In the process of creating every new toy, while I am drawing a draft on paper when trying out different face expressions, or while I am combining pieces of fabric and sewing them together, the toy starts to create its own character. I never know what I will end up with in the end. It is like they have their own life; I just help them to come alive. Does this happen to you too?  This is exactly how I created my new softie friend Bernie the Cat.

So, let me introduce you to Bernie the Cat, very relaxed, easygoing, content cat. He really knows how to enjoy the life big time. He spends hours sleeping in his soft warm bed with his best friend, squeezing gently to him, or lying leisurely and carefree on the warm sun, listening to the wind playing in the treetops, and birds singing their joyful song. He is never in the hurry and always willing to cuddle.

If you would like to have Bernie the Cat at home or you know some special person that needs someone like him, he is quite easy to make and is a great gift idea for babies, children, and cat lovers of all ages. You can make great use of all that colorful scraps from other projects, which you were saving just in case.

Materials you will need for sewing your own Bernie the Cat

  • Colorful scraps of cotton fabric
  • Two buttons for eyes
  • Black embroidery thread for mouths
  • Black felt for nose
  • Felt for the heart
  • Embroidery thread for the heart
  • Filler for toys

Finished size

  • Finished Bernie the cat is approximately 13 in / 32cm toll.

Steps for sewing Bernie the Cat

Step 1

Get your Bernie the cat sewing pattern. Print it full size on A4 sheet of paper:


Cut out all the pieces from the fabric as written on the pattern.

Bernie the cat toy free sewing pattern_step 1

Step 2

First, do the front hand body part of Bernie the Cat. Sew the buttons for the eyes. Use embroidery thread and really make sure that the buttons are well sewn on the fabric, especially if you are sewing the toy for the little guys. Second, position the felt nose and sew it on the fabric using the running stitch. Thirdly, add the smiley mouth with black embroidery thread using the stem stitch. Last, sew the heart from felt with embroidery thread using the running stitch.

Bernie the cat toy free sewing pattern_step 2

If you are having trouble with hand stitches, then this would be perfect for you! Check this PDF that includes all 6 best hand stitches for sewing stuffed toys with photo and video tutorials in one place:

Best hand stitches for sewing stuffed toys video and photo tutorial

Step 3

Place two ears parts right sides together. Sew them together on the left and right (not at the bottom). Cut the top off (be careful not to cut the seam), turn around, and topstitch on the right side. Put in little stuffing (very little). They should look like this:

Bernie the cat toy free sewing pattern_step 3

Step 4

Sew the legs, hands, and tail parts together by placing them right side together. Turn them around and stuff with the filler.

Bernie the cat toy free sewing pattern_step 4

Step 5

Iron the bottom edge of the main body parts like this to make closing together later easier.

Bernie the cat toy free sewing pattern_step 6

Step 6

Position the ears and hands on the front body part on the right side, pin them. Place the back body part right sides together on the top and pin well. Sew living the bottom open completely. Turn around and fill with the filler.

Bernie the cat toy free sewing pattern_step 5
Bernie the cat toy free sewing pattern_step 8

Step 7

Position the legs into the body and pin them together. Sew.

Bernie the cat toy free sewing pattern_step 9

Step 8

Sew the open part of the tail together.  Sew by hand the tail a little bit sideways on the backside of the body. That is it! You have just made your own Bernie the Cat. Now give him a nice massage to position the filling nicely.  Do not hurry; you know how much cats love to cuddle.

Bernie the cat toy free sewing pattern_1_final

The only thing left is to share a picture of your Bernie the Cat, your little masterpiece with us here, on our Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.

I would really love to see it.

Do you have any additional ideas on how to make this free Bernie the Cat pattern and tutorial even helpful? Feel free to use the comments section below to share your thoughts and ideas.


97 Responses

      • Hi Ann, the pattern is available for free for all newsletter subscribers, the box to subscribe and receive the pattern should be under Step 1. You can also subscribe via pop-up for the newsletter. Hope it helps.

        • I will be having 3 of my granddaughters this summer for a few days they are 15, 16, and 14. This will be a perfect project for us to have fun and a bonding time for all of us. Thank you for sharing Bernie.

