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What a head start on Christmas? These crazy cats are easy to sew.

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 floss.

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 button dome.

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.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Nov 1, 1984
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