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Felt Travel Sewing Kitty

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I tend to have wardrobe malfunctions at the most inconvenient times. Just before making an important presentation, a strategic button will fall off or a seam opens up. I can't even think how many stapler and Scotch Tape repairs I've made over the years. I finally created a small sewing kit that contains just what I need to fix almost any disaster – contained in a cute felt kit with a built-in pincushion kitty.

Use the lightly-stuffed kitty face as your pincushion. Everything else you need is inside. There's a small pocket to contain buttons, safety pins, a needle threader and a few hooks & eyes; plus needles and thread, pins and a small pair of scissors. Button it up and and it all stays safely in place.

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Fabric and Other Supplies

The finished opened size is 7" x 4½" (exclusive of the button tab).

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  • Five pieces of 9" x 13" felt in peach, pea green, black, vanilla and turquoise
  • Embroidery floss in several colors. I chose vanilla, pea green, black and peach
  • Embroidery needle
  • Five small two-hole yellow buttons (about 3/8" or 12 cm)
  • Small handful of Polyfil
  • Card stock or old file folder
  • Scissors
  • Pinking shears (optional)

Getting Started

  1. Download and print the Sewing Kitty Outside and Sewing Kitty Inside patterns.
    IMPORTANT: You must print these PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
  2. Cut out the pieces needed as shown below. You will need to print several copies of each page in order to cut all of the pieces you need. Note: You can conserve paper by cutting down the pieces as you go.
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  3. Cut all of your pieces from the appropriate color of felt using the above images as a guide. I chose to pink the inside vanilla backing pieces, but that's optional.
  4. Position your pieces and pin. It's important to place your travel scissors in position rather than go by our pattern because the exact location of the Scissor Pocket and floss tie depend on your specific pair of scissors. The scissors in the sample are typical small embroidery scissors (2¾" wide x 3½" long).
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I used a loose style running hand stitch to get a funky look. I also split my six-strand embroidery floss in half and sewed with only three strands. You can do the same or use a blanket stitch or even a long stitch on a sewing machine.

Case Outside

  1. Sew Ear 1 and Ear 2 to the face along the nose line (not all the way around) using black floss.
  2. Sew Eye 1 and Eye 2 and attach button eyes using pea green floss.
  3. Sew Nose to face using peach floss.
  4. Embroider a mouth as shown using black floss.
  5. Sew Bow Tie to outside of case using peach floss. Attach Bow Tie button.
  6. Sew button backing to outside of case and attach button using green floss (be sure to check alignment with the button tab, allowing about 1/8" extra for the interior pieces).
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  7. Sew kitty face to the outside of the case using vanilla floss (use pattern as placement guide). About an inch from completion, leave a gap as shown below. Lightly stuff the kitty face with Polyfil to form a pin cushion. Once stuffed, finish sewing the face to the case.
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Case Inside

  1. From card stock (I used an old file folder) cut 2 pieces about 3/8" smaller all around than the vanilla-colored inside backing pieces. This will add some body to the sewing kit so your scissors don't weight it down. It also keeps needles and pins from poking through to the front.
  2. Remember, all your inside pieces should already be pinned in place.
  3. Unpin the Button Pocket and, using vanilla floss, sew on the button. Re-pin.
  4. Sew the Button Pocket to the backing.
  5. Make sure the Button Pocket Cover is still in position above the pocket, using the pattern as a guide. Sew along the top as shown to attach it to the backing.
  6. Feel where the button is and cut a small buttonhole. I used a seam ripper to start and then carefully cut slit with embroidery scissors.
  7. Sew Thread Card Pocket to the backing. Set aside.
  8. Using the pattern as a guide, position your scissors on the second backing sheet with the card stock centered behind the backing. Thread your embroidery needle with 12" of floss. First poke through both your backing and the card stock (don't pull it all the way through – you need the inside tail for a tie) from the front to the back, then poke it back through from the back to the front. You are creating one loop with the ties on the inside. The card stock helps hold the floss taut. Leave the floss long enough to tie a bow around your scissors. Knot the ends of both ties.
  9. With your scissors in place, check the position of your Scissor Pocket. Pin and sew in place.
  10. Sew the Straight Pin & Needle Flap to the backing as shown on the pattern.
  11. Position both backing pieces to the back of the case incasing the card stock.
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  12. Stitch backing to case – felt-to-felt – do not sew through the card stock. I looked back and forth on both sides to get a reasonably nice stitch. Focus on the front of the case since that is where you stitching shows most prominently.


