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Topic: Teeny mice from reclaimed fabrics with TUTORIAL (A LOT of pics!)  (Read 49819 times)
Tags for this thread: mouse , craftster_best_of_2008 , catnip_toy , toy , tutorial , catnip , cat , pattern  Add new tag
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barbolot
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« on: December 16, 2008 05:49:42 PM »

***SCROLL DOWN A BIT FOR THE TUTORIAL!***

I used to make these for my kitty, Sally, every Christmas.  She LOVED these.  My kitty passed away about two years ago, and I miss her every day.  I decided to make these for other people's kitties, so they can enjoy these little mice.  I re-drafted my pattern, and made some of these up using reclaimed/recycled fabric scraps.  I used embroidery floss I purchased at the thrift store.  The mice are stuffed with polyfil and they do have a fabric-wrapped core of catnip inside for extra fun!





I embroidered their faces, so there aren't any little pieces that can come off and choke the kitty.

This one was made from a vintage table cloth!


This one was made from a shirt:


And so was this one:


The tails are cotton cord, but could also be made of ribbon or rick rack.
If anyone would like a pattern, I'd be happy to post one.  Smiley
Thanks for looking!

***TUTORIAL***

If I've over-simplified, my apologies...  I try to make instructions very clear, so even beginners can follow along and make a cute little mouse!  You experts can probably just look at the pattern below, and go from there.  Also, please excuse my ugly machine.  It's my back-up, plus it was free. Wink

GENERAL INFO:
*Seam allowances: 1/4 inch
*Catnip core is optional, but helpful to contain the little pieces of catnip.  It's up to you if you want to include it or not.... if not, just skip those steps.
*You can also add a bell or some crinkly stuff at the step where you add the catnip core.

PATTERN:
*I used a 1-inch grid to draw the pattern.  You can transpose it from the picture below, or you can download your own copy from this site (it's free):
http://www.box.net/shared/qb0b353mg2

Just print it out at exact size, and you should be good to go.



SUPPLIES:
*fabric (reclaimed is even better!)
*scrap fabric, preferably with a loose weave
*cotton cord (or ribbon, rick rack, or other cords for the tail)
*thread
*embroidery floss
*catnip
*polyfil

Plus, a needle, sewing machine (or you could sew these by hand), scissors, pins, stick for turning, pen/pencil for marking


PREPARATIONS:
*Tie a knot at one end of the cord.  Set aside.


*Cut out fabrics as shown on the pattern.

*For catnip core pouch, fold fabric in half.


*Sew two sides of the pouch.


*Add catnip.


***Make sure you check to see if there are any poky sticks or stems!  Remove any you find.***


*Sew closed.  Set aside.


SEWING THE MOUSE:
*Embroider the little mouse's face.  I use a french knot for the eyes, and a running stitch for the ears.


*Try to compare the two sides of the mouse's face so they'll match up at least a little bit.


For the sides body of the mouse:
*Lightly mark the small circles on one side piece.
*Lightly mark the large circle on both side pieces.
*Sew the two side pieces together as shown (green dotted lines), from the nose to the large circle.


*At the large circle, where the two sides meet, place the cord tail inside the mouse.... it will be laying on the right side of the fabrics.


*Pin and baste the tail at the circle, about 1/8" from the edge (it will be in the seam allowance.)  It's also OK if the tail is more to one side... my mouse tails always are!


Attaching the sides of the body to the bottom:
*Match the ends together.... the mouse nose can be a bit tricky.  (Don't worry if everything doesn't match up exactly.  Just get the nose ends all in the general vicinity!)  


*Match the slightly pointy end of the bottom piece to where the large circle/tail is on the sides.  Pin in place.

*Be sure to leave an opening where the small circles are on one of the sides.  This will be left open, and where you will turn and stuff the body.

*Begin at the tail end (with a few back-and-forth stitching for reinforcement,_ and sew towards the nose on one side.  Stop.


*Begin again at the tail end, and sew towards the nose on the other side.... make sure you don't sew between the two small circles!


*Trim off some of the extra fabric at the nose.


*Turn right-side out, using a stick to help gently poke out the nose.  You may want to use a pin to further pull the nose out -- just be gentle so you don't tear or snag the fabric (guilty!)


FILLING THE MOUSE:
*Put a little bit of polyfil down into the nose, using a stick to poke it down firmly.


*Add the catnip core (and/or bell, crinkly stuff, etc.)


*Add more polyfil, until your mouse is your desired fullness/firmness.  I make mine pretty firm.  I also make sure I bury the bell very well, surrounded with polyfil.

FINISHING:
*Pull the open sides together, and stitch close.  You can use a whipstitch, slipstitch, or whatever you're comfortable doing.



Now, give the mouse to your favorite kitty (or keep for yourself) to play with!  Enjoy!


***If you have any questions, just ask!***
****And no, I don't mind if you use my pattern to make mice for sale.  Just please don't sell my pattern -- that wouldn't be very cool.****

UPDATE:
LOOOOOK!   My little mice are famous!   Grin  I'm BEYOND excited!


(Dec/Jan 2010 issue of ReadyMade!!)
Smiley
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010 08:13:35 AM by barbolot » THIS ROCKS   Logged

tavernkitty
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2008 05:54:06 PM »

Those are adorable ! I only wish my kitties would play with cloth mice, however they like the crinkle balls.
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Ariethine
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2008 06:06:57 PM »

Those are so cute! I think my cats would find me stupid if I made some for them and tried to make them play with them...  Smiley But that's okay. I think other kitties are going to get a very nice present!
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nicolatte
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2008 06:21:10 PM »

 Those are just too cute. Smiley
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sewjayded
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2008 06:31:28 PM »

My kitty would LOVE those.  She likes to carry her mice around in her mouth and plays fetch too. 
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Teresa_T
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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2008 07:17:43 PM »

These are adorable and look well made. I'm sure kitties will love them.

I know how hard it is to lose a pet. I hope you have or will be able to bring another kitty into your life. I still think of my kitty Daphne every day and she died 3 1/2 years ago. My other girl will be 16 in February.
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OnePinkHippo
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2008 07:31:48 PM »

I'd love a pattern! My kitties will be so thrilled this Christmas.

Sorry about your kitty. My kitty passed away a few years ago and I miss him terribly.
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kholbert
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2008 07:33:00 PM »

These are adorable and your story just about made me cry!

I would snap all of these up in a heartbeat-- it's obvious that you've put a lot of thought and care into them!
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nezumi_chan
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2008 10:26:46 PM »

please post a pattern.  i've been planning on making some toys for the kitties at my local animal shelter and this looks perfect.   Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2008 10:35:06 PM »

very nice mice indeed!!
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