A month ago I debuted my pattern mod for the Tagalong Teddy pattern, found in Betz’s book, Present Perfect. I immediately knew that I wanted to modify this particular pattern into another equally cuddly animal, a cat.
This pattern is wonderfully simple in construction. It would be a great jumping off point for any beginning sewer who is eager to try their hand at making a stuffed animal. I’d even recommend this pattern to any mom or dad who is looking to teach a younger son or daughter how to read pattern instructions and sew it all together. It’s that fun and simple.
When I made “Jack” (every stuffed animal needs a name, right?) I opted to use polar fleece for his body instead of using a cotton terry knit or Minky fabric. I like polar fleece for several reasons, but mainly because it has a modest amount of stretch and it hides stitches well.
If you decide to use polar fleece instead of the recommended fabrics (terry cloth or minky), you’ll want to make sure you cut your fleece body pieces a ¼” larger than the pattern piece to accommodate for the added thickness.
To make cat ears I sketched out a triangle on some extra tracing paper at about 2 ¾ “ wide and 2 ½ “ tall. I used this pattern to cut both the ears and the ear applique pieces out.
Once all my pieces were cut out I decided to use the leg of an old set of flannel pajama bottoms for my Cat applique pieces. Tip: If you use old pajamas, like I did, make sure that all the fabric softener has been washed out before using it in your project. This will help the fusible webbing stick and not peel away. It’s also good to mark what the front and back of your flannel looks like to keep your appliques looking consistent. I noticed the front/exterior of the flannel had a fuzzier texture than the interior.
I chose to cut a long rectangle out of my pajama leg and then fuse a smaller piece of webbing to the backside before cutting each of my pattern pieces out. I did the same for any felt that needed to be fused on as well. I did not cut these pieces any larger than the paper pattern.
Instead of blanket stitching around the tummy piece I chose to use a satin stitch. The addition of the webbing on the back of the flannel will act as a stabilizer to keep the satin stitch from bunching the fabric.
Tip: If you decide to do a blanket stitch around the tummy piece please note your flannel will fray some around the edges. If you don’t like that kind of look feel free to add a small amount of Fray Check around the outer edge to help prevent this.
For the Cat’s tail I did a rough sketch onto the paper of the fusible webbing, fused it to my flannel then to the back of a body piece and then satin stitched around it. My tail measured 3 ½ “ wide by 6 ½ “ tall.
The face was simply a matter of adding some whiskers and lowering the nose placement to make a handsome cat face. Changing up the eye color and stitching around the pupils also added a bit of animation.
I added two little hearts on either side of the jacket and used a tiny bit of fray check to keep the edges tidy. If you wanted you could fuse the hearts to the felt instead and blanket stitch around them.
The joy of this pattern is the ease at which the basic shape of the teddy can be turned into a completely new animal with simple details. Imagine an orange tiger with stripes or a colorful pink panda made out of Minky!
What animal would you make or do you love your teddy bears?
**This post is part of the Betz White Sewing Collective series. I am a compensated contributor expressing my own views and opinions.**