Monday, October 29, 2012

DIY Hand- Sewn Black Cat

It's nearing that time of year to make everything Halloween-themed! What better for an October weekend project than sewing a few black cats? These are easy and simple to make. You probably have everything you need to make them lying around your house. I'm proud to say that this is my very own idea. Here's a quick DIY. Whether it's just one or a dozen black cats you're making, these 'lil guys look great around the house.

  • Cotton Stuffing
  • A black knee high sock
  • Thread
  • Needles (regular and embroidery)
  • Embroidery thread
  • Buttons (preferably not  black)
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Pipe Cleaner
  • Ribbon
  • An accessory of your choice (optional)

I like my tutorials with LOTS of pictures, so this is what I'll try to do for you. For those who aren't as visual, I'll make sure to write a good description.

Cat Body and Head
The first thing you'll want to do is cut the sock. Cut it just above where the ankle would go. The part that you will be using is the part where your toes would go. Be sure to keep the part of the sock you're not using too, because that comes in later on.
Next, you have to stuff the sock. Make sure that it's pretty chunky. You know you have enough inside when the stuffing is almost coming out. When you're done with that, get you needle and sew a simple back and forth stitch on the edge of the sock. Once you're finished, take the end of your string and pull it. If the whole thing scrunches together, you've done this right. Sew back and forth through the bunched up fabric, then end your string.
Tuck the fabric bunch into the sock. Sew small loop stitches across the tuck. When I do this, I start with one side, end my string, and start sewing the other side. When your done it should look like a nice unnoticeable seam.

 To make the head, get your ribbon, cut it, and tie it around the top-toe part of the sock. Make sure that it isn't too big or too small.

This is when the left-over sock starts coming in. Take the hem of the sock and cut a triangle out of it. You will be turning this inside out so don't make it too small. I suggest cutting by the edges so you don't have to sew as much.

Sew the ear together with a loop stitch. Turn the ear inside out and put it onto the head. I like to put the ears where the little points of fabric are on the head. 

Sew the ears on top of the head. You may want to hold it down with a pin. Stitch along the circumference of the ear. After you are finished, repeat this process with the next ear.

Eyes and Nose
You can get creative with this part! For the eyes, any color is fine. Even two different colors look good. Sew these on to the cat. * Beginner Tip: Don't sew the eyes to far apart or to close together. It looks weird. Just use your judgement on what seems right*

To make the nose you need to get out your embroidery needle and thread. I like to use pink for the nose. Just stitch an x. When you are done, pull the needle through the cat to the other side then cut it. It will get all tangle up with the cotton and not move or come undone.
When I was making my prototype, the tail really messed me up. I got it down now though. The pipe cleaner idea sort of just came to me as I was thinking of ways to make the tail bendable. The pipe cleaner allows the tail to bend as well as having the feel that it has cotton inside.

First, cut along side your sock scrap. Use your judgement and cut it so that a pipe cleaner can fit. Sew the tail together with small, tight loop stitches. Leave an opening to put the pipe cleaner through.

Once you have the pipe cleaner in, cut of the excess. Then put the tail on the back of the cat. Start to sew it on. You may want to bend the pipe cleaner a bit so that you can loop over it when stitching. You want the tail to be able to stand on it's own and not droop down.

Now that you've finished, you can bend the tail however you want.

Now your cat is done!
--Unless you choose to add an accessory. I put on a mini bow. It was too small to sew so I just used hot glue. Now you are really done. Enjoy!