A few weeks ago when Miss Crayola Creepy announced her Cat Lady Sewing Challenge, I kind of brushed it off as I am not really a cat person. It's not that I have anything against cats, in fact, if anything, I really don't know much about them. I've never owned a cat and my only real experience with them, are having them either ignore me, bite me or stratch me. And I think it's pretty obvious by now that given the choice I am a die hard dog lover, and in particular a die hard pug lover. So sewing a garment covered in cats seemed almost hypocritical (I know, I know, I'm a bit weird). But then I was browsing Fabric.com as I often do, and I decided, just for fun of course, to search "cats". When I came upon this crazy, halloweenish cat print, I knew I had to have it:
It reminded me almost instantly, that there actually is a cat that I love. A cat that I would happily pay homage to by participating in a Cat Lady Sewing Challenge. An adorable feline that I have had a number of good experiences with, and even a few cuddles: Radar.
About a year ago, Anne (my favourite stepmom) lost her long-time kitty companion Ming. Ming was a beautiful and elegant, shy siamese cat that was a constant companion to Anne for about 16 years (why can't pets live forever??). After Ming passed, my Mom and Anne weren't sure if they would get another cat; they thought they might be okay with living in a one cat household (my Mom also has a feline fur baby named Minou) but after a few weeks, Anne decided that two is always better than one. So it was off to the rescue foundation they went, where they fell in love with this adorable black beauty. He's around 7 years old, but he looks and acts like he is a much younger kitty.
I have only met Radar a handful of times, but every time I see him, he comes right up to me and gives me lots of cuddles and lovins. He is the first cat that has really made me consider the possibility of having one as a pet someday. He is the one black cat that I don't mind crossing my path. He is soft and sweet, he lets me pet him and (GASP!) he even trusts me enough to fall asleep in my lap - I mean, what's not to love about that? I have heard though, that he is constantly up to mischief; he loves to knock things off counter tops, to mess with Minou, to hide in the rafters, and to open screen doors to try to make his escape (classic cat stuff).
Anyway, when I saw this fabric - I immediately thought of Radar. (Anne named him Radar because he has big ears that stand straight up, it's very fitting actually.) Plus, I thought it would make an excellent October/Halloween shirt. So after a series of clicks, it was in my cart and on its way to my house - it costs a fortune for shipping to Canada, but Fabric.com always ships super quickly so it at least feels a bit worth it. Naturally, as I am still in the midst of my mad love affair/finding the perfect fit obsession with Archer, that's what I chose to make...again. Surprise, surprise! (I promise I will sew something else someday.) Quilting cotton is probably a little heavy for a shirt, but I think it turned out really well and it was super easy to work with.
I actually did a few different things with this one. I went down another size, so this one is actually a size 6. And again I did a full bust adjustment (for reference, I slashed and spread about 1 inch). I am super happy with the fit on this one. I think it is safe to say, that this is definitely the TNT version for me now.
I decided to make the pockets pointy on this one as it seemed to go with the theme. It's a bit tough to see as this fabric is so busy, but the pockets really are there.
I also decided to try a different sleeve placket this time, and I love it!! When I first looked at the tutorial, it looked super complicated, but take it from me, it is actually super easy. I would venture to say easier than the normal sleeve placket. There are more steps but I found the actual sewing part to be easier - no weird rippling or stretching of cut fabric. The tutorial I followed is here. I think I will do all my sleeve plackets like this from now on. I love that it allows one to show off a contrasting fabric, if one wants should desire to do such a thing. It really is all about the little things for me.
There, you can see those pointy pocket in this picture. I used leftover scraps from my second Washi dress, and I think it worked out really well. I also used that same fabric for the inside collar stand and yoke.
I also went with snaps again (they really are my favourite closure), yellow pearl snaps to be specific, and I love how they turned out. A little pop of colour to a monochrome fabric is perfect in my books. I thought the yellow was quite fitting, as Radar's eyes are a greeny, yellow. I don't seem to have a photo of it, but I finished the hem with purple bias tape (my new favourite hemming technique), and I used my variegated rainbow serger thread to finish my seams, so this shirt looks just as cool on the inside as it does on the outside.
So there you have it, I have officially embraced my inner crazy cat lady. I'd like to tell you that I will probably reserve wearing this shirt for October and close to Halloween, but I love it so much, I'm sure it will get into the regular rotation.
Do you like cats? Enough to sew and/or wear cat themed clothes?
PS: I am now in London - so look as I originally started out as a travel blogger, look forward to some travel posts and fabric shopping! Phew, finally a break from all the Archer madness. LOL