Cat post 2

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See, I told you all that I would try to write more often. Slowly but surely I will get back into the habit of making time to write about the things that I am attempting to create.

This time, I am here to talk about cat toys. The kittens that we are fostering really like to try to hunt and “kill” whatever is around them. I decided it might be best to give them a lot of options that would be safe for them to destroy.

I had a pair of jeans in my fabric stash that Mr. Uncommongeek decided to get rid of due to a rip that could not be repaired. Denim is a super rugged fabric that can be very durable. As noted previously, I also have a seemingly endless supply of stuffing. As a side note, should I decide to make more in the future, I also happen to have a supply of catnip that I am not using here, simply because the kittens are too young to really be affected by it.

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I cut out a bunch of small pieces of the denim. Then I sewed them in various ways. The kittens are very small, so I wanted to be able to have something that is small enough for the kittens as they are now, but also some bigger pieces for when they are older.

Most of the shapes that I sewed were pretty square. First, I sewed up 3 sides.

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Then stuffed the pouch and sewed up the final side.

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I did the toys in two rounds to see which kind would be more popular of a toy. I like the look of the toys with the seams on the inside, but the kittens both seem toprefer having a flap of exposed seam to bite into. The exposed seam is also the side that they hold when they carry it around in their mouth. I also attached tails on the second round, just to make the toys more interesting. I decided not to add anything else because I definitely want to avoid any sort of choking hazard, or potential accidental ingestion.

Happy sewing!

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Cat post 1

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Hey blog sphere, sorry that I haven’t been taking the time to write to you guys. I will try to remedy that with a couple of posts coming up.

Mr. Uncommongeek and I have been fostering a couple of kittens. We were successful in finding them new forever homes, and I was able to use some fabric out of my stash to make things to go with cute little balls of fluff as they journey to their new life.

One of the first things that I made is beds. I know that most cats love laying on soft things that they can curl up in, and if it resembles a box lid, then all the better. I also know that pet beds are super expensive and I don’t have that kind of money to spend on a cat who would probably turn their nose up at it anyway.

A while ago, I had purchased a couple of sweaters either from Goodwill, or a local thrift shop, so I could make various craft things and stuff. Needless to say, the things that I was attempting to create didn’t work out so well, and I never tried to figure out what to do to improve upon my mistakes. Which left me with a bunch of sweater pieces.

I also have all sorts of stuffing and blanket batting. I have purchased stuffing, but my friends and family are aware of my craft supply hoarding problem, and supply me with their surplus every time that they are clearing out their stash. I have been trying to utilize this surplus at every opportunity that I am able, but I feel like this is a substance that will multiply when you are not paying attention.

To make the kitty beds, I used a piece of sweater that had been cut off straight across below the arm holes. I then made sure that three sides were sewn up, leaving the bottom hem of the original sweater unsewn.  I then cut a piece of batting to be about the size of the sewn sweater piece and placed it inside the sweater. Then I sewed the middle part down to create a bed area and a side rail area. Next, I stuffed the side rail area with stuffing that I had on hand. Once that was stuffed to my liking, I hand sewed up the last side of the bed and let the kittens choose which one they wanted.

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Overall, the project was pretty easy and I completed both beds in one afternoon. I know that they are not perfect, but it was my first attempt and I wasn’t really looking to make them perfect, just usable. The kitties seem to like them, and that is what really matters.

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Happy sewing!

Week 14 – Stash Busting (VIP Fabric)

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The Facts

Fabric: Mystery blend fabric. Unknown origin, unknown fiber content.

Pattern: Mashup of McCall’s 6819 and modified Simplicity 4046

Year: 2014

Notions: Thread, interfacing, ribbon, grommets

Time to complete: 30+

First worn: Not yet

Wear again? Maybe after some intense reworking

Total Cost: Unknown

* This is a post that I wrote last year, but did not get around to posting until just now.

I have had this fabric in my stash for quite some time. I do not know where I purchased it originally. Since it was cut by a previous owner, I probably got it from a charity shop/thrift store or an estate sale. I love the color and the pattern. I knew that whatever I made from it would have to be really special.

In addition to my hoarding fabric, I also collect sewing patterns. I have managed to amass enough patterns to open an Etsy store that sells nothing but vintage and gently used patterns. (Hint, hint.) Most of the newer patterns that I own are ones that I have bought on sale so I can practice making all of the tailor made clothing that I love so much, or so I can recreate some of the steampunk outfits that I covet. Most of the my vintage patterns are ones that I have collected from various sources and are unlikely to be made by me. So while it seems that most everyone I know has been furiously creating a costume for either the Steampunk Empire Symposium or for C2E2 this weekend, I have been working on this jacket. I was hoping to possibly wear it this weekend, but I have not finished it and I have made enough mistakes during its creation that it is possible that it will not ever be worn without a major overhaul. It may be possible to wear it as is if I make a bustle extreme enough, but that is unlikely to happen any time soon.

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I combined the top part of the McCalls’ pattern with a modified bottom of the over skirt from the Simplicity pattern you may remember from last week. I found out that fabric drape is an important consideration when making a full skirt. This fabric is very stiff, which is good for the top portion of the jacket, but not so much for the bottom. If there had been enough to follow the pattern exactly, I think it would have turned out alright. I was thinking a shorter version would work with the dress that I made previously. I obviously did not think it through well enough. You can see in the pictures that the front does not line up in the center front because the jacket front does not line up in the center. That is how this jacket was designed. You can see in the picture of the pattern that there is a choice of a peplum or some tabs. Either way, there is a visual distraction at the waistline of the jacket to hide the fact that it overlaps in the front and it is a fact that I did not realize until after the jacket was constructed. But, I am sewing to learn more about sewing and clothing construction. As much as I love this fabric and the idea of this pattern, there is a fabric that I have had since I began my fabric hoarding. When I feel more confident in my sewing abilities, I will cut into that fabric and make this jacket again (or one very like it) but I will match the fabric at the seams, I will understitch my seams on the correct sides, and I will know how to match things up better so I have a more symmetrical jacket overall.

Happy sewing!