If you’ve never tried making your own stuffed toys, this adorable Cotton Candy Kitty is a great first project. Luxury plush is surprisingly easy to work with. We used and love Shannon Fabric’s Cuddle fleece. There is a free pattern download below, and we show you how to stitch right through the paper pieces to make it simple to keep your curves and angles spot-on, even around the sharp corners and tight curves.
The deep nap of fleece is very forgiving when it comes to hiding any little blips in your seams, but if you’re brand new to the fabric, take a look at our tips and techniques tutorial: Sewing with Plush Fabric.
Just a third of a yard is enough to make three little kittens. You know you’ll need more than one pretty kitty!
If you’re teaching someone to sew, especially a young person, this project would be especially delightful. And for holiday celebrations, our Cotton Candy Kitty makes a cuddly sweet treat that is completely sugar free.
As mentioned below, our kitty features button eyes, which are not appropriate for very young children. Instead, hand embroider the eyes at the same time as you make the kitten’s mouth.
After you’ve made our kitty, you may want to try the matching Chocolate Bunny project.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing machine and standard presser foot
Fabric and Other Supplies
- ⅓ yard of 54″+ Luxury Plush Fleece in Pink; we used Shannon Cuddle Fleece in Baby Pink
NOTE: This is enough deliciously soft fabric to make three little kittens.
- Scrap of quilting weight cotton in a coordinating print for the ears
- Polyester fiberfill: we used Fairfield Ultra Plush in the small 8oz bag
- Buttons for eyes (optional and not appropriate for toddlers or younger)
- 1 yard of ½” wide ribbon for the bow at the kitten’s neck
- Embroidery floss
NOTE: We used pink for the kitty’s nose/mouth. You may also prefer to embroider the eyes for children too young for button eyes. If so, black embroidery floss would be a good choice.
- Knitting needle, chopstick or point turner
- All purpose thread to match fabric
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Hand embroidery needle
Getting Started and Pattern Download
- Download and print the Cotton Candy Kitty pattern.
IMPORTANT: The pattern consists of TWO 8½” x 11″ sheets, which have be bundled together into one PDF file to make the down load easier. You must print the PDF at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the pages so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
- Cut TWO 8½” x 11″ pieces of the fleece for the body. Our fleece was double-sided. If you choose this type, you will likely find that one side is slightly fluffier than the other and should be considered the right side. Treat luxury plush like any napped fabric and place all patterns in one direction.
- The kitty tail will be cut from scraps.
- Press your cotton fabric scraps prior to use. The fleece should NOT be pressed; it can melt with the heat of an iron.
At Your Sewing Machine
NOTE: Luxury plush is fluffy and a bit slippery. It can be easier, especially for beginners, to sew the fleece right through the pattern paper, using the seam line as a stitching guide. This is what we show below. When you finish sewing, gently tear the paper away from the seam. If you prefer not to do it this way, you will need to add a ¼” seam allowance all around the main kitty body pattern.
Make the kitty tail
- Cut out the Kitty Tail pattern piece along the solid line. Place two scraps of fleece, just slightly larger than the pattern piece, right sides together. Pin the pattern piece to the layers of fleece. Sew from the base of the tail around the tip and back down to the base. DO NOT sew across the base. Trim along the pattern cut line.
- Gently tear off the pattern.
- Clip the curves and turn the tail right side out through the open end.
Make the kitty ears
- Cut out the two ear pattern pieces along the solid line. Place one scrap of fleece and one scrap of cotton fabric, each just slightly larger than the two ear pattern pieces, right sides together. Pin the pattern pieces to the layers. We pinned with the cotton side facing up so we could center the ear patterns over an appropriate motif on the fabric for a pretty fussy cut.
- Sew along the outer edge of each ear along the dotted stitch line as shown. Leave the base of each ear open.
- Gently tear away paper and turn the ears right side out. Finger press to flatten (remember… do not iron the fleece).
Make the kitty body
- Place the Kitty Body printout on top of the wrong side of one of the 8½” x 11″ pieces of fleece. Secure the pattern to the fleece with a few straight pins.
- Following the pattern, use pins to mark the location of ears.
NOTE: The ears go beneath the fleece, NOT between the paper pattern and the fleece.
- Use the marking pins to find the corners of the ears and pin in place as shown (we held this up to a window to show positioning). Remember, the ears are pinned in position underneath the fleece.
- Layer the piece of fleece with the ears pinned in place right sides together with the remaining 8½” x 11″ piece of fleece, sandwiching the ears between the two layers.
- Pin the sandwich all around.
- Stitch along the dashed seam line (again – right through the paper), beginning at the marked dot on one arm. Backstitch to start, then continue along dashed seam line all around to the second marked dot. Stop at this dot and backstitch, leaving the space between the dots open for turning and stuffing.
- Gently tear away paper pattern and trim the fleece to approximately ¼” from the seam line.
- Turn the kitty right side out. Push out the arms and legs with a long blunt tool, such as a knitting needle, chopstick or point turner.
- Use this same blunt tool to push the polyester filler into all parts of the kitty body until pleasingly plump.
NOTE: We have a nice tutorial with stuffing tips, if you’re brand new to this technique.
- Slip stitch the opening closed with tiny stitches so the filler can’t poke out.
- Fold under the tail’s open end by about ¼” all around, then slip stitch in a circle to secure it to the back side of the kitty body on his kitty bum, as shown in the photo below.
Make the kitty face
- Sew the button eyes to the face. Depending on where you put them and the size and style of your buttons, you can achieve a variety of facial expressions. We sewed from one eye across to the other and snugged up the thread just a little to slightly indent the eyes.
- A simple X makes an easy nose and mouth. Again, this is an area to be as expressive as you’d like with your embroidery floss.
NOTE: As mentioned above, button eyes are not recommended for very young children. Consider sewn fabric circles or embroidered eyes instead.
Project concept and sample creation: Alicia Thommas