Often when I am sewing my 6 year old granddaughter, Zare, wants to help. Last week while I was sewing the Microwave Potato Bags she wanted to sew something with me. I told her we would make something with the scraps. Usually she wants to make clothes for her American Girl Doll but I didn’t have enough fabric left to make even a top for her 18 inch doll. Zare’s idea was to make a cat toy from the scraps but even a cat toy would be a challenge. I just love a challenge!
My cats had recently lost all their catnip-filled, store-bought mice. The fabric scraps were brown (but I don’t think either the cats or Zare would care if I used different scraps.) I started with a simple pattern in the shape of an egg and a strip of fabric for the tail. It was a very simple thing with the added touch of a little catnip.
My two indoor cats love attacking toy mice from the pet store but these would be cheap and easy as well as safe for my cats to bite and chew.
- Catnip spray or a teaspoon of catnip per toy
- Scraps of fabric
- Thread, sewing machine, scissors
Freehand a simple pattern. Pin it to the scraps you have on hand. Cut 2 for each toy. You do not need to be mindful of the grain so pin the pattern down to fit the available size of the scraps. Cut a strip of fabric about ¾ inches wide and 6 inches long for the tail.
With the right sides together sew around the toy leaving an opening in the wide bottom of the egg for turning. Turn the toy right side out and use a chopstick or other blunt instrument to poke out the seams.
Clip to reduce bulk in curves and reduce the bulk at the top point by shaving off the seam allowance as shown. . Use some of your smallest scraps to make confetti-sized pieces to loosely stuff in the mouse toy. No use using good fiberfill when you can use what might otherwise become waste in the local landfill.
When you have finished stuffing the toy, turn in the ¼ seam opening and finger press it. If you are adding catnip, now is the time. Insert the tail and stitch the opening closed. Tie a little knot in the tip of the tail.
Easy peasy! In just a short time I’d used up all my scraps from my Microwave Potato Bags project (plus a few more.)
I always seem to have scrap left-overs when I finish a project. I cannot stand to through them away so I save them even pieces that can only be called crumbs. I’ve found over time that I need to get creative with how I use them or I’ll be overrun. Some I use in projects like this one created on a whimsy. Others I donate to my local quilt shop. They shred the scraps and the local animal shelter volunteers use it to stuff beds for the shelter animals.
I try to include my scrap-buster projects in blog posts to encourage fellow sewists to use their scraps and reduce our carbon footprints. Here are a few of my past posts on scrap busters.