Sewing for gifts – cutest cat houses ever!

Jingle bells!

Deciding what to make for the family this year was hard. They have everything (sound familiar?) so I try to think of the unexpected. Skull-print aprons. Kitty treat mats. Walking Dead PJ bottoms. Camo board pants.

It’s challenging. But projects are well underway.

For Ashley and Darrin, proud parents of 4 kitties, I settled on a cat house pattern from SeeKateSew. I found it just cruising DIY cat things on Pinterest.

It’s unique, and it’s free. But Kate could easily sell this pattern. It’s beautifully drafted, and the instructions are great. Here’s a pic of her version with personalized fabric:

It doesn’t require a lot of materials – but it can be a little pricey to make. Well, compared to a wood crate with a folded towel inside 🙂

Materials for 1 cat house:
(I found all my supplies at my local JoAnns on a sale day. They’re available online as well. No, JoAnns didn’t pay me to say this – I only mention it because it can be hard to source things like foam, online or anywhere else).
  • 1 yard shell fabric.
    I used a home-dec fabric, 100% cotton.
  • 1 yard lining fabric.
    Mine is cotton/poly broadcloth – it’s very smooth.
Note: I laundered both my fabrics before I cut out the pattern. After a little shrinkage, the 1 yard cuts were a little spare – I had to cut 1 back across the grain. It only matters if you’re working with a directional print.
  • Not on Kate’s supplies list: I decided to cover the inside cushion in sherpa fleece, rather than with the shell or lining fabric. 1/2 yard was perfect for 2 cushions.
  • 1 yard 1/2″ thick foam.
    Show me the money… Since I was shopping for two houses, I got a 24″ x 90″ x 1/2″ roll of foam, on sale, and with a coupon, about $14. That little bit of leftover foam will be absorbed by a craft project at some point – it’s not wasted!
  • 1 seat cushion.
    I got a couple of these, on sale for about $3 each.  
My first house, ready for the cushion:
A few notes on construction:
The foam was easy to manage – I drew the pattern on it with a Sharpie and cut it out with my household scissors. 
Kate suggests using a whipstitch to sew the foam pieces together. Worked great. I used No. 12 perle cotton, quilters pins, and a 4″ long doll needle:
It looks just like the outline on an embroidered pillow. Cute!
There’s no way the foam ears will go all the way up into the points of the fabric ears. Once I had the foam liner inside the shell, I used a little poly-fill to stuff the tips of the ears.

Kate also suggests using a ladder stitch to sew the lining and shell edges together in the oval entryway. I tried it, but switched to a simple small stitch, sewn close to the edge. It adds a little more weight and definition to the edge.
These houses are not little! and are perfect for a little-bit or a full-grown kitty. The entrance is about 8.5″ wide and 7.5″ tall. The house is 18″ tall at the tip of the ear and almost 22″ across at the middle. 
Such a fun project. Ciao! Coco

21 thoughts on “Sewing for gifts – cutest cat houses ever!

  1. Thanks, Valerie. I agree – such a neat pattern, couldn't believe it was free. So many people would have charged for it! Even for the wood crate and towel approach!!


  2. Oh, what a nice compliment – and I'm so pleased that my comment helped you. I use sewn-in interfacing and interlining a lot. And remember when fusible was not even available!


  3. These are just darling! I'm not sure my cats would appreciate them (they have one heck of a cat tree fort, and one of them is partial to cardboard boxes…) but I want to make one regardless!! They'd be great to donate to rescue organizations, too!


  4. Adorable kitty beds! I would love to curl up in one that was people-sized!

    Even more than complimenting your kitty beds, though, I'm commenting to say thank you for a comment you posted on PR several months ago regarding interfacing and flannel. You noted that flannel has an open weave that will flex, leading to bubbling even when using a high-quality interfacing. Boy, are you right! I had been having that problem with the flannel shirts for my guys, and switching to sew-in interfacing made all the difference. Thanks for sharing this great bit of expertise.


Thank you for stopping by! comments are welcome and appreciated - Coco

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