Mama Cat and Her Skirt-Dwelling Kittens Pattern

by Dorie on November 12, 2012

Pattern: Mama Cat and Her Skirt-Dwelling Kittens!

Meet Mama Cat and Her Skirt-Dwelling Kittens! Oh, wait. You guys already know her. I’ve made quite a few Mama Cats over the years, and I’ve decided to put together a pattern so that you can make one too, if you’d like. The Mama Cats I’ve made have mostly been gifts for little girls, and they’ve always been well received. I’m releasing the pattern now, just in case you know someone who needs one for a Christmas or Hanukkah present. Let’s get making!

The details: Mama Cat is a full stuffed animal who wears a dress and an apron. She has three little kittens (two toddlers and a baby), and all the kittens wear little outfits, like a skirt or a bunting or a criss-cross dress. Mama and all her kittens are completely dress-able and undress-able, because it’s really more fun that way. The bottom of Mama Cat’s dress is sewn closed like a sack so it can be used as a hiding place (AKA storage) for all her little children.

Mama Cat Pattern: hiding spot

One of my favorite things about this pattern is how customizable it is. You can change the number of kittens to match the number of people in your family, or you can make a cat the same color as your family cat. You can add detail to the cats’ clothes with ric-rack, embroidery or other trims. There’s room to be creative and personal.

Mama Cat Pattern: kitten clothes!

I love this pattern, and I hope you will too. I am listing it both on Etsy and Craftsy. I know most people are already set up on Etsy, but Craftsy has the added benefit of giving you access to your pattern immediately after purchase. I could use a couple of people to make and review the pattern – let me know if you’re interested! ETA: Reviewers found. Thank you very much!

ETA – I got some questions on the bodice, so I’ve added a bodice walk-through here.

Mama Cat and Kittens on Craftsy
Mama Cat and Kittens on Etsy


Nina November 12, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Oh. this is sooooooooooooo sweet! And with the clothes and everything. Saw your tiny apron on Flickr the other day and had no idea what it was for! I had (OK, still have…) a rabbit + baby (and carrot!) with a zip-up pouch under her skirt, but I think that was meant to be a pyjama case. Does the mama cat have legs?

Dorie November 12, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Yes, mama cat has legs! Way more fun to undress that way. The first time I made one of these cats it was based on the memory of a similar bunny from my childhood. Maybe we had the same one?

CitricSugar November 12, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Dorie – these are so stinkin’ cute!

Sarah November 12, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Wow, that is adorable! And I’m impressed, just from the looks of the toy it cannot have been a very simple pattern to invent.

What age girl have you made these for? (Is it too “young” a toy for a 6-year-old?)

Dorie November 13, 2012 at 8:10 am

Thank you! No, not too young for a 6-year-old. My daughter was six when I made her the first one, and I think it could go a few years later than that too, especially if you play up the details.

Sarah November 13, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Ok, well, in that case–if you still need pattern reviewers…I’m game!

Melissa f. November 13, 2012 at 12:27 am

Fantastic. T needs one (or 10!).

Jen November 13, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Dorie! My stars this is adorable. I might need to make this for my new baby niece, who’s name is Cat(herine). Loving!

beki November 14, 2012 at 10:52 am

How cute! What a fabulous idea. I can think of a few little ones that could use this :)

erin November 17, 2012 at 8:13 am

this is the bees knees, dorie! i think i’ll make one for my niece for christmas!!!

erin November 17, 2012 at 8:19 am

question…..what do you think about using flannel for the cat and kitten bodies?

Dorie November 19, 2012 at 7:34 am

I think it would work well – and it would be nice and snuggly.


wendy November 26, 2012 at 10:55 pm

How adorable!! Are you still looking for testers? I’d be happy to oblige, if you are 😉

Dorie November 27, 2012 at 8:11 am

Thanks, Wendy! I think I’m set with testers. I’d better go update the post to say so!

Cheryl December 5, 2012 at 10:15 am

Dorie!! I jsut wanted to let you know that I sewed this pattern for my four year old last night, err, last day. I was up until 4am, but I got it done! Well, the kitties are naked, but I’ll fix that later. This was my first sewing project beyond PJ pants, so I’m thrilled that I have something to show for it! Yippee!!

I do have a few questions though, which I’m sure is due to my novice sewing skills. When you have the two pieces for the bodice, and you’re ready to sew the pin tucks :: First, do you press the pin tucks OUT so that the flap is external to the mama or internal, pressing the flap left for the left piece and right for the other side?? I suspect external flaps, but I liked the look of pressing it internal this time ’round. Second. After you’ve sewn the pin tucks, you still have two separate pieces for the bodice, right? how do you attach them to each other before sewing on the bias tape? Or do you just overlap the pieces, pin them, then attach the tape (sort of like a nursing top?)? Sorry to bother you with these niggling little questions, but I’m getting ready to sew another one, and I think I need just a bit more info to get it right.

Dorie December 5, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Congratulations on jumping up from PJ pants, and way to pull an all-nighter! Whew!
These are great questions, and I’m happy to answer them. Anytime.
The pin tuck pleats on the bodice get pressed to the outside, but if you like they way they look better facing in, that’s ok too. It’s just a decoration and not functional, but if you don’t make the pleats at all, the top will be baggy.
For the bodice, you should have two layers that were cut on the fold (where the fold is the front center of the dress), so the bodice pattern piece starts at one back side and goes all the way around the front to the other back side.
The bodice and self bodice lining are sewn to each other under the armpits and at the back sides. Then you make the pin tucks. Then the front and back shoulders are sewn together. At this point, the bodice and bodice lining are still not sewn to each other at the neck. The neck seam is done at the same time as the bias binding is applied.

Hope that helps, let me know if you need more!

NadineC January 9, 2013 at 11:55 am

Hi! I recently purchased this pattern from Craftsy, and today I got an email from Craftsy saying it had been updated. It would be nice to know what the update(s) are, since I’ve already printed the pattern, so I don’t have to reprint the entire pattern, just any pages with updates (or make pencil notes). It’s a really cute pattern and I hope to make it soon! Thanks!

Dorie January 9, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Hi Nadine,
The update was to add the full page of photos showing the head construction. Just a little bit of extra help. So, it’s just one new page, and it’s contained within a page.


Natalie February 8, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Hi Dorie! Just wanted to share my finished kitty cats with you! I bloged about them here: No laughing at Mama cat’s left eye… had a little bit of trouble there. And her poor little ears keep wanting to bend towards the back. But I am quite happy with the result and I think my 3 year old will agree! Thanks for the wonderful pattern and the easy to follow instructions. Love it!


Leah wall November 30, 2016 at 1:37 pm

Hi – I purchased the pattern from craftsy and love these! I am going to try to add pictures to the flikr group soon. It’s such a cute pattern.
I saw that it’s not for commercial use, does that mean that I am not supposed to sell any of the completed products? I am giving them for gifts this year, but was thinking of selling them at a craft fair next year… Would that be okay?
Thanks, in advance!

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