Monday, December 17, 2012

Put a Cat on It!

It seems like the closer we get to Christmas, the more bloggers start rolling out with themed crafts, you know, to prep for the holiday season by blinging out your clothes or using leather to add an unexpected punch. I don't know if anyone's seen Portlandia's "Put a Bird on It!" sketch, but here's my tongue-in-cheek take on themed craft weeks in preparation for holiday gift-giving: Put a Cat on It!

I even made a button! Now it's official. 

I got the idea for this when I came back from my UK trip with the memory of a fantastic cat-print chiffon dress that I'd seen at the Greenwich Market; it was a very simple cut, pretty much a pillowcase with holes cut out for the arms and head and with an elastic waist, so I didn't want to pay $30 for it. I swore I would come back to the States and find a similar cat-print fabric and make my own dress. Well, it turns out that cat-print apparel fabric is hard to find. There are plenty of quilting cottons with cats, but nothing with the drape that I wanted. After months of searching, I finally located this white chiffon with tiny black velvet cats at Wholeport.com, an online craft retailer based in China which I had previously ordered a trim sample from. Alas, they only had a yard left, so I had to settle for making a top instead of a dress.

Posing with the cat that looks most like the silhouettes on my fabric.

Which got me to thinking...why must it be so hard for us cat ladies to find appropriate clothing-based ways to proclaim our craziness? I mean, there was the Miu Miu collection a couple years back, and then the Charlotte Olympia kitty flats that I copied last year, but those are all super expensive. You can print your own cat fabric for a cheaper option, but I wanted some less messy/involved options too. So here's to Put a Cat on It! week, a slightly silly, but also secretly serious attempt to bring more cats into wardrobes across the world. For the rest of the week, I'll be sharing my feline-focused projects...stay tuned! Or, you know, unsubscribe for a week (if you haven't already done so because of the slew of hobbit-related posts) so you don't have to be subjected to any more cats, because goodness knows there are enough on teh interwebs as it is.

NO. DO NOT WANT TO BE CUDDLED. 

Fenxi attempts to make his getaway. 

Oh, and this top? It's essentially a square top with a slightly longer back hem and a pussy bow (because cats! Get it? get it??) neck tie thingy.  There's really no shaping to it, so I'll only ever be wearing it under a cardigan, but it adds a fun detail for those who are on the lookout for cats.

And yes, I'm well aware that cats are not the reason for the season, but if there was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus, why couldn't there have been a cat or two? 

Also, congratulations to Louise for being the winner of the Hobbit-themed giveaway! Email me as soon as you can so that I can mail you your goodies!

50 comments:

  1. I love the Portlandia sketch and I love this Put a Cat on It idea. Your top is great and I can't see what else you make. Maybe you should make something for Walnut.

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    1. Portlandia cracks me up because it is so. right. For SF, too, not just Portland. And if I made something for Walnut, would I call it Put a Cat in It?

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  2. :) I think that was my favorite part of Love Actually. Plus, did you see the octopus costume? That was so smart to use the bubble wrap on the tentacles.

    I love your shirt. It's funny because I have a similar print, but it's black with white animals...annnnd it's a bird print. :P Somewhat ironic considering your reference to Portlandia :P

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    1. Yes! That octopus costume was hilarious..."We're here!!" I just love Love Actually so much.

      I feel like there are definitely enough bird print clothes, but not enough cat prints!

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  3. I think it's hard to find any pet (dog, cat, turtle etc.) related fabric print that isn't juvenile looking. (At what age do adults decide they have to be boring in clothing and decorating? I don't think I've reached that age yet.) Now finding bird related stuff - not so hard. LOL - that's why the Portlandia sketch is so funny - it's SO true!

    I love the simple kitty silhouette print you found and it's purrfect under a cardigan! (Sorry, bad pun but I just couldn't resist... *grin*)

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    1. Love the pun :) Love the shirt too!!!

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    2. I'm not sure when adults have to make the transition to boring clothing, but I guess that means I will never be a real adult! And yes, that pun was practically required!

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  4. Lookit that [cat's] belleh! I'm eager to be home and see all the things you come up with for cat week. Mayhaps you can help advise with my cat project too :)Now if only Gummy could magically be teleported back to SF, I'm not looking forward to that awooo-filled drive.

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    1. And don't forget the guuuuu-filled break!

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  5. Oh I love this idea, cats on everything!!

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    1. Because cats already sit on everything, so let's be true to life and put them on all the clothes, too!

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  6. Love this! I too have been looking for adult-appropriate animal themed fabrics to no avail. Thanks for introducing me to WholePort!

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    1. I just talked to WholePort and it looks like they're not going to carry the cat-chiffon again until next spring...boo!

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  7. Love it! I know you're super good at doing things on the cheap, I love that about you... but there's always Spoonflower to make your own fabric. Super expensive, though. In fact, I designed fabric that I intended to buy from them and never did because of the price.

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    1. I was just knitting in between these two comments and saw this post in my reader again and just had to comment that it would be hilarious if you interpreted this literally and knit something from cat fur yarn. I'm pretty sure you don't knit? But I have seen dog fur yarn for sale, so I'm sure they make cat fur yarn, haha.

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    2. I don't knit, unfortunately, but I've seen a website where you can send in five pounds of your pet's fur and they'll spin it into yarn for you! I'm pretty sure it would take forever to collect that much hair from Walnut.

