Ok, really the toy is just for cats. I made mine for my little 9-year-old Grey Davis who has been rolling around with it since I finished the last few stitches. I also made a bird, but it looks a little odd, so I’ll have to improve upon it before exposing it to the world.
Anyway, I still have an excess of felt laying around that I’m trying to craftify my way through, so I found this template at My Fantastic Toy blog after searching for a while online. The only thing I didn’t appreciate about it was the format. The patterns are overlapping, so you have to print two of them in order to get the full pattern. It doesn’t so much effect the fish, but with the other patterns on the site it does make a difference.
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- Felt in whatever colors you choose
- embroidery floss
- scissors, needle and pins
- stuffing (cotton balls work too)
- catnip (optional)
- eyes to be sewn on (not recommended*)
*I don’t really think that adding the eyes is exactly a great idea. Working with animals for so long, I’ve seen some strange things get swallowed by cats and dogs alike (ex. golf balls, crunchy toys, gorilla glue, etc). Depending on how the item decides to go through (or get stuck), the vet trip ends up being an expensive one.
HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:
- First you’re going to put one of the sides and the bottom together, and pin a side together right side in then sew a ladder stitch nose to tail. (I didn’t like any of the ladder stitch images I found, so I made my own for you above in case you need a reference)
- Then pin the other side and the bottom together, right side in still, and stitch from tail to nose.
- Turn right side out and continue your ladder stitch half way over the top of the two sides leaving enough space to stuff later on.
- At this point grab one of your fins and attach one to each side securely with the same ladder stitch. This stitch is great because when pulled tight it is barely, if at all, visible from the outside.
- Next add your stuffing until full. It’s also possible to use the catnip alone as the stuffing making is more smushy like sand than fluffy, which some kitties really like to chew on. I did about half and half since I’m running low.
- Finally finish stitching up and over the back to the tail and tie a knot with the thread around one of the last seams. You can hide the knot after by pulling it through to the inside, poking the needle through the opposite side and cutting it so your ends are hidden.
- I used the embroidery floss to make circles for eyes with a chain stitch in place of any sort of button or added eye for safety.
Now you have a fish to give your little friends!
With your gossamer tail,
You are the loveliest creature
I have ever seen.”
Put your tongue back in where it belongs
And go away.