Feb 4, 2012

Groovy Fish Softie Tutorial

I wrote this tutorial a couple of years ago and lost the blog it was posted on. But, hurray! I found it again and thought I'd post it again for you! Enjoy!
This cute fish is easy to sew and can be made in an hour or two. I don't have a pattern, but these shapes are easy to cut on your own. I've taken photos against a cutting mat, so you can gauge the size against the 1 x 1 grid. This tutorial assumes you have basic sewing skills. If you need help with stitches like the blanket stitch, consult google for quick information.

Materials: 1/4 yd. or less of cotton fabric
1-18 x 18 sheet of turquoise wool blend felt
1- 6 x 8 piece of batting
scraps of colored felt
embroidery floss
polyfil for filling
thread - a color coordinated to fabric and felt

With fabric doubled, fold over and cut a half oval shape (see photo). I made my shape 12 inches long and 4 inches wide. You should end up with 2 football shaped pieces of fabric.

Cut a piece of batting in the shape of a fish tail. The easiest way to do this is to cut a heart shape and then cut off the pointy end. Then cut two pieces of turquoise felt about 1/8 inch larger than the batting heart. Sandwich the batting heart between the felt and top stitch "fin" lines and finish the edge with a blanket stitch in embroidery floss.

This is what you should end up with.

Follow the same process for the dorsal fin. This is what it should look like.

Cut 2 felt circles about 2 inches in diameter, 2 smaller circles and 2 triangles. Use contrasting colors. Now you will sew the eyes onto your fish.

Place the 2 layered circles at one end of the football shape. Top stitch as shown. After stitching the circles, overlay the triangles and top stitch 1/8 from edge. After machine stitching, hand embroider a blanket stitch around the larger circle with contrasting color embroidery floss.

Next, cut 2 matching fin shapes from felt and place below eye. Zigzag all around and top stitch fin lines. Make sure you create a right and left side of fish. It's easy to get confused and make 2 sides that look the same.

Now lay the fish tail on one piece of the fish body as shown. Stitch 1/8 inch from edge. Make sure to have tail no closer than 1/4" from edge of body. You'll need this extra space for the seam allowance when you stitch the body sides together. Cut off the extra pointy bit of fabric near the tail. Make sure to leave about 1/4 inch when you do this.

When you fold back the tail, this is what it should look like. Notice the extra space on either side of the tail.

Here you can see the trimmed tail area.
To put the final pieces together, fold the tail back over, and lay the dorsal fin towards the center. If it looks upside down, you did it right. Some of the dorsal fin can fall off the edge of the body, that is fine. Make sure the center of the dorsal fin lies at the edge of the body fabric. Cover with the other piece of body fabric, with right sides together. You now have your "fish sandwich".

Now you will stitch the two sides together. Use the photo as your guide. Keep a 1/4" seam allowance. Be careful to miss the sides of the tail, but catch the tail where you originally sewed it. Sew straight across the dorsal fin area. Leave an area open for stuffing.

This is what your fish should look like when you turn it right side out. Now stuff with polyfil. I like mine a little firm, so the fish holds his shape. Slip stitch the opening closed. Now you have your fish all done!

You're welcome to use this tutorial to make any fish for your personal use or for gifts only. This design is copyright 2009 Denise Ferragamo. You may not sell any fish from this design or reprint or repost this tutorial without my permission. You may, however, link to this tutorial with my blessing!

1 comment:

  1. Oh no, I don't know what happened to the photos! I'll have to find them (hopefully) and repost them. Sorry!