FREE Halloween Cat Pattern

A couple of years ago I made a couple of this pattern for a work secret santa and since then I’ve been meaning to make it into a pattern/tutorial in time for Halloween and I’ve never yet got around to it. Until now!

You can download the printable pattern here and there is a printable version of the instructions here. There is also a text-only version of the instructions if you want to save ink if printing.

You will need:

  • approx 24 x 42cm knit fabric
  • toy stuffing
  • small amount of rice

Here is the cutting layout I used (though if your scrap of fabric is a different shape feel free to play pattern tetris. You also need to cut a third gusset on a single layer.

The pieces you need to cut out are:

  • 2 body pieces
  • 2 tail pieces
  • 3 gussets

  1. With right sides together stitch the 2 body pieces together, leaving the bottom between the notches unsewn. Use a 1cm seam allowance.

Leave the body inside out.

2. Sew 2 gusset pieces together with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving a gap in the stitching (for stuffing).

3. Stuff some rice into the gusset pieces. This will act as a weight in the bottom of the cat. This is quite fiddly – if you have a little funnel, it would be very helpful here!

4. Being careful to make sure no rice goes under your needle, sew the gap shut.

5. Baste the third gusset to the pouch of rice, stitching 0.5cm away from the edge.

6. With right sides together, stitch the 2 tails together with a 1cm seam allowance. Leave the straight edge open (for stuffing).

7. Turn the tail the right way around (this is very fiddly, sorry!). If you have a loop turner, this will be very useful. Stuff the tail with toy stuffing. Leave 1cm at the open end un-stuffed – this is the seam allowance to attach the tail.

8. Place the tail inside the body of the cat, with the tip of the tail going into the head and the open end being lined up to the notch on the back of the cat. You may have to slightly curl the tail up to get it to fit.

9. Pin the gusset/bottom to the bottom of the cat, with the plain side (the third piece you attached) on the inside. Sew with a 0.5cm seam allowance, leaving one side open for stuffing.

10. Turn the cat the right way around, stuff and hand sew the gap closed.

11. Admire your new familiar!

Note that I used the same pattern for both cats but due to the different amount of stretch in the jerseys, they ended up a slightly different size.

I think you could stuff the whole cat with rice (it would need quite a lot) to make it into a door stop. If you were to do that I obviously wouldn’t bother with the little weight made from 2 gussets – so you would only need to cut out one. You may want to reinforce the bottom seam by sewing it twice too.

Halloween 2020 isn’t going to be the same as in any other year but you can still decorate your home for spooky season!

 

 

Denim Cleo Dress

With all the denim that my friend gave me I was able to make some Roberts Dungarees, my first pair of Dawn Jeans and this Cleo Dungaree dress.

I’ve made 4 other Cleos in the past (though one of them got stained). The first two I made are here and the 3rd and 4th are here. What’s funny is that I feel like the other versions I made were a little too long so I ended up taking them all up a bit. I only realised when cutting out this version that I had always cut out the longer length. Only when I didn’t have quite enough fabric to fit all the pieces for all the patterns on the fabric that I noticed the shorter hem length line on the pattern piece!

I’m much more happy with this shorter length!

This really is a nice easy pattern to make – I’m sure there aren’t many people (who are within Tilly’s relatively small size range) who haven’t made a Cleo yet. It does sew up really quickly.

As I mentioned in the post about my first Dawn Jeans, the fabric had some marks on it – I think from being folded up for so long. I didn’t really notice until I took these photos that there is a fairly strong pale line up the middle of the dress – but there’s a seam and top-stitching there so I don’t think it’s too much of a disaster.

I used traditional jeans top-stitching colour thread to made these really jeans-like. And I bought the buckles from my local little sewing shop – it’s where I’ve bought most of my buckles!

To be honest I haven’t actually worn this (apart from to take these photos!). I felt like it was going to be a good warm-weather garment  but then it went cold! I’m sure I’ll wear it with tights and a jumper underneath if I ever go back to work! I’m still furloughed and to be honest I’m starting to lose hope that I’m going back ever.

I feel like I don’t too often make things that I’m not sure I’ll wear much, but actually looking at this, I don’t know if Cleos are really my style any more. Maybe it’s because I’ve been sitting in my house for almost 7 months and dresses (in any form) feel a but dressed up to me – whereas I’m all about the comfort being at home so much! Do you make things you then think ‘why did I make that?’

 

 

Double Gauze Arden Pants

I seem to keep making patterns in pairs – and especially Helen’s Closet patterns! I made 2 Blackwood Cardigans and 2 Elliot Sweaters. I guess I often must also buy fabrics in pairs!

And the Arden Pants are no exception! I haven’t bought many (if any?!) patterns in absolutely ages but when I saw the Arden pants, I knew the pieces of double gauze I’d been hoarding in my stash since last year would be perfect! I initially thought about making one colour into trousers and the other into a top but I’m so glad I made them both into trousers – I have plenty of tops after my Inari-making binge (1, 2, 3)!

The fabric was from Fabric Godmother last year when I left my previous job in June. They actually still have both listed though only the navy is currently in stock – the navy is here and the mustard/gold is here (but out of stock atm).

This was my first time working with double gauze and I found it okay. It does kind of wrinkle up loads when you pre-wash it and then I read some stuff about how it’s up to you how flat you want it ironed to before you start your project. It’s supposed to have a bit of texture so I ironed out the worst wrinkles and went from there. I have heard double gauze can be a bit shifty – because there are 2 layers which slide past each other – but I think because this was a relatively simple pattern it worked fine.

