This cat cushion project came about after wracking my brain about what to make my sister for Christmas. I’m still pretty limited (but learning & improving) in my creative sewing skills and Pinterest wasn’t inspiring me, so I had a good long think – what does she like? Well, she has an adorable tiny cat that she dotes on and I wanted to make something quite personal, so I came up with the Kitty Warm Hug. It’s very much styled on Pusheen (I love Kawaii type design) with my own twist (you have to push/pull the wheat bag up his bum!) This post is about the design and making process, I hope you enjoy it 🙂
As a big fan of Pusheen, I had a strong idea of how I wanted to design the cushion without any prior sketching. To create the body, I used a Pattern Master (this is an awesome tool for anyone that wants to create their own patterns – I did a pattern cutting course last year and bought it then. “Pattern Master” is a brand name and it’s pretty expensive. I bought one at half the price from Fred Aldous.) This is what they look like:
Working on folded pattern paper, I drew one half of the body and sketched in the ear. I then cut this out to give the complete main body.
The Main Body
I used polar fleece that I bought on ebay. You need to use one that is good quality to reduce the likelihood of piling over time. Fold the fleece wrong sides together, pin the pattern on really well (use loads of pins to avoid any slipping.) Cut around the pattern, and you should have two matching main body sections.
Creating the Features
Kawaii designs are very symmetrical and quite simple in terms that they are generally quite basic shapes (so perfect for craft projects!)
To create the eyes, I drew around a thread spool and placed them on the main body, recutting until the right size had been achieved.
To create the mouth, I sketched several designs which were all rubbish. It wasn’t until I realised that the design is very similar to how I drew birds when I was about 6, that I hit upon the winning formula (I turned it upside down.)
You’ll see from the plan above, I was going to create whiskers too. However, as features where hand sewn (and I’m really not a hand sewing fan!) I left these off the final design.
You’ll see from the foot sketch below, I redrew it several times in order to get the right size. (Also, I’ve no idea why I cut 2 eye and feet pattern pieces, you only need one to cut 2 fabric pieces!)
The inner pocket was measured slightly smaller than the wheat bag to ensure the wheat bag wouldn’t fall out when you’re using it.
Checking & Sewing the Features
After cutting out the facial features, I checked them on the main body pattern and tweaked until they looked right.
These were then pinned and hand sewn on to the front main body section:
I then placed the feet, and pinned. Hand sewed about three quarters of the way around, before stuffing with toy fibre.
The back of the cushion features 2 stripes, these were hand sewn on.
Here’s the front and back with all the features. The next step is to pin the body together and fit the pouch for the wheat bag.
The pouch is machine sewn together, leaving a gap for the wheat bag to go. The tail is created separately (all hand sewn):
Annoyingly, I forgot to photograph adding the pouch and tail. Probably because it was super fiddly and I had to take a lot of deep breaths at this stage to not chuck the lot in the bin. However, this was mostly down to my making it up on the fly! It will be much easier next time! It just requires some careful thought and pinning (as you’re working with the body inside out but you need to consider how the tail which pokes out, and the pouch which pokes in, all fits together!)
I carefully machine sewed the body, leaving a gap on the side for stuffing and turn the right side out, making sure the tail is out and the pouch is pushed in. This is the unstuffed version from the back.
This is how it’s looking, unstuffed, from the front:
In the open side seam, I stuffed the cushion firmly, starting with the ears. I had to keep squeezing the cushion to make sure it was evenly stuffed and nice to hug!
Once stuffed, I hand sewed the open seam with a ladder stitch to neatly finish it.
The wheat bag is one I bought from a lady on ebay that hand makes them as toy replacement ones. This one is wheat and Lavender :
The Finished Item
I was really pleased with the finished cushion, and so was my sister. My nephew is also rather taken with it, so my next project is a panda version for him.