter that bag will fill.
- If you’re here, you’ve already got this step down! I think it’s important to look around and get a rough idea of what you want your critter to look like. How will you do their ears/tail/legs? It’s nice to have an idea before you get started.
I started by getting some parchment paper and pencil and drawing up what I wanted this kitty business to look like. I like my stuffed critters to have long bodies and appendages. As my husband says “They look like Tim Burton animals.” Honestly he doesn’t know what a compliment that is.
Once I got my pattern looking somewhat agreeable I folded my fabric into quarters, pinned my parchment down and used my fancy rotary cutter to cut him out. You can also use scissors. Did I ever mention if you have a rotary cutter to always make sure the safety is on it, because one day you may be feeling around in your sewing back blindly looking for scissors and slice your finger on it? No? Hm.
Since I was making two cats at once, I had enough bodies for two cats but needed to cut out two more arms and legs. Remember that you’ll technically need 4 arm pieces and 4 leg pieces for one critter, because you’ll sew the two together.
Once everything was cut out I got to sewing. I used my machine, but you can do it by hand just make sure your stitches are close together. Remember you’re going to sew the “pretty” sides of the fabric together so that when you flip it inside out the seam will be inside and the pattern will be out. While sewing always leaving a big enough hole at either the top or the bottom of the body/appendage to flip the piece inside out and to stuff fluff into. I never make the hole big enough and spend hours cursing myself. Such if life I suppose.
Now you’ve got some cat looking shit. You can see in the top left corner of this cats ear that the fabric frayed when I got close to the edges. Since I like them Tim Burtonish I left it, I think it gives him an alley cat look. But, it’s a mental note for working with flannel. His neck isn’t even either, but we can fix that with fluff. Also, honestly, who gives a damn. You’re making this as a gift, they’re going to love it or they can shove it.
Sew that critter up some arms and leggies. Critters need leggies.
Make sure you’ve got a sewing buddy. ALWAYS have a sewing buddy.
My poly fill came with a fancy stuffing shover downer, but basically it was a skewer. I like to use a pencil. Just start shoving that shit right in that cats holes. As little or as much as you want is up to you. I like my little critters pretty stuffed so I go pretty ham. If you decided to roll with flannel, and happen to bust some seams will stuffing, worry not my friend. Just sew that shit up with some black thread. Who’s going to notice? No one. If someone does? Deck them. #YouDon’tNEEDThatShit.
This is the best part, once you’ve got him all stuffed and sewn together (I would sew off each appendage after stuffing then sew onto critter body for more secure critters) you get to do his little face up however you like. See how rough his right arm is? Ripped fabric. I just sewed right over that shit. We’re going for love here, not perfection. I used knots and cut the loose ends for his whiskers. I thought I would love it. But I didn’t, so I consulted the Momgoogle and she suggested embroidering them like the nose. I liked it much better.
I made the other cat similar with different color eyes and gave him a Jason mask I made out of felt and pens (because let’s be honest at this point I was tired of these damn things) but my Sister In Law loved it. I also gave him a felt knife. Because stabs. For tails I used an old dress I had that had fringe on it and just cut it off! Reduce, reuse, recycle and what not.
How did yours turn out?!