Instructables

A Fancy Fish Shirt

A multicolored, pieced, embroidered and embellished shirt made as a birthday gift for a favored Pisces from a disarmingly simple pattern.
Use the extra easy one piece pattern with measurements for an extra large person. With your own measurements you can make one that fits you. Make a pattern piece from an old sheet.
You will need two main fabrics, about 2 yards each and a few extra bits of complementary prints. The blue fabric has koi fish printed on it and the other colors were from the same fabric line.
Before you cut anything, lay your pattern on your fabric with the center seam on the salvage edge. Draw around it with chalk. It is very important that you FLIP the pattern over to mark the second half so you get one front and one back. Don’t cut yet!!
You should have enough fabric outside your chalk lines to find some fish to cut out for applique
Now you can cut out your four shirt pieces. Cut the neck line on all four to the smaller curve.
Sew one of each colors together down the center for the front and the other two pieces of each color for the back. Now take your front piece, fold it on the newly sewn center seam and cut your neckline on the larger curve.
Take your complementary prints, cut them into random width strips and sew together and zig zag or serge the seam to prevent ravelling.
These pieced-together strips are then sewn onto the shirt in what ever random design you like best.
The cut-out fish are then applied to the lighter fabric or in this shirt the green side. I used an iron-on fabric adhesive for these fish and then embroidered around them with a chain stitch.
Now you can embellish to your heart's content. I used two pieces of the random width strips of create a shirt yoke effect. Then a cut-out fish was ironed on and embroidered around. Fresh water pearls were used for the eye and they were also added to the front strung on gold embroidery thread. The thread is randomly knotted and the pearls can slide back and forth. A piece of the gold thread was unravelled and used to stitch a fine fish-net behind the fish’s head. One pearl was added to each sleeve for a faux button.
Sewing the shirt pattern is easy and you can do it in one afternoon. The embellishment can take longer and is perfect for busy work while watching television. This project was started at Thanksgiving and finished shortly after New Year, but then I work slow and had until March.


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