Thursday, September 22, 2011

Material Girls: Neon Tropical Fish

In our 'Material Girls' feature, we dive into our giant collection of fabrics to choose a weird, heinous, or awesome pattern (this time the fabric could be called all three of these things!) and then challenge ourselves to make something great out of it.

This week's version: Neon Tropical Fish. Who would buy such a thing? Snort!

Okay, okay, I'll fess up here. The cloth I worked with here is actually purchased. From a store. On purpose. By me. In my defense, though, it was the very early 90s (true story) and times were different. My mom let me pick this out so that I could try to make an outfit out of it. It was going to be a matching neon tropical fish tank top and Bermuda shorts set, of course. But alas, I only half-finished the project and, while I rocked the tank top at the Wildwood mall on many occasions, the shorts were never made. I had other important stuff to do (GAWD!) like draw, listen to NKOTB, talk about boys, and watch Entertainment Tonight.

So when I came across this in my big bin o' fabrics, I immediately recognized it. And I obviously kept on to my earlier positive feelings for it, because when I pulled it out to show it to Megan, the exchange went something like this:

Me: "Wow! Look at this fabric... It's awesome!"
Megan: (silence)

Me: "I'll bet I can make something RAD out of this!"
Megan: (long pause) "Ummm..."

Well, I'll admit that it's perhaps a fabric that's best in small doses. And it's not like I would wear the tank top/Bermuda shorts set now (probably).

Anyway, I set off to make something rad. My first attempt, appliqué on a canvas bag, was a project that sought to honour the fabric's storied provenance...

Next up, I used the fabric in a quilt for a friend with a new baby.


I think it turned out quite sweet in a child's gift, so I whipped up a matching owl pillow as a gift for the baby's beautiful older sister.


I'm sad to report that the tank top's whereabouts are currently unknown...


  1. RAD is right... during the same time frame (90's) I went to the store and purchased navy, blue and white plaid fabric with pink pigs inside each square! Oh dear, I proceeded to cut my jean shorts open along each leg and sew in my pig, plaid fabric to extend my already too big ridiculous shorts. Soooo hideous, I have yet to see anyone make anything cool out of that fabric! SOo I apprciate your efforts to re-use the fish... I love all the items! So do Poppy and Raine xoxox Sarah you ROCK.

    ps I understand Megs reservations...

  2. Love the quilt and the owl!


  3. Thanks, guys! There are still a few square inches of neon fish fabric left. I'm sure it will eventually make its way into another special project...


    PS to Han - YES! I cut open my (already too huge) jeans to put plaid inserts in the outside leg seam, too. You definitely win, though, since my fabric was pig-free!