Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Many Adventures of Squidney

I'm starting out 2013 by posting possibly the most epic thing I've ever made, even though it was technically made in 2012. Congratulations to everyone who guessed that I was making a squid!

Everyone, meet Squidney!

A friend of my brother's posted on Facebook that he was looking for someone to make him a giant squid body pillow, similar to this one by Cassandra Nguyen. Hers was priced at $1800, which is pretty extreme. Since he's a friend and also a professional photographer, I agreed to make him a squid in exchange for a portrait session, which I'll probably end up claiming once we move back up to the Bay Area for good. While we made this deal back in October, I wasn't able to work on Squidney until now, since transporting such a large creature from LA wasn't really a viable option.

He barely fit into the backseat as it was. 

Summary:
Fabric: Four yards of 60" red non-pilling fleece, 2 yards of 45" spotted flannel, scraps of white and black fleece, all from Joann's
Notions: Is poly-fiber fill really a notion? If so, I used almost twelve pounds of it.
Techniques: For such an impressively large project, it really required nothing more than basic sewing skills...most of it was straight lines on my machine (even if things got really unwieldy once the tentacles were stuffed and attached); the only hand-sewing involved was the eyes and closing up the underside once all the stuffing was in. Stuffing the tentacles was actually the hardest part, but a long wooden dowel helps a lot. While I ended up free-handing the pattern pieces while cutting, I did find this tutorial helpful for visualizing things. My final squid is obviously a lot bigger than hers, though.
Hours: About twenty, all done over this last weekend.
Will you make it again? Unlikely! At least not at this size. Unless, of course, someone else wants to pay me to make one.
Total cost: Less than $60...$20 for the fleece, $10 for the flannel, $25 for stuffing, plus thread...not bad, considering the size of it!
Final thoughts: This was my very first commission that wasn't for Elaine, so I was actually pretty nervous making Squidney, especially since he turned out bigger than expected! When I finished him, my whole family came downstairs for the grand reveal, and I think everyone was pretty floored by how incredibly large he is. My dad said that Squidney belongs in a museum, and Emily wanted to keep him, but I'm just glad that his new owner loves him. I'm also so grateful for getting the chance to make a giant squid...it's one of those things you never think to do, but it's incredibly gratifying to finish such an immense project. It also definitely made for a memorable end to 2012, sewing-wise!

Emily suggested that this photo be titled "A Farewell to Arms."

Before we let Squidney go, Emily and I did a series of ridiculous squid tableaux for our own entertainment, because how often does one have a giant squid around for photo ops?
Squidney started life as a studious young squid, always reading and taking advantage of his multiple arms for maximum technology usage. He realized, though, that it was important to exercise his body as well as his mind. 
He graduated and moved out on his own, much to his parents' dismay. Unfortunately, the bad economy meant that he had to try to make a living busking on the street.
Eventually, things picked up and he was able to pick up a series of odd jobs. Squidney tried his hand at being a sushi chef, a snake wrangler, and a cowboy (cowsquid?).
Eventually, Squidney matured (as evidenced by his mustache) and discovered his true calling: evil mastermind (as evidenced by the eyepatch and several creepy black pets)! This finally brought in enough money that he was able to go shopping to his heart's content. 


Okay, so that's a story with a dubious moral, but boy was it fun coming up with props to pose Squidney with!

Bye, Squidney! It was lovely having you, and I hope you enjoy your new life!

I still intend to do a proper 2012 wrap-up, but I figured I needed to show off my last project of the year first. Happy new year, everyone!

71 comments:

  1. You NEED to make smaller ones!!! This is so cool.

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  2. Oh. My. Goodness. Sqidney is the best giant squid ever. You almost need to make a giant Gojira so they can battle. So. Freaking. Cool. :D :D :D

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  3. You are the squid master. As we have a boat called Calamari, I might have to make one (or commission you)! THANK YOU for sharing this epic make. Happy new year!

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  4. Mind=Blown. I seriously need one of these in my life, it's so incredibly awesome!!

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  5. That is amazing! It gave me the biggest smile!! Twelve pounds of stuffing!! What a fun project for 2012!! Now I want to go out and make giant animals!!!

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  6. This post had me cracking up. What a fabulous project!

