This is Fred the Hamster. Isn’t he cute? I sewed him a custom hamster cozy using two different dollar store scarves (for a swap on Craftster). Sewing a hamster cozy is pretty simple, and using scarves for fabric makes it even simpler!
Since the project was simple and I wanted to make it special for Fred, I embroidered his name on the cozy with my sewing machine. My sewing machine is in sore need of a tune-up (it barely zigzags–what was I thinking trying to monogram like that?), and the letters are a little wonky, but I am happy with the personalization.
Scarves are abundant at the dollar store during the winter (and especially before the holidays! I have noticed that the scarf supply is waning now that we are heading toward spring); I picked up a fleece scarf and a woven plaid scarf. This cozy is fully reversible, too!
If you are making a cozy for a hamster, just sew securely, trim threads, and you’re good. If you are sewing for a gerbil (or other chew-loving animal), you might want to choose fabrics that can’t be easily chewed into and make sure you reinforce the seams by sewing a second seam millimeters away from the first seams. Don’t try this project for a gerbil! Fred’s mommy told me: “I really wouldn’t recommend any fabric for gerbils. They are maniac chewers. Cozies would be excellent for rats and mice.”
- Fleece scarf, $1
- Plaid scarf, $1
- Sewing machine and thread, on hand
Total cost: $2 (with scarf leftover–you could make a couple hamster cozies with two scarves).
- Fold one scarf over lengthwise until scarf is desired hamster cozy size. Add two inches to the length for seam allowance. Cut.
- Fold second scarf to same size and cut. If the scarves aren’t the same width, trim to the narrower scarf’s width.
- If you want to add an applique or monogram to outside scarf, now is the time. Sew it to the scarf that will be facing outward. Make sure you sew it to the outside-facing side of the scarf.
- Fold both scarves with right sides together and sew up sides of each scarf. (And again, if sewing for gerbils).
- Turn inner lining scarf inside out (right side should be facing out now), and put it inside the outer scarf.
- Pin top seams together. Leave a spot where you won’t sew about 2″ long or so – you will turn the cozy inside-out through this hole. You can mark it with double pins to remind yourself, or just remember it – you’re not gonna be sewing for long, here!
- Sew around the area you just pinned, remembering to leave the 2″ gap.
- Turn inside out through gap.
- Turn exposed fabric (where the gap is) into the gap so the seam looks finished. Iron lightly if desired (use a very low setting – dollar store scarves, y’know!).
- Sew around top seam, making sure the place where the gap was is sealed satisfactorily.
- Fold top over, and you’re done!
Don’t be scared by the instructions here. They sound more complicated than they are. Even if you are a beginning sewer (or have never sewn anything before), you can do this project!