I am taken with things that blow around in the wind. I saw some beautiful fish windsocks, but decided to try making them myself. I'm happy with the result.
And it flies in the wind, too!
Sometimes it's upside down.
The only problem is that it sometimes turns this way.
That's just plain weird, but the ones you buy must have the same problem, right? Actually this view is kind of fun, too.
I extended the mouth opening about a half an inch and cut the tail from the original wavy pattern which you can see in the photo to make it easier to sew. If you have problems understanding the following how-to, let me know.
- two pieces of nylon for the fish body
- two pieces of contrasting nylon at a 45 degree angle, that are 4 inches long at the base for the smaller fin on the bottom. This size is arbitrary. My ruler has this angle on it, and it happened to work out great.
- two pieces of the contrasting nylon at a 45 degree angle that are 5 inches long at the base for the top fin.
- I serged the tail pieces to prevent fraying. You can do a zigzag stitch or turn it under twice, or just use Fray Check instead.
- Sew the outside edges of the fins with a quarter inch seam, carefully cut a few of those nice little triangles out of the seam that that it will flatten nicely, turn right side out, and press. I use a cotton press cloth so that I can get a nice flat edge.
- To trim the fins to match the curved edge of the fish body, place the raw edged of the fin under the yellow pieces as in the photo below. The center point of the top fin should be about 6 1/2 down from the mouth edge (measuring straight, not along the curve of the fish body edge. (Remember the point is inside --all the raw edges are together as in the picture below.) The center point of the bottom fin should be about 5" from the mouth end--again measuring straight not along the curve of the fish body. This center of the fin is the spot where where the raw edges of fish body and fish fins meet. The corners of the fins will be sticking out. Use your rotary cutter to trim of the pieces sticking out or mark with chalk and cut. You could do this as part of the next step where the fins are inside for sewing and trim later, but this might be easier for some people, Maybe??
- Place the fins between the two yellow pieces (in my case, yellow)--sorry I didn't take a pic at the time, but this should give you an idea of what I mean. Pin the sides of the fish body with the fins in their proper place and sew the sides using a 1/4 inch seam.
- Turn right side out and sew a little over a quarter of an inch to enclose the seam you just made--a french seam. This will prevent fraying and make the piece hold it's shape better.
- Turn it inside out again and sew the tail end together leaving a two inch gap in the center open
- Turn the mouth end in a 1/2" once and press (use a cotton press cloth so the heat is high enough for a crisp, flat fold) and then turn it another 1/2" and press again. Pin and sew that around. I was going to put some plastic strapping in the mouth to hold the circular shape, but I found that the material held the shape without it. If you use ripstop nylon which is lighter, you may want/need to use the plastic inside this hem area. I save all the plastic packing straps from packages for these kinds of things.
- I sewed buttons about two inches down from the hemmed mouth with the top of the eye about 1/2" down from the top fin edge.
Last, I used nylon mono-filament also known as fish line for hanging. The craft store sells an 8 lb strength in the jewelry-making section or you can get the same thing in Walmart's fishing department. The fishing department also sells the barrel swivels for the spinner which I could not find at the craft stores. I used an Eagle Claw brand size 5 swivel that is working out great.
I cut 4 eleven-inch long pieces of monofilament and spaced them evenly around the mouth sewing through the mouth seam and knotted the four pieces together in the circular base of the swivel hook I cut another piece of mono-filament for the hook end of the barrel swivel because I wanted mine to hang more. That part will depend on where you are putting the windsock.
Now hang that sucker up on a nice windy day. The good news with a fish windsock is that it looks good just hanging there--like you just caught a fish.