Cats can look like many appetizing items, loaves of bread, muffins and roosting chickens with fur. So many costumes to realize.
For this particular one, the cat inspired the costume. One day I looked over at the napping feline and saw nothing less than a soup dumpling spilling over the couch cushion. Also, when I thought about it, the pattern for such a costume would be a relatively easy one. She's not much of a costume-tolerating type of cat, but she did get cozy enough with it while lying on the couch, that she fell asleep. The cutest thing I ever saw. Go to the last step to see 5 more of the hundred and something pictures I ended up taking of her while she was transmogrified into her intended form.
This instructable includes the pattern for a soup dumpling pattern that fits a 9lb+ cat (or small dog), plus a lettuce leave, if you choose to add some garnish. You do not need a sewing machine (if you have one, great!), but there is some hand sewing, which you could also heat seam or glue.
Step 1: Gather Materials
- 1 1/4" yard of cream felt
- 1/3" yard of green felt
- 1/8" yard of orange felt
- printer (for printing pattern or you can draft it on the fabric)
- tailor's chalk
- hand needles
- straight pins
- measuring tape
- cream thread
- 1 yard of adhesive-backed velcro
- Bristol paper or other thick card stock
Step 2: Print, Tape and Cut
Print and Tape
Print the pattern that is attached below. Tape the pages edge to edge, depending on your printer and settings the image will print with about a 1/4" margin, which is ok. Make sure to print the image at 100% and uncheck "fit to page" if you see the option.
You are welcome to draw it out on your felt, I have included a photo with measurements for reference.
You will find two different pattern pieces broken up into 8.5" x 11" pages. The dumpling costume (12 pages) and the lettuce leaf (3 pages).
The costume page numbered 01 is the top left corner, the pages are laid out as such:
Row 1 - Left to Right
Row 2 - Right to Left
Row 3 - Left to Right
- 2 Dumpling costume pattern pieces
- 2 Stalks of lettuce
- 2 Lettuce Leaves
Step 3: Measure Cat + More Cutting
You can alter the pattern or create your own. To make sure the pattern fits, there are a few measurements you want to take of furry fluff-ball you will be making this for.
Write these measurements down for later use:
- Around the body at the belly
- The length between the front and back legs
- Around the neck and write it down for later use
Cut Top of Body
One more measurement to take:
- Measure along the spine from around the nape of the neck to where the hind legs start. Cut a rectangle that is this length measurement x 13". I cut one that was 11" x 13", if you use this measure, you will probably be just fine. We will call this the inside body rectangle.
Step 4: Sew Seams
Put the two dumpling halves together.
Take a needle and some thread, measure 2" in from the edges marked A and D. Hand sew a straight stitch all the way across, from edge to edge.
Step 5: Adding Some Structure
- Take the inside body rectangle and cut a circle of bristol that matches the width.
- Put a strip of velcro down the center, this will add some structure to costume if you choose.
Step 6: Sew Inside Body on Dumpling
Now is the time to reference the measurement you took around the belly of your cat.
- Take this measurement and subtract 12.5" (width of the inside body rectangle)
- Split this amount in half and add 1.5" (overlap where velcro will be applied)
- Measure up the final amount from the edge marked B, add any more you may need for extra room for adjustments.
- Center the width of the rectangle with the flap, pin and sew.
Step 7: Tacking Inside Body to Outside Dumpling
The inside body rectangle needs to be tacked to what will ultimately be the dumpling. It needs to be tacked in the front and the back.
- Find the middle of the rectangle's length and pin it to the top of the top of the Back Legs and Tail opening, lining up the center with the seam. Stitch 2".
- Do the same for to front, pinning the rectangle's edge to the top of the Head opening. Stitch 3".
Step 8: Pleating the Dumpling
- Along the curved edge of the dumpling, make pleats 2"-3" deep, spacing them about 1/2" from each other. Pin in place as you go.
- Take your needle and thread, sew a running stitch 1/2" from top edge all the way around fixing all the pleats in place.
Step 9: Adding Caviar and Velcro
My cat can't be just any old dumpling, she is one you would find during a fine dining experience. As garnish, and to give the costume some pop, we are going to add some caviar on the top.
- Cut 3 circles that are 3" in diameter.
- Once again, grab your needle and thread and make a running stitch along the perimeter. Pull the thread, puckering the fabric and pulling it up into a sphere.
- Before you close it up, put some felt scraps inside to stuff it. I used poly fill because I had it lying around.
- Hand sew them right inside the top edge of the dumpling peak.
- Add velcro along the edge marked B (under belly) and C (under chin). Use the measurements you took to make sure you place the velcro in a place that will allow the costume to fit snuggly. Add another row on the loop side of the velcro if you want room for adjustment.
Step 10: Cut and Sew Lettuce
These are totally optional, I made them for the photo shoot, but they could be attached to the bottom of the costume for further garnish and cuteness.
Making them is very straight forward, the only thing you need to do is place, pin and sew the cream stalks to the green leaves. Attach to the costume if you like or have your pet lay on them for an adorable photo shoot.
** Extra points for making a wonton soup spoon for your dumpling to sit in!