I’ve had the pattern for these fish
pinned for quite a while now. I printed the pattern out back before Christmas, thinking they would be cute stocking stuffers, and just didn’t get around to it. It sat on my desk, waiting for me to get to it, through the New Year…through the boys’ birthdays…through Easter even, until I finally decided to make it happen last week.
The boys had been being especially rambunctious, and I hadn’t been successful in getting much done, and I was looking for an “easy win”. These worked.
Being my first attempt, the red fish took me longer to get done, but now that I’ve made a handful of these, each one only takes me about half an hour. I made the mistake of doing quite a few of the details by hand on that first fish. Doing all but the “gills” has given me a far better result ultimately, much more quickly.
The instructions on the blog that the pattern came from are in a language I don’t speak/read…so it was a little bit trial and error figuring out the most efficient way to put them together. One of the biggest time savers I found was this:
Unlike, on most stuffed animals, there’s no need to leave a hole in your edge stitching for the filling to be pushed through. There are holes left from the slits cut for the fins, that you will need to stitch up anyhow, and they work perfectly for filling the fish. I machine stitch all the way around the edge, hand sew one of the fin slits shut, stuff the fish, and then sew the second fin closed.
I also decided that while these fish were originally intended as kitchen/store play fish, I reaaaallly wanted them to throw well. G and I have been driving each other up the wall lately, and I’ve been struggling to find a way to stop unacceptable behavior without things escalating all the way to a “YOU GO TO YOUR ROOM YOUNG MAN” time-out situation every time. Putting beans in the nose of these and tossing them at him has been a pretty quick and easy solution. They’re still nice and soft (believe me, I’ve taken several in the face myself), but the “beanbag” weight gives them enough heft that they fly straight and make a satisfyingly loud noise upon impact.
I’m sure that come a few months from now, the novelty will have worn off, and I’ll have to find a new strategy, but for now, it’s a huge relief that, instead of every minor offense having to be a knock down, drag out battle to the death, I can lob a fish across the room and distract him enough to usually stop the bad behavior. Plus, it usually results in an awesome game of “feed the zoo seal” that we both enjoy.
If you have any questions about how I put these together, please let me know!