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  7. Epic indeed! I love the storyboard

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  8. Oh
    My
    GOD!!!
    Squidney is freaking AMAZING!!!!
    I've shared it on Facebook, cos it's so awesome. I love Squidney's adventures hehee.
    Now I want to make a giant squid. Just because.

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  9. MOST EPIC SEWING IN THE HISTORY OF THE INTERNETSSS!!!!!!!1

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  10. thanks for making squidney!!!!! he is soo fun to sleep on!!!!! i love your story of Squidney i loled so hard when i read through it!!! you're an amazing sewer!!! hope you have a blessed new year!

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  11. This is the coolest thing EVARRR!

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  12. Well, I can stop reading sewing blogs now, because I've just seen the coolest thing I'm ever likely to see.

    *starts looking for discount fleece online*

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  13. Oh WOW! He is REALLY amazing. I have no idea where I would put one...but I want one.

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  14. AMAZING! THERE ARE NO WORDS FOR THE AWESOMENESS!

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  15. Just when I think your LOTRs makes are the coolest things ever you bring us Squidney - you have peaked! Of course his owner loves him, how could you not! :)

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  16. I loved the posed photos so much. Absolutely hilarious! And fantastic job!!

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  17. ROFL! Oh, Squidney is EPIC! The photo series you did with all the props is hilarious and wonderful!

    At first, I thought he was a mascot costume (I worked on an Octopus one that was about that size a few years back). Yours is a 1000 times better looking (especially the eyes!) than the one that is $1800! Isn't it weird how much cooler things are when they are sized in the extreme (either tiny or HUGE)?

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  18. Thank you for sharing. This is seriously awesome.

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  19. Squidney is fab, so is your imagination!

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  20. You just put the biggest smile on my face! And I never knew I wanted a giant squid pillow before, but apparently I do. SO MUCH FUN.

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  21. Woah. No words. This is magnificant! Squidney - genius.
    Also, giant sushi?! It makes me so happy that when you went hunting for props, giant plush sushi was just, you know, around.
    You are awesome.

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  22. LOLOL. Cation, you are too wonderful for words!!!

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  23. LOL at the FABulous photo shoot!!! Squidney is, far and above, The. Finest. Squid. I've ever seen. And you ROCK!

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  24. LOL I love it. You make the most amazing things ..

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  25. Wow. Words escape me in trying to express how cool that is. But sushi chef - isn't that a bit like cannibalisim?

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  26. Wow Squidney is spectacular!!! Love the pictures with the dubious-moral story!

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  27. that is seriously the coolest thing i have ever seen on a sewing blog EVER. love all the posed pics!

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  28. That is awesome! I love the story - it made me cry with laughter!

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  29. That is the coolest thing I have ever seen!! I'm not game to show my kids or they'll want one (though I kinda want one now too just so I can dress it up and leave it in the lounge room to scare/confound/amuse visitors, ha!)

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  30. Wow! So awesome! I loved the storyline with all the pics - so funny!

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  31. Wow! And wow! Words can't describe how cool this is!

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  32. Simply put...YOU are amazing! happy new year!!

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  33. Holy moley! That's one freakin' awesome pillow squid! I wouldn't be able to part with him.

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  34. That is one BIG squishy squid! Talk about adding something to your list of "things I never thought I'd do in my lifetime"! Love your blog :)

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  35. He is AMAZING!!!!! I love the photos of his life! Fantastic!! :)

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  36. Oh my God, I just squeed out loud. Really out loud. My son would freaking LOVE Squidney! He's a 9 year old obsessed with cephalopods; at current count, I think we're at at least 6 stuffed octopuses of various sizes and species and 3 stuffed squids, 2 of which were hand-knitted by my mom. His 9th birthday cake was a blue-ringed octopus; his 7th was a giant squid. I would totally pay you for a copy of the Squidney pattern pieces; he'd made one heck of a 10th birthday gift (you know, to go in the freshly-painted underwater blue bedroom with massive squid applique on the wall... :-)

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  37. Fantastic + fun! Visions of a family of soft creatures are flooding my imagination...

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  38. Still wiping tears of laughter off my face. That is one AWESOME squid, Cindy! I love him. And his exploits are just priceless.

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  39. Amazing, really great job, I am sure the Squid papa will be happy to get him! He has been on quite a journey!

