Posts Tagged 'sewing'

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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words

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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?

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?

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.

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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.

Recent projects

In January, my District Manager (I call her Robin) asked f I could alter her Shelf Elf so it had bendy arms that stay bendy. And the deadline is December! Because 1) I explained how I should always have a deadline and 2) she doesn’t need it back until December. Excellent!

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I gave it velcro hands and magnets so it can do fun things!

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To make it bendy, I cut little slices in the top of the arms and legs and inserted pipe cleaners. I bent over the edges with pliers to make sure nothing sharp would poke out. I stitched the openings back up with red thread and you can barely even tell there was a hole.

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Next up we have a pink whale for Robin’s daughter.

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 I wanted it to be special, so I gave it eyelashes. The other side doesn’t look quite as nice…

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And of course the whale needed a card. Duh.

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Man, Robin. I hope you realize how much I like you. My friends won’t get whales this timely when they have babies.

And because there is an ant problem in my office…

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I got this idea from a picture on Tumblr. We have ants just about everywhere. On the floor in the kitchen, on the counters in the kitchen, on the table in the kitchen, in the microwave in the kitchen, on the floor in the bathroom, in some of the cabinets around the office. Sometimes we spray them or wash them down the drain. Mostly they just enjoy a crumb feast. Anyway, I’m going to put these where ever the ants are, so everyone knows not to step on them. Since we seem to care to much about feeding them.

These little signs are only about 2.5 inches tall and were super fun  to make. I’ll share my template / directions in a later post.

What have you been working on lately?

February in review.

I realize I don’t have a ton of content to choose from here since I accidently took a blogging break in the middle of the month. Oops. But I do have enough to pick out a few favorite from!

My favorite posts from February:

The man at work who gave me an old telephone number

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I shared some of my recent projects. I’m still working out some final design elements for the adventure bag, but it’s testing really well so far.

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I finally got a chance to grill up some Panda when my parents went away!

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And my favorite whale find was… This intricate and beautifully detailed whale card!

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I Mom shared that grill picture of Panda on Facebook and she got a lot of suggestions for where he should go next. But they were all places he’s already been! (Like the dryer, the microwave, the oven.) I was thinking that maybe I should have a Funny Situations starring Panda page, where all of his adventures would be in one easy-to-find place? What do you think?



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