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Making Primitive Halloween Cats

I purchased a large barrel of men's wool suits at an auction for a dollar. Since I make a lot of crafts to sell, I scored a real bargain. They are truly vintage. I even found a receipt in one of the pockets from the fifties. Many of them are black or gray, so I figured they would make great primitive Halloween decorations. For this project I designed primitive Halloween cats.

Approximate Time: one hour

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Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. If your wool is recycled clothing like mine, wash it in hot water and dry it in a clothes dryer. Since I wasn't going to be wearing the clothes, I wasn't concerned about shrinkage. I just prefer to work with clean fabric.

  2. Cut the clothing apart at the seams so that you have flat pieces to work with. You could use a seam ripper, but that can be time consuming and fiddly.

  3. Choose your cat shapes. I drew a whole cat shape and a cat head freehand, but you could also use Halloween cookie cutters, designs on fabric, decorations, and clip art. My whole cat is 4 inches at its widest and 8 inches tall from the top of the ears to the bottom. The cat head is approximately 4 inches in diameter. Enlarge or reduce your chosen shapes and trace them on lightweight cardboard. Cut out the shapes.
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  4. Place two pieces of wool together with the right sides facing each other. Lay your patterns on the fabric and trace around them. I used a silver Sharpie marker so that I could see the lines on the black wool and a black Sharpie on the gray wool. Pin the inside of the shapes together and cut out.

  5. Sew around the shapes using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Leave a 2-inch opening along the bottom edges for turning.

  6. Clip slits in the seams of all curves. Turn the cats right side out. Stuff the cats firmly. Hand-sew the openings closed.

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  7. Using another dark color or patterned wool fabric, cut a rectangle approximately a 1/2 inch wide by 1 1/2 inches long for the nose. Pin the rectangle vertically to the center of the face. Whip stitch around the edge of the nose using black crochet thread.

  8. Dig through your button box for your cat's eyes. Position them on the face where desired and stitch in place. Thread off-white crochet thread on your embroidery needle. Pull the ends even so that the thread is doubled. Stitch through the bottom portion of the nose. Pull 3 inches of the doubled thread to one side of the stitch. Cut the thread 3 inches from the other side of the stitch. Separate the threads on one side of the stitch. Tie the ends into a knot against the stitch. Repeat on the other side of the stitch. Trim the ends to 1 inch long. These are the whiskers. You could also use black crochet thread if desired.

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  9. Cut a 1-inch wide by 12-inch long strip of wool. Tie the strip around the neck of the whole cat. Cut a 1/2-inch wide by 16-inch strip of wool. Tie the strip into a bow. Cut open the loops of the bow. It will resemble a tassel. Stitch the tassel to the bottom of the stuffed cat head.

  10. Using black crochet thread, stitch a hanging loop to the top of the cat head. Tie the ends of the thread into a knot to complete the loop.

By cyndee kromminga from Winfield, KS

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Crafts DecorationsNovember 6, 2014
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