Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sewing Sleeping Sacks and Fleece Cage Liners

This weekend has been a frenzy of sewing activity. Since I don't want to be doing laundry and spot cleaning Pogglebee's cage every day, I decided to make him some more back-up cage liners and pouches.
I had a lot of left over green and blue fleece from making the initial sleeping pouches and liners so I sewed strips of them together to make these two striped sleeping sacks. I think they turned out pretty cute.
Pogglebee didn't seem to like the plain blue fleece pouch as much as his awesome brown corduroy and green one, so I spiffed up his plain blue pouch with an extra exterior of the brown corduroy. I think it looks much better now.
And because I discovered some scraps of red and white fabric in my stash, I sewed them together to make this candy striped, Christmas-y pouch. Since he'll be using this in Winter, it has three layers of fleece for extra warmth.
I also made some more fleece cage liners. I got pretty good at making rounded corners after a while.
I used the original blue fleece cage liner as a template and made them slightly bigger since the blue one was slightly too small. I also gave them a thicker border design.
Whew, after four of them I was pretty tired of making them. He has six fleece liners in total now and five sleeping pouches.

Ironically, his favourite place to sleep now is not in his sleeping sacks, but under the wheel. He loves that wheel very much. I think he feels safe there.
He has been very skittish lately so I've been trying to earn his trust by always giving him something to eat if I wake him up. I want him to associate these disturbances with positive things. He balls up, hisses, and shakes when I first wake him up, but once he senses the food, his guard starts to go down. If I move very slowly, I can take a piece of food and put it in front of him without him flinching. I even fed him a piece of apple today from my hand.

Sigh, baby steps, baby steps. Maybe he'll eventually welcome my presence instead of acting like I'm the scariest giant ever.

Have a great day!
UPDATE 07/04/2012 - I made a free sewing tutorial for the fleece pouches!  You can find it here.


Totally Timmy said...

Good thing you can sew because your poopy baby will need all thoses liners. He sure is cute! said...

Lol, yes he does! Ah, what we do for cute!

meerah Haq said...

i hope you dont mind me asking. But i have the same exact cage as you. What dimensions did you use and how did you do the corners? also how do you make sure your cute little hedgie doesnt dig up or move the liner? said...

Hi meerah Haq,

I measured the cage bottom with a tape measure and added about an inch or half an inch to each side for seam allowance.

Then I cut out the fabric and put it into the cage to check if it was about right. Then I put it down onto the fleece and cut out a matching piece.

Put both pieces with the wrong side facing out and sew one long side and one short side. Flip it inside out and check if it still looks like it will sew to the right size when you put it into the cage. If you find that it is too long or too short, then you can sew the other two sides with more or less seam allowance.

Once you have three sides sewn up (two long, one short side), sew the last short side halfway from one side and then halfway from the other side, leaving a hole (so you can flip it inside out later)

Then do the corners. Sew a straight or curved line across each corner. When you turn this inside out, it will become a curved corner.

Flip the whole thing inside out, check if it fits right in the cage, and then use a hidden stitch to close the opening.

Pin down the fleece flat and sew an inner stitch around the whole thing. It's up to you how wide you want the rim to be. This keeps the liner from coming open like a balloon and it looks nice. It also makes the edges thicker.

As for preventing him from going under it. He has never tried to go under it at all. I had an oven liner under his wheel on top of the liner in the beginning and that helped to hold it down. On top of the oven liner is his litter box. On two of the corners are ceramic bowls, one for his food and one for his water. The last corner is his dome and pouch.

He doesn't really have any corners to try and go under. When he gets the urge to burrow, he just burrows into his pouch or burrows under the dome cover that I made for him (the one that looks like a tree).

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Marie said...

Oh, and once you have one liner that fits well, you just use the first one to measure out the size for all of the other ones.