3na the Jellyfish
The Home Dome
Nosefish Dome Deck
The Desert Nose
Roller Disco 2002
Camp Nose Fish 2011
- Open the bottom seam
The opening needs to be long enough so your head can fit inside. If you open too much, you can always sew some of the seam again. You may need to abandon one or more pelvic fins if they are in the region of the seam you will split. You may be able to salvage a fin that is only partially overlapping the region of the seam you will split.
Stuffed animals may be filled with any of the following, and sometimes combinations of these:
- Bean-bag balls
These little joy pebbles pick up static electricity and push themselves away from each other, guaranteeing the most difficult possible cleanup imaginable.
- Fragments of foam rubber
This filling makes a big mess, defying even a vacuum to pick them up. They grind their way into carpet and hang on for dear life.
- Polyester fiber
This is probably the best filling. It sticks to itself and doesn't fly apart. It is easy to remove without making a huge mess.
So, before you split the seam, you should take precautions, such as:
- Do this at a friend's house, and leave the mess for them to clean up.
- Put down a big sheet to capture whatever falls out of your fish.
- Split the seam of your fish when it is deep inside a garbage bag or a garbage can.
- Close the drain in your bathtub and split the seam there.
- Remove some stuffing
How much should you remove? Well, if it is one of the unpleasant fillings, all of it. Then, replace it with some of the good filling, which you can buy at a sewing store for very little money. Or, if you are making multiple fish hats, it may be that one has the good stuff, and you can put half in each fish hat. If it is good filling, remove enough so that when you put your head in the opening, the hat remains fish-shaped, and isn't too tight on your head.
- Determine your cap size
This might be a good step for a friend to help with. If you draw your head profile, the shirt material will stretch
some to go around your head (diameter does not equal
circumference). If you make it too big, you can sew one side to make it tighter. If you make it too small, you'll have to cut another. One tee shirt is enough for up to four fish hats.
- Oversized sewn cap
After you sew the cap, it will be too tall. This is good -- it lets you size the cap as needed simply by cutting the bottom.
- Fold cap to proper size
Fold the cap so you know where to cut it. The top should still have some loose space in it -- don't cut it to exactly the size of your head or it will be too small when you finish the hat.
- You can also do a lot of the sewing with a sewing machine
If ya got skillz, use 'em. If you know how to use a sewing machine and you own one, you can do as much of the sewing that way as you can manage. Certainly the cap is easy with a machine. Sewing it into the fish is tricky, but the smiling woman below has sewn several fish hats using primarily a sewing machine, with a small portion done by hand.
- Place cap in fish gut
You can get a rough idea of whether the cap will fit into the opening by simply inserting the cap and observing if it can meet the entire permiter of the hole you made by splitting the seam. Now is the time to open more seam if it is needed, or close some up if it is obviously too large.
- Begin sewing cap into gut
Here the cap is being sewn into the fish beginning at the back. Notice that the rear fin is being sewn against one side. This looks better than cutting the fin in half. An alternative would be to remove the fin entirely and re-sew the seam where it was.
- Continue sewing cap into gut
Pay extra attention to where the split seam meets the cap, so the seam is secured and doesn't continue to split.
- Finish sewing cap into gut
When you finish, be sure to secure the thread with several good knots so the fish hat doesn't unravel. It only took me about 10-15 minutes to hand-sew the cap into the belly of the fish.
- Finishing touches
Fold the edges in and sew or safety pin them in place.
The fish hat won't look right if the edges of the cap are visible. Ideally, the cap and the edges you just sewed are entirely inside the fish. To make this work, pinch the sides as shown below and sew or safety-pin it in place.