I cut into that decadent swathe of Lisa Ho faux fur the other night. It pained me, but it needed to be done. In the process I have learned the following things:
1) Sticky tape is good. It keeps the fluffies at bay. Don’t inhale the fluffies.
2) I can’t remember whose blog I saw it on now, but some very clever lady advised using a silver sharpie on the back side of the fur to mark your cutting lines. I had one but it ran out after about three cat-paw outlines. I went to four different stores in search of another, but success was not forthcoming, so I’ve taken to using white eyeshadow and an angled brush. It’s not as quick, but the effect is much the same.
4) A stanley knife would be useful. Embroidery snips make cutting out slow.
5) Bella the cat doesn’t like it; she sees it as a usurper and expressed her displeasure by attempting to upchuck on my sheet music this morning.
Other than that it’s gone together rather quickly. Because it’s really low-pile fur it doesn’t seem to catch in the seams, so the curved seam across the face looks fine. Because Sissy-poo’s cat Rupert is an exotic shorthair, I thought she’d appreciate it if her hot water bottle looks somewhat Rupert-esque, so I’ve squashed up the nose and sewn it down. Means I don’t have to stuff the face either.
All in all it looks a tad creepy, but in a hipsterish sort of way. Or maybe it was a bad idea to watch the Blair Witch Project and sew at the same time… At any rate I need to buy new velcro before I can finish it. I didn’t realise the stuff I’d got was self-adhesive velcro. Not great in a furry water bottle context. Perhaps I’ll go with buttons and loops instead. I never liked velcro.
I’m pretty proud though, so just in case anyone’s crazy enough to want to make their own shonky hot water bottle cover in the shape of the world’s creepiest cat, here’s how I did mine:
You need about a third of a metre/yard of low-pile faux fur, and the same of (I’ve now discovered that I should’ve used 100% polyester for the lining rather than the cotton I had, but I’m going to test it and see how well it deals with hot water bottle heat. Logically it should be fine. It gets exposed to much higher temperatures when ironed, so a comparatively low temperature over a period of time shouldn’t be too bad.)
For the pattern, you basically just trace around the hot water bottle at a decent distance like so:
You add ears, of course.
For the face, I just cut it in half and added the same curve to the centre of each half. I kept it pretty shallow. Feet and tail at your discretion.
Here are the front pattern pieces (not to scale or anything)
And here’s the back. Overlap for the flap, green lines where the tail and legs will go.
Then I cut out and put together the feet and the tail. I stuffed them a little to make them less boring. Then I did the lining, (sans curved face and CB seam). Then I cut out the front pieces, sewing them together at the curved seam.
On the back you need a horizontal, overlapping flap to get the bottle in and out, and a vertical CB seam on the bottom half so you can put the tail in. I did the CB seam first, putting the tail in as I went, then attached it and the back of the head to the front pieces with the legs sandwiched in between. Then I got jiggy with making the face cuter, put in the lining to finish the raw edges on the back flap (which sort of worked. I was flying very much by the seat of my pants here) and would’ve added the velcro if it hadn’t been the wrong kind.
Et voila! A super creepy/hipster cat hot water bottle. The eyes are mesmerising…
I’m trying very hard to like it…
…But the creep factor. Oh the creep factor… it’s like a witches’ familiar.
Speaking of witches, the other night was also the premiere of a new work called Weird by a friend of mine, the Suave Composer, which was basically a massive chamber song cycle about witches. The Suave Composer always had this grand vision that it would be very theatrical, almost like some kind of operatic monologue, so some kind of crazy get-up was required. I spent a few hours watching all the Pixiwoo costume/creative makeup tutorials on Youtube. They’re hilarious and awesome. She says things along the lines of ‘you’re probably watching this thinking woah that’s crazy, I’d never wear that’ or ‘bear in mind this isn’t meant to be a wearable look, I’m just having fun experimenting’, while she’s busy putting eyeliner on her lips or blusher as eyeshadow or using a stencil to achieve a Spock-like eyebrow, but I was sitting there going ‘YES. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WANT TO LEAVE THE HOUSE LOOKING LIKE.’ Cutting loose and going completely crazy with stage makeup is oddly fun. I went as far as to copy the eyeliner-as-lippy and blush-as-eyeshadow tricks. The light is terrible in this photo, but the effect is probably about the same as people would’ve got in the audience:
*sleazy eyebrow waggle*
And the hair ended up way bigger and more spherical, like mad scientist frizz and a Georgian hedgehog do went and had a terrible baby together. My hair’s good like that. It teases up into an absolute haystack but brushes out quite easily in about 5 minutes. It’s about the only respect in which my hair is good.
Anyway. I’m off home for a couple weeks sabbatical. (constant access to a piano only steps from my bedroom door… excellent…) Expect blog silence.