Penny the Fish: A Free Pattern

Penny the Fish Free Pattern

Penny is a soft and huggable fish. She’s fun and easy to sew and would make a great summer birthday gift for a child you know, or maybe for yourself (it’s okay to play with stuffed animals even when you’re a grown-up).

Penny the Fish in Hands

To make Penny you’ll need:

  • 1/4 yard of fleece for her head, tail and fins
  • scraps of two other colors of fleece for her body
  • felt scraps in orange and white
  • 1 pair of 8mm safety eyes
  • fiberfill stuffing, 3.4 ounces
  • coordinating all-purpose thread

*Note that I love fleece for toys because it’s soft, inexpensive, and machine washable. You could also sew Penny from quilting cottons or other fabrics.

Download the templates to make Penny right here: Penny the Fish Templates. Print them out. You’ll cut the fabric on the solid lines and stitch on the dotted lines. Be sure to place the templates on the fabric so that the grain arrows run parallel to the selvage.

From light pink fleece, cut:

  • 2 heads (reversing 1)
  • 2 tails (reversing 1)
  • 2 top fins (reversing 1)
  • 4 lower fins (reversing 2).

From dark pink fleece cut:

  • 2 lower bodies (reversing 1)

From purple fleece cut:

  • 2 upper bodies (reversing 1)

From orange felt cut:

  • 1 lips

From white felt cut:

  • 2 eyes

Transfer all of the markings to the fabric with chalk or a disappearing fabric marker.

To make the top fin, place the two top fin pieces right sides together. Stitch around, leaving the opening along the bottom as marked. Trim the seam allowance down to 1/8 inch to reduce bulk. Clip the curves and turn the fin right side out.

Fins Stitched and Topstitched

Follow the same steps to make the tail and the two lower fins. Topstitch along the lines on the top fin, lower fins, and tail.

Fin basted to head

Place a lower fin on the right side of one head piece as marked. Baste. Repeat with the other lower fin and head piece.

Assemble the Body

To make the body, place one lower body on one upper body, right sides together and stitch along the central straight edge. Repeat with the other lower and upper body pieces. Here’s how they look once they’re stitched.

assembling the body

Baste the top fin and the tail to one of the assembled body pieces.

Place a head on top of an assembled body piece, right sides together, and stitch along the straight edge. Repeat with the other head and body pieces.

attach the eye

Use an awl or the tip of a pair of small scissors to poke a hole in each head piece for the eye. Poke a hole toward the top of each white felt circle, too. Push the shank of a safety eye through a felt circle and then through a head piece. Slide the washer snugly onto the shank. Repeat for the other eye. If you’re making Penny as a baby gift, embroider the eye with satin stitch instead.

pin the fish

stitch the fish

To sew up the fish, place the two body pieces right sides together and pin well. Stitch all the way around, leaving the opening at the bottom of the lower body as marked. Remove the basting stitches at the fins and tail.

cut the lip slit

sew the lips

Once the body is sewn, cut the lip slit. Fold the felt lips in half and press to crease. Slide the lips through the lip slit so that the fold of the lips is aligned with the raw edges of the slit. Stitch the slit closed, catching the fold of the lips in the seam. Note that the stitching tapers off at each end of the lip slit for a smooth dart-like effect that helps to shape the fish’s face.

Clip the curves and turn the fish right side out. Stuff firmly, closing the opening with ladder stitch.

Penny the Fish 2

You did it! Hooray! Sew a whole school of fish for all of your friends.

Fish and MermaId

Fish and Mermaid close up

Penny the Fish makes a great companion to Maya the Mermaid. You can get the pattern for Maya in my shop right here. Don’t you think they make a great pair? Happy sewing!


    • says

      Thanks so much, Anne! I just moved my site to WordPress and I’m afraid many of my old backlinks are now dead :( So it’s great to have some new ones being created. Thank you!

  1. says

    Thank you Abby for such a delightful pattern. I will be making these (and other toys too) from August until the end of the year when I make toys for the Angels for the Forgotten charity and for the K.Mart Wishing Tree drive. I make about 50 toys a year for charity. (I used to make 100 but I do other charities throughout the year too now.

    • says

      Hi Sudha,

      I just use a standard size 14 Schmetz needle when I sew fleece on my sewing machine. You can try a stretch needle (ball point needle) as well if you’d like, but I haven’t found it to be necessary.


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