It's no secret that I'm kind of a crazy cat lady. Our family has 5 very spoiled black cats, so actually I'm crazy BLACK cat lady. Halloween is kind of a special holiday for us because we get to decorate our house in cats that look like our babies!!
I decided our front porch needed some more black cat décor, so I made this Black Cat Brigade Halloween Banner. Each of the kitties on the banner looks like one of my babies!
Mogli is the big kitty with the bent tail. He's our gentle giant. We adopted him as an adult kitty from the shelter, where he had been for 5 months before he came home with us. Please please please consider adopting adult kitties!
Then comes little Charlotte, our "baby" kitten who is actually two years old and no longer a kitten, but she's still so tiny and lovable. Her tail is always curled when she comes to greet you with a friendly hello.
Then there's our grumpy old man kitty Ivan. He's actually not grumpy all the time - mostly he's an affectionate sweetheart who purrs so loud you can hear him across the room. But when he's mad he'll you'll know it. And the way his eyes are set makes him look like he's always scowling or giving you a "WTH?" kind of look.
Luna, our shy kitty, is next in line in my banner. She has the softest fur EVER, but she's so shy no one but my husband can pet her. She'll let me scratch her forehead but she's so nervous she just kind of endures it rather than enjoys it.
Finally there's Midnight, our dapper gentleman, also known as Mr. Bow Tie for the fabric bow tie he wears around his neck. His actual real bow tie is seersucker because that's how much of a Southern gentleman he is. He's my daughter's cat and they love each other dearly. He was also a very protective big brother to Charlotte when she was a tiny tiny kitten, babysitting her and making sure she didn't go under the couch or anywhere else she might get hurt.
So now that I've bragged on all my babies, I'll give you the pattern and tutorial to make the banner.
Two pieces of fabric 15 1/2" x 26" each
Fusible batting - 15 1/2" x 26"
Fusible webbing (enough to cut out all of the cats)
Black broadcloth (enough to cut out all of the cats)
Scraps of fabric for the eyes, noses, and bow tie.
1/2" wooden dowel, 27" long
Yarn to hang the banner
Here's how to make it:
- Iron the fusible batting to back of the front panel.
- Iron the fusible webbing to the back of the fabrics you'll use to cut out the cat pieces.
- Trace the cat pieces to the fusible webbing's paper backing. Remember to reverse your images because you're tracing on the back of the fabric. If you're tracing all of the eye pieces at one time, label them so you can be sure to get the right eyes on the right cat. Ivan would be mighty mad if you gave him Mogli's eyes, ha!
- Cut the pieces out and assemble them on the front panel piece. I placed and fused the cat bodies first, and then went back and added the eyes and noses.
- Stitch the whiskers using the patterns as a guide. You can stitch by hand or by machine, whichever you're more comfortable doing. I did it by machine and went over the lines a second time to make sure they showed up. For the tight curves on Luna's curly whiskers, I reduced the stitch length to 1.5 and hand cranked the machine.
- (Optional) Stitch the legs on the cats' bodies, using the pattern as a guide. I had planned to do them on mine but I forgot, and I didn't realize it until too late to change it. They look just fine without the legs so this step is optional, lol.
- Pin the back to the front, right sides together. Sew around all edges, leaving a hole to turn. Clip corners and turn it right side out.
- Turn the edges of the opening in to make a clean line, and press in place. Topstitch around the panel 1/4" from the edge.
- Fold a 1 1/2" casing to the back and stitch down.
- Drill holes or cut notches in either end of the dowel.
- Insert the dowel into the casing and tie a length of yarn to hang it.