Thursday, 23 May 2013

Hail Chickenfish

You can see the original chickenfish in the vid above.

I've already shared my knitting pattern for a mini chickenfish and now I'm working on a sewing pattern for a full-sized chickenfish cat toy.

I'm going to be using craft felt, but for now I'm working with scrap material as I work out how to get the shapes I want.

I started by making a cardboard template for a rainbow shape, as I plan to join two for the base, and then add a third for the top.

My rainbow measures 35 cm along the outer edge, 25 cm on the inner edge and 3 cm across its width, so decide to cut a rectangle of fabric that is double that, with an extra couple of centimetres for seam allowance. If I just sewed that together to make a tube and bent it into shape it would be very puckered, so I need to take darts in the inner edge to shrink it down to 25 cm.

Each vertical line is for the fold, I then sewed along the "diamond" edge. I'm deliberately using contrast thread and just roughly hand stitching. I'll get the sewing machine out for the real thing.

Here's my first attempt which shows that I need remedial maths, 5 darts of 4 cm each. That's 5 x 4 = 10 ??? Next, I reduced the darts to 2 cm each, and sewed the top edge ready to turn the right side out.

I slipped a "fin" in place when I sewed the top seam.

Well, the fin was "nearly" in the right place! The shape isn't right though. The darts are too few and too chunky. I decided to go for 10 darts, each half as deep. 

By now the scrap fabric is inside out so ignore the marks - waste not, want not! I stitched a narrow dart on 10 folds where marked above - and here it is, fully stitched and partly stuffed.

I'm happy with this final shape, so now it's on to draw a more accurate pattern, get out the sewing machine  and start the real thing. I'll share my "real" pattern when it's ready, but I wanted to record my thought process for posterity. Sewing is not my first language, so if you know a better way to achieve the shape, PLEASE leave a comment. I did consider just cutting two rainbow shapes, but that would waste a lot of fabric.

Meanwhile...back to the kittencam!


Janine Basil said...

Is the saved amount of fabric worth the amount of time taken to mark out and sew all the darts? Most times I'd say no way, but that's really up to you :D

The plus I can see with this is, it'd give you a better arch with less creases as you stuff it.

Jackie said...

The only thing that spring to my mind is maybe to just gather the fabric along the bottom edge? Start with a curved shape, and then add more gathers instead of darts? That way you might get a more even bulk.

Heather Leavers said...

Excellent comments, thank you. I knew I could rely on you guys! Janine, I totally agree time is money, and Jackie I am shocked that gathering hadn't even occurred to me. Duh. Much easier!

Jackie said...

Just had another could even stuff it first.

Unknown said...

Just copying over from the forum:)

If it were me I would split your curve in half straight down the middle giving you two much shallower curves measuring 17.5cm on the outside and 12.5 on the inside, add a cm seam allowance to your two cut edges and cut those out then sew them together to give you your one big curve, it’ll reduce the waste by a fair amount and also make the making a lot quicker and save you the bulk of adding darts or gathers.

Leanne xx

Unknown said...
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