Sunday, 1 July 2012

Something Fishy to Make

There is a strong smell of lavender through the house at the moment as I've just spent the last few hours filling lavender bags. Yesterday I took delivery of a 3Kg box of the stuff ( which is quite a lot I now realise).
Filling lavender bags is always an enjoyable job, I love the stuff and make lots  (& lots & lots) of lavender bags in various shapes and sizes. The lavender fish are still very popular...

The fish are quite simple to make and they don't need to be filled with lavender. They could be filled with dried rose petals or just ordinary toy stuffing. They are great fun and look fab hanging up.

The pattern is quite easy to make- I find it is usually easier to start with a pattern although you could probably do this free hand straight to the fabric.

I mentioned lines of symmetry when I described making my pirate applique a few months ago. All you need to do is fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise (use the fold as your line of symmetry) then draw half a fish. You can put a few marks to guide your drawing -decide how long you want your fish to be,  length of the tail  and how fat you want your fish!

 Remember to include a seam allowance, I would suggest about 0.5cm, and also not to make the  gap at the point between the tail and body too narrow  as you need to be able to turn the fish right side out once you have sewn it together.

Cut out a front and back for your fish- place them right sides together and sew round with a seam allowance of about 0.5cm. Remember to leave a gap of about 3cm so you can turn the fish out.

Clip the corners at the nose and tips of the tail. Clip round the curves, this ensures that the fish retains its fishy shape when you turn it out- I go round with pinking shears. Take care that you don't accidentally clip the seam stitching!

Turn the fish out, carefully pushing out the corners- the blunt end of a crochet hook is quite useful for this job.

Add the string loop for hanging- easiest to do before stuffing the fish. This fish has been filled with polyester toy filling. Close the fish by hand stitching the gap used for stuffing the fish, ensure the raw edges are all tucked in.

This little fish has been embellished with button eyes (one on each side) and a simple quilting stitch on the tail.

The fish are more effective hanging up in groups...

For cat lovers out there, what about a treat for your cat? You can fill the fish with catnip and your cat will love you forever! Just a few words of caution, I would suggest using a strong tight weave cotton fabric for your fish, and to omit the button embellishment or any other embellishment that may accidentally end up inside kitty.