Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fish Bowl Matching Game

Fish Bowl Matching Game Tutorial 

Supplies used:
16 colors of fabric scraps (about an 8 x 10 inch piece should be enough for one color)
(If you only want to make a one sided bowl, you'll need 8 colors and about an 18 x21" piece of one color for the inside)
1/4 yard of 60" wide felt
18" of 1/2" wide bias tape
fabric glue stick
stuffing for the fish

Cut out your pattern pieces

A note about the pocket pattern piece:
The pattern B piece tells you to cut on the fold.  I used this method because it makes each pocket the exact same size and helps them all line up a lot more easily.

Use the pattern pieces to cut out: one A, one B, and one C from each of your 16 colors.
If you are making a one sided bowl, cut out one A, one B, and two C from 8 colors and cut eight A pieces from the lining fabric.
For both the one and two sided options, cut 16-A shapes out of felt.

Prep before sewing
Take the B pieces you cut out.  Fold them in half and press them.  Topstitch about 1/4" away from the fold.
Get your fabric glue and use a bit to glue together the bottom corners of your pocket.
Use the fabric glue to attach the A piece of fabric to the felt.  The glue is optional, but just helps keep everything in place.
If you haven't already, decide which of your 16 fabrics you want on each side.  I suggest keeping the two sets of 8 separate.  Especially your fish.
Make your fish
Match up your fish shapes.  The only important thing to remember is that you need to be sure that you have one pattern from the inside of the bowl, and one pattern from the outside paired up.  You don't want to have two from the same side together or your matching game won't work.
 Sew the fish, right sides together.  Use a 1/4" seam allowance and leave an opening.
Clip your curves and flip the fabric inside out.  Stuff and hand stitch the opening closed.

Make your bowl
If you have a real definite idea of where you want each pattern to go on your bowl, you'll have to think a little as you go to make sure it all ends up in the right place.

Let's start with one set of 8 pieces.  I set mine out in the order I wanted.  I placed the matching pockets on top of the main bowl pieces. They are labeled as A-H.

If you want, you can even label your pieces with chalk or disappearing ink to make it easier.

You will begin by sandwiching pieces together, starting with A and B.  Flip B (including pocket) over on A.  Match up your pockets and pin the right side.  To help keep all those layers in the place I wanted, I hand basted each set together before sewing.  You will also match up C-D, E-F and G-H.

You will end with 4 pieces that look like this.

Now you're going to make more sandwiches.  You'll put piece CD on AB and pin the right side together.  Do the same with EF and FH.  Take care when you're pinning to make sure the pockets are tucked over the correct patterned pieces.
You'll now have two half-bowls.  Place one bowl inside the other, right sides together.  Pin across the entire "U" shape and sew.  As you sew this piece, the place where all the pieces meet will be super thick.  My machine didn't handle it well, so I ended up hand sewing a little there.

Flip your bowl right side out and check all your seams.  Make sure there aren't any places that aren't sewn.
Take your other 8 pieces and repeat the same steps until you have two bowls.
When you have two bowls, place one inside the other, wrong sides together.  Match up your seams and pin.  Hand baste across the top of the bowl close to the edge.  Trim away any bits that stick up a bit.

Take your bias tape and pin it around the top of your bowl.  Hand or machine sew.
 Have fun playing with your fish bowl! 


  1. Cute! Cute! Cute! It's a great idea for a quiet time activity too!

  2. awwhhh! this is the sweetest thing ever! Thanks so much for sharing :)

  3. I'm planning a birthday party with a fish theme and this will be perfect!

  4. this is awesome!! love it!!

    thanks for sharing!


  5. What a fun sewing project, must try it. :)

  6. I just made this for a niece as a Christmas gift...can't wait to see how much she likes it! Great tutorial...easy to follow and it turned out to be too cute!

  7. I absolutely love this!!! I made one for Eastern and I can't wait to give it to my niece.
    If you like to see some pictures =>