Posts Tagged 'crafts'

The Organic Collection is back!

I’m happy to announce that The Tragic Whale Organic is making it’s way back into the shop! There’s just a few bags to choose from right now- large makeup bags and a couple of pencil cases- but now that I’ve dug out my organic cotton thread I’m basically unstoppable.

I make all the Organic Collection bags using GOTS certified organic cotton fabric AND thread. More organic materials means lower impact on the environment.

Here’s a couple of the new bags:

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Find these and the rest of the collection here:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheTragicWhale?ref=hdr_shop_menu&search_query=organic+collection

Makeup bag tutorial

I do a lot of sewing but I don’t share too many sewing DIYs on the blog- what’s up with that?! So today I’m going to show you how to make your very one makeup bag!

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Supplies:
– sewing machine
– all-purpose foot
– zipper foot

IMG_3776All-purpose- left, zipper foot- right. Most machines comes with these feet.

– card stock
– ruler
– pencil
– pen
– scissors
– fabric, two colors or prints

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– interfacing, to make it sturdy!
– zipper
– iron
– pins

Let’s get started!

1) First we have to make our pattern. You can use the one I did or you can make your own- the directions will be the same. You’ll start with a rectangle, I used 8.5 inch by 5.5 inch, and then cut two squares out of the bottom, so it looks like the picture. I cut out 1 inch squares.

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2) Grab your fabric and interfacing. What I like to do is trace my pattern onto the interfacing with pencil,

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then cut out the fabric to match the pieces of interfacing I have.

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That way, when I go to iron it, I’m not trying to match two perfectly-cut makeup bag pieces together and worrying about them not lining up just right.
3) Iron your fabric and interfacing together.

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4) Cut out your pieces, along the pencil lines. But tracing the pattern just once onto the interfacing, and cutting it after you iron, you only have to cut the pattern once! And I specifically use pencil because you can’t see it once the project is done AND you don’t have to worry about it getting wet and running (like with pen and markers).

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5) It’s zipper time! Zippers can seem intimating, but they’re really just scared and acting out in aggression.

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Take one of your inside fabric pieces and lay it right-side up. Lay the zipper right-side up on top of it.

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And then lay your outside piece right-side down. Make sure the pieces line up with each other on all sides, and that the zipper is tucked nice and close to the tops

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6) Secure with pins.

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7) Using your zipper foot, sew along the edge with the zipper pinned in place.

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It should look like this when you are done.

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8) This part is optional. I like to flip the fabric right-sides out and sew along that zipper edge again. It helps hold the fabric in place and I like the clean look it gives the finished bag.

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Next) Repeat with the other two pieces of fabric. Make sure you place your pieces on the right sides! Inside fabric should be right-side down on the inside fabric side, and outside fabric should be right-side down on the outside fabric side.

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So when you are done stitching it together and open it up, it will look like this:

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10) Flip your project around so that the inside fabric pieces are touching and your outside fabric pieces are touching, with the zipper in the middle. I like to call this butterflying but I know that can mean different things and I don’t want anyone to, like, fillet their bag or anything.

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11) Very Important! Unzip the zipper halfway! If you skip this part, you won’t be able to turn your bag right-side out when the time comes!

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After that) Before we pin anything in place, make sure the zipper teeth face up into the inside of the bag.

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Still facing up.

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13) Secure with a pin.

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14) Again, make sure your zipper is facing teeth up into the bag before you pin anything down.

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Pin in place. Sometimes I add an extra pin here or there to hold it together while I sew, and sometimes I only pin where the zipper is.

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15) Switch your sewing foot to the all-purpose one and sew all the way around, making sure to leave an opening along the bottom inside-fabric edge.

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Just sewing.

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Be Careful!) Because I lined my zipper up with the edge of my fabric, there is a little metal nub hiding in there. And that nub is a land mine to your sewing machine needle. As you get close to it, check to make sure you aren’t going to run it over.

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And Remember) Leave that opening! You’ll need it later.

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18) Trim off the extra threads and zipper.

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19) Remember those little squares we cut out of the pattern? It’s time for those to come into play. Where each corner should be, line up the edges of fabric…

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and pin them in place.

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Now) Sew right along that edge.

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It should look like this when you’re done.

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21) Repeat for all 4 corners. Or lack-of-corners. Anyway, this is what will give your bag a proper bottom and will allow it to stand up on its own.

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22) Remember that opening we left?

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Reach in and pull your bag out. Well, pull the fabric right-side out.

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23) Push out the bottom corns,

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24) and the zipper. It’ll look like this when you first flip it right-side out. But with a little pushing…

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it will look like this!

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25) Now we just have to close up that little hole in the bottom.

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So pull the inside fabric out a bit, and pin the hole closed.

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26) Sew it up.

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27) Push the inside fabric back into the bag.

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28) And you did it! You made a makeup bag!

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I love this pattern because it’s so easy to tweak. Need a wider bottom? Cut bigger squares. Need a longer bag? Elongate the width. I use a pattern close to this for my extra small – large makeup bags in the shop, shaving just a little off the pattern as they go down in size so they are actually nesting bags.

Let me know if you have any questions, need anything clarified, or if you make one yourself! Thanks for reading!

