Finger Pocket Fish: a toy fish pattern review

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Finger Pocket Fish: a review of the softie toy pattern by Just Bananas over Soft Toys

As much as I love sewing, I really don’t have a ton of experience sewing softie toys, otherwise known as stuffed animals. I sewed a little boy doll a few years back as a remembrance to a miscarried baby and some soft bones for my kids’ toys, but not much more than that. I’ve also always just loved fish. When I was in middle school and my sister was in college, I used to make and send her paper fish that she would hang up in her dorm room to create a sort of wall-sea. You can see one of these fish in this post about cardboard. So I jumped at the opportunity to test the Finger Pocket Fish pattern for Janette of Just Bananas over Soft Toys!

Finger Pocket Fish: a review of the softie toy pattern by Just Bananas over Soft Toys

There are actually three different versions of the fish toy, which you can purchase separately or all together in a package called “Net All Three.” The three fish are all constructed in the same way, but their shapes and fins vary slightly.

Finger Pocket Fish: a review of the softie toy pattern by Just Bananas over Soft Toys

Why is this pattern called “Finger Pocket Fish”? Well, because these fish are not just your ordinary toys– they have little pockets on their bellies to slip your finger/s into so that you can use them sort of like puppets!

Finger Pocket Fish: a review of the softie toy pattern by Just Bananas over Soft Toys

Isn’t that just adorable how you can make the fish swim?! (For some reason, in a hedge. I’m not sure what exactly I was thinking when I took this picture.)

Finger Pocket Fish: a review of the softie toy pattern by Just Bananas over Soft Toys

There are some very interesting details on this pattern. Two of the fins are separate and get sewn right into the construction seams, but the others are actually part of the fish body pieces. You partially stuff these fins and then sew a line of stitching to sort of separate that fin from the body. This is something that I’d never done before and I really like the effect. This method lets the tail of the fish waggle from side to side, which makes pretend swimming all the more fun!

Finger Pocket Fish: a review of the softie toy pattern by Just Bananas over Soft Toys

Another technique that was new to me is called “fussy cutting.” Basically it’s just a way of selecting the positioning of the pattern pieces on patterned fabric so that you get the colors/design elements that you prefer. I didn’t do this and just look what happened to my poor fish #3: He’s got some sort of crazy tropical palm tree or flower tattooed on one of his sides, while all the other parts of him look totally different. Oops… So this is why we fussy cut, so that the look of the fabric is homogeneous.

This was incidentally also the first time I’d ever used safety eyes. They’re so easy to use and make the toy safe for all ages! But you can also embroider or sew on scraps of felt to make eyes.

Finger Pocket Fish: a review of the softie toy pattern by Just Bananas over Soft Toys

What a cute little pattern and quick and easy sew, and it’s also a great way to use up scraps! My fish are a little crazy-looking, but some of the other testers of this pattern used fabrics that look just like fish textures and look absolutely amazing! But perhaps the craziness isn’t such a bad thing, because my kids (and also my daughter’s friends, who helped model the fish in the hedge picture) just loved these little guys!

These fish would make a great gift (I actually gave them to my little boy for his onomastico, his Saint’s Day, as is celebrated in Catholic Italy)! Why not whip up a few for Christmas gifts? You can read more about the pattern on Pattern Revolution and buy the pattern in the Just Bananas over Soft Toys Etsy shop! Don’t have an Etsy account yet? Then click this link, sign up immediately (without exiting the screen), and you’ll get €5 to spend in any Etsy shop!

Orrrr, if you’re quick, you could try to win the “Net All Three” pattern! Enter the giveaway here!

Oh, and totally randomly, is anyone going to the Abilmente fair in Rome this weekend? I’ll be there on Sunday, so let me know if you will be, too! And stay tuned because I have a ton of new things coming soon, including some new lessons for my beginner’s machine sewing course!

 Question of the day: Do you sew softies?

Like I said, I don’t have a lot of experience sewing softies, but I’ve seen so many patterns that are just so adorable! One softie designer I’ve been following for a long time is Abby Glassenberg from While She Naps, but there are just loads of amazing toy patterns out there!


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13 Responses

  1. Very cute, but I don’t have any one to make them for YET. Maybe someday. I did make the cats (3) some catnip fish which they love. We’re finally moving in 10 days. Hope to finally have a temporary sewing room of my own instead of being spread out all over the house. Love your posts.

  2. Adorabili!
    Sono venuti davvero bene e la foto con lo sfondo cespuglio mi piace un casino… anticonvenzionale, certo, ma ben riuscita!
    ‘sti occhi mi incuriosiscono un bel po’… dove li hai trovati, alla fine? Amazon? o Minerva Crafts? Son curiosa, lo so!

  3. So cute ! I love it !

  4. Troppo forti!! Un bel modo di creare qualcosa con cui giocare!!
    Ho sempre adorato i burattini quando ero piccola, questo potrebbe diventare la balena di pinocchio che si mangia Geppetto!!

    buona domenica
    This is Sara

  5. So cute! I think the fact that they’re not in traditional fish-like (scaly) print is part of what makes them so fun!


  1. […] choose the fabric and thread colors, and he chose the same striped fabric that I used for one of my finger pocket fish. (The same sheet fabric that I used for this box-pleated skirt and these kid […]

  2. […] you enjoy this fabric doll pattern review? Then check out my review for the Finger Pocket Fish finger puppet stuffed […]

  3. […] technique that I only recently learned the name of (when sewing these fish toys) is fussy cutting. This is quite useful when using fabric with a print. First, let’s see what […]

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