Our independent friend, the cat, has movable joints, a
hand-embroidered smile, and a bit of a zany streak in this stylized
incarnation. Durable polyester stuffing keeps the felt creature firm,
however much it’s tossed and tumbled. An investment of about $10
and 4 to 5 hours can produce this individualistic pet. What you’ll
need to make a cat
Materials include: wrapping paper or 1-inch pattern paper; 1/4 yard
of thick, 72-inch-wide felt, preferably with a high wool content; a
1-pound bag of polyester fiberfill; two skeins of embroidery thread (use
the full six-ply thickness) in a color that contrasts with the felt; an
embroidery needle and a 5- to 5-1/2-inch-long (130mm) needle; two
matching 3/4-inch buttons for eyes; four size 36, 7/8-inch button forms
to cover with felt (or uncovered buttons with large shanks); dental
On a piece of paper of least 16 by 20 inches, draw a grid of 2-inch
squares and copy the pattern below. Pin the pattern pieces to the felt
and carefully cut out. Sewing and stuffing the pieces
Using the blanket-stitch, tightly sew the felt pieces together with
embroidery thread. Stitches should be about 1/8 inch deep and not more
than 1/4 inch apart.
Sew the tail pieces together, then the arms. About 3 inches short
of completing each appendage, pack as much stuffing as possible into the
opening, then continue stitching (and stuffing) until closed.
To make each leg, start stitching leg pieces together the long
distance between E and F. Stuff the leg to the ankle. Matching point F
on the leg to F on a foot pad, stitch the pad to the leg. Stuff the foot
just before you stitch cavity closed.
Join the center back seam from C to D and the center front seam
from 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 at
the top of the head, stitch the body closed on one side. Again starting
at the top of the head, stitch the other side, firmly packing stuffing
into hard-to-reach places, like the ears, as you go. Ears should stand
up 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 on
package (or use plain shank buttons). Because of the thickness of the
felt, you may need to use pliers to press the metal pusher down on the
To attach arms to the body, double-thread the long needle with
dental floss, knotting ends securely. Pass the needle through the
center of the upper segment (shoulder) of one arm, then into one side of
the body just below the neck. Push the needle through to the other side
of the body, through the shoulder of the other arm, and through the
shank of one felt button. Now reverse direction. When the needle
returns to its starting point, run it through a second button. Draw the
thread very tight, pulling the button on the opposite arm in so that it
pinches the arm to the body. Wrap the floss around the shank of the
button 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 and
mouth with small stitches and use large single stitches to form
whiskers. Sew on buttons for eyes. Finish by taking two or three large
stitches to mark the paws.