          • Thank you, Bobby Jo! Love this! Enjoy this experience with your granddaughters and please, share with us the masterpieces you will create! 💖

    • I want to subscribe. I found a place but when I click on the subscribe it takes me to Bernie the Cat. But no place to subscribe.

      Please let me subscribe!!!


    • I made two of your Bernie the Cats for my charity collection. Your instructions and photos were great and I have tons of scraps so was glad I could those. I was trying to figure out how to send a photo of them but there’s no way to attach them here. Thanks again!

      • Dear Anita, how wonderful to hear that, I would LOVE to see the photos. You can send them to me via my Facebook or Instagram page, or via e-mail (check your mail). :)))

        • After sewing my Bernie, the Cat sew toy pattern, I was excited to share it on Facebook as I don’t have Instagram. Unfortunately, after numerous attempts I gave up. The few photos I added along with a short few words was posted (or so it seemed) yet when I would go back into FB to view it….it was not to be seen/no longer on your FB Timeline page. I gave up…..

          • Dear Brooke, everything is fine. The posts published by others (not me) on Facebook business pages (this is what I have), are seen under the Community tab here:, this is how Facebook works. I already shared your super cute Bernie to the timeline as well. Thank you for participating in the challenge and for sharing the magic.💖

    • We LOVE Bernie the cat and have made over 10 as gifts for friends who have had babies. We live in Africa so often use scraps from the chitenge material people use here. My daughter who is 10 can also now make these and we would love to make a group of them to sell at a small market they do here every once in a while, would that be ok? We would name each one too. We love the fact that it uses the scraps of fabric rather than wasting them. Sarah

      • Thank you so much for your lovely message! It warms my heart to hear that Bernie the cat has brought joy to you and your friends, and that you have found a meaningful way to repurpose fabric scraps by creating these adorable toys.

        Regarding your question about selling the toys at a small market, I want to let you know that it is perfectly acceptable to make or sell the toys in limited numbers for charitable purposes, as stated in our terms of use. We encourage and support initiatives that aim to help animals and their habitats, such as the one you mentioned with WWF.

        We just kindly ask that you label or tag the toy with ‘Made from a pattern’. This will help others discover our patterns and continue to spread the joy that comes from making and sharing handmade toys.

        Thank you again for your kind words and for using our pattern in such a meaningful way. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors and hope that Bernie the cat continues to bring smiles to many faces!

  1. Hi Maya, love this happy cat!
    I find it easier to sew on the ears & limbs if I baste them onto the body first making sure all the raw edges are just over the edge of the body. Sometimes I push the stuffing down the limbs & baste that as well so you get a nice flat surface to sew.
    I like the way you have added the legs.
    He’s a great idea for using scraps.
    Many thanks & regards 😉

    • Dear Sheila, thank you so much for your comment. You are right, fixing the lambs to the body first and flatting everything before sewing definitely helps. Great tip, will add this to the tutorial. Many thanks!
      How did your scrappy cat turn out? Curious. 😉

  2. Thank you for Bernie the Cat. I made him from pieces left over from blankets and burp cloths so he is very soft and parents will recognize some of the materials, having received the blankets and burp cloths as gifts when baby was newborn.

    • Hi Erin, what a great idea to use pieces left over from blankets and burp cloths. Would love to see how it turned out.

  3. Hi, Maya! Just found you on Pinterest (Bernie the Cat, of course!) and so glad I did find you! Can’t wait to explore your site and am eager to see what else you come up with.

