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Years ago I created a cat neck pillow pattern for my children, and it was a huge success. Today I’m sharing with you my updated version of the pattern and tutorial, along with a video tutorial!
This cat neck pillow pattern is based on my travel neck pillow for kids or adults, both of which have two sizes and an optional snappable carry strap, perfect for travel of all kinds. The cat version, however, also has a tail, ears, eyes, nose and whiskers to make it super fun and a perfect DIY gift for cat lovers!
I love this carry strap. This past summer my daughter used hers all the time on vacation and, while travelling, she had it snapped on to her backpack, keeping her hands free. So convenient!
Do you want to make a totally unique travel pillow with the Cucicucicoo FREE cat neck pillow pattern? Watch the video tutorial or continue to read below for instructions and photos!
- Fabric. Use a fabric with a slight stretch. I used some scraps of soft blue stretch velour left over from sewing my Sea Snuggler Mermaid Tails and Doll mermaid costumes.
- Medium weight fusibile interfacing* (only for the straps).
- Protective ironing cloth* (only for the straps).
- Fabric shears. I loooove these Fiskars tabletop scissors* because they make it easy to cut around patterns.
- Pins. I use these glass head pins*.
- Polyester thread. Don’t use cotton thread with stretchy fabric, trust me. I love Gutermann Sew All poly thread*.
- Sewing machine needle.
- Hand sewing needle*.
- Embroidery floss. I used black DMC cotton pearl floss, size 8*, but obviously use whatever color matches your fabric best.
- Hand needle. I used DMC size 22 chenille needles* for embroidering the face.
- Stuffing. We used memory foam stuffing*, which is perfect for a pillow that is soft, but still really supports the head and neck.
- 2 snaps* or velcro (only for the straps).
- Cat neck pillow pattern. (My free patterns are available to all Cucicucicoo Newsletter subscribers. The Newsletter is sent out every two weeks and you can unsubscribe whenever you want. Sign up for the Newsletter here for access to dozens of free downloads, templates and patterns! If you are already subscribed, just look at the bottom of the last Newsletter you received for the link and password.)
GET THE FREE PATTERN!
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(If you’d prefer receiving the free pattern and newsletter in Italian, just sign up here instead!)
Assemble the cat neck pillow pattern:
1. Sign up for the Cucicucicoo Newsletter (as explained above) for access to the reserved area with all the free downloads. (Or, if you’re already signed up, check the last Newsletter that you’ve received for the info and password.) Download and print the neck pillow template pdf.
Assemble the six pages so that the triangles form diamonds and cut out the pieces that you need. (The video above shows how to assemble the pattern.)
Cut out the pieces. Here I am sewing the adult size, which is best for ages 7 and up.
Sew the cat neck travel pillow:
2. Trace the strap piece twice onto the non-sticky side of the fusible interfacing, leaving a small amount of space between them. Cut them out, again leaving a bit of margin around the lines.
3. Iron the rectangles on to the wrong side of the fabric, sticky/shiny side down, using the ironing cloth to protect the iron. Make sure that the arrow on the pattern piece matches the fabric’s grainline. Then cut out the rectangles along the traced lines.
4. Place the pattern pieces for the pillow, tail and ear on two layers of fabric with their right sides facing. Again, the grainline must follow the arrow on the pattern and, if the fabric has a nap, make sure that it runs down towards the bottom of the pattern.
5. Trace around the pattern. You need to trace the ear twice. Mark where the tail will be inserted (black arrows). Remove the pattern and pin the fabric.
6. Fold each strap piece in half, then sew across the top and down the long side with a 1 cm (3/8″) seam allowance. Make sure that the fabric nap (if there is one) runs down towards the open end. Then sew along the line of the tail and ears. Notice, as the arrows show, that each piece has a short open side. (top photo)
7. Clip the top corners of the strap so that it will turn better. If you want to know more about clipping and notching, see this lesson on how to turn and topstitch. Then trim the fabric around the tail and ears.
8. Turn all these pieces right side out using a pen or large tweezers. (top picture)
9. Stuff the tail with memory foam* or any other stuffing. Don’t stuff to the very edge, though. Flatten the opening of the tail and sew it closed within the seam allowance (so, with a seam allowance of less than 1 cm (3/8″), as shown above. (bottom picture)
10. Mark the two lines showing where the tail will be inserted (A and B above). Then mark the center top (C), and a space about 6 cm (2 1/4″) long to the right (D and E). Insert the tail from between the two layers of fabric so that the edges are lined up with the edges of the pillow, between A and B above, and pin it in place. (top picture)
11. Sew around the pillow from E up to a little bit beyond the tail. When you are getting close to the tail, pull it higher up inside the pillow, where it won’t get in the way. Then insert the two strap pieces from the inside of the pillow with the raw edges lined up with the raw edges of the pillow at the center point C. (bottom picture)
12. Continue to sew all the way around up until point D. Then trim the edges.
13. Turn the pillow right side out.
14. Stuff the pillow with memory foam* or any other stuffing. Then close the hole with the ladder stitch. If you don’t know how to do the invisible stitch, read my sewing lesson here!
Adding the cat’s “face”:
15. With the cat ears right side out, flatten and overlap the open bottom.
16. Position the ears (with the overlapped bottoms) on the cat “head” and hand stitch them in place.
17. Cut out the shapes of eyes and nose from scrap fabric of a contrasting color. Position them on the cat’s face and sew them on around the edges by hand. (top picture)
18. Using the chenille needle* and the black DMC cotton pearl floss*, embroider the whiskers. (bottom picture)
(Don’t forget, if you want to see these, as well as all the other, steps more in detail, watch the cat neck pillow pattern video.)
19. Pull the embroidery thread up through the center of one eye and make a series of vertical lines to create the cat’s pupils.
20. And finally, add two sets of snaps to the ends of the carry straps. Make sure that they overlap without twisting.
And you are DONE! Isn’t that adorable?! How could you resist a face like that?
Now that you have your very own unique neck pillow, you have a good excuse to go travelling! If you don’t love cats, or simply want to sew an easier neck pillow, make sure you head on over to my DIY neck pillow template PDF download and tutorial!
So, are you convinced? Go download the cat neck pillow pattern (see the instructions in the “Materials” section above) and sew up a super fun and comfortable neck pillow for the people in your life who love cats!
If you want a whole different take on neck pillows, make sure you check out my easy repurposing tutorial on how to make a neck pillow from a sweatshirt! You really can’t beat this project in terms of how quick it is to make, and the sensation of being hugged is one of a kind!
Don’t forget to share pictures of your cat neck pillows on Facebook, Instagram or other social media with the hashtags #cucicucicoopatterns and #cucicucicoo! I can’t wait to see your amazing cat pillows!
Do you want all the new sewing techniques and cool modern sewing projects, in addition to this cat neck pillow pattern? Then sign up for the Cucicucicoo Newsletter here for access to dozens of free printables!
If you loved this cat neck pillow pattern, click here to save this tutorial on Pinterest!
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2 thoughts on “Easy Cat Neck Pillow Pattern for Kids and Adults”
i like it. its very cute. Thank you so much.
So glad to hear that you like it! 🙂