Recent Projects

Another diaper bag project. This one I left open and gave it a couple of snaps to hold is closed. It makes the construction a little easier, but I have some new ideas for adding zippers to large bags in the future ;)

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More chia heads!

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Stuffed whale for my friend’s boyfriend’s friend’s girlfriend’s baby :)

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Bag for my Mom! It has an extra long strap (a comfortable 64 inches) to accommodate her orangutan arms (her mother’s words, not mine). I always worry when I make her something that she won’t like the print. And she has one of those faces where she can’t really hide her disappointment. But I think she really likes this one! I made a matching makeup bag and clutch to go with it.

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Extra long knitting needle pouch. This is the third request I’ve had for one of these, so maybe I should start carrying them in the shop..?

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And I still have an essential oil bag project and a fanny pack to work on!

What have you been making lately?

Shout out to Hey Emily Thomas!

I was first introduced to Emily a couple of years ago when she won a giveaway I was sponsoring on The Waiting. She had a blog about parenthood and even though I’m not a parent, her writing had a flow that drew me in. When she opened a shop an Etsy for her one-of-a-kind wall art, I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait for a reason to order one. When I found out my college roommate was having a baby, I knew my chance had come! So I ordered:

Boy: A Noise with Dirt on It

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Beautiful, right? I know, I know. You want one. But let’s talk about the craftsmanship.

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It’s amazing! It’s a mixed-media piece and it’s seamless.

Her communication as an Etsy seller is superb. Superb! Almost everything in her shop is made to order, so you pay and then work out the details. I try not to ask too many questions ahead of time, if any, when I know this is how a shop works because usually the price takes into account correspondence time. But the baby room is nautical themed, so I first asked if she had a lot of blues that she could use. She responded very quickly, and I placed my order immediately after. Emily let me know that she had a couple orders ahead of me, and then followed up when she was working on it to ask if there was anything special I might want featured. So perfect!

Emily let me know when it shipped out both in a message and a shipping notification. This is where I would include a hearts-for-eyes emoji.

Check out her Etsy Shop
Follow her on Facebook and Instagram
Read her Blog 

Do it!

Recent projects

A prototype art supplies bag for my boyfriend’s aunt:

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Special orders for a super sweet woman my mom works with!

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A birthday gift for my Dad. It glows in the dark. And includes Pluto. Science may have downgraded it but if my Dad learned it was a planet in school and I learned it was a planet in school then it will go on any planet shirt I make.

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Another birthday gift for Dad! They’re just tactics and Excedrin Migraine.

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And Gloria got her first hair cut. (Also, I named my chia head “Gloria.”)

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What are some of your recent projects?

Jingle Shell picture frame

I found this picture of my Gramma and Great Gramma after my Grandpa died. It’s one of my favorite pictures of them because it’s exactly how I remember them- smiling and happy and in the kitchen of the condo (where we lived when I was very little). It makes me think of going to Great Gramma’s in the summer so Dad could mow her lawn, only to find that she had already done it. Running around her back yard on Easter and shrieking at ear wigs. Summer cookouts at my Grandparents. That time my Great Gramma gave me hot mustard. Making play dough spaghetti at the table when Dad got home from work. When my parents had the kitchen tiled and we got to eat in the living room!

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But (obviously) this frame is a little worse for the wear. It’s tarnished and held together with elastics. I used to keep the picture out on a shelf, but it kept falling off and busting open. It needed a new frame. I got a cheap frame from Walmart, one that the back would definitely stay on. And on Easter, I collected jingle shells from one of my favorite beaches.

Jingle shells are these fragile, translucent shells that absolutely litter Little Harbor. Growing up, my Dad said they’re called jingle shells because if you fill your hands with them and shake them around they make a jingling noise. But he also made up a lot of names for things (a story for another day) so a Wikipedia search was in order. Turns out, jingle shells are an acceptable, and widely known name for them.

I got my shells, frame, and glue gun together and put a piece of paper down so I wouldn’t get glue all over my desk. Again.

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I decided to go with hot glue instead of E-6000 because it dries quickly and I wouldn’t have to worry about the shells sliding around (as I learned from my Glass Jar Upcycle project).

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It didn’t take long to cover the frame.

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And once I added a hook, I could add it to my wall!

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That’s my Gramma’s retirement announcement on the left, a baby picture of my Mom below, and a mini whale poster from my cousin in the bottom right. I keep my strong ladies in view of my work area :)

Do you have any craft projects going on? A wall devoted to the strong women in your family? Baby pictures of your Mom on display? I want to know about it!

Glass Jar Upcycle

A while ago, I shared a collection of Upcycled Glass Jar projects I made to inspire me to re-use my (now massive) collection of glass jars. Today, I’m going to share the process I took in turning a nacho cheese jar into a decorative candle holder.

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Supplies:

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– a jar
– clear drying glue
– a bowl full of beads

Let’s get started!

1) Cover a swatch of the jar with glue.

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2) Dip the glue patch into your beads. I actually scooped up a handful and pressed the jar into my hand because I was afraid of getting glue on my bowl.

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3) Repeat this process all the way around, and allow to dry.

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Once the glue is dry, plop a candle in there and light it up. It makes for a great little center piece!

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Now, I have to tell you. The glue I used was not quick dry. The beads actually slid down and I had to re-bead the top section of the jar.

 

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