My hedgie bags are made out of 100% cotton. I use cotton flannel for the inside and regular cotton fabric for the outside. While I do use fleece in their cages, I don't like making the bags out of fleece. I try to have a minimum of seams and very little thread for the hedgies to find. They can get their nails caught in loops of thread, so no decorative stitching please.
I try to pick darker fabrics for the outside, but don't always have some on hand. Hedgies are nocturnal, have poor eyesight, and are sensitive to sunlight. Lighter fabrics can let more light into the bags. My first hedgehog, Ender, would hesitate sometimes before entering his bag if he could see light coming through the pattern on the fabric.
Anyway, start with cotton fabric. 1 yard of flannel + 1 yard of cotton fabric, carefully cut, will make 3 hedgie bags.
Cut your fabrics into 1 long piece, 12" x 25". I like to use June Taylor cutting tools, so I cut my fabric when folded
In this picture I've kept the fabric folded the way it came off the bolt and just folded it over one more time. I then cut the fabric in to 12" segments. This is the width.
In this picture is one of the segments from above, turned sideways and unfolded once so there are two layers. I measured from the fold (on the left) and cut it at 12.5". This is your height.
Do this to your flannel pieces and your regular cotton fabric
Now it's time to sew.
Turn your pieces right sides together and sew up each side. I sew from the fold up with a 1/2" seam. At the top and bottom I backstitch a couple stitches to keep it from unraveling.
You should have two inside out little sacks. Take the flannel one and turn it right side in. Now, stuff it into the cotton fabric sack. It should look a bit like this:
More sewing. Pick a spot that is NOT one of the seam lines and sew around the top of the bag. DON'T sew it closed. Leave a opening big enough to fit two fingers. About 2 inches? Use a 1/2" seam again and backstitch again at the beginning and end of the sewing.
Now for the fun part. You get to reach in the hole and pull the whole thing through the hole. Huh? You ask. Trust me, it works.
|try to grab a corner to pull through first|
|pull the WHOLE thing through|
Now it's time to sew up the hole. Line the folded edges together. Sometimes I pin them together so they don't wiggle. Now for the sewing. I sew as close to the edge of the bag as possible, starting about 1/2" before the opening and going 1/2" on the other side. Once again, backstitch at the beginning and end and you are done!
You now have a completed hedgie bag!
Of course, the next thing you get to do is throw it in the washing machine. You've got to get all that sizing out. If you have some dirty hedgehog laundry (towels, liners, fleece, other bags) wash them together. I try to get the bag to smell as familiar as the old bags. The flannel part will probably come out in the wash. As annoying as it is to stuff it back in, you know it's clean.
With ALL of my hedgies I have to wash their bags 2-3 times before they'll take to them. I try every time after the first wash, but they all go in, sniff around and then poop or pee in the bag. Be prepared :-)
|Ender and Calvin (RIP)|