I made the size 6 and made no fitting adjustments apart from taking up a 7cm hem in total as I wanted them to graze my ankles. I did find the fabric had a slight tendency to ever so slightly stretch out a little when being top-stitched (like on the edges of the pocket openings) and I didn’t do absolutely all the top-stitching the pattern called for because I wanted a looser, breezy vibe, rather than having that jeans-style stitching. I did top-stitch the crotch seam, though, to strengthen the seam that will get the most strain!

 

I slightly had to fudge the back pockets because of my shoddy cutting-out skills! When will I learn to take more time over cutting out shifty fabrics? At this point probably never! 😂

I also discovered that double gauze (or this double gauze specifically) frays like a bitch! I over-locked everything to make sure the trousers weren’t going to just disintegrate as soon as I wore them twice!

I would definitely recommend this pattern if you’re looking for a nice, stylish but relatively simple first foray into sewing trousers/pants. The construction is very similar to the Hudson Pants but it has a higher rise, which I much prefer. I love my Hudsons but I wish they came up a little higher on my waist (obviously I can adjust that if I make them again). They are also super comfortable because of the loose fit and the elasticated waist.

My only regret with making these Ardens is that I made them probably too late in the year to really get any wear out of them until next Summer. Here in the UK we have now entered the, like, 8 month period where the weather is shit and I’m cold ALL THE TIME. Although I’ve made all the things since the beginning of lockdown, I think I need more cold-weather options so I’m not quite so grumpy for the next few months!

Do you have a favourite easy to wear trouser pattern? I think this might be my new fav!

 

 

Navy Blue Stretch Dawn Jeans

This is my final pair of lockdown jeans, so if you’re sick of hearing about jeans, you get a reprieve now! This is another pair of Dawn Jeans – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I don’t see that I’ll really ever need another jeans pattern.

I made the size 4, as with all my other pairs, and took a wedge out of the back seam of 2cm as I have with all the other pairs. I took them in on the thighs, like with the black pair, but I left them a bit looser on the lower legs to make sure I could get them on and off!

 

The fabric was also from Fabric Godmother but when I pre-washed it there were loads of streaks on the denim – maybe where it had got folded up in the washing machine. I washed the fabric when I bought it a couple of years ago so I was worried it was from sitting in my stash that it had the marks. I washed it again just before cutting the jeans out and the marks were still there unfortunately. But when I’m wearing them I don’t think it’s super super obvious.

As with the black pair I decided to do matching top-stitching instead of contrasting jeans top-stitching as I’ve had various pairs of skinny navy trousers over the years which don’t look like jeans so I kinds of recreated those.

I really do prefer how the dawn jeans look with a zip fly instead of a button fly as they sit more flush and don’t have the gaping issue, even though these are pretty tight! Though the denim has a nice amount of stretch so these are really comfortable to wear.

You can kind of see the streaks in this photo – pale marks on the fabric. You can’t see them from a distance and I honestly don’t notice them when I’m wearing them, so it doesn’t really bother me.

The stretch in the denim means that these jeans, while they look really tight, are still comfortable to sit in! I find my ginger jeans aren’t as comfortable to sit in and they put pressure on my knees a bit to sit in – but these don’t have that problem! Hurray!

I’m still on furlough from my job in a bookshop and I expect to be until the end of the scheme – it remains to be seen if I lose my job at that point! I spent the first few months of lockdown sewing all the things I planned for my wardrobe for years (and I have a few projects still to share) but I’ve kind of run out of steam for sewing for a while! I think I did a year’s worth of sewing in 3 1/2 months so it’s not really a surprise, though I have sewn a couple of things recently – and remembered how much I really do like sewing! Maybe now is finally the time to make my first quilt since my wardrobe is pretty much set for a good while now!

Liberty Boaty Carolyn Pyjamas

I’m back with more Carolyn Pyjamas! And I really really love this set! They have been literally years in the making – the fabric hasn’t been in my stash quite as long as the fabric I used for my first pair but still, it’s been a while!

The fabric is also liberty but it’s got a bit more weight to it than the stuff I used for my first pair. One of my London friends was very very generous and bought me 3m of it as a present! I knew immediately I wanted to make pyjamas out of it…..and then didn’t for years. But I’ve made them now!

I made the size 8 in both top and trousers as with my other pair but when I laid out the fabric I realised it was super narrow. So I had to sacrifice the long sleeves to be able to fit all the other pieces on – some serious pattern tetris was going on, I can tell you! I used the measurements I gleaned from making the first pair to know how much to shorten the legs by so the cuff would (hopefully) just hit the ground. It basically worked out, phew!

The other main different between this pair and the other is that I used piping – for the first time, no less! I bought ready made piping from my sewing shop (also years ago) and I might be tempted to make some myself next time as I couldn’t join the ends of the loops (on the hems and the sleeve cuffs) neatly. I don’t have a piping foot for my sewing machine either, so I just used my zip foot to get as close to the piping as possible. If I were to do loads of piping in the future maybe I’d invest in a piping foot but at the moment I don’t see that really happening!

The piping looks a little pink in the photos but it’s actually red and white striped, to match the bottoms of some of the boats – and what’s more nautical than read and white stripes with blue!? I also bought matching red buttons once the shops opened to match the piping and the hulls of the boats.

It’s quite tricky to show the piping on the trouser hems! Lol!

The only thing I think I would change if I made another pair of Carolyns would be to use a lighter weight of interfacing – I thought I used medium weight but it was just in my stash so it could have been heavy weight. Either way, with the slightly stiffer handle of this cotton (as opposed to a more cotton lawn feel on the other pair) the front edges are very stiff with the interfacing too. And it doesn’t stop the collar completely losing all shape once they’ve been slept in once but meh. What can you do?!

I’ll leave you with this photo of me cuddling my childhood teddy bear, Cutie. I have no idea why I called him that but he’s almost as old as me (I don’t know exactly when I got him but there’s a photo of me at age around 2 holding him) so I guess we’re both stuck with the name.