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  40. Hahahaha, I love Squidney! You are so talented and creative, with this and everything else you make. I just got through reading your blog archives from the beginning (it took a few months), and while I'm rather relieved to finally be up to date, it's also a little sad that I can't get my fix of cool-stuff-you-made any time I like :).

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  41. I love Squidney!!! You are so darn clever!!! Congrats on making a giant squid that's both awesome AND cute! ^__^

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  42. I have just found this blog and let me say *FLAIL*. I have spent much of the day going back through all of your posts. I kept going "OMG, I love LOTR too! OMG, I love Harry Potter too! HOMG, I love sewing! And dinosaurs! And Star Wars! And science! And sharks!! AND CATS!! HOW ARE WE NOT RELATED??!" Thank you for a sincerely wonderful read (I'll be making a Gandalf staff as soon as possible...) and may I just say I adore Squidney. That is all. ^__^

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  43. this is absolutely epic. :) I love love love the photoshoot that you guys set up for Squidney! :)

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  44. Oh.My.Goodness! Now this is why you are my absolute-favourite non-historical sewing blogger ever! I love Squidney!

    Te Papa sells Colossal Squid stuffed toys that are just adorable, and I keep buying them because I love them and then finding people who need them more than me and giving them away. Now I desperately want a colossal Colossal Squid for me! (Squidney would take up my entire sewing room though).

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  45. That is the most mightily incredible squid I have ever seen! I can't get over how huge (and super cute) he is!! Also, I love his eyebrows when he's snake wrangling - he definitely looks like he's concentrating! I hope you don't mind but I've shared your post on my blog (see link below). I just can't get over how great he is! And that picture of him being carried onto the back seat of the car is amazing! What a great start to the year!

    Wishing you all the best for the new year :)

    http://paperyak.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/happy-new-year.html

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  46. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I don't even know what to say! This is AWESOME! "A Farewell to Arms"-- holy cow, too funny!

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  47. WOW! WOW! WOW! Maybe you will post your pattern or make it available for sale or something? My son would love a squid like this!

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  48. I love Sqiudney. The tableoux photos gave me a good laugh.

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  49. I was a fan of the squid in the first photos, but the prop-tastic photo shoots take the cake! I was cracking up!

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  50. WOW! My daughter and I made a small octopus plushie for my husband for Christmas. (He loves cephalopods). While he appreciated his gift, he is really impressed with Squidney. I don't know how I would ever keep a project that size a secret, though!

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  51. Hilarious photos - that is an amazing looking squid. I think you need your own, he looks such fun to play with!

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  52. Oh. My. Freaking. Awesomeness! I have a son who is mad on squid. *whispers* I am keen on them too. Now I'm thinking I should make something similar and turn it into a bean bag for him. LOVE!

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  53. Leimomi at The Dreamstress picked you as one of her favorite blogs of the year, so I came to check it out. Well done with your squid! It looks amazing, and I LOVE the tableaux you created!

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  54. I need one of these in my life

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  55. Yep. You've done it. I don't know how but you've out-awesomed yourself. We're entering some sort of quantum physics multiverse where just when I think you can't get any awesomer you somehow manage to, yet without making any of your previous awesomeness less awesome. Then to top it off you you add the funniest ever blog photos to showcase your awesomeness. The very fabric of space and time is at risk!

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  56. OMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGG!! That is the most EPIC sewing project I've seen in....forever!! Amazing!

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  57. Ahahaha laughed so hard at his life:) hilarious

    www.becstitches.blogspot.com.au

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  58. OMG YES. YES TO SQUIDNEY. This is SO AWESOME!!!

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  59. Dear Miss Cation (which is what we say here in the South),
    I showed this to my two kids (6 and 8) and 1. "MAKE THIS RIGHT NOW" and 2. "Will you put him as the desktop picture? Put the one ... the one ... the one of him graduating".

    BWA HA HA!

    You are the bomb. I hope I get out of making a 7 foot squid - it's awesome, but the house is cluttered enough, maybe if they get rid of some legos - but when a blog entry crosses over between 42 yo fashion sewing me and my 6 and 8 yo boys, that blog has got something GOING ON.

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  60. That is SO COOL! My kids and I love squids - not necessarily for eating, but just squids themselves. I have to show them your squid when they get home from school. Little squids would be cute but it's this giant squid that's just... correct, somehow. Thank you for making my day with this post!

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