How to sew a cat bed from a sweater – see how to upcycle an old hoodie into a cozy kitten bed.
My friend fosters tiny kittens with her whole family, isn’t that a sweet volunteer gig! We got to visit a new litter and then a few days later she mentioned how much they love fleece and to save any of it that I might have leftover. It just so happened that my daughter had said she wanted to get rid of a sherpa hoodie that very morning! I did a little brainstorming and chopped it up to make it into a proper kitten bed; it turned out pretty well and they loved it so I thought I’d share a full tutorial in case you want to make one too! I think this would work well for a regular crewneck sweater as well, I’ll have to experiment with it. My big request is that if you’re inspired to stitch some of these for a local shelter that you call/email and ask if they can use them first! I used to work in a nonprofit and spend a chunk of time rehoming or sorting well meaning donations we couldn’t actually use for one reason or another!
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Before I sent it over, I needed some models! My adult cats were a touch too big for it and also completely uncooperative.
This is my favorite type of upcycle because truly, who is going to buy this ratty sherpa fleece jacket from a thrift store? No one. But now it is useful and loved! Look at those babies!
They like to sleep in a little kitty puddle isn’t it the sweetest!
I originally planned to just chop up the hood and use it as stuffing but my friend mentioned that they like hiding under blankets so I reattached it backwards to create a little hidey-cave!
Pin this tutorial for how to sew a cat bed from a sweater with this link or photo:
How to sew a cat bed from a sweater
Ready to try making your own?
- Fleece hoodie- this was a kids 10/12 and fit baby kittens well but not adult cats.
- Sewing clips
- Walking foot suitable for your machine (here is the one I use for my Brother)
- Hand sewing needle & thread
- Rotary cutter or scissors – I actually preferred scissors with how thick the fabric was.
- Polyfill or other stuffing.
Step 1- Chop off the bottom waistband, put it off to the side to use later.
Step 2- Turn the sweater inside out and pin the bottom fabric together and then sew with a 1/2 seam allowance (the wide SA lets your feed dogs get both edges well! You can trim it smaller after if you want, I didn’t.
Step 3- Cut off the hood, leaving a big chunk of fabric above the seamline, pin, and sew.
Step 4- Cut off the cuffs and sew.
Step 5- Flip the jacket right side out, poking out all the corners, and stuff! I included cut up pieces of the cuff and polyfill. Make sure to fill the arms as well.
Step 6- Hand sew the edges of the arms together, forming a ‘U’ shape. Also take a few hand stitches and tack the arms down in place on the body section as well.
Step 7- This last step was tricky to photograph but I took the hood and lined up the raw edge where I cut with the back of the ‘U’ shaped arms and hand sewed it on, forming a little blanket over top. You’re done!