Free Pattern Friday! Love Koi Plushies


I have an early Valentine’s Day gift for you all! This is a project that’s been running through my head for a long while 😀 I thought I’d put it with the Monthly Crafting Challenge for 2015 with the rest of the punny food animals, but since it wasn’t food related it got bumped. They’re inspired by the Japanese word ‘koi’ which means both ‘carp’ and ‘love,’ and the beautiful yin-yang moon-spirit carp featured in Avatar: The Last Airbender. So together it’s a pair of sweet koi plushies that nestle together in a yin-yang pattern, and their matching markings come together to make a heart ^-^

If you just need a carp or fish pattern, the pattern works just fine for that too. Though it is a little more complex than a typical fish pattern because it’s asymmetrical and the fish twists off to the side. Placing the heart lobes just right is also a pain, so I think it’s much easier to stitch it in place after both fish are done than trying to sew it on beforehand as I would usually do. Hopefully by posting this tutorial today it might help inspire some wonderful V-day sewing! I hope you all like it!


37 thoughts on “Free Pattern Friday! Love Koi Plushies”

    1. Hi, I love these patterns and use them a lot. I was wondering if I could use this pattern to make some items for my little handmade shop?

      1. Hello,
        You are certainly welcome to sell items you’ve sewn using this pattern! A credit back to me would be much appreciate if you’re able 😊 Thank you very much for asking first!

  1. They’re cute! Thanks for putting this up. My little one is totally into plushes right now and I thought of sewing some of your beautiful patterns for her. Have a wonderful valentine’s day yourself!

  2. Hello, I’m trying to make your koi fish pattern and am having some trouble. Each fish body piece is it supposed to be two different fish? Because the two different body shapes do not line up right. Your instructions do not say that each body piece will be a different fish. Because the only way they fit right is if each peice makes up a separate fish. For example am I suppose to make one fish out of two pieces of fabric with the two head darts? Sorry to bug you but I’m trying to make it and I just feel really confused.

    1. Hello! I’m sorry you’re having trouble! But you’re right that the pieces make up two different fish total as mentioned on page 2. A single fish body is made of one each of the 3 large pattern pieces (“Top Left Side,” “Top Right Side,” and “Bottom”). The pattern instructions say to cut two of each of these pieces (1 of each color) to make up the two fish total. So if you only make one fish then you only need to cut one fabric piece from each pattern.
      I really hope that makes sense!

  3. these fish are absoultly adorable. my girlfriend and I made them for Valentine’s day, and i love how they turned out. thank you for the pattern. <3

  4. Thank you for this cute pattern. I had a lot of fun making some of my own.
    I will definitely try out some more of your patterns in the future!

  5. Dear CholyKnight, i enjoyed making this pattern. I have never sewn anything in my life,However i wanted to make these for my grandma because my grandfather recently passed. She is japanese so Koi is really big in the culture. I made them in the colors that grandpa could see and she loves them. I cant wait to make more of your excellent designs from your shop! Thank you~

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the pattern! Thank you for the kind words about it, and I’m very happy that the finished koi were received well! ♥

  6. I love everything about valentines day, and because you made a koi… things just got better! I just know I am going to enjoy this!

  7. hey I was wondering if you made videos on the plushies because I am having trouble with the two sides and cant figure it out

      1. ok would it be ok for me to sell completed plushies for the patterns you sell on etsy. and if I can make video’s on how to do some of them just wanted to ask you fist and love your patterns!!!!!

  8. normally I love your patterns but this one just doesn’t feel complete to me. It seems to skip steps. in one picture there’s no heart, then the next its sewn on but there’s no mention of it. this pattern just leaves me wanting more information. Would you ever consider updating it? i might actually try it if there were better steps.

    1. I’m very sorry it’s causing confusion! I can certainly understand if it feels incomplete. It was designed over 4 years ago and my format has changed and improved since then — particularly in part to feedback from users like you! I’ll certainly consider updating it so it’s more like my current ones 🙂 Thank you for the input!

  9. This was a beautiful pattern! I made a pair of contrasting black and white kio fish with a yin/yang heart in the middle. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this wonderful pattern with the world. <3

  10. Hi there! I really enjoy this pattern and I started making it and for the first fish, the top left side and the top right side don’t line up when sewing the two halves together. I was wondering if I did something wrong?

    1. Hello! I’m sorry the pattern is giving you trouble! The seam lines (1/4″ in from the edge) are technically the same length, but since the pieces are curvy that can cause some issues getting things aligned along the cut edge. You’ll need to bend and stretch the parts that have inner curves, or even make small clips into the seam allowance to help it stretch longer 🙂 If all else fails, you can also sew the head dart a little larger on the piece that’s too long. I hope that helps!

  11. i’m having a bit of trouble with the heart, do i place it on after i sew in the inner darts or before? the instructions doesn’t really explain it.

    1. I found it works best to attach the heart after all the rest of the plush is sewn and stuffed 🙂 That ensures that the halves match up perfectly and you can make adjustments more easily. It’s explained further in steps 9-10 🙂

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