New in the shop: Cross Body Bags

For the first time, The Tragic Whale shop will carry large bags! About a year ago I started prototyping an Adventure Bag. Something big enough to hold a water bottle and snacks and a wallet and my mittens and the knickknacks I collect when I’m out wandering around (like rocks. I bring home a LOT of rocks). It had to have an adjustable strap. It had to have a lot of pockets. And it had to be practical. The first one I made had it’s flaws. The strap was too flimsy and some pockets were too small. I didn’t like how the straps attached to the bag itself.

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But this design, this one I’m really happy with. It has 4 easy-to-reach-in pockets (2 inside and 2 outside), a zipper pocket inside for secret things, and sturdy adjustable strap.

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I think it’s taken so long for me to offer a bag like this because it can be frustrating to sew a larger project. At least for me. My desk is my sewing work space, but it’s also my computer desk, writing desk, crafting desk, and snack time desk. I photograph my bags, pack orders, and sift through finances at my desk. A lot of things have a home here, and when you’re feeding 2 feet of fabric through a sewing machine on a barley foot and a half wide desk, things are going to get knocked into and stuck and hit the wall and the next thing you know, the machine is jammed and you’re nursing a multitude of pin pricks.

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A few of these bags have a magnetic button to hold them closed and a few don’t.

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I wanted to offer a variation, but after they were finished I realized it would probably be better to offer the snap as an add-on. It’s the last thing added before I sew it shut, so it wouldn’t be a problem to leave the bags unfinished and then finish them after an order is placed. Sadly, I didn’t think of that BEFORE, so this first round will have to be as is.

You can find these bags in the new “Cross Body Bags” section! Check them out, let me know what you think. And if you like them, make sure to ask your friends and family to surprise you with one for your next birthday :)

Fashion Advice from Mom, episode 35

Fashion Advice 35

Recent projects: diaper bag

A former co-worker of mine asked if I could make a diaper bag for her. I try to stick to small bags; my work space isn’t very large and I can get frustrated (read: rageful) trying to feed a large piece of fabric through my sewing machine (hits the wall, gets stuck, has a mind of its own, I get jabbed with pins. It can get ugly). But I also want to challenge myself, so I’ve tried to say yes to bigger projects lately. And thus, I made a diaper bag.

She wanted it 18 x 13 x 6, and it finished pretty close. 17 inches across, 5.5 inches deep at the bottom, and it stands 12 inches tall. I can factor in seam allowances easy peasy for smaller bags, but I forget that larger bags need a little bit more room in the pattern.

She wanted outside pockets with handles above, and an adjustable strap.

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And then some smaller pockets inside with a zipper pocket (every lady needs a zipper pocket in her bag so I was going to put one in no matter what).

photo 5(Filled it with books to test shape and stamina!)

Thinking on functionality, I used a double-pull zipper for the top so it can be opened and closed from either side, and used a zipper with a longer pull for the inside pocket. I don’t have any kids, but I can imagine that I’d want an easy-to-grab zipper if I had an upset baby in my arms.

photo 2(Taken before I sewed up the bottom.)

The only part I’m not sure about is the adjustable strap. I needed to add a ring at the ends of the zipper for the strap to clip onto, and they came out a little weirder than I’d anticipated.

photo 2 (1)(Not the clearest of pictures.)

I think if I make another bag like this in the future I will consider making the double handles either adjustable or longer and leaving off the strap all together. I’ll skip the zipper going across the top, and I’ll shave the side edges a little so it doesn’t jut out so much at the top.

DIY Fishing Lure Earrings

I think I mentioned before that I used to be BIG into making my own earrings. I wouldn’t wear anything store bought. Today, I’m going to show you how to make my favorite pair, fishing lure earrings! Super simple, and you’re sure to impress strange men who recognize the lures ;)

Supplies:

01

– earring hooks (aka Findings)
– pliers
– wire cutters
– set of fishing lures. I have almost always used Phoebe. They come in a variety of sizes and colors, are inexpensive, and you can find them everywhere.

