Free kitty kicker pattern and tutorial

Do you have a cat? Does he sometimes scratch where he’s not supposed to?

Ours may look angelic, but Bosco’s certainly got a naughty streak!

Cats need to scratch with their hind legs or bad things happen. But we don’t really want them “bunny kicking” our arms to shreds, either! That’s where the Kitty Kicker comes in – your cat will nuzzle the felty, catnippy wonder to his face and kick at the body with his hind legs! And the offset end seams means it rolls really easily, giving kitty something to chase as you throw it around the room.

Download the pdf here!

Like with all downloadable patterns, make sure to print it at 100%! Unless your cat is very small, or utterly enormaincoon, in which case feel free to scale up or down. Also feel free to change around the felt piece – make it long and fringed, or spiked, or even replace it entirely with ribbons or yarn if you’d rather.

You will need:

1. Small piece of tough fabric like denim, twill, canvas, or home dec fabric (IKEA do great heavyweight fabrics for cheap!)
2. Small scraps of felt (optional)
3. Fiberfill, or scrap fabric for stuffing
4. Catnip!
5. Hand needle and thread


Black flannel pyjama bottoms

James isn’t normally the pyjama sort, but it’s been particularly cold this winter and he’s been in need of some PJ bottoms for quite a while. He only has one pair and it’s kinda sad to be wearing Santa Homer Simpson in February:

(Note to family – please don’t take this as a plea to send more. He really only needs and wants this one pair!)

So I took pity on him and said I’d sew him a new pair to wear, and Burda magazine 12-2010 #134 was particularly handy. There are tons and tons of unisex pyjama trouser patterns out there, but this one was easy to find, and I know Burda’s sizing is so consistent that a 52 would fit him fine.

We were going to use the grey knit fabric we bought at Ditto, but I greatly underestimated the width of that so there was nowhere near enough (totally my fault as Gill asked “are you sure that’s enough?”). In a sea of insipid cutsey prints, Chawla’s came through with this solid black cotton flannel for cheap (3m for £11 shipped and I’ve got extra for jacket interlining if I like now, too). Chawla’s may not have the widest selection of natural fibre fabrics, but they are consistently the fastest shippers ever – I ordered this on a Tuesday, and it arrived in Thursday’s post!

Some lovely sewing gifts

In amongst my usual pattern magazine subscriptions, my postie has been quite busy delivering some additional goodies to FehrTrade Towers over the past few weeks! First, I won a sewing (almost) page-a-day calendar from Julia at Marmalade Kiss, whose blog I’ve been following for ages and ages! She’s incredible at corsetry, underwear and drafting (and has her own corsetry supply shop, too) and was one of the contributors in the calendar so I’m looking forward to bumping into hers as I work my way through the year!

Not long after that, the lovely and extremely chic Yoshimi posted a giveaway for a really cool rotary ruler, and this was not two days after I’d just painstakingly measured the armscye and the sleeve curve on my winter coat pattern so I was really hoping I’d win as this would make it SO much easier to match curves! And then I was gobsmacked to win this, too! It’s like a pizza cutter but with a ruler along both sides of the wheel so you can measure as you roll! I’ve never seen anything like it before, but it’s such a cool idea.

Navy blue riding trousers

Jacquie made these trousers as part of her recent wardrobe collection (she’s “dingyadi” on PR) and I instantly knew I had to make them, too. Like her, I was put off by how skin-tight these looked on the Burda model in the magazine, but in real life, they fit really nicely! Unlike her, I left off the front patch pockets, though, as I figured there was enough going on everywhere else!

They’re from Burda magazine 08/2008 #120A:

They’re great trousers, but there’s just so many freaking pieces, omg! And the topstitching!!

Take the front leg, for instance. On a normal pair of trousers, it’s one piece (maybe three if you have a pocket). On these, the front leg is comprised of three pieces before you even get into the pockets (so 6 in total for mine, or 9 if you chose View B with the added pouch pockets with the flap!). There’s a scooped pattern piece at the inner thigh in the front and back, and lots of horizontal topstitching across the knees in addition to topstitching pretty much every seam of the trousers, too.

