Monday, March 14, 2011

It's Pet Week! ~ For Cats: Mouse Softie

OK, so I really enjoyed sticking to a theme for a week with the fabric flowers so I decided to do another theme this time! One close to my heart - pets! If you're not an animal lover, stick around anyway because some of these projects could easily be modified and used for a non-pet purpose ;)

To kick the week off, today we'll be making a Mouse Softie! This would presumably suit a cat best, but since OH & I are both allergic, pseudo-cat will be road testing the result of the tutorial.

(a.k.a. Benny)

What you will need:
  • Two coordinating fabrics - I like to use fleece or flannel, but you can use anything
  • Stuffing
  • Some thick, crunchy wrapping paper, a small bell/jingle or a squeaker
  • Embroidery thread & needle
  • Sewing machine & thread
  • Scissors
What to do:

Cut out a body shape from one of your fabrics, and two ears and a tail from the other.

For the tail, a long thinnish rectangle of fabric. For the ears, two smaller circles of fabric. For the body, I took a large rectangle of fabric, folded it in half and cut out a semi-circle, but with one end "pointier" - this is for the mouse's nose :) Hopefully this picture shows what I mean:

Note: Being me and rushing head first into things, I sewed the body up and THEN added the ears. It worked fine, but I'm sure it'd be easier and look better to add the ears first, and sew them up on the inside rather than the outside like I did.

OK, to sew up the body, have the right sides of the fabric facing in and sew around most of the head and body, leaving the tail end open for stuffing.

Turn it right sides out, then cut a slit in each side to slide the ears in through. 

Curl your ear into a loose cone shape and slide it into the ear slit you just cut.

Sew the ear slit, with the ear through it, closed. Go over it a couple of times for strength.

Now we're going to stuff it. Use little bits of stuffing at a time, push it as far to the other side as you can. We're filling from the tail end of the softie and filling the head end with stuffing first.

When you've stuffed the head and are about halfway, put in a small piece of noisy paper, a rubber squeaker or a small bell. This'll make it just that much more fun for the toy's recipient! I used crunchy wrapping paper.

Stuff the rest of the toy. Don't stuff it too firmly if you've used paper or it won't have any room to move and make noise.

Now to make the tail! Grab your rectangle of material and fold it in half, right sides facing together. Pin it to keep it in place.

Sew up the long side and one end. Use a straight stitch, not a zig zag like I did :P I forgot to change it over from the project I was doing before this! Whoops!

I bet you're really impressed by my mad
sewing-in-a-straight-line skills...
Turn the sewn tube inside out. This is a bit tricky since it's long and skinny. I used a plastic darning needle to help me push the sewn end through the tube.

I top-stitched (badly..) around the edge for extra strength and to make it look slightly prettier.

Now we'll attach the tail. Turn the edges of the open end of the body inside, so no raw edges are showing. Push the open end of the tail inside the body, like so:

Now just sew across the opening like we did when we sewed the ears on. Go back and forth a few times for strength. Using a fuzzy fabric and a coordinating thread in your sewing machine will mean you hardly see the stitches.

Now we have this! You can stop here if you want.

I decided to add some whiskers. Grab three short pieces of embroidery thread and knot them together in the middle. 

To attach them, I sewed them to the nose end of my mouse and then sewed a little patch of fabric over the top. I also used embroidery thread to make eyes on the little mousey. I wouldn't recommend plastic eyes or buttons because your pet might pull them off and swallow them, ick!

Now we're done! Here's a cute little mouse softie for your cat, or pseudo-cat!

The Road Test:

Now to see if it passes the road test..!

Hand it over mum!

Vigorous testing being conducted

Looks good to me!

And it passes with flying colours!


Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

I have a white dog, too...a little Westie-love :D

Jennifer said...

ahhhh how fun! my husband's kitty would love it! =)

Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

Christina @ The Tattered Tag said...

Super cute!! So happy you joined last weeks K.I.S.S. blog bash, your creativity is appreciated. Please remember tomorrow is another fun blog bash, drop by & share more inspiring ideas!

Drop by The Tattered Tag

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