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When In Doubt, Add A Cat

October 26, 2015

Sometimes my sewing process is not very inspired. This shirt, for instance. The fabric had been sitting in my stash for a while, not really sure what to do with it. Obviously it screams traditional shirt, but that’s pretty boring, but even still I couldn’t think of a better way to use it (there probably is a better way, and I still have more I think so maybe I’ll experiment). Eventually I just cut a button up shirt out because I wanted to try Burda’s petite patterns. But, because it was such a boring project, it sat in my queue ready to go for months (possibly a whole year).

Then last month Cindy of Cation Designs announced the Put A Cat On It Sew Along and it just clicked. Have a boring shirt? Add a cat! I’ve been wanting to add embroidery to some of my clothing projects for a long time and this was perfect since the shirt was already cut out (I hate cutting out). My inspiration came from this shirt made by Hiroko Kubota:

Click the image to see more cute cat shirts

I also love this shirt and hope to use it as inspiration at some point also, but for right now modifying the collar shape would have taken longer and I was ready and rearin’ to go.

Pattern: BurdaStyle 6954

From the PR website because apparently Simplicity is stupid with websites (I think we all knew that)

Two blouses, one dress, different styles. A: sleeveless – contrast facings and standing color set fashionable accents. Timelessly classic, dressy variant B. Dress C with short sleeves and tiny ornamental ruffles.

I made view B…


Fabric: Stretch white shirting, probably cotton, with black and silver pinstripes. I made sure to remember to finish all my seams because fabric with metallic threads in is always scratchy.

Design Likes/Dislikes: I like that it’s petite, I’m not super short but I’m a couple inches shorter than what most patterns are drafted for. And I like that it’s a pretty classic shirt style, although that also makes it pretty boring.


Sizing and Fit: I think this is the first time I’ve used a Bruda envelope pattern and you would think the petite sizing would be the same for both magazine and envelope patterns, but I’m not so sure. The shirt feels big in the hips, like the darts should have continued all way to the hem or something. But it feels good everywhere else to me. Well, except the sleeves are pretty wide on my forearm because of the pleats at the cuff, not my favorite. I always roll my sleeves up though. I want to try moving the cuff up to 3/4 length sleeves sometime so I don’t have to bother rolling.



Changes: The only change really was the addition of the cat. This cat is based on my kitten Potato

I just traced off a picture of her, but kept the embroidery simple by only using gray floss to match the shirt colors. Because the shirting fabric is stretch, I interfaced the area to be embroidered first and again after finishing to seal in the threads. I used mainly stem stitches and varied the number of floss strands. I’m super proud of how good all the little curves turned out!


Oh I cut the cuffs and button band on the bias so I wouldn’t have to match stripes and then have eye twitches.

For Next Time: Meh, I dunno. I think I’d rather try a different shirt pattern next time. I have more ideas about embellishing shirts though.

And I really did wear this to work last Friday. No one said anything about it though, which is slightly disappointing, but still typical of all the awkward boy engineers I work with.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. Jeanette permalink
    October 26, 2015 7:43 am

    I love it! I am a cat person (have two cats I adore), and I love for a cat to show up on the blogs I read.

  2. October 26, 2015 8:54 am

    I confess: I am not a cat person (horribly allergic). As a teen, I had one dear barn cat, Klaws (because he’d clawed me all the way home while I held him, riding horseback, after rescuing him from being drowned by our neighbouring dairy farmer). He was a sleek, gorgeous, grey and black tabby tomcat with white paws. I think he eventually lost a fight to a neighbouring tomcat, and I’ve never had another cat since. And I had to chuckle over the ‘awkward boy engineers’…. I like the classic lines of the shirt, and the bias was a great idea.

  3. October 26, 2015 9:55 am

    This is so ridiculously, insanely cute!

  4. October 29, 2015 10:42 pm

    HOW COULD PEOPLE NOT COMMENT ON THIS. Sorry, for the online yelling, but seriously, aren’t cats the patron animal of introverted engineer types?! Haha okay, I just think cats should be everyone’s patron animal.

    This shirt, though. Seriously loving the cat and it’s otherwise very practical, color palette-wise! Potato is very good looking.

  5. November 6, 2015 6:06 am

    I like it! I like the stripes working so well with the line drawing cat- nicely done!

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