Friday, April 12, 2013

Olivia the cat.

{Edit: There seemed to be some issues with the photos loading, but I think that's straightened out now!}
I fell in love with this little black cat doll the first time I saw it. I knew that it would be fairly easy to make one for myself. So after some pattern sketching and sewing...
Meet Olivia! :)

I took her with me on my walk yesterday to get some photos. But black is hard to photograph, especially in bright sunlight. Plus it was windy and Olivia's a bit clumsy (like me), and she kept toppling over in the breeze.

I'm really pleased with how she turned out. She sure does have a lot of character, with her mustard yellow, polka dot dress and her fancy little red shoes. Not to mention a Peter Pan collar and lace trim on her dress! {I'm sure you'll be seeing her again on the blog because I'm planning on knitting a tiny scarf for her, and sewing an accessory or two...maybe a little cape or something?}

The pattern I made is a really basic one, and I'll probably use the body, arms, and legs for other dolls later and just change the head. But it's really hard for me to make a pattern on paper while trying to visualize how it will turn out in a 3D stuffed toy. For example: I thought her body would be shorter and wider, and her limbs are a bit skinnier than I anticipated. The biggest difference was her head. I didn't mean for her ears to be this pointy, but there you are. I still think she's too cute. :)

Her face, arms, legs, and tail (yes! she has a tail!) are black Kona cotton, her dress is a printed cotton from Hobby Lobby, and her collar and shoes are felt. Her eyes are vintage (mother of pearl?) buttons...there were only two left in the original packaging, so it seemed meant to be. In real life the holes being vertical makes them look cat-like, and they don't look flat and super shiny like they do in the pictures. The rest of her face is embroidered, and I added a bit of old lace around the bottom of her dress (which I really debated on but am so glad I did).

I hate how bits of Polyfill stick through the black cotton! It makes her look dirty and dusty, but she's not. Next time I might use a different stuffing material.

I split the dress pattern up the back so I could sew her tail in the seam.

She was easy to sew, except for the part where you're sewing around the whole body, trying to work around all five stuffed limbs. Very tricky, and I had to go back and do some fixes afterwards. I thought sewing a couple of dolls would give me my fix, but the more of them I sew the more I want to sew! Making toys is definitely special and unlike any other kind of sewing.

A funny little story about this doll: my cat Jack is terrified of her! He lays his ears back and runs away whenever I get down in the floor and make it look like she's walking towards him he sees her. I don't know why, but he doesn't like her one bit. Maybe it's the pointy ears. :) Oliver wasn't sure about her at first, but as you can see he's warmed up to her...

{I hadn't decided on a name and Mom jokingly called her Olivia because our real black cat is Oliver. It was perfect, so that's her name!}

Until next time,


  1. Kristin, I tried to view this post through Chrome and Firefox, and your pictures aren't showing up! :(

  2. And the pictures are there! Yay! This doll is SO CUTE! Great job! :)

  3. Awww, how cute! The yellow polka dots are perfect. And the red shoes? Super cute. She's a very classy cat. :D

  4. Olivia is even more adorable in real life.I'm glad she likes it outside. Great job on your first cat!!!

  5. She's adorable! I love the picture of her with the real cat. Have you tried using one of those sticky lint rollers for getting the white fibers off of her?


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