  1. Cut the buttonhole in the button flap so case closes comfortably.
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  2. I wrapped thread in the colors I wanted around a small piece of cardstock. I cut both sides with paper craft pinking shears to hold the thread. However, you could just cut several slits.
  3. Add an assortment of buttons, safety pins and perhaps a needle threader to the pocket. You can put a variety of needle sizes in the thread pocket. Add some pins to the pin flap and you're done.
  4. While you're mending, you can place pins in the kitty pin cushion face, replace them on the inside when you're done sewing.
  5. Don't forget to pop it your handbag or suitcase before you head out.

    Hints and Tips

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    I had a lot of help from one of my kitties on this project. I kept stashing all the sharp stuff in a drawer, but I still had to re-cut a couple pieces because after she sat on everything, I lost the nose and one eye. It's a little easier, not to mention safer, to shut the door during construction.


    Comments (49)

    Rosi / Rejig Sewing Sessions said:
    Rosi / Rejig Sewing Sessions's picture

    Hi - I hope its okay that I've posted a link to this lovely sewing kit project in the monthly newsletter I produce for my Rejig community sewing sessions in the UK? Although I encourage people to recycle and reuse fabrics in their projects, each month in the newsletters I try to get people of all ages searching the web and enjoying creative projects from all around the world. Your sewing kit is so cute and will be a real hit with my RejigPlus sessions for families. You can find out more about us at: www.rejig.co and on Facebook at Rejig13 - many thanks, Rosi

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Rosi - thank you for the heads-up about the link. As you describe it, this works great for us. All projects, patterns, photos, etc. on Sew4Home are copyrighted, so the instructions themselves and any associated patterns or pictures can not be reproduced or reprinted in any way. But, we do allow people to pick up a photo or two from our articles to use along with credit and a link back to our site. And, we truly appreciate this outreach.

    TracyBunny said:
    TracyBunny's picture

    This is brilliant! I plan to do needle felting for my design, but needed a pattern to show me how to put a travel kit together. This is going to be a birthday gift for a family member who's crazy about felted things, so thank you, thank you, thank you! 

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Rozelotte - thanks for sharing our site and glad to know you enjoyed making the case... I agree you mom will love it. Great to watch it being made in super fast motion!

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ buttons and paint - very cute! Thank you for sharing and for doing such a nice job of linking back to Sew4Home.

    Mandy Doughty said:
    Mandy Doughty's picture

    I'm unable to open the patterns.  What format are they in? 

    I can't wait to make this - it's so cute!!

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Mandy Doughty - all our patterns are simple PDF downloads. All that is required is the latest free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Also - make sure your browser is set to allow you to allow downloads from a website and open new windows. We tested the patterns and they are functioning correctly.

    Artist said:
    Artist's picture

    This is grate idea for travel. I need this kit for life in my artist world.

    I'm sorry for the mistakes, but I'm 13 yyears old polish girl ;-)

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Mixed Kreations - thanks for sharing S4H on your blog - yes, how you did it is exactly correct. Sharing one or two of our photos with a credit to our site and a link back to us. Have fun with the project!

    mary elizondo said:
    mary elizondo's picture

    I just made my first one and WOW! its so darned cute. I want to make them for all my sisters and friends. A BIG Thanks to you and your great tutorial.

