Make, Jane, make!: Felt Dress-Up Kitty


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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Felt Dress-Up Kitty

What little girl doesn't love playing dress-up? It could be themselves, dolls, little brothers/sisters... but for some little girls, nothing is better than dressing up a certain famous feline...

For a sweet little friend's birthday, I thought I would make her a Hello Kitty felt stuffie. On a recent visit to our house, she showed off her "favourite socks!" with Hello Kitty on them. In actuality they were My Melody, but I think I made that error too when I was young. (My gosh this cat has been around a long time!)

The design was simple enough. Just traced a picture of kitty onto felt, added on small seam allowance all the way around, and cut out two identical pieces. Then glued on eyes and a nose, with a tight zig zag stitch around the eyes and nose for stability, and hand stitched some whiskers on with black yarn. Finally, sewed the two pieces together with right sides facing, leaving the top of the head open for turning out and stuffing. Clipped all my curves, turned her inside out, filled her up with craft batting and hand stitched the hole shut.

I found from experience that stuffing something is easiest if all you have to do is jam the batting in along a straight line. In other words, it may have hidden my poorly done hand stitched seam a lot better if I had left the stuffie open between the legs or under the arm for stuffing, but then you would have to push batting up and around into the legs or the arms/head. Which would probably mean that you would never get those appendages as full of batting as if you were simply pushing batting down into them from the top of the head.

Is there something wrong about naked kitty? Or maybe she's just missing her bow?
Next was the ubiquitous red bow, I've never seen kitty without it. I was thinking of stuffing the bow too, but after considering how puffy and awkward a pouffy bow on top of a pouffy cat would be - especially for a three year old girl to handle and dress - I decided that a unstuffed, but still double-layered for stiffness, bow would be best. Anyway the reason for this digression into my subconscious mind is to explain why my bow fashioning is so much more tedious than just sewing a double thickness of felt together.

Took a rectangle of felt and round the corners. Folded it in half and sewed a short seam to give the bow a pleat. As seen in the next picture.

Bow with a pleat

Glued on a circle of felt to represent the knot. (The glue wasn't that stable, but not to worry, it was only acting as a temporary holder until after I sewed the backing on).

Traced and cut a rough copy of my bow. Sewed them together with right sides facing, leaving a small hole for turning it inside out.  Could have stuffed it, but didn't.
Voila! Slightly 3D red bow ready to be hand stitched onto kitty.
Still something awkward about a naked Hello Kitty even with the bow on. Kinda like: "Why is she wearing a bow but no clothes?!?"
Of course I had to include some clothes for kitty. Btw, I thought I would enjoy making small clothes. Since the clothes would be finished rather quickly, wouldn't this mean almost instant gratification? I didn't account for the fact that I hate sewing anything super small.... super thin bias tape, impossibly tiny sleeve holes, barely there hems... ugh! On the plus side, stuffie clothes can help you use up scraps of material, are basically two dimensional (i.e. easy to make by simply tracing a flat design around your stuffie, no need for sleeve caps!) and are pretty artistically free-reign.

Anyway, here are the clothes with their not so professional finishings.

All clothes closed with velcro at the back. Figured that would be easiest for dressing and undressing without enlisting mommy's help each time. Will have to see in a few weeks how the felt itself is holding up with velcro being so close to it. May regret this choice and use snaps next time.

Some other items to round out the Hello Kitty themed birthday gift: Hello Kitty bag from Michaels, Hello Kitty light wand from ??? in Taiwan, Hello Kitty underwear from Walmart.

The birthday girl seemed to enjoy her gift and I was informed by mom that Hello Kitty accompanied her to her first dental check up. So I guess even if kitty doesn't survive the ages, at least she has already earned her keep.


  1. you did a really good job!!! put TY out of business :D
    and I want one! :((((((

  2. Hee,hee Too Cute!
    They have HK undies at walmart! Awesome, good to know! My lil' one needs some good incentives. This potty training thing has become super challenging lately!
    Thanks Jane!