Let’s get started!

1) Remove fishing hooks.

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I snip them off with wire cutters but if they are attached with a little ring you might be able to use the pliers to twirl them off.

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BE CAREFUL! If I had a nickle for every time I pricked myself with one of those fish hooks I would have a whole pile of nickles.

2) Attach to earring hooks.

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Use your pliers to open up the earring finding. Make sure you put the lure on in the front-facing direction. Findings are fragile, and if you have to open it back up to flip the fish it might break and you’ll need a new one.

3) Inspect.

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Just make sure the lures are on the right way and you didn’t forget to remove any fishing hooks. This might sound silly, since you’ll be able to see these things when you’re making them BUT sometimes I get excited and careless so I figured I should throw this (extra) step in.

4) Sport.

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Rock those earrings! See? Super easy! I used to favor a big stainless steel pair, but now I’m partial to these little cuties. My faves are silver colored with a stripe of blue or green on the side.

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Let me know if you make your own and if you find any other earring-worthy lures! Happy Thursday!

Wednesday Whale Love: Brooch Mania

I have a couple really neat whale-themed brooches, but a girl can always have her eye on one or two more! This first one I found is so pretty with that shell embellishment!

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This red one almost looks like a fruit snack. A happy, smiling fruit snack :D

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And this one, Oh! Whale brooch with Moby Dick script on it? Yes, please!

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Actually, if you know a book lover you should definitely check out House of Ismay on Etsy. Great, unique gifts for your literature obsessed friends!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

The Dying Rolodex

I have a Rolodex. I keep it on my desk and use it to organize my addresses (I used to send a lot of mail). A couple years ago I had to buy some refill cards since I used all mine up. I got a big stack and put some blank ones in the back. Well, I’ve used the blank ones and since I moved I haven’t been able to find my extras. That’s ok, I’ll just run to the store and buy another refill pack.

WRONG.

They don’t sell them in stores anymore. At least not around here. I checked WalMart, which is hit or miss anyway, and Staples. You know Staples, the office supply store. I walked every aisle, combed every shelf. I had to ask for help, which I’m usually reluctant to do. Because I’m either staring right at the thing (embarrassing) or they can’t help me (saddening), and if they can’t help me sometimes the people are fresh (enraging). I mean, it’s not like they are paid to help people find and buy office supplies. Anyway, I couldn’t find any wandering associates so I had to ask a cashier (literally the worst).

“Rolodex? Yeah… we don’t sell those here.” He looked bored.
“Oh, I just need the refills.” I said.
“Yeah, no.”
“No refills either?”
“Uhm, I just said that. You can get them through our website though.”
“NAW, THAT’S OK.” I yelled and I smacked him in the face for being rude. Just kidding. I walked away feeling dejected and told my boyfriend we could leave while he made fun of me for being upset that I couldn’t buy something from the 19th century at a store.

Found them on Amazon! Thanks, Amazon, for not being terrible. Also, if you could set up a warehouse where I can browse that would be super amazing ;D

So, the Rolodex is dying. Phones and technology are replacing the physical things that used to fill up our desks and counters. My boyfriend asked why I don’t just store this stuff in my phone (I’ve broken enough phones and lost enough information to doubt that’s a good idea for me) and back it up on the cloud (which I do not trust at all). Maybe it’s not efficient. Maybe it spends most days collecting dust. But while my phone is charging in the other room and I’m taking a breather from being constantly “On,” I can reach for my Rolodex and write a letter to my Gram, thank you notes to my friends back in Massachusetts, or see all the places my brother has lived in the past 2 years. And I like it that way.

Fashion Advice from Mom, episode 34

I was going through tag categories last week and thought I would just combine the Fashion Advice in with the rest of the comics since it’s been almost a year since I’ve done one. But then my parents visited for my birthday, and Mom’s advice was reborn.

Also, I somehow lost episode 33. It’s not in the pictures folder so I know I never drew it up, but I know I saw it somewhere…

Anyway, my Mom is back at it!

fashion advice 34



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