    Marianne King said:
    Marianne King's picture
    My daughters and grandchildren like cats. This would be a good gift. I try to find things that the kids like and make it for them. Thanks for the instructions!!
    walerianka said:
    walerianka's picture
    OMG! This sewing kit is too adorable! ^^ Only looking at that I can say how talented you are smilies/smiley.gif Can't wait to see more of your beautiful works! Greetings from Poland! smilies/smiley.gif
    singingwithbirds.com said:
    singingwithbirds.com's picture
    This is absolutely adorable! It's pretty and pinned. THANKS
    AggieCat said:
    AggieCat's picture
    Love, love, love, this, but will make it with my son and nephews' favorite sport ball on the front in order to encourage good needle skills. Every boy and man should know how to sew on a button, sew up a hem and basically make themselves presentable without the aid of a tailor. I may even make the hubby a golf themed one too. Well, I can dream he'll sew on his own buttons, can't I?
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
    @ Daily Craft - thanks so much for the FB post about Travel Kitty smilies/grin.gif ... feel free to post about any project that captures your fancy; we certainly appreciate having new people find us.
    Daily Craft said:
    Daily Craft's picture
    Great project! I just wanted to let you know that we featured this project on our Facebook page with almost 12,000 fans. We’d love it if you’d use our Featured Blogger button, available at: http://www.dailycraft.com/thank-you-for-crafting/. Our audience loved the project and we look forward to sharing more from you. Please let us know if you have any questions or projects you’d love us to feature! Thanks!
    alicia.thommas said:
    alicia.thommas's picture
    Skizzarah. Yours turned out so cute. It really does look just like your kitty!!
    Jessica. said:
    Jessica.'s picture
    I am going to be doing this. Instead of a sewing kit I'm going to be making it a "Knitting/crocheting kit" Maybe just a little bigger so I can fit smaller knitting needles and crochet hooks. I am SO stoked. I feel like an old lady in a teenagers body. My friends and boyfriend always tease me about that because I'd rather knit than go out. Hahasmilies/cheesy.gif
    Lady Sparkle said:
    Lady Sparkle's picture
    This is so adorable ... can't wait to make it for myself and friends smilies/smiley.gif
    alicia.thommas said:
    alicia.thommas's picture
    Hey JillShines, Your flower is a cute alternative to the kitty face! That's what's great about sewing - you can make it however you like. smilies/smiley.gif
    JillShines said:
    JillShines's picture
    Hi - Just wanted to let you know that I stumbled across your tutorial, and loved it so much I made it this weekend! Here's a picture of it on Flicker: http://www.flickr.com/photos/6...653363869/ - I had intended on just copying yours, but when I saw the embossed felt, I really wanted to use it. Then I remembered the felt flower tutorials that I've been wanting to try, so I varied the design a little.

    Thank you SO MUCH for this tutorial!
    Roma1 said:
    Roma1's picture
    I will be making one of these for all my children - they'll never have to ask me to sew in a button again! Really lovely idea - thank you.
    Nona said:
    Nona's picture
    This reminds me of cats Nancy Wolff uses on her fabric designs. Beautiful artwork.
    honestnicewoman said:
    honestnicewoman's picture
    I run the Fan Page for our local animal shelter. We are always doing fund raisers. I think this (and a dog) would be a great project to sell for fun raisers at the annual art & craft fair in my community! Thank you so much. This is an adorable project!
    mummsie1 said:
    mummsie1's picture
    smilies/cheesy.gif I love how the scissors are attached. No stabbing. This is just too dang cute. Gotta make more than one. I always love the projects on this website. I heart sew4homesmilies/grin.gif
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
    smilies/grin.gif javadiva ... you couldn't handstitch even if chased by a herd of angry rhinos?? Well, if you are careful, you could also use a super long basting stitch on your sewing machine.
    javadiva said:
    javadiva's picture
    That is SO cute! But I can't handstitch to save my life!!
    alicia.thommas said:
    alicia.thommas's picture
    I'm happy that so many of you are planning to make your own sewing kit. Thanks for the nice comments! Working with felt is fun because it's pretty forgiving -- hope you enjoy making this friendly little feline. =^..^=
    Alexandra said:
    Alexandra's picture
    congratulations for the wonderful project.

    Kisses form Portugal
    Rene Sharp said:
    Rene Sharp's picture
    This is an adorable project, I definitely think I am going to make this. Maybe this weekend...
    Isabelle L. said:
    Isabelle L.'s picture
    What a nice project, I know what to give to my cat lover friends. Sweet!!!

    Thank you...
    Katie C said:
    Katie C's picture
    My daughter is going to love making this with me. Thank you for a fantastic project!

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