Monday, March 26, 2012

Fish Extender





What the heck is a fish extender?
When a high school friend sent me a message asking if I could make one, that was my first question.  She described it to me as best she could and then I went off on a Google search hoping to get some answers before I gave her a definite answer as to if I could make one.
As it turns out, a fish extender is a fancy name for a pocket organizer.  When you go on a Disney cruise, there is a fish on the wall right outside your door.  It is used by the cruise staff like a mailbox for your room.  They hang things like your excursion tickets on it for you.  The fish extender does just what it says, and extends the fish. (Click here for a better description)

I found a written out pattern (without pictures) in a forum, but I couldn't find it again to give credit :( And since there aren't a lot of patterns for people to go on, I'll post what I did.  The pictures are from my practice run with leftover fabric I had lying around, just to see how it turned out, and I'm actually pretty proud.

What you'll need:
1/2 yard of fabric.  (I had 1/4 yard of two different kinds)
2 packages of wide double fold bias tape
1 yard of iron on interfacing (I used Pellon)
Dowel rod

First, you need to cut out the back of your fish extender.  The one I made was 8in wide by 32 in long.
Next, you'll be cutting out the pockets.  Each pocket is 11in. wide by 5.5 inches tall (make 4 of these).

Cut out your interfacing to match the size of the back and all 4 pockets, and iron it to the wrong side of the fabric according to the directions. 

Now you are going to sew bias tape to the TOP of the pockets.
Pleat and pin each pocket so that they are 8 inches wide. (I just eye-balled this)
(For a more detailed look into pleating the pockets, click here )
Baste only the bottom of each pocket, then sew bias tape to bottom.

Sew first pocket along bottom and sides to the back, then continue with other pockets.  (Again, I eye-balled the spacing, just make sure you leave room at the top to fold the back over to insert the dowel rod)
This picture shows the bottom pocket sewed on.

Once you have all pockets attached, sew bias tape up both sides of the fish extender.  Then fold over the top and sew the pouch for your dowel rod, and you're finished!

18 comments:

  1. Thank you for your post! I need to make one of these myself and your directions make it sound so easy! It looks great too! :)

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  2. You are welcome! I had trouble finding directions so I thought I'd make the tutorial to help others looking to make one. I'm glad it will help you :)

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  3. oh man. this is a great tutorial! going to try and make this for our upcoming cruise. thanks so much!

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  4. How did you do the pleat? I'm very new to sewing.

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    1. Amy, I'll post a tutorial for you, It'll just take me some time to sit down and write it out. I'll get it done tonight thoug

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    2. Thanks! That would be so helpful!

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. Amy, I am sooo sorry that I left you hanging. I've posted a tutorial if you still need it http://doublelcrafts.blogspot.com/2012/09/pleating-instructions.html

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  5. Just wanted to say thank you. This is my first ever sewing project and your instructions have helped me make it through !

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  6. Thanks for instructions. I am making one now for cruise in Oct. 2012

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  7. Thanks for taking the time to post this! I found great instructions when I made mine two years ago but couldn't find them again last year when my mom wanted to make hers :( the only thing I would add is stiffener to the main body of the FE. It wasn't an iron on, it was sewn between the front and back pieces. Thanks again!

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    1. Any kind of interfacing should do the job. I didn't add a back piece of fabric to the main body or any of the pockets, but that would definitely give the Fish Extender a more polished look.

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  8. Love your directions.. clear and easy to follow. I will be using your directions to make mine :-)

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  9. ha! now I know what a fish extender is. I was wondering...

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  10. I started making this and realized you forgot a string of some sort to hang on the fish!!! Did you use ribbon or make something out of fabric? I'm trying to figure out how to attach the string/ribbon to the top of the fish extender.....

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  11. Thank you so much for the instructions (and pics). I am a very visual learner and this made it so easy!

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  12. Great directions. I am going to be making one for our upcoming Disney Cruise!

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  13. for anyone traveling dcl, be sure to join a "fish extender group" so you share in the magic of delivering and receiving gifts. Visit www.dclfishextenders.com to find a group for your sailing.

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