What a head start on Christmas? These crazy cats are easy to sew Essay

Our independent friend, the cat, has movable joints, ahand-embroidered smile, and a bit of a zany streak in this stylizedincarnation. Durable polyester stuffing keeps the felt creature firm,however much it’s tossed and tumbled.

An investment of about $10and 4 to 5 hours can produce this individualistic pet. What you’llneed to make a cat Materials include: wrapping paper or 1-inch pattern paper; 1/4 yardof thick, 72-inch-wide felt, preferably with a high wool content; a1-pound bag of polyester fiberfill; two skeins of embroidery thread (usethe full six-ply thickness) in a color that contrasts with the felt; anembroidery needle and a 5- to 5-1/2-inch-long (130mm) needle; twomatching 3/4-inch buttons for eyes; four size 36, 7/8-inch button formsto cover with felt (or uncovered buttons with large shanks); dentalfloss. On a piece of paper of least 16 by 20 inches, draw a grid of 2-inchsquares and copy the pattern below. Pin the pattern pieces to the feltand carefully cut out. Sewing and stuffing the pieces Using the blanket-stitch, tightly sew the felt pieces together withembroidery thread. Stitches should be about 1/8 inch deep and not morethan 1/4 inch apart. Sew the tail pieces together, then the arms. About 3 inches shortof completing each appendage, pack as much stuffing as possible into theopening, then continue stitching (and stuffing) until closed.

To make each leg, start stitching leg pieces together the longdistance between E and F. Stuff the leg to the ankle. Matching point Fon the leg to F on a foot pad, stitch the pad to the leg. Stuff the footjust before you stitch cavity closed. Join the center back seam from C to D and the center front seamfrom A to D.

Stitch the forehead to the front piece, matching A and B.Pin front and back pieces together, matching B, C, and D. Starting atthe top of the head, stitch the body closed on one side. Again startingat the top of the head, stitch the other side, firmly packing stuffinginto hard-to-reach places, like the ears, as you go.

Ears should standup straight and seem continuous with the head and body. Final assembly:arms and legs, then eyes, nose, and mouth Cover four buttons with felt, carefully following instructions onpackage (or use plain shank buttons). Because of the thickness of thefelt, you may need to use pliers to press the metal pusher down on thebutton dome.

To attach arms to the body, double-thread the long needle withdental floss, knotting ends securely. Pass the needle through thecenter of the upper segment (shoulder) of one arm, then into one side ofthe body just below the neck. Push the needle through to the other sideof the body, through the shoulder of the other arm, and through theshank of one felt button. Now reverse direction. When the needlereturns to its starting point, run it through a second button.

Draw thethread very tight, pulling the button on the opposite arm in so that itpinches the arm to the body. Wrap the floss around the shank of thebutton and knot tightly. Repeat this process for the legs, attaching them at hip level. Blanket-stitch the tail to the back seam.

Embroider a nose andmouth with small stitches and use large single stitches to formwhiskers. Sew on buttons for eyes. Finish by taking two or three largestitches to mark the paws.

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