Cats are mysterious creatures. While sometimes aloof and a bit standoffish to strangers, more often they crave the companionship and security of their human owners. They love to be near or within eyes sight of their beloved owners and often will search for a nearby space to cuddle up and sleep.
Here is a clever way to put your sewing skills to use, giving your cherished pet a place to rest comfortably nearby — yet out from underfoot!
Photos via Linda Reynolds of Simply Sewing Studio
The kitty cradle is a sling or hammock like bed that can be secured to any four legged chair or table. It uses four non-slip loops that wrap around each leg and is secured in place with Velcro. It is designed to fit a specific table or chair, but is easy to make and can be completed in a matter of a few hours.
I used fleece to sew the one in the photo, which makes for a soft and comfortable bed. Any other soft fabric can be used instead. Shearling, cuddle-cloth, sweatshirt fabric or fur are other strong alternatives. Since fleece tends to stretch or give quite a bit, both the loops and the base of the cradle were stabilized with a medium-weight, sew-in interfacing. This prevents the bed from sagging from the weight of a cat and helps the loops stay put around each leg.
To make the cradle here is what you will need:
- 1/2 yard or less of fabric (will depend on individual dimensions of your table or chair)
- 1/2 yard or less of medium weight sew-in stabilizer or interfacing
- 1/4 yard or less of any non-slip material such as cabinet liners or rug liners
- 1/2 yard of velcro – male and female parts
- matching thread
Here are the instructions for making the cozy, cradle cat bed:
1. Determine the dimensions of the cradle by measuring the length and width between the table legs. Add 1 inch for seam allowances to both the width and length measurements. To determine the length of the loop strips, wrap a measuring tape around one leg than add 5 inches.
2. Cut 2 pieces of the base fabric and one piece of the interfacing for the cradle base. For the leg loops cut four strips of the base fabric where the length will equal the leg measurement plus 5 inches and the width should equal 3″.
3. Cut 4 one-inch wide strips of the same interfacing that are the same length as the fabric strips. Also cut 4 one-inch strips of the non-slip material that is equal to the fabric strips minus 4 inches. Lastly, cut four 4″ long strips of Velcro (both male and female sides).
4. Construct all of the leg loops first. With the wrong side facing up, place the interfacing along the center of each of the fabric strips. Fold one side over the interfacing and then the other and pin in place. Now lay the non-slip material over the pinned strip starting 1 inch from the end. Lay the 4″ strip of Velcro next to the non-slip material.
5. With the non-slip material and Velcro pinned in place now stitch them to the fabric strip using a straight or zigzag stitch 1/4″ from the edge. The loop will be rather thick and the non-slip material may stick to the presser foot, so consider using either a teflon foot, a walking foot and/or some tissue paper to allow the presser foot to sew smoothly.
6. Baste the interfacing to the wrong side of one of the base fabric pieces using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
7. With the basted fabric piece right side up, position all of the finished loops on an angle at the four corners. Pin each loop in place with the non-slip/Velcro side facing up. Now stitch them in place.
8. Lay the other fabric base piece on top with right sides together. Pin all of the sides together making sure the loops are sandwiched in between the two layers of the base cradle.
9. Using a 1/2″ seam allowance sew all of the four sides together leaving a good 3 inch opening at one of the short ends so the cradle can be turned right side out.
10. Turn the cradle right side out. Hand press out all the edges and then press the cradle flat. Hand stitch the opening to close it.
11. At each corner of the wrong side of the cradle, place the opposing Velcro pieces and stitch them in place using a straight or zigzag stitch.
12. Wrap each of the loops with the non-slip material facing the table leg and secure the loop to the cradle base with the Velcro. Make sure each loop is tightly wrapped around each leg so the cradle remains suspended.