I had a keepsake cuddly monkey made for Leon from his first baby clothes from Love Keep Create Ltd. While I really love it, I wish I’d spent the time and made it myself. So with Edith I was determined to make hers. After lengthy browsing of Etsy, I finally decided on this pattern by Funky Friends Factory. Once I finished it, Leon took one look at it and asked where his cat was. As I had plenty of stuffing and spare eyes, I made another for him and thought I’d share how easy it actually was so that others may be encouraged to have a go.
When I downloaded the pattern and printed all the pieces I thought “oh my god!”, it looked a complete head fart. I always read patterns all the way through before starting to get my head around it. As I read it, I could not grasp what on earth the instructions were on about. So I pulled myself together and did what I always tell my students: just do each step as it tells you and not worry about the next step until you finish the current step. As I did each step methodically, it was actually really easy to put together with only a couple of tricky tight curves.
I found as I read each instruction, that having the pattern pieces to hand so that I could see each letter mentioned actually made it very simple and I had the body together in a couple of hours. I decided to start with the body as there seemed to be less small pieces while I got my head into gear.
You sew the chest to the tummy and attach the inner legs.
For the main body you attach the front to back and then tail to the back to create to the sides. You then stitch along the cats spine, around his tail to his bum. Slightly dodgy looking… lol.
The instructions then tell you how to attach the underside to the main body in 3 steps. Along the back of his hind legs, up the fronts of his front legs and then between front and back legs.
Finally the bottom of the paws are attached which is a little tricky. I found having the circular paw piece underneath with the legs on top easiest because I could monitor and ease the fullness in as I stitched.
First I started with the ears. To get a nice turned through edge, here’s a little trick which you can apply to pocket flaps, collars, etc. Once you’ve stitched the corner and trimmed the seam allowance down (or clip if need be), press the seam allowance in with the pressed edge against the stitch line. You can now turn through the ears and press flat, just look at that lovely curve on the ears!
Putting the head together when I first read it seemed so complex, but as I said before, if you follow each step carefully one at a time, it goes together really easily. You MUST make sure each notch matches exactly. I was also nervous about inserting toy eyes but it was the easiest step. You literally use an awl to make a hole, shove/wiggle the stem of the eye through the hole and push the stopper on the back.
I was trying to make the face lighter, as many black and white cats do but when it was together I found the colour combination didn’t work with the dark body. So I swapped the forehead, nose and chin pieces and I’m much happier with the result. Sewing the cheek pieces around the nose was tricky and there was a lot of swearing as I stitched multiple puckers in! Still I got there in the end and once the felt nose piece is attached it hides small imperfections pretty well.
Once the head is attached, the cat could be stuffed. I’ve had a couple of saggy cushions knocking about for ages so rather than buying more stuffing I used those. Stuffing took longer than actually stitching the cat together. You have to methodically stuff little by little, first into the tail, limbs and heads and finally the body.
Once stuffed, you hand stitch the hole in the tummy closed and glue on the nose.
I love the faces of these cats, they have such character. They look slightly different from each other as Edith’s cat was made from stretch fabric and Leons from woven fabric so Edith’s has ended up bigger. Leon is obsessed with this bow tie I made from his naming ceremony so I’ve finished his cat with it.
Leon will be getting his cat from Father Christmas in a few weeks, Edith’s keepsake cat is in now up on the shelf next to Leon’s keepsake monkey. I really recommend giving making one a go.
Thanks for reading