A Tail of Two Kitties

Ha! See what I did there? And to think, I don’t get paid for this.  You may remember the black cat from the Urban Witch Costume. I mentioned that he was problematic and I really felt like I could do better. This isn’t the same type of frustration I expressed earlier this week. In this case, it was simply knew I could do it better if I just gave it another whirl. I think I nailed it the second time!

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Don’t misunderstand, I like the black cat. I think soft and cute and went well with the costume. His lines aren’t quite right though. Around the house he’s known as the “cat mouse” because his shape is more mouse-like than cat like. Here’s a picture of the two of them with the shape difference called out with matching lines. I think you’ll see what we see….

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My first intention was to use very basic shapes and kind of make up the pattern as I went along. I think I could have done it, but it would have taken MUCH longer. JoAnn was running a sale and McCall’s patterns were $1. I thought this was certainly serendipity striking again and bought their cat pattern, M6485.

TailofKitties (4)I’m going to tell you another truth. I suck at reading these patterns. It might be why I’m so resistant to garment making. I know they are trying to save printing and try to get all the info in the tiniest space possible, but I always feel like there is missing information or implied steps that I don’t get. Then, there are the illustrations. There are two for this cat pattern that I can’t figure out. Sitting there with the cat and the line drawing and I can’t figure out how to make mine bend like the one in the drawing. I suspect if you’ve been reading these things for 20 years they make sense, but since I haven’t, I really struggle! Typically, it makes more sense after I’ve finished it and can see what’s wrong with my finished product.

One thing I always do with these is trace the pattern pieces onto plain on tracing paper.

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I do it for a few reasons:

  • It’s non-destructive to the original pattern
  • I like the tracing paper’s weight better.
  • If something goes very wrong, I can just retrace a new piece.
  • I make a pattern piece for the “folded side” or “second cut” That way I have one for every piece on the right side
  • If required, I’ll leave the paper on the fabric and sew right through it like paper piecing

TailofKitties (6) The cat calls for a fleece. It just so happens that JoAnn had a ton of fleece on sale for a very low price. The scale on most of the prints was way too large for my little kitty. Instead of buying a lot of different fabrics for the various contrasts, I bought one fabric with places to fussy cut. If you look at him, you’ll see the stripes and the solids from lanterns and I used the cherry blossoms on his tail and side. I think it worked out pretty well, with the sale, $3.50 fabric investment. Not bad eh?

I’ve never worked with fleece before, but I liked it. It has some stretch in  it and it is forgiving around the corners and curves. I would use it again for sure.


See them all in there?

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I’m so much happier with my second go! He takes about 3 hours to put together and could probably be done in 2.5 after more practice. Now I have something to do with those fleeces I see in the store and wish  I had a reason to buy!

How about you? Do you use these types of sewing patterns? Do you “get” them? If so, what’s your advice?

Linking in with Crazy Mom Quilts TGIF Friday!


  1. Aw, they’re so cute!…and so soft and cuddly looking. Big cat-lover here.

    • Thanks Linda! We like them. My daughter was a bit miffed I wouldn’t let her have the purple one yet. 🙂


What say you?