When all else fails, sew. And if that fails, sew something else. After a mad rush to get the gents into their new clothes for Saturday’s Battle Road business, I found myself at loose ends Sunday morning. I toyed with sleeves on the Space Invaders gown, and stitched a shoulder seam on the coat Mr B gave me last weekend. (It does not fit his shoulders, but his guess that it might work for the Young Mr was correct: somehow, Mr B cut a man’s coat to a boy’s frame.)
The bonus of this, aside from my amazed gratitude at a lovely coat well on its way for the boy, was an upgrade to reenactor mouse. Poor reenactor mouse was made at the farm from clumps of wool and scraps of check linen. New reenactor mouse is far fancier, being made of cleaned wool batting, catnip, and a scrap of broadcloth that is probably the $65/yard mixed grey wool I think it is. Lucky kitty, no?
The pieces are simple: two mousey-shaped backs, a roughly oval pasteboard base, a strippy scrap for a tail, wool batting, and catnip. Linen thread for stotting, whipstitching, and whiskers. Stitch the backs together (I had to piece the base from a scrap, so stotted bits to look like a mouse hide. Why not?)
When the backs are stitched, turn and press. Pin the base to the body on one side. Stitch to near the center back seam.
Whip stitch the tail to the inside of the mouse base. At this point, you’re ready to stuff the mouse. I rolled the wool batting in the catnip and stuffed the back, poured a little more straight catnip in, and then finished off with another bit of catnip-rolled batting.
This is where the little pasteboard or chipboard base comes in. You slide this in to the mouse sandwich before closing the last base seam. (It helps stabilize the mouse, so that it skitters across the floor more satisfactorily when batted.)
Stitch the final seam. Make sure the seams are sturdy, as they’ll be going up against claws. I like to thread doubled linen thread through a large-eye needle to make whiskers; be sure to knot on both sides of the mouse’s nose.
All you need to do now is hand the mouse over and back away. Kitty requests some privacy with her new mouse. There’s a flickr album if you want to see the progress photos of a quick and silly project and make your own Wooly Mouse for Progressive Pussy Cats.