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


Linus in Space tote bag

This summer, I finally got around to uploading Linus-themed designs to Spoonflower. I ordered a couple of fat quarters instead of the regular 8x8" swatches. I wanted a new giant tote bag with a lot of pockets for myself, but I couldn't find any patterns or tutorials online that had everything I wanted, so I just improvised off some rectangle shapes and things I had learned from making bags in the past. I used this zippered pocket tutorial for sewing the inside zipper pocket. There are things I would change a bit if I did it over again, but it's pretty sturdy and I like it a lot!

Linus quilted tote bag, side one

Linus quilted tote bag, side two

The sides have panels of the Linus fabric in the middle, pieced bits of hand-dyed chartreuse and grey fabric around them.

Linus quilted tote bag, interior
The inside has five different-sized slip pockets (sunglasses, phone, pens, wad of Starbucks napkins), a zip pocket, and a key fob. The fabric is Star Jacks from Michael Miller Fabrics.

Linus quilted tote bag, end oneLinus quilted tote bag, end two
The ends and bottom feature some kind of bad FMQ of stars and spaceships and rockets. Wheeeeeeee

I couldn't convince him to get into the bag.
Linus himself was unimpressed and wouldn't get inside the bag when I tried to tempt him. Thbbbppppp he says.


Custom painted scarves

I took the summer off from doing shows, and spent most of my time making clothes. But I did have two people send in requests for illustrated scarves. I delayed posting the first, finished in June, because it had to travel allllll the way to New Zealand to be given as a gift, and I didn't want to spoil it for the recipient. It is easily the cutest thing I've made this year, and I like how it turned out. Hedgehogs at twilight:
hedgehogs at twilight

The background sky and grass were painted with thickened fiber reactive dyes, and the hedgehogs, flowers, fireflies, and stars were painted with acrylic ink.

The second scarf was done in July. It's a loaf of bread and a bird named Archimedes from the video game Team Fortress 2.

custom TF2 scarf

The middle part was tie-dyed with thickened acid dyes, and the figures were done in acrylic ink.

I love doing these, and considering I've just signed up for my first fall show, I need to get cracking on some more.


the Fitted Dress pattern

The basic fitted dress pattern from Alabama Studio Sewing and Design can be converted into a top, tunic, short dress, long dress, short skirt, and long skirt. Talk about options. Beyond that, the pattern can have a ruffle added to it at different lengths to create even greater variations on tops, dresses, and skirts. I'd made two pieces from it in 2013, both in size XL. The dress is way too big overall now, and the tank I made from an ancient tshirt is too big in the shoulders - the straps fall down. So this time, I used size L at the bust and switched to the XL at the waist when I traced the patterns onto fabric. It worked out pretty well for me, I have to say - I made four garments from this pattern in June and July.

First, I pulled out some Batman sheets I used when I was in college. We don't even own a twin mattress right now. This babydoll top is made from the pillowcase and flat sheet. I think it is SUPER FUNNY. It's also obscenely comfortable to wear, and I don't even care how many rude people ask me if I'm pregnant.

ruffled babydoll top

ruffled babydoll top

Then I became fixated on having a navy blue maxi dress. In the past, my experiences with maxi dresses were like.. OH NO, I AM WEARING A HOT TENT. But those were probably polyester. Or something. This dress is made of two layers of very lightweight organic cotton jersey from fabric.com, and every time I leave the house I debate if I should wear it.

long fitted dress

long fitted dress

Next up, the tunic, in two layers of the same lightweight jersey from fabric.com, but this time in black. I took it in the basement and quickly dotted on some of the metallic Tsukineko ink around the neckline.

Black tunic

Black tunic

Black tunic

And finally, I made a short dress out of some jersey I'd gotten from Dharma Trading. I think this fabric originally was the same grey as the top layer of the rose tunic from a few posts back. Then I dyed it. And dyed it again. It was a dark and stormy dress..

It was a dark and stormy dress

It was a dark and stormy dress

It was a dark and stormy dress

I finished the stormy dress on 7/19 and have banned myself from making more clothes until I get some other stuff done.

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the Alabama Corset pattern

In June, I made two corsets from the pattern in Alabama Stitch Book by Natalie Chanin. Both were t-shirt refashions. The first was the exclusive shirt from Mike Doughty's 2013 Pledgemusic campaign.

Mike Doughty tshirt refashioned into Alabama Corset

Mike Doughty tshirt refashioned into Alabama Corset

Mike Doughty tshirt refashioned into Alabama Corset

As you can see, I cut the two panels on either side of the center backwards. (later, searching instagram revealed at least one other person that has done this!) So it says MAN DOUGH CANS. That's kind of funny.

The second was a polyester tee with a sublimation print of a detail from Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights. My MIL bought it for me from my Amazon wishlist, and I loved it, but rarely wore it because I just don't like wearing crewnecks anymore. I layered black jersey beneath it. Sewing the seams on the outside and felling them open made nifty black lines along the seams, making it sort of gothy. And I'm a secret goth kid, so it works.

Garden of Earthly Delights tshirt to corset refashion

The design of the corset is in fact MEGA FLATTERING. I wish it was slightly longer. The fabrics I used here are pretty thin, but a midweight jersey would be really supportive.

