If you are a cosplay kitty like me, you’ve bought and made dozens, if not hundreds, of Kitty ears over the years.
I’ve been a sucker to purchase every kitty ear headband from hot topic and Claire’s boutique over the years; and hated every one of them. Headbands give me a headache, or they pinch. NEXT!
I’m a barrette kitty.
The only way to get the perfect ears is to make them yourself; and my preferred attachment is snap style barrettes (see example below). But how do you attach the ears to a barrette in a way that lasts over time? hot glue? meh. marine glue? Better, but you’ll get a contact high while they dry, and they still eventually come undone as the barrette bends to open & close. I’ve even painstakingly wrapped the ear base and barrette in thread, but it just looks messy and takes so long.
So I designed a sleeve to slide the barrette into, with the curved edge to correctly attach a concave ear. And it worked AMAZEBALLS.
Rather than looping thread over and over the barrette, I sew 2 seams in less than 10 seconds. No glue either.
Now that my prototype showed proof of concept, time to perfect the pattern.
What fabric to use? I settled on leather. You can see in my canvas prototype example, the edges fray easily. Yes, you could take the time to serge or finish the seams if you choose canvas, but OMGI don’t have that kind of patience, do you? Plus canvas is kinda flimsy and I tend to abuse my ears, wearing them often.
Laying the barrette over the leather and drawing the pattern worked for prototyping, but to make these consistently I got out the calipers and made an actual pattern that fits a 70mm barrette perfectly, holding the ears at just the perfect angle; turning them inward just enough. It’s the little details that makes true “Kawaii desu ne“
If you want to print it yourself on paper, here’s a free PDF with instructions
that includes the correct size ear cutout to fit the curve of the barrette sleeve pattern.
I happen to have a super talented husband who laser cut this pattern for me in clear acrylic for regular reuse. Want your own acrylic set? He’ll gladly make you one; You can order it here.
I loved the clear acrylic for making my Louis Vuitton kitty ears because it helped me make sure I got the LV logo in exactly the right spot for the finished product.