Monday, June 27, 2011

'11 Happy Dance #11 Finally...The Fish Bag

I got this pattern for a Big Mouth Fish Bag by Katie Lane Quilts, exactly 12 million years ago.  OK, so it was more like 5 years ago, but it feels like 12 million years.  I think originally I had intended it to be a book bag of some sort.  Little did I know that Blockette would turn out to be a voracious reader.  A mac truck would be more suitable for her book transportation needs.

This little fishy does make a perfect overnight bag.  We took it with us this weekend when we did Relay for Life.  It fit all her "stuff" perfectly.  This bag is also great because, unlike her school backpack, it is too small to be able to hold more than she can carry on her back comfortably.

The pattern for this bag was very intimidating.  There were plenty of times where I took the pattern out, looked at it and just scratched my head in confusion.  Over the past 5 years I've made several stuffed animals and that helped me understand what I needed to do in order to stitch up this bag.  Really, this bag is just like a stuffed animal without the stuffing.  There were still a few of those "huh?" moments, but after reading the directions and playing with the cut pattern pieces, I was able to figure it out.

Blockette helped me pick out what fabrics she wanted in her bag. The stipulation was that she had to pick from the fabrics I already had.  At first she wanted an all pink bag, but I didn't have enough contrasting pink fabrics.  I told her that if the fabrics looked too much alike, the scales weren't going to show up.  I put all the pink fabrics she liked next to each other and told her to look at them from across the room.  She reluctantly agreed the pink fabrics wouldn't be good for the bag.

I suggested a rainbow fish bag and she thought that was almost as good as a pink one.  She was a little upset that the green is out of color order, but I told her I just didn't have enough purple fabric to make the tail.  Personally, I think the green on the tail and side fin makes a better contrast than purple would.  Then again, what do I know about these things.  I'm just the mom. 

The pattern includes directions for a shoelace closure, but I didn't think that would be a very comfortable way for Blockette to carry the bag. So, I made the drawstring into back pack straps.  I remember having a bag that had a closure like that in Jr High, so I replicated it from my memory of that bag.  Jr high was a long time ago, so I'm not entirely certain that I made it exactly the same way the bag I had was constructed.  I can get so particular sometimes that I had to tell myself it didn't matter, and that the bag was fine, maybe even better, the way it is.

I also thought it would be fun for the bag to have some pockets in it. I wasn't exactly sure how I wanted to make the pockets. Then I found an old pair of Mrblocko's jeans with the holes in the knees. Mrblocko won't wear hole-y jeans or cut offs, so when this happens they become free game for my crafting purposes.  Why make a pocket when you've got one already made for you?!

Originally, I was going to rip out the seam and remove the pocket from the butt of the jeans.  Then, I realized that the grommets at the corners of the pockets would make this impossible.  Plus, that was a lot of work, ripping out a double seam.  Then I thought, why not cut around the pocket and sew that to the inside of the bag?  It's easier AND it creates two pockets instead of one.  The larger pocket isn't the neatest looking thing, but it's on the inside of the bag so big whoop.

I'm so happy to finally have completed this project.  Blockette loves it, and I feel like I accomplished something big by finishing it.  There are several mistakes, but even I have to look really hard to find them, so I'm not going to beat myself up over it.  Now I just have to figure out what project I'm going to start next!


  1. Fishy bag looks great, and you didn't need to go to the therapist for it after all ;)

  2. The jury is still out on that one.


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