Above is little Betty's new cat bed. It will be much cuter with Betty curled up in it! Here are the measurements I used - Betty is on the small side (although the vet says she's three or four years old) so you may want to make yours a little bigger. Leo napped in this one tonight and he could barely squeeze into it -- didn't stop him, though.
For the cushioned tube, I cut a strip of fleece 11 inches by 40 inches and stitched the two long ends together to form a tube. I stuffed it (but didn't jam-pack it) with fiberfill I had on hand. Shredded batting, old pantyhose, or even worn-out socks would do the trick as well. I hand-stitched the ends together to form a circle (OK, not exactly a circle, but a circle-like product). I then serged several other squares of fleece together to form a cushy base (these ended up around 15 inches square) and hand-stitched the tube onto the base. Easy as can be.
It may be a little more fiddly if you use an old fleece jacket or sweatshirt, but I think it'd be a great way to use one - if the garment is stained, I'd just turn it inside out!
Here's the refashioned polo shirt. It's still, well, a polo shirt -- with all the unflattering fit issues that go along with that -- but I was much more comfortable wearing it with a softer look. I just changed out the buttons, then removed the collar with my seam ripper. I cut the collar into strips that I used for the ruffles, leaving the edges raw.
To make your own, first determine the dimensions you want for your finished bag. Let's use some algebra:
- Height of bag = H
- Width of bag = W
- Depth of bag (sides) = D
It's up to you how many thicknesses you want to make your bag. My ad circulars were fairly thin, so I used three thicknesses for the long strip (front, back, and bottom of bag) and two thicknesses for the side panels. Regardless, use these dimensions for your components:
- Front/back/bottom piece: 2(H) + D by W
- Side panels (cut two): D by H
Follow the assembly process on the Martha Stewart tutorial. Just zig-zag your seams and leave them exposed, rather than doing traditional inside-out seaming.
Tuck raw ends of some sort of handle material (cording, yarn, pieces of an old shoelace, etc.) between the thicknesses of the top edge, and stitch in place.
I'm definitely going to hunt around for an outdated roadmap to make some more.
For the little gift card wallet (I know they tend to come with their own paper folders, but this kind is more fun) I cut a 4 1/4-inch-wide strip of advertising circular, then trimmed that strip to be 5 3/4 inches long. I pulled a scrap of fabric out of my wastebasket and cut some one-inch strips out of it, then pressed them in half (the long way) so I had half-inch-wide strips. I encased each 4 1/4-inch-wide end of the paper with the fabric strip and stitched it into place (just leave the edges raw,) I folded one end up to make the pocket as deep as I wanted it to accommodate the card, then zig-zagged the sides shut. Another fold for the top flap, a tiny bit of stick-on Velcro, and the wallet was done!
Finally, here are a few links that might help you locate some fellow sewing enthusiasts. If your area's not included here, just ask some experts at a local fabric or hobby shop.