squishythings in which maggie post pictures of things she made (mostly)


Speaking of doing it backwards..

The shark jaw stencil strikes again. You're supposed to stencil your pattern pieces and do all the embellishment before you construct the garment, but in this case I really wanted the image to stay as whole as possible. I sewed five of the six panels together and pinned them flat to a board for stenciling.

Stick the shark jaw on everything.

And then, in what may be a terrible decision from the "needing access to the back" angle, I finished sewing the whole thing together. I basted a layer of scraps underneath the stencil to help support the weight of the beads that are going on it. Then I thought I should bind the neck and armholes so I didn't overwhelm those basting stitches and make them wonky.

Prepare for beads.

I expect to have weeks (months) (years) of beading ahead of me so we'll see how it goes.


UFO: fluttery bolero

I have a handful of half-finished garments hanging around, and I decided I should probably get some work done on them before I start anything new.

I do a lot of things on the "what happens when I do this?" premise. This bolero was started months ago - what happens if I partially sew down rows of circles on top of a partly-constructed garment? Do they look like scallops? Do they flutter a little? Will they move with the body? etc etc.

I sewed like three rows on when I started it, and then set it aside to work on more wearable things, and more scarves for my fall shows. I've made some progress!

weird applique progress

Now imagine what this would have been like had I properly lined everything up and measured.. ha ha ha. JUST GET IT DONE, ME.


Long fitted dress (again)

But this time, it wasn't for me.

Normally every fall I'm like, "OH I MUST MAKE ELEVENTY BILLION CHRISTMAS GIFTS," but well.. This time I knew I was going to have some trouble with that. Sure, I have no regular day job. But this year, I did two craft shows in November, and then in December I flew to LA to be on Jeopardy. So first I had to spend time on inventory items, and then I lost a week to traveling.

Before I committed to making the tote bag for my cousin, I asked my sister-in-law if she'd like me to make her a dress. She decided on the long dress and the color. Ta-da.

Christmas gift for my sister-in-law

It's a size medium, so I had to cut out a new copy of the pattern. I ordered fabric before my trip to LA, and it arrived when I got back. Then I started sewing, and I ran out of thread. I went to Jo-Ann, only to discover that Coats has discontinued the burgundy button & craft thread, so you can't buy it anywhere anymore, except it's still in stock on the Alabama Chanin site. I panic-ordered eight spools, and they shipped priority two day, so I should have gotten the package with plenty of time to sew the rest of the dress.

Then the package disappeared for a while. It should have been delivered on Thursday the 18th, but it wasn't, and no update scans had been done. It arrived on the 22nd instead. And somehow I managed to finish the whole dress fairly early on the 24th and didn't have to stay up too late to do it. PHEW!


Quilted tote

Every year for Christmas my cousins draw names for gifts, and we're not supposed to spend more than $20.. Well this was more than $20 of effort, but less than $20 in materials. Works for me.

I contacted the cousin whose name I got and asked if I could make her a bag, and what her favorite color was. She said yellow. I'm not super great at color picking when it comes to nonrepresentational use, and I've always had a hard time with yellow. I have a few yellow dyes but they don't really go together very well? So I decided to do a greyscale to make the one shade of yellow really pop. ("Make it pop," oh the color cliches!)

This bag is based on the Linus bag I made for myself in the fall, but it's bigger and sturdier thanks to the addition of some canvas in between the layers.

gift tote - finished and washed

gift tote - interior

All of the fabrics are dyed by me, except the pink piping and the black bias tape around the top.

After doing this whole thing I realized I should have made really long yellow handles and just sewed them on top of the sides, rather than piecing the yellow vertical stripe and trying to match the handle ends. Duh. I made a few small mistakes, but 85% of a good job is good enough.


Shark jaw vest

I spent a lot of time cutting this shark jaw stencil and I can't stop sticking it on things. I bought a moto-style hooded vest from the clearance rack at Target - a piece of clothing that I'm probably too old and uncool for - and hand appliquéd the image on the back. The ivory fabric is some cotton/poly interlock blend I got from the remnant bin at Jo-Ann. The paint is probably Tulip or something.

Shark jaw appliqué


Linus embroideries

After doing an embroidery of Linus for the SpoonChallenge, I thought there should be more..

Linus in a bag thread sketch

Linus on the floor thread sketch

Freemotion machine embroidery on canvas, watercolor and gouache, Micron pen.


The SpoonChallenge: Week 4

prompt 16: skyline

prompt 17: taxi

prompt 18: map legend
Map Legend

prompt 19: landmark

prompt 20: selfie


the SpoonChallenge: week 3

prompt 11: platypus

prompt 12: hedgehog

prompt 13: beetle

prompt 14: cat

prompt 15: fish


the SpoonChallenge: Week 2

prompt 6: lemon

prompt 7: book

prompt 8: arrow

prompt 9: tea

prompt 10: toast
Toast (Pun on the Poe Toaster)


the SpoonChallenge: week 1

In August, SpoonFlower issued a drawing challenge via social media. They wanted you to draw every day for 30 days, and offered prompts for the 20 weekdays in the timeframe.
I didn't exactly follow the rules because a) I did not do 30 and b) I didn't finish in August, it took me into September. But what I did do was make a 6x6" freemotion embroidery on canvas for each of the prompts. And they're painted with watercolor and gouache. It was a lot of fun!

Week 1:

prompt 1: cactus

prompt 2: mountain

prompt 3: tree

prompt 4: landscape

prompt 5: river