I've found it works easier if you make the pillow case style ones tight fitting to the pan (than have any excess or be loose fitting) and have just a longer strip of the top fabric that can have some velcro on it to adhere to velcro on the bottom cloth, making it fully sealed up on all sides. That way the ferrets don't even bother trying to get inside because they don't think there is an inside at all and it doesn't make the fabric bunch up anywhere at all.
Best way to make ones like that though is to be sure to wash the fabric before you start sewing since some fleece fabrics can shrink in the wash initially. And it's best done by sewing machine, doesn't hurt your hands, and can make a thorough and lasting double stitch and edge overcast to protect from losing their shape or stretching out weird in the wash when they're dirty.
Though, I honestly applaud you in putting in all that extra by hand effort for your fuzzies, I'm sure it will be greatly appreciated as soon as they start to nap on it. ^^
Yeah, I was gonna make it more tightly fitted but between my available tools and plans to make more, I figured that a loose one would do for now. I do plan on making the top shelf one more tightly fitted but I'm gonna have to wait for the boyfriend to have a day off for the extra hands lol
I'm fairly confident in the durability of my stitches since it's not like, a plush for a large dog or something, but I have a feeling my sewing machine is gonna become my best friend, and we'll see how well the stitches last once it gets in the wash. I went over the whole edge twice(three/four times in a couple inches where things overlapped) so we'll see what happens
I honestly won't be TOO bothered if they decide to ferret(haha) their way under there, I mostly want to have it to cover up the plastic(not my favorite thing to look at, plus I personally wouldn't want to walk on that all day) and hopefully cut down a little on them deciding to use the floor as a potty lol This was all free fleece so my mentality towards it is 'lets see what does and doesn't work for us, nbd if it gets ruined/etc', I'll definitely be more thoughtful once I actually pay for material
Due to sheer amount needed for a full cage set (I did top, bottom, small pans, 3 ramps and 1 external ramp), I think 3 yards on a 54" bolt for fleece, we used flannel for the bottom since it doesn't get seen and is cheaper but come in a smaller bolt I think 32" and we did 4 yards or something. So best to do is check for coupons or discounts on fabric. I go to somewhere like Joann's or Hobby Lobby for my fabrics.
Our first set was kinda a demo to get the perfect dimensions, so it had a few reworks, but after that I felt much better about using the $40 bunch of fancy, supersoft fleece fabric lol.
Mom went through a Crafting Phase and bought the above fleece to make a blanket(which she didn't do, so she gave the fleece to me), so there's a good amount of it, but our FN doesn't have ramps or the little shelves lol We have the plastic for the small shelves, but not the actual shelves themselves. I was planning on mostly creating 'floor space' through hammocks and tubes, maybe see if i could find the actual shelving holder thing at some point.
I also have some spare fleece and clothes around that I'm going to use for experimenting with before I like, actually go and get the Serious Stuff, although I do have a Joann's gift card for like $50 from a while ago
I found that Joann's was the best place to get my majority of fabric. The Antipill or Blizzard fleeces tend to be the cheapest to buy and work pretty well for liners, and are usually on like a permanent 30-50% off.
Was your cage an older cage you already had or got used? We got the shelf racks with the plastic shelves in when we ordered our cage, I had to also contact their Customer Service as there was some issues with some parts and they shipped me out all new parts entirely, and I got them 7 days later.
Something else you could try, is if there's a thrift store near you, like a Tags Thrift or Salvation Army or something. They usually have nice, super fluffy baby blankets and sometimes even fabrics from donations that you could buy for cheap. Tags for example does Dollar Days where certain colored tags on items only cost $1. I bought my ferrets a ton of fluffy baby blankets (all good looking, no tears, no stains, no hard bits of fabric) and just washed the living heck out of them to make sure all possible germs are killed and they are clean. But I'm sure you could get some fleece sheets for cheap too, and sometimes the items are still in great condition, which works great for ferrets since they can never have too much of anything, and you can instead take the extra money from say, buying only a ton of brand new blankets and put it towards ferret medical savings instead. ^^
I'm getting some great inspiration from this thread. Thank you everyone who has posted. It's been years since I last attempted sewing. Since getting the girls I asked mum to try teaching me again. I've now made several hammocks and I'm so pleased with the results. I was pretty impressed when, after hanging the hammock, the next time I came into the room there was a ferret in it. There's something about seeing them enjoy something you made yourself.