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Rose stencil tunic and scarf

In August 2013, I took a teeny piece of my late grandfather's favorite shirt and redrew part of the print to make a stencil.

First I started on a garment.. The pattern is a tunic-length Camisole Dress from Alabama Studio Style by Natalie Chanin. In the fall I dyed cotton jersey red and grey and cut out the pattern. I used black and red Tulip spray fabric paint to stencil the panels. The embellishment stitching, with pewter DMC floss, began in January of 2014. The whole thing was completed on May 28th 2014.

camisole tunic

camisole tunic detail

camisole tunic detail

Some notes on that: one, you're supposed to use the strong button thread for reverse applique. Whoops, too bad. And I'm pretty sure I cut much too closely to the stitches. Whoops, too bad again. If it starts to come apart, I'll fix it. Not worried.

I also used the stencil to make a scarf:
flower scarf

It was initially a test of how well the Tsukineko inks worked when they were diluted and sprayed. I didn't love the initial result, so I stretched the scarf out and painted over it by hand.


Colette Patterns Eclair Dress

I bought the pattern for the Eclair dress just a few weeks after Colette started selling patterns online in 2009. They might actually be the reason I have a gmail account, because they used Google Checkout. Five years later.. My cousin was getting married at the end of May and I needed something to wear. I dyed nine yards of muslin (I was not fancy) green and chartreuse, and got to work.

I'm not particularly adept at machine sewing clothes, but I'm continually getting better at it. I had to make some adjustments while sewing it to fit my preferences. And myself. So I did about 80% of a good job. The instructions say to sew the top inch or so of the bodice together before inserting the zipper, but I installed the zipper going all the way to the top to make it easier to get the dress on and off. I chose size 14 because of what I thought were my own measurements, but the bustline ended up being too large (probably should have done a 12). Rather than take the dress apart and correct it the right (invisible) way, I just measured and sewed two darts in the back to take it in three inches. And obviously I should have used something nicer than muslin, but nobody cared.

Colette Patterns Eclair Dress in action

I don't have any better pictures of it on yet, and I wore my hair down to disguise some of my wonky curved seaming at the bust. But it stayed up, despite 22 feet of gathered skirts. Every dress should have pockets, too.

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Giraffe scarf

giraffe scarf

giraffe scarf

giraffe scarf

The black outlines and some of the small details are Tsukineko all-purpose ink, and the larger areas of color were filled in with thickened fiber reactive dye.


mongoose vs. cobra scarf

mongoose vs cobra scarf

I decided to start trying to combine the acrylic ink and thickened fiber reactive dye applications on my illustrated scarves. These are the materials I have, and I don't really want to have to spend a bunch of money on realio trulio silk paints and dyes that require three hours of steaming. Lately I've been looking at a lot of work by professional silk painters, and while it is all very beautiful, it isn't necessarily the direction I feel my artwork would take.

Thinking about how the scarf lies on the body when worn, I've been considering the imagery of opposites or enemies falling at either end, coming to face one another on the body. That's where this came in - thinking about Rikki-tikki-tavi's battle with Nag.

The figures are painted with Tsukineko ink and the green background was painted with thickened fiber reactive dye.

Do you like process shots? Here's the layering of ink that made my mongoose:
mongoose vs cobra scarf processmongoose vs cobra scarf process
mongoose vs cobra scarf processmongoose vs cobra scarf process
mongoose vs cobra scarf process

I know I'm fairly alone in my love of the blotchy, running parts, but oh well.

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toddler sewing projects

Easter weekend, Alice spent the night at my mom's house, and my husband's band had a show in the Virginia Beach area, so I had the house to myself. I spent the day eating sandwiches and sewing the Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress.

Ice Cream Dress

Ice Cream Dress


Alice wearing her Ice Cream Dress

Fabrics: Cloud 9 Monsterz Spotlight, Liberty Bloomsbury Collection Dorothy Pastel (and you can't see it but there's hand dyed pink cotton sheeting on the inner hem)

I had made one of the Oliver + S bucket hats for her before she turned 1, which she obviously grew out of. So in June I copied her new size pattern and made another one.

Oliver + S reversible bucket hat

Oliver + S reversible bucket hat

Fabrics: itsy bitsy spider from Nursery Versery by Heather Ross for Kokka, purple stripe dot from Jo-Ann overdyed yellow

She's a lot more willing to wear hats this year.

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some dyed scarves from spring 2014

rainbow clamp resist scarf
direct application of fiber reactive dye, resisted with clamped shapes, dyed in black acid dye

red and black scarf
red low-water immersion dyed, folded, tied with dental floss, dyed in black acid dye

hand dyed rayon scarf
direct application of fiber reactive dye, tied with dental floss, dyed in black fiber reactive dye

folded and clamped tie dye scarf
folded and clamped with plastic shapes, direct application of fiber reactive dyes

folded and clamped tie dye scarf
folded and clamped with wood shapes, direct application of fiber reactive dyes

folded tie dye scarf
folded and tied with dental floss, direct application of fiber reactive dyes

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