My kitties, like most kitties, have a weakness for jingle toys stuffed with catnip. My Moonunit likes to carry them around the house in her mouth while yowling loudly! And Prince likes to fling them against the ceiling as hard as he can! Every once in a while I make them handmade toys, which usually turn out to be their favorites! (The key is super fresh catnip, I use SmartyKat organic catnip.)
I decided this month they needed a jingle fish with cute little scales. I decided your kitties needed one too so I made a little pattern and tutorial for you to follow. Do it. Your cats want you to.
Felt, 2 colors
2 Snap in Safety Eyes
I zipped this guy through the sewing machine just to save time but I usually hand stitch them which is more time consuming but more fun, (in my opinion.)
First you'll want to print and cut out your pattern. Then grab your felt and fold each piece in half because you'll be cutting two of each pattern piece for each side of your fish toy.
Pin your pattern pieces to your felt and cut. Make sure to use sharp scissors to really define your scalloped scales.
All cut out! You should have two of each piece.
Pin your scales to your fishes, front, middle and back.
Then zip them through the sewing machine or hand sew your scales onto your fishes.
At this point I sewed some decorative fish tail markings on both sides of my fishy, this is completely optional.
First, I sewed Only the top seam across the fish. I then used a seam ripper to rip a TINY hole in each side for the snap in eyes to fit, don't make a big hole or your eyes will pop out which is dangerous for your babies! I sewed the top seam Only at first because it would be super difficult to machine sew so close to the metal safety snaps after they were inserted. (You can always make felt eyes if this is a big concern for you.) Stuff your cat toy with fluff (don't forget to stuff in a little catnip and a jingle bell)
Then sew around the entire outside edge and trim closely.
I couldn't resist sewing a blanket stitch around the outside edge of my fish once he was done. I think he turned out pretty cute.
Fortunately it doesn't matter how cute it is because your kitties will tear it up anyway!
Here's the printable pattern if you're interested in making some jingle fishies for your kitty cats.
(The pattern should take up half a sheet of 8x11.5" printer paper so make sure you have the orientation correct before printing, mine worked best on the "Shrink to Fit" setting.)
My kitties love the heck out of these guys! Prince cat prefers the big, felt toys he can throw against the ceiling and Moon really prefers the knitted ones made out of natural fibers so she can pretend that she's hunting game in the wild. Hehe.
Thanks for reading! Let me know if you give this pattern a try!
I've been taking on a lot of large projects lately and sometimes with the big ones it seems like the end is never in sight! At these times I like to give myself a tiny project to work on in my off hours. Something with instant gratification. Tiny needlepoint is usually the answer. I love needlepoint because it allows for total creativity; a blue house with an orange roof!? Sounds good to me!
I did want to share with you a couple of the "in between" pictures. Just for fun. This is the original idea, it came from a sketch I was working on late one night.
Sometimes you've just gotta draw cute little houses. You can see some purple on the fabric in these pictures, it's because I like to use an erasable fabric marker to sketch my designs onto the fabric before I start working. It disappears in time OR you can use water to make it fade away.
Lighting change! I wasn't sure what to do with the little clouds of chimney smoke, I made a few swirls at first but they just didn't look right. I also tried out a dark blue door but it just looked terrible! Avert your eyes!
In the end I really like how it turned out. Especially the cute little pebbles on the walkway and the happy little trees.
Now, I'd like to show you how I finish my embroidery projects. It's a little bit time consuming but the reason I do it this way is that I like to have the option in the future to take the backing piece off the fabric and wash it if need be. Fabric projects can get stained and dusty with age so it's always nice to have the option of cleaning them somewhere down the line. They also will become less taut over time and lose tension so you should reasonably be able to remove them and re-stretch the fabric in the future. This tutorial really helped me the first time I finished a piece. I've since added to it and made it my own.
I forgot to include pics of the beginning of the process. I like to measure the hoop and make sure I have a piece of lightweight iron on interfacing placed behind the image to keep the project nice and stable before I start stitching. You can see the interfacing a little bit here.
Now, for finishing the project I like to cut around the edges as pictured^. I then run a basting stitch around the edge of the project with a long strand of embroidery floss to gather.
Then gather all the thread together and tie a double knot.
Then grab a coordinating piece of felt and cut it to the appropriate size to fit the back of your hoop.
I then do a little whip stitch around the edge to secure it all up.
I think it turned out pretty darn cute! I love tiny embroidery hoops, they make awesome gifts and fun little projects to work on when you have a little extra time on your hands.
Here's a copy of my original image if you'd like to trace it onto some fabric and make an adorable little house for yourself! You could always print it and then change the size for whatever hoop you have available. Or, if you don't wanna take the time to make one you can always just purchase it from my shop!
Let me know if you have any questions! If you haven't tried needlepoint/embroidery before you should definitely give it a shot. It's a cheap hobby and there are all sorts of resources out there on the Pinterest to get you started. I even have a Pinterest board devoted to some of my favorites!
Hope you're having a happy September!
Thanks for stopping by!
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