      But yes, Spoonflower was so exciting until I saw their prices!

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  8. Hahahehe, this post has me laughing with glee. I thoroughly enjoyed your hobbit posts and am looking forward to seeing what you come up with! Cats were my favorite animals growing up and wearing cat fabric seems like a wonderful alternative for enjoying them without having an allergic reaction! (that's why all our cats are outside cats...)

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    1. Awww, how sad to be allergic to cats! In that case, I guess cats on clothing is the next best option...

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  9. Hahaha, this is too funny! I really like that print-- it's way cute! I'm one of the few sewing bloggers that's a dog nut instead of a cat lady, so I'm always on the lookout for doggie prints. :)

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    1. I feel like there are quite a few dog-loving sewing bloggers out there too, like Gertie and Laura Mae and Peter, so you're in good company! And besides, I'm pretty sure all of the things I do could be applied to dogs, too; you'd just need to cut out a slightly different shape to applique!

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  10. I'm happy to make kitties part of the reason for the season!! JC was born in a barn; there had to have been cats there, right?

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    1. Yes, I'm going to make that part of my head canon...after all, if there are animals, there must be animal feed, which would attract rodents, which would require cats. Yes, that's definitely plausible!

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  11. Oooh, I'll be looking forward to see what you make of "Put a cat on it". I have just got a kitten about a week ago and I would love to manifest my love for her in clothing or other things. She's a Devon rex because my husband's condition for getting a cat was that it wouldn't shed any hair. And she doesn't!

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    1. Aww, how awesome to have a brand new kitten! That's really the most adorable stage, and how excellent that she meets your husband's hair requirement too!

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  12. ooooooohhhhhhh I won! Yippee, thanks a lot, my eldest will be so happy, it will just top off a brilliant birthday weekend. We all LOVED The Hobbit, even the 7 year old although she wasn't keen on Wargs and hid from them! I loved the humour in this one and Gollum (always my fave) was absolutley brilliant, I love the way Peter Jackson dealt with his split personality allowing each side to be shown so well. Not sure about the 3D but the higher frame rate reminded me of watching HD TV which as there were lots of British actors in it was a little like watching a BBC drama and not a big Hollywood/NZ(?) blockbuster. I'll drop you a line with my address

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    1. I mailed your package a couple days ago, but I don't think it will arrive in time for Christmas :( So glad that your daughters are getting into Tolkien, though!

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  13. I adore you to bits, and I adore that cat shirt. Freaking amazing.

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  14. That cat shirt is so cute! love it! I am a big fan of cats so I'll be watching all week :)

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  15. I love your top, and the fabric is gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks! Unfortunately, it looks like they're out of that fabric for now...

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  16. Yay! Now here's a holiday theme I can get excited about! Just purrrrfect!

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    1. Hehehe I knew you would get a kick out of this!

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  17. I thought you make like to see this... UK ethical clothing store PeopleTree is selling a cat dress... it's made in a knit fabric and it looks really flattering! http://www.peopletree.co.uk/new-in/peter-jensen-cat-dress

    I wonder whether their supplier /designer stopped by Greenwich Market too! :)

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    1. Oh, that's fantastic...a normal dress with cats on it! Too bad it's so expensive!

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  18. Cute blouse! So is Fenxi an outside kitty? That's not something you see very often, so that's why I asked. :-)

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    1. Fenxi is an indoor kitty who likes to sneak outside! He's the only one of our cats who dares leave the house, so he gets to be in the outdoor photo sets :)

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  19. Such a great idea! I'd love to put cats on everything.

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    1. Yes! Other people agree that cats need to be on more things!

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  20. Based entirely on the nativity I have set up in the dining room, there were at least three cats at the birth of Jesus :)

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  21. Ha! I love the cheeky Love Actually reference!Also, very impressed by the blouse, and absolutely loving Walnut. I have a Maine Coon, and although he and Walnut are not of the same family, they remind me of each other. Merry Christmas!

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    1. Walnut is frequently mistaken for a Maine Coon! Both breeds have such lovely large manes. And Love Actually is one of my favorite Christmas movies, even though it's not exactly a classic.

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  22. Fantastic top and I love the fabric! Finding classy cat couture is tricky. There does see to be an over abundance of polar fleece caftans with photos of cats on them but this fabric I would actually wear!

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    1. Hahaha oh I know exactly what you mean about the caftans! I feel like those give cat ladies a bad name!

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  23. Love it! I say put a cat on EVERYTHING! The more the merrier! ^___^

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  24. Oh my gosh, yes please, cats on everything! This is the greatest idea that I have come across lately. Or ever. I always have to stop myself from buying ridiculous nursery print flannels at the fabric store JUST because there are cats on it. Like really, what is a sane person going to do with yards and yards of cat-printed flannel? That being said, I do have a wholly whimsical zebra printed comforter :) (with plenty of cat hairs sewn into the layers from my always helpful kitty)

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  25. There must have been cats in Bethlehem around the BC to AD transition, right? My husband's spent a good bit of time in Jerusalem, and he says there are cats all over the place. Everywhere. In fact, I'm so convinced there were cats that when my parents gifted me a Nativity set for Christmas this year (they hand made the stable - they're so crafty!) and said they'd continue to fill out the characters through the next few Christmases, the first thing I asked for after looking through my choices was a set of cats. Yes, cats.

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