The Larva has a cute shirt from Taiwan that has a cat head kangaroo pocket on it. (That is a mouthful… I gotta think of another name for this.) Anyways, she loves that shirt, but she spilled paint on it and I couldn’t wash it out (and I really tried), so I decided to make her a new dress with the same style of cat pocket on it.
I took photos as I was sewing and wrote up a small tutorial, so here we go.
I rifled through my patterns and picked a cute dress. Any dress pattern that has a waist seam will work.
You’ll need whatever fabric and notions the pattern calls for. On top of that you’ll also need:
- a small piece of fabric for the cat pocket and ears
- Wonder Under or some other fusible web like Heat n’ Bond
- iron-on heat transfer vinyl for the cat face (I used Siser Easyweed)
- tracing paper
Before making the cat head pocket, I cut out all the dress pattern pieces but didn’t start assembling them yet.
I started by tracing the dress top front pattern piece. Then I drew 2 lines, one horizontal and one vertical, marking how wide and tall I wanted my cat head pocket to be. I lined up the top of the cat head with the bottom of the armhole, and lined up the sides with the edge of the dress strap.
Then I drew a diagonal line so as to cut off the corner of my rectangle. I took the pattern piece and pinned it to my pocket fabric. In this case, the pattern goes on the fold…
And I cut out my cat head pocket shape.
I removed my pattern piece and this is what I have now.
I flipped over my fabric, and folded over the top and sides twice to encase the raw edges. It helps to do a quick press with the iron to keep the folds in place.
Then I did the same thing on the diagonal folds. Here is my pocket with all the edges folded in. I didn’t have to do the bottom edge because that was going into the waist seam of the dress.
Next was patterning the ears. I laid my cat pocket on a piece of tracing paper, and sketched out an ear.
Here’s my ear drawn out.
I forgot to take a photo of this step but take the Wonder Under (or Heat n’ Bond) and fuse it to 2 pieces of pocket fabric. The pieces just need to be big enough to cut out 2 ears.
I pinned the ear pattern to the fabric and cut out 2 ears.
For ear placement, I laid out the top front piece of the dress, put the cat head pocket on top, and pinned down the bottom edge. I peeled off the backing on the ear pieces and placed them behind the pocket. I futzed with them until I liked the placement.
Once I was happy with the placement of the ears, I removed the pocket piece and ironed down the ears, fusing them to the dress.
Using a small tight zig zag stitch, I stitched around the edge of each ear.
And here are my cat ears all finished!
Now to put a face on the cat head. I tried a couple different methods for the cat face, like fabric paint and a fabric marker. I ended up liking the way the iron-on vinyl looked the best, but you can do whatever suits your fancy. You just need to get a cat face on there. Iron-on vinyl is just like Heat n’Bond. I cut out the eyes, nose and whiskers, and ironed them on to the cat head.
Once the cat pocket had a face, I stitched along the diagonal fold of the pocket.
I put the cat pocket back on the dress front and pinned it in place again.
Stitching about 1/4″ away from the edge, I sewed along the bottom edge. I made sure to backstich well where I started and stopped as there will be a lot of strain put on those areas. Then I stitched along the top edge. (Look at the markings on the photo below if you’re not sure where to sew.) Do not stitch over the diagnoal fold of the pocket… that’s where the hands go in!
And that’s it! The cat pocket was finished, so I finished assembling the dress following the pattern instructions.
And here is the Larva modeling the dress.
I realized after taking these photos that the button closure on the straps was a bad idea. She kept putting her hands in the pocket (which is, of course, the whole point of having a pocket), and pulling the dress downwards, putting a lot of strain on the button and buttonhole. I solved the problem by stitching down the straps permanently, making the buttonhole non-functional. In the future, I would just avoid dress straps like these if putting in pockets.
The cat head kangaroo pocket is a fun and easy addition to an article of clothing, so I’ll definitely use it again. I also need to try this in adult sizes ’cause I want one! =D