|Cat-tastic Outfit Details: Cuz you know you want 'em. sweater: originally a Free People, felted by moi; dress: vintage, Four Seasons Vintage, Knoxville, TN; tights: I'm wearing two. Don't ask me how, you don't wanna know; shoes: thrifted, Nine West|
I recently took an "Are You a Cat Person?" quiz and, by the looks of things, I betcha can guess the results. But c'mon! Tell me I'm not the only one who answered a resounding "yes!" to the following:
- You consider cat hair in your food an additional source of fiber (What? You can never get enough. Fiber that is. The hairballs kinda suck).
- You sleep on the edge of your bed because you hate to disturb the cat sleeping in the middle looking so darn cute (Not only is cuteness a factor but you try moving 20 sleeping pounds. No small task).
- You call home multiple times daily to ask your spouse what the cat is doing and to speak to her (Okay, this wasn't actually on the list but this is what my hubs does everyday during my summer vacation. Looks like I'm not the only one with a problem).
Sweater on the left available at Modcloth for $99.99 (really? How 'bout we just call it $100, ermkay?) and my felted personalized version on the right.
Since my students are currently creating dogs and cats outta clay, I just knew I had to have this sweater in my life. For educational purposes! For the children! For the love of all things cat-sy! But when I saw that totally ridic price tag, I was all "Edu-what? Children-shmildren! Cats, who gives a -- (cue tilted head, doe-eyed stare as seen below) Awwwww! Cats!"
AND the DIY Crazy Cat Lady Sweater was born.
I mean, just look at this nut. When she's not on some rickrack-chewing or stomping-on-my-crafts rampage...
...she's passed out drunk as a skunk. It's like living with Lindsay Lohan. But we loves her just the same.
Which is why I decided to create my own cat sweater dedicated to my dear sweet drunken Asha. Wanna do the same? Easy. Follow these steps:
- You are going to create a symmetrical drawing of your cat. Begin by folding a piece of 8 1/2' X 11" piece of paper in half. From here you could either trace an enlarged photo of your cat or draw a very basic version.
- Now here's a little trick to create a drawing that is perfectly symmetrical drawing. Fold the paper in half along the vertical crease. With the paper folded, scribble firmly on the backside of your drawing.
- When you reopen your paper, you will see a ghost line of your drawing. My students use this technique in art all the time when wanting to create a symmetrical drawing quickly.
Originally my plan was to place this drawing under the sweater and trace it. Yeah, that didn't work. The sweater is completely opaque. So then my thought was to use one of those pattern cutting tools that looks like a pizza cutter with teeth. I thought I'd trace my lines with that tool, place the drawing on my sweater and use chalk to "pounce" in the lines. Erm, no go. The chalk just vanished into the knit of the sweater. These failures lead to Plan C (for "C"rap, now what?!):
Cut the drawing into pieces and outline in wool yarn.
This worked swimmingly. I simply outlined the components of the design (cat head, glasses, ears, etc) and filled them in with felt. Almost like Paint-by-Number. Here, lemme show you...
On the left, you can see I've cut out the glasses and I've outlined them in dark brown wool yarn. Only 100% wool yarn can be used when needle felting. This same technique was used when felting the inside of the glasses.
Not being able to draw on the sweater was annoying. But drawing with the yarn really helped. And the good news is that yarn can be pulled right out of the sweater in case a mistake is made.
Creepy kitty face.
Outline in yarn, fill in with roving, lather, rinse, repeat (okay, minus those last three, we're not wet felting here). If you are new to the idea of needle felting, you can read about my first attempt, complete with slightly clearer directions, here. Follow that up with my downhill slide into felting madness: Put a Bird on It Sweater, Floral Applique Sweater and my Crazy Art Teacher Skirt.
Once I decided I wanted to create an Ashie sweater, I snapped this photo of her so I could see her coloring and details as I worked. She doesn't usually have such a freaky face unless she's staring at birds or other lil critters. In this instance it happened to be a giant spider hanging just above my head. Yeah, thanks for the warning, fuzzy butt.
My feeble attempt to emulate the bow-and-glasses look. Somehow, it's just not the same.
Looking back over the "Are You a Cat Person" quiz, I never once saw the statement:
- You unapologetically spend a good portion of your birthday weekend needle felting a picture of your cat onto your clothing. Which you wear proudly to work. Where small children praise you for your craftsmanship while adults smile and pretend they aren't planning an emergency intervention for your insane cat lady soul at the next faculty meeting.
I mean, who wouldn't check "yes!" in that box, am I right people?