A self-drafted cute cross-body cat bag

cute cat bag 1 front

Why a cat bag?

I guess no one in their right mind should ask themselves why it is necessary to have a bag shaped like a cute cat face, but I shall make this query anyway.

For a few years, I was the proud owner of a cross-body bag shaped like an apple. Even though people sometimes mistook it for a cherry or even a strawberry (because of its red colour) I loved this bag so much. I took it with me to all my adventures, to clubs and festivals, concerts and fine dining.

That however, was also its demise. It is now a very scruffy-looking, faded old bag. And I still love it, but it’s probably time to say goodbye to it.

So before I went to Amsterdam for Uproar in the Dam, upon inspection of said apple bag, I realised (too late) that I needed a new bag. Googling for “cat bag” did not bring any results that I liked, so I thought I’d do what I always do when something I want doesn’t exist yet, I will make it.




I bought some silver and black vinyl to make this from. This was my first time working with anything pleather/vinyl-related and it was certainly a learning experience!

You cannot put pins in vinyl, as I had learned from numerous sources around the internet long before I ever thought I’d actually use it. I used bulldog clips, which I had taken home from the office. They might have been pretty low-quality though, cause they weren’t great at keeping the layers together.

The eyes are glued on bits of black pleather and the nose is a baby snap.

I backed both sides of the bag with a dense, thick felt, of which I still have about 2 metres lying around.

The lining is made of a camouflage cotton lawn. I had made a dress from this (which I must photograph, so I can show it off) and had about enough left for this small project.


cute cat bag 1 lining 2



My topstitching is not the best. Not just for this, but in general. I have definitely made neater things with better topstitching, but it is a very important part of working with this material and I absolutely need to practice it. I am ok (for now) with the terrible stitching on the straps, as this is my first time working with vinyl, but I will make sure to get better.




Since I worked with this material for the first time (did I mention that before?), I needed some help along the way. Even though I ended up making a pattern myself, I was heavily influenced by this tutorial. There is a lot of glueing involved, which I replaced with sewing, but it was a good pointer in the direction I wanted to go.

I also had a look at a blog showing me how to do straps. Her topstitching is so neat! I didn’t do exactly what she did, especially as my straps were going to be longer, but the tutorial taught me that I can sew four layers of pleather together. (I was a bit worried about my machine not handling that much, but it was fine.)


cute cat bag 1 back


cute cat bag 1 with straps



The corset pattern that no one likes: Butterick B5797


corset B5797 on me

Butterick B5797 is not a very popular pattern. It is a so-called “fashion corset”, which will NOT give the support or desired waist-cinching effect of a real corset. It definitely offers some support though.

However, I was looking for something I could wear out dancing (currently preparing for Uproar in the Dam), something that would give me the look of a corset, while also offering light support. Most importantly, I didn’t want to deal with grommets or clasps. I wanted something I could whip up and then close with a zip.

Seeing the pattern, I thought it was perfect for me. I really liked the option to put shoulder straps on, although I ended up not doing it, as I found it supported itself nicely (with a bit of additional boning) and stayed up without any problems.


The sizing on Butterick patterns is relatively confusing to me. I tend to go for a US size 14, which would put me at a UK 16. Famously, there is usually some ease calculated into the pattern size one is meant to choose. If I went by their sizing chart, I would end up at a size 20, which I would absolutely swim in. As B5797 is only available in size 6-14 or 14-22, I thought I’d rather take in something that is too big, so I went for the bigger one.

I made the size 14, but graded the chest area up to a 16. It fit pretty ok when I made a muslin, but it was very hard to see the final form before putting the bones in. Once I had done that, I ended up taking the back and front seam in by about 1 cm each.

I must say though, I am pretty glad I got away with using the size 14. There is almost no pattern I can use in just one size without either grading it down in the waist or grading it up in the bust and hips, but I find Butterick especially difficult and often find significant sizing differences between their patterns.


I used black duchess satin for the outside of the corset and lined it with a purple owl print cotton. The satin is quite thick and a lovely quality. However, I overlocked all the edges on it, as it frays terribly.

The owl print is so cute, I could wear the corset inside out. It is possible, although closing and opening a zip from the inside is quite hard. Also, unfortunately, the lining has some wrinkling issues.

B5797 lining front

This is the wonky looking lining. As this was my first time putting in a floating lining, I underestimated how precisely it had to match the outside to lay flat.


The boning I used was Rigilene. It is very lightweight, but gave exactly the support I want. Contrary to the pattern, I added boning channels on the outside of all the seams (except the front seam) by making my own binding out of the satin I used. I also added additional boning by putting two more boning channels on the inside of either side of the garment, as well as two boning channels next to the zip.

Rigilene can be sewn through. It feels a bit like cheating, but it was the only way I could get additional boning in, as I decided to do that quite late. Some of the boning channels cross, so with steel or even “normal”plastic boning, that would have been a much more difficult task. In addition, once I did the topstitching, I could just sew over the ends of the boning to secure it.

B5797 stitch detail

You can see the boning channels I added to the outside, as well as one of the ones I stitched on the inside of the corset shell.

Making corsets is fun

I very much enjoyed making this and will probably make it again. I really like the look it gives me without being uncomfortably tight. I plan on wearing this with a colourful tulle skirt, which I am also currently working on, but I am sure it would also look good with jeans or a circle skirt and petticoat.

I know it is not perfect. There is an amount of rippling in the fabric that any corsetmaker would snuff at, my topstitching is never entirely straight and the lining has all sorts of wrinkling problems. For my very first corset, I thought it was a great project though.


B5797 back

B5797 corset flat

B5797 side detail

B 5797 front 2