Posts Tagged 'sew'

By special request…

Historically, The Tragic Whale has been my creative outlet. And while I’ve entertained suggestions and occasionally taken on special orders, I’m mostly in this for me. I make what I want, when I want. I develop new items that I think are a good idea and at my own pace. And it’s worked out overall. But if I’m going to continue to grow as a business as well as a person, I need to be open to more of a push than just what I can give myself.

I started with a baby step earlier this year when I introduced PUL-lined bags to the shop. People have been asking for them for AGES, and in true-Kerry fashion, I waited until I was fully ready to explore this new and wild material. Why did I wait so long? I have no idea. It hadn’t previously worked into my “bigger picture plans” and didn’t seem like a good way to spend my time. That was 100% WRONG! The snack-size bags I’m making are selling excellent at events, and multiple people have asked to special order a print they loved in person but with the easy-to-clean PUL as a lining instead of cotton.

Another baby step is to buy fabric with the customer in mind. Why? Because they are the people buying things from me! This is a “Duh, Kerry!” moment, I know. A lot of people are asking about bee fabric, so I started scooping up every one I come across. They don’t last long in the shop and sell even faster in person, so instead of buying more bees after I sell out of all my bee bags, I’m actively seeking it out and consciously picking designs that I haven’t see elsewhere. The idea is that 1) I won’t run out and 2) I’ll have especially fun bees to offer.

My last baby step is to make more in prints I already have / self designed. My shark print is pretty popular and people ask for more size options. And I’m over here like, “Well I *had* that in a small and I sold it. So I don’t anymore.” But it’s MY fabric and the whole idea is to buy more when I need it. Why am I waiting to sell out before thinking about the next bag? I made some shark bags last week, and some sheep bags (which is another frequent request)! And I’m currently working on a restocking list for the designs I’m running low on.

What’s next? Well, these baby steps all come together to form a shift in focus for me. I’m planning to add a Made to Order section to the shop within the next year (probably sooner) where people will be able to select bag size, outside fabric, zipper color, and lining. I’ll only offer them in my own prints, because I can restock on fabric when I run low. I still have to work out some details, such as turnaround time and pricing, but it feels like a natural next step and I’m excited about it!

Have any suggestions? Noticed a change in focus in your life recently? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Shop update.

I have all these projects I’m supposed to be working on, which makes me feel like I can’t sew for my shop. That doesn’t mean I don’t, mind you. I’m just more sluggish with it because I know there are other things I should be doing.

Which is why I spent a portion of this this weekend reworking some of my expired listings. While I didn’t retake any pictures, but I did rework some of the descriptions so my listings have uniform descriptions. And I  updated the search terms so these items would show up in more searches. I added a couple of new bags, just things I hadn’t gotten around to listing yet.

This also gives me an at-a-glance look at my stock, and what sections I should focus on building up.

I feel like this post was kind of boring. Hopefully I’ll have some exciting things to share soon :)

Monsieur Sharkie purse

Aside from neglecting my blog, I’m an avid crafter! (Attempted avid crafter; sometimes I neglect that too.) Lately I’ve been working a lot with my sewing machine- just ditzing around and trying to create new things. But then I thought (and Jordan said, like, ten zillion times) why don’t I make things related to my (neglected) blog! And here’s what I came up with:

Monsieur Sharkie! Remember that adorable little shark that eats Chloe and Arty at the end of “Chloe in Love?” Well now I can put money and my phone in him! Lemme walk you through this process. First I cut up a bunch of felt:

Yeah, so much felt! Then I drank quite a bit of soda and started building little shark bodies. Sewing on the teeth, giving them eye brows:

Slapped on a couple of eyes:


Right after I took this picture I drove a needle through my finger. Again. Then some pinning happened:

And some mouth snaps happened:

And pretty soon I had a school of Sharkies! Do sharks come in schools?


Menacing AND practical!

Looks like they’re plotting something in this picture, ahahaha.Watch out they don’t eat your credit cards!


Hello, I’m Kerry! Maker. Sewist. Fan of all things bright.

November 2019
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It's Fluff! Curious, master napper, likes to try new veggies.


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