Wild Space Kitties!

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Calling all Wild Space Kitties! Here’s a costume that is purrrrrfect for you.

(This was supposed to appear as a DIY costume craft on alphamom.com but it turns out that Space Kitty is a beer company and not appropriate for a parenting site but guess what? I can totally post it here! Beer, schemer. Let’s make Wild Space Kitties a thing!)

First off a warning: This costume is ridiculously easy and ridiculously difficult at the same time. If you’ve never sewed with faux fur then this would be a great project to start with because guess what? You CAN do it! It was my first time sewing fur and I did it! Go me! But it’s also ridiculously messy, so check your OCD at the door.

Space-Kitty-supplies-alphamom

Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2 yards or more of faux fur
  • thread (color doesn’t matter because it does not show up in this wild mess of fur)
  • a sewing machine
  • fabric scissors
  • a wire coat hanger
  • a large dowel or broom handle to wrap your coat hanger wire around (This was Payam’s brilliant idea.)
  • ribbon or long skinny piece of t-shirt fabric (leftover fabric from this craft works great)

Space-Kitty-cutting-alphamom

Lay out your fabric fur-side down. You can create a pattern from a paper bag or some paper or you can free-hand it. Your pieces need to roughly look like the drawing below: 2 head pieces, two paws (one piece each) and two tail pieces.

Print

Faux fur is such a mess when you cut it. The loose fur floats all over the place. Just accept that it’s going to make a mess and make the best of it. Think of it as magical dust floating all around you making everything pretty and fuzzy. Sew somewhere that is easy to vacuum later and keep some packing tape on hand. You can even tape down where you are going to cut first and control some of the mess that way. (If you have any OCD tendencies I would definitely recommend using tape to control the fuzz.)

Okay, now that we have that out of the way let’s just get in there and make a mess. It’s worth it.

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Cut your pieces. Then lay them out how you are going to sew them.

Fold the paw pieces in half. Lay the front of the cat head (fur facing in) on top of the back of the cat head (fur to fur). Lay your tail pieces together, fur to fur. Pin. (Or don’t. I lived on the wild side and didn’t pin. My fur slightly crept askew as I sewed but I found it didn’t really matter that much. I just trimmed the uneven parts at the end and it didn’t show anyway. Fur is very forgiving.)

Now get ready to sew! Set machine to a zig zag stitch and get in there!

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Sew the outer edges of the cat head together like you were creating a cat-head pillow while leaving the inside head-hole un-finished. Fur doesn’t need a finishing seam. Win!

Sew your tail together, leaving the butt-end open. This is where you will insert your wire later.

Sew around one side of your paws, leaving the bottom open to insert hands into.

After you are done sewing, cut your threads and trim off any excess fur that might be sticking out. This will make it easier to turn inside-out later. Snip your rounded corners with a small snip, being careful not to snip over your stitches of course.

Then turn everything inside out.

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Remove any lose fur. Shake it out. Do a little dance. Fur everywhere!

Next is a really important step that was thought up by Payam and I failed to photograph it because he did it in the garage for me while I was sewing. Take your coat hanger hanger and un-bend it. (Pliers will help.) Then carefully wrap it around a thick dowel or broom handle to create a long spring-like coil. This is the magical wire that will make your space kitty tail pliable and yet stiff and not pokey and sharp like normal wire would be. Thank you Payam!

Space-Kitty-tail-attachment-alphamom

After you’ve turned your tail inside out, insert this coil into your tail. Then close up the end and sew your ribbon or t-shirt string over the closed ending. This tie will make it so you can tie your tail around your waist like so. Wear a big hoodie over top (Because hoodies are a very important Space Kitty wardrobe piece. I will make this a thing, I swear.) and you’ll never know it was just tied on and not actually attached.

Then put on your hat and fur mittens, draw on a kitty nose and whiskers with white eye-liner pencil and you are now a space kitty!  Light-up blinky space boots optional.

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Happy Trick-or-Treating!

Poof! There it is!

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I made a poof! Seriously, I did. I am NOT a seamstress by any means. I do not sew regularly and my seams are horrible BUT I am good with my hands and I do own a sewing machine. Best purchase I ever made in my twenties by the way.

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Payam was shredding old bills and papers from 2008 or something because we are doing a big garage remodel (post to come soon) and we were getting rid of old boxes and things. I walked in to see this bag of shredded paper and I started imagining that I could cover it and make it into a poof. Doesn’t it look like one already? I did re-upholster a couch once upon a time…how hard could it be?! The more I looked at that bag the more possible it seemed. A challenge reared its head!

Next I had to find fabric. Old curtains perhaps? I cut two circles out of one curtain and then sewed the other curtain to one circle. It was wonkey to be sure but poofs are wonkey by nature? If all else failed it could be a bean bag or even a dog bed if it listed to flatness…

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Then I cut the newly sewed curtain that was now the side of the poof to the size I wanted the poof and sewed it to the other circle. I only had to rip out my seams three times because I sewed everything wrong the first time, like you do.

(Would it hurt me to smile? I never realize how much I have resting bitch face until I see pictures like this. Inside I am actually smiling and quite cheerful about my accomplishment but in real life I look like I’ve just found the stink everyone was looking for. Here it is!)

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Then we stuffed the poof sack with shredded bills and papers! Stuff, stuff, stuff! Who knew shredded paper could make such great stuffing! It’s not waterproof or washable in any way (Please dogs, don’t pee on it!)  but it holds it’s form! Who knew! It’s not a bean bag or a dog bed. It’s a poof!

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It looks a little like a cylindrical garbage bag (the color choice could have been better but these were the curtains we had on hand that weren’t being needed anymore) but it works great. Even Lucy approves.