  4. Hi Maya
    Thank you for Sharing your Bernie the cat.?
    I’m Sure she could be turned into a lion.
    I can’t draw but would love you to give us alternate faces, PLEASE.
    Also, do you have patterns for other wild animals eg Zebra, Giraffe

  5. Hello! I am excited to make this little Bernie Cat – I found it online yesterday, and went today and dug thru my scraps and found some that will coordinate cutely together. Except…I will allow a bit more to the back of the back pattern to allow me to make a seam at the back to insert the tail, to me, I think it will allow the tail to stay attached better. I do so like the way you seamed up the bottom where the legs are – put the legs in, stuff it and then top-stitch it all in place – very good idea! I will try to submit a picture of the 2 I am planning to make for my granddaughters, and am going to make one up to go with a kittykat flannel print I am making a baby blanket out of for a gift. Thank you for sharing this with us! – Laura –

    • Hi Laura, great idea with the tail, I would love to see how it turns out. I am sure your granddaughters will love Bernies, especially because grandma made them. <3

  6. Hi, I love this little cat project. I am relatively new to sewing small curves like the end of arms and legs. Do you have any tips for sewing perfectly round ends like you did on your project.



  7. Obrigada por compartilhar esse lindo gatinho! Sou apaixonada por ele. Finalmente vou fazer para dar de presente! ?
    Muito obrigada!

  8. I love, love, love him. My senior group is having a craft fair this coming week. This is a perfect item to sell. I will make as many as I can all week end long. Thank you so much for sharing him.

  9. I want to make this for my wife as a memorial for her friend that passed from some seat covers we found in her stuff this pattern is perfect

  10. I made Bernie, okay Bernice. I used daisy fabric for the eyes because it’s for a first birthday gift and buttons are not safe yet. I also too stitched toes to make the paws look more like paws.
    Thanks for the pattern.

    • Aww, that sounds soooo cute! Bernice. :))) I would love to see how she looks like. Could you share picture of her on my Facebook page SewToy?

    • Hi Patricia, thank you for the feedback. I’ll prepare a PDF optimized for printing to go with the pattern soon.

    • Salut Cathy,
      J’espère que Google l’a bien traduit car je ne parle pas français. Vous ne trouvez pas Bernie? Utilisez-vous un adblocker? Vous pouvez également utiliser un pop-up pour E-mail, c’est le même formulaire. Le téléchargement se produit instantanément après votre inscription à la newsletter. Si rien ne fonctionne, faites-le moi savoir et nous trouverons une autre solution. Cordialement, Maja

  11. What a wonderful way to use up scraps, we also used scraps to stuff the cat! My 7 year old daughter sewed up her first stuffy, she is so proud.

  12. I might be doing something wrong, but I’m not able to get the pattern for Bernie. It’s been several hours, and nothing has come in yet? You did say it would come in on my email, didn’t you? I’ll keep checking.

    • I must be doing something wrong also, I haven’t received the pattern in my email yet like Evelyn Holbrook.

      • Dear Janet, have you checked the spam and promotion folder? If you still can’t find it, please let me know and I’ll send it to you directly via e-mail.

  13. Nor have I received even an email … seems like a problem with your links. Seems like lots of people are having this problem It’s unfortunate for you as it makes people not trust you.

    • I haven’t received the pattern either. It’s not in my spam and I tried with 2 different emails. Very disappointed.

    • Dear Ann & Diana (and all the others who haven’t received the pattern)

      Free patterns are a free gift for signup to my newsletter. There are two options – baby teddy bear and Bernie the cat. If you already signed once in the past for one free pattern, you can not sign in again, because the system recognizes you and does not send the other free pattern.

      There are lots of other really cute patterns & tutorials in my shop for a very affordable cost, the patterns that help me cover the cost of running this site and there are no problems with delivery & download.

      • Hello,
        I tried twice to sign up for the newsletter in order to receive your Bernie the cat pattern however it doesn’t show up in my email. He’s so cute!

  14. I have signed up twice and cannot get the patterns. Can you five me direction on how to get the patterns?
    Thank you

  15. Just found you through Pinterest. This is super cute! I have lots of bright, cheerful fabrics and have been on the hunt for a great use for charity. This is just the thing. Thanks!

  16. In step 6 I think you accidentally spelled leaving wrong. Just wanted to let you know! Loved the pattern. Thank you for all of your hard work!

  17. I love this cat because it is a great way to use scraps as I teach my granddaughter to sew. I subscribed to the newsletter 4 times but have never gotten an email with the pattern. Maybe I am doing something wrong? I even checked my spam, but the pattern was not there either. Thanks for any help you can give!

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