Time for another installment in my series of Before and After moments:
The all-reddish orange one is baby alpaca, and the green trimmy one is super soft merino. Both were dotted with a ton of moth holes, making a big project impractical. It was however the obvious choice for the smallest of my extended family members who likes sea creatures.
I should have done a proper tutorial for this project but I didn't have much time - it only took about 90 minutes start to finish, which is about what I had, and in less than stellar lighting for photography purposes. But I can tell you that I simply cut out two layers of a fishy shape and opted for topstitching, so as to maintain said shape. It would have been a lot cuter if I had bothered to get red thread into the machine but - did I mention the 90 minute time limit?
Most of that went to improvising and then lining up his features, and to a lesser extent the side fins. I sewed all those bits onto one side of the fish, then used it as a template and put the other side of the fish nose to nose with the first to make sure everything lined up well. After all that was securely in place, I pinned in the top fin and topstitched all but a 2" span of belly, through which to stuff the stuffing.
Here's a tip: if asking the opinion of other children about a project that you think may be lame for the person you intend to give it to, be prepared to have to make more of said project. Seriously. This fish is going to a 7-year old boy not because I think 7-year old boys like handmade stuffies but because he is severely disabled and has difficulty even holding onto something. I figured anything in bright colours and supersoft fabric was a good idea. On completion I panicked, but unnecessarily as I discovered when I took the finished project to be judged by boys of similar age. Far from scathing, they were all - "make another one for him and give that one to me!" and "I want mine to be green!"
There is still a lot of fish-sized fabric left in each of these sweaters, so maybe I can make those boys some fish of their own. But not until my Christmas tree has had its moment and gone back out for composting, because the sewing machine is all tucked away behind it for the rest of the season.
(that doesn't prevent me from handstitching, of course. Stay tuned for one more project next week!)