Makenna desperately wanted to make a kitty toy for the homeless cats at Animals in Distress. She bugged me for days.
So we hit my fabric and ribbon stash… and this fish was what we came up with as a first effort. Well it was stuffed too, but of course, after taking the pictures of all the different steps to make the fish, I forgot to take a picture of the finished project before we gave it to the kitties. (My adorable son will tell you that is because ‘mommy has a small brain’.)
It was important that the toy could be made by Makenna alone, since she wants to make lots of them for the different kitty rooms at the shelter. Since I already have a long list of sewing projects to do myself, the kitty toys need to be on her list.
The toy was made from my fabric stash with fabric ribbon and then stuffed with cut up sheets (in case the kitties managed to rip open the toy I didn’t want them choking on stuffing).
Lesson learned for the next toy. Use strips of thin fleece (or something else that won’t fray) for the tassles because the cats claws had the ribbon shredded in about a minute.
We cut out a fish shape that was about 5 inches long by 3.5 inches high. Next we cut pieces of ribbon in varying 4-5 inch lengths, and one 15 inch piece to use to dangle the toy.
With the right side of fabric facing up, we layed the ribbons down with the ends at the back of the fish and the long ends out past the head. This way the ribbons will hang out the back of the fish like you want.
Attach the ribbon with a piece of scotch tape about an inch from the end of the ribbon (where you won’t be sewing) in order to hold the ribbon in place while you sew.
With your sewing machine, run a straight stitch along the ribbons twice to attach them to the fish.
Remove the tape that was holding them inplace.
Next tape the long piece of ribbon with the end near the fish’s mouth and the long end hanging over the tail. Tape, and sew as you did the back ribbons.
Now gather the ribbons together in the middle of the fish and tape down away from the edges so that you don’t accidently sew through them when you sew the two pieces of the fish together.
With right sides facing each other pin the pieces together and then sew a straight stitch around the perimeter of the fish about 1/4 inch from the edge leaving a 1.5 inch opening at the base of the fish for turning it right side out.
Turn your toy right side out. Remove the tape from the ribbons.
Stuff with small pieces (about 1/2 inch) of recycled fabric.
Hand stitch the opening closed and your toy is ready.
Next toy I plan on buying 3/8 inch dowel rods which we will drill a hole through (mommy will have to do that part), and then we can tie the long ribbon through it and dangle the toy more easily for the kitties.
As soon as we make a few more toys (this weekend since we go to see the kitties again Monday) I will add some better pictures, including a few completely finished ones, and they’ll show the stick for dangling them too.
4/9/10 I still haven’t remembered to take a picture of these since we’re always so excited to give them to the kitties, but one thing we learned is to use thin fleece instead of ribbon because it holds up much better to kitty claws.