Winter 09 KnipMode Roundup

I’ve got the October through January KnipModes to show off now, but the special thing here is that two of the four issues were hand delivered to me by neighbours that had recently been in Benelux (well, really just Bene)! One might be going back soon so I might get another few hand delivered as well if I play my cards right…

Oct 09 + supplement – with special bonus Plus sized section that’s twice as many patterns as usual in each issue

I love love love this leather jacket! They make this same design in some nice wools later in the issue, too so I wouldn’t have to do it in leather if I wanted to make my life a bit easier.

I’m not sure if I’m totally sold on any of these selection of different trouser shapes, but I like the idea of them…

I really like these Make 4 dresses (this style was also made in the leather section, too), especially the colour blocked one. What a great way to use up short ends of fabrics!

Burda floral crossover dress

The second of my winter knit dresses is the cross-bodiced Burda WOF 06/09 #129. I’ve had my eye on this pattern ever since it came out, but I was amazed to see that no one had reviewed it yet on PR, so it’s definitely an undiscovered gem as far as I’m concerned!

I recently ordered a big batch of fabrics from Totally Fabrics (more on that later) in their 40% off everything sale including this brown floral viscose jersey print with shades of teal, fuschia, and grey thrown in. I only ordered one metre (of 1.5m available stock) but when it turned up, it turns out they gave me the whole 1.5m rather than have an awkwardly short leftover! Score! Even so, there was no way I could squeeze this entire dress out of the yardage available, so I had to do a clever amount of fabric Tetris, shorten the hem by 2 inches, make the sleeves 3/4 length, and sew the hidden front bodice piece from a constrasting grey marl jersey.

A spring turtleneck in cream wool jersey

I bought some beautiful cream wool jersey from A-Z Fabrics on Goldhawk Road last time I was there, and I figured it’d be the perfect all-season fabric for layering or for wearing alone. By the time I bought it, though, my funds were a bit depleted, so I only grabbed a meter and a half as it was quite pricey at £10 a meter. I was instantly imagining it as a turtleneck but without any fully formed details in my mind. Then I was reminded of BWOF 08/08 #118 (an issue I’d previously overlooked) and saw that this was definitely what I had in mind, albeit shortened to a top.

Problem solving

Problem: exposed kitty litter tray

In our attempt to make the transition over to the other side of our boat (from the self-contained flat to the main part), we set up a new litter tray for Bosco in a pipe void under the bathroom sink. But shortly after we installed it, Bosco was having a scratch, James looked over, and they made awkward eye contact. Bosco meowed in protest! Clearly something was needed to protect his precious modesty!

So I sewed up a little curtain for his litter area using Michael Miller‘s “Bad kitties” fabric that I had leftover from our throw pillows, adding a nice little border in chocolate brown at the bottom. It’s all cotton and all washable, so it’s no big deal if it gets dirty.

And hurrah! No more litter in sight and I have a happy cat.

Problem: cold feet at night

Pink guitar pyjamas

Twas the day before Christmas and all through the boat, all the creatures were stirring, especially Melissa at her sewing machine and Bosco with his catnip mouse!

We were invited to breakfast on Christmas morning at a neighbour’s and she kept saying how we should all just come in our pyjamas for some bucks fizz, scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, so I thought it’d be fun to whip up some brand new pyjamas to wear! Christmas has always meant new pyjamas to my mom in particular – growing up, she and her brother and sister would always wake to find a new pair at the top of the stairs which they’d then be expected to change into so they were wearing new PJs in the christmas photos! I didn’t take it that far (I changed into the blue silk cocktail dress in time for dinner!), but it was awfully nice to wake up and put on new, comfortable clothes!

Coming up…

Now all my Christmas presents are done, I’m home free to sew more for myself! So coming up in the next few weeks you should find the following…


  • James’s birthday sweatshirt is finished and seeing as how his birthday is TODAY, he got to unwrap it this morning! Now it’s just waiting for its grand photoshoot…
  • The navy silk dress that gave me all the bias problems is now fixed and finished and awaiting a very chilly photoshoot…