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My cat, Nero’s favorite toy happens to be a fishing rod with a stuffed mouse as the lure, so I was looking through my scrap fabric and I found a discarded shirt that was made of strange fabric that looked a little like scales. After a couple all-nighters and about 50+ hours of work spread out over 2 and a half weeks, I had something that looked like it was right out of my dreams. Halloween is especially significant for my cat and I because it is an anniversary for my cat’s entrance into my life.
I had a cheap shirt that I bought at a drug store a while ago and had been sitting around in my scrap fabric pile.
Next I drafted a pattern that would stay snug on him so that he couldn’t wriggle out of it, while also allowing him to walk around.
The tail was made of red fabric cut in the shape of a fin and sewn on top of the brown fabric, which was done because the brown fabric was the thickest and most durable that I had and the red fabric was not durable enough to maintain a rigid shape even with stuffing. The lips and feelers were made from red fabric, folded and stuffed, with the fact that this particular fabric did not get completely rigid when stuffed accounted for and taken advantage of when the larger upper lip was bent into a crescent shape and sewed to the edges of the bottom lip.
The three smaller fins were made of brown fabric with the trim areas stuffed and hand sewn onto them with the blue or red fabric sewn on afterward to cover the place where the trim and the brown fabric met. Last, but most difficult to do was the head piece, which not only had to be 3 dimensional but also had to allow enough space to accommodate my cat’s head without choking him and fit snugly enough to stay in place. After all this, the head was still not the properly rounded shape I wanted on the top, so I decided to extend the gill cover by adding red fabric as a sort of veil with velcro on the edge of it.
I understand that there are a few people who have too busy a life to make or buy a costume, these people have an excuse (a very slim one though – I mean how hard is it to at least put in a token effort?? I RECOGNIZE THAT TOP YOU’RE WEARING UNDER THAT COSTUME FROM OUR LATE NIGHT SWIMMING ADVENTURE!!!
I pinned a few ideas to my Sally Pinterest board…but I was unimpressed with the quality of costumes available. Obviously, after the needle bit my hand 3 times, and it was evident that I was doing a piss-poor job of sewing this thing…it was not going to go very far.
Brian’s costume still needed a little work done before Halloween, but it worked while we were in Disney. Brian eventually finished his costume by wearing a suit (it was FAR too warm in Florida to wear a suit jacket and pants to wander the Magic Kingdom), making a bow tie out of a bat and a wire hanger, and getting skeleton hands. Have you ever conned one of your parents into doing something you knew they would do better than you?


I also receive compensation for advertisements, product reviews, sponsored content and affiliate commissions. I respect your privacy, and as such I treat your information as I'd want my information to be treated. I decided right then and there that I should turn him into a catfish so that his toy would be an even better fit! I got a poncho out of my closet and bought a fisherman’s hat and some rainboots(which I sorely needed anyway) and decided that my little model and I should go out to the local park for a Halloween photoshoot. Nero came to my home when he was neglected and cast out of his previous home during hurricane Sandy on Halloween 2012.
As a result I bought about $20 of fabric from Walmart to construct the rest of the costume around this shirt. I sewed the body using my sewing machine in the basic shape of a tube, allowing overlap on the left side for velcro so I can easily get him into and out of the costume.
Therefore I folded and stuffed the overhanging brown fabric along the edges of the red fabric and hid the edges where the two fabrics met by hand sewing a third darker red fabric over top of the brown fabric. The feelers were then measured for accurately matched lengths, folded, sewn along one side, turned inside out and stuffed, then sewn to the underside and sides of the lips. I accomplished this by making a wedge forming an isosceles triangle with 3 inch sides and a 2 inch base out of fabric I sewed together then turned inside out and stuffed. There was more velcro on the base of the wedge connected to the lower lip so that the completed head piece was detachable and re-attachable, making it easy for him to wear the body piece separately from the head if he got fussy and didn’t want to wear the bulkiest part of the costume. But when we planned our Disneycation, it was decided that we needed costumes a little bit earlier than normal… Like September 14 early. Mom stopped using the black yarn as thread and switched to multiple strands of black thread. Have you ever made your own Halloween costume because the store-bought ones just weren’t cutting it? Last year I bought him a bunch of pet store made costumes but since this year marks the 2nd year since he came to me, I wanted to make him something special and I am very excited that I was able to surpass my own expectations. Although the body peice was made out of the same fabric on the top and bottom, I sewed two 3 inch wide brown stripes along the sides so that I could see where to sew the shirt on to the top(as a decoration) and also so I could see where to iron on the velcro.
I then sewed three spines on top of the red part of the fin and stuffed and covered those with darker red fabric too.


I attached the point of this triangle to the seam of the lower lip, which, unlike the feelers, was on the outside. I then crocheted the fish’s eyes with white yarn and sewed on round pieces of a black pillow case for the irises of the eyes. Often it is worse to have a terrible costume than not to have one at all as the looks one gets at these events tend to be worse for those with generic masks on rather than being mask-less in plain clothes. You can sort of tell the difference, but they both look awesome, and it’s not supposed to be uniform, so it worked out REALLY well. It took me until the day of the big Halloween party (this past Saturday) to find exactly what I was looking for. There had to be extra cloth on the front ventral side so that the fabric could go up between his front legs and attach to sleeves, which were made of brown fabric in a simple tube shape with blue fabric sewn on top to hide the seam.
I then sewed a couple loose lines into the top of the completed and stuffed tail piece and then uses those strings to tighten and ribbed it so that it would align with the back dorsal piece of the body.
I then repeated this process for the upper lip and added 2 more, smaller wedges at the corners of the lips, so that the center of the head had a more 3 dimensional space for his head to go. I would get a base dress, some fabric to match the patches, and sew the patches to the base dress with black yarn. There also had to be extra fabric on the back dorsal side of the body piece so that it could attach to a tail big enough to cover his own tail and his back legs. I covered up the meeting place between the 4 wedges with folded and stuffed brown fabric covered with red fabric, meant to look like gills. Brian had left open some tabs with Jack Skellington and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas… (Oh right, one of my typical requirements is a ginger costume so that I have an excuse to re-dye my hair right before Halloween). Now, my mom is hand-sew, knit, crafty, crafty genius…and despite her arthritic hands, took it upon herself to spend about 30 hours working on this masterpiece. I got the dress and vintage clothes with the fabric I wanted from garage-sailing one Saturday afternoon during the summer, stopped off at my parents’ house, and got started.




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