Archive for June, 2012

Checkbook cover diy

Today at The Tragic Whale, we’re making a checkbook cover! Making bags all the time is super boring (j/k, I love it), so I’ve been playing around with this idea to sort of change up my monotonous sewing life.

What’s most important about any of my projects is that I’m creating something I can personally use. And while writing checks is not my #1 fave payment option, I do lose my checkbook a lot. I’m talking all the time. Just to get measurements and take pictures for this diy, it took me, like, 20 minutes to hunt the thing down. Having a cover for it will hopefully help me out.

This is our pattern (6/75 x 11 inches):

The folds are not actually important. You just need the rectangle.

You will need:

– 2 pattern-sized fabric pieces
– 2  pattern-sized interfacing pieces (I used medium)
– 8 inch piece of elastic

Let’s get started!

First, iron the interfacing to the fabric.

Place the fabric pieces on top of each other, right sides touching. Pin in place and sew almost completely around the edge.

Make sure you leave about a 2 inch opening so you’ll be able to turn your rectangle right-side out.

Snip the corners, careful not to cut through your seam. This helps the corners pop out.

Turn that sucker right-side out!

Flatten it down. Next you’ll run a line of thread down each of the short sides, but before you do, you want to tuck in the excess fabric from that hole in the seam. This will close that opening and provide camouflage it.

It should look like this:

Close up:

Next we’re going to fold up the short sides 2 inches and pin them in place. This will create the pockets for the checkbook and ledger.

Remember that piece of elastic? Tuck it into the sides of one of the pockets, so it looks like this:

Sew the full length down each side of the checkbook cover. This will close the sides of the pockets as well as secure the elastic.

So you’ll have something that looks like this:

Flip the elastic around so it’s on the outside of the cover. And we’re done! Tuck in your elusive checkbook and ledger, and you’re good to go.

Use the elastic to hold it closed :)

This checkbook cover is a little on the tight side, so I’m probably going to add half an inch to the length and width of my pattern before I make any more. Aside from that, I’m really happy with how it turned out!

The bag incident.

Wednesday Whale Love <3

My friend Claire found these amazing pillow shams:

This happy, bow-tie wearing whale:

And our very own Massachusetts license plates!

I love, love, LOVE these plates but always forget about them! Luckily for you, my friend Stephanie said, “Hey, why don’t you put the whale plates on your blog?”

Have a fantastic Wednesday! I have the day off so I might take Panda for a car ride later on :)

Scared Panda

Earlier today we had a nasty, though short, storm. I’m talking heavy rain, lightning, and crazy loud thunder. And wouldn’t you know, Panda is terrified of thunder. Solution?

Jump in my lap while I’m sewing. Poor little guy wouldn’t budge! So I took a break, checked some email, and got a picture.

Back door compliments.

Good pictures

Since opening my Etsy shop in September, I’ve learned quite a bit about the importance of taking good product pictures. To be honest, the pictures I take now are not phenomenal, but they’re a lot better than when I started. Here are some tips I’ve picked up:

1. Use natural light if you can!

These bags look muted.


While on this one you can see all the different colored dragon flies.

I used to take pictures at my desk, but my desk doesn’t get any window light. So I would use my desk lamp and the pictures always came out a little yellowy. I mostly set up a table outside now on nice days. The direct sunlight makes colors pop, but sometimes it can be a bit bright. Find what works for you.

2. Take pictures with props.

Even if I told you this clutch has an 8 inch opening, would that mean anything?


Now you can see a wallet fits comfortably inside.

This gives people a better idea of how big or small the item is, even if you provide dimensions.

3. Photoshop (or any photo-editing program) is your friend.

This is too far away and crooked. And it isn’t even centered!


Straight, centered, and close up.

It gives you the opportunity to clean up your pictures. For this picture, I tilted it slightly so the pouch doesn’t look crooked, cropped it, and edited out some mystery marks from the table cover  (leaves maybe?)

4. Try different things and have fun with it.

I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to do most things. Life comes with a lot of grey area. So find what works best for you, and have at it :)

Panda meets the washer

Panda in the washer? Check.

Time for more funny situations starring Panda?


My parents are going away, and you know what that means…

I need some new ideas for where to put Panda!

He’s already been in most of the larger appliances and occasionally naps under the ottoman, but if you have any other ideas I’d love to hear them and hopefully I can make them happen!

Wednesday whale love

This cool poster:

This awesome print:

And these knives!

Envelope project

I’ve been working on envelope clutches lately because they combine two of my favorite things: mail & sewing. And last night I promised one to my friend Mike. But then I was like, “Uhhhm, THESE ARE NOT FOR BOYS! HOW DO I MAKE ONE FOR A BOY?!”

Actually, we were talking about how his coworkers are driving him nuts and I said, “Would you like a little bag shaped like an envelope to leave mystery notes for them?”

Anyway, I wanted it to be real special. And not real feminine.

So I made it white.

And put a stamp on it!

I briefly considered mailing the actual envelope bag but decided against it because I didn’t want it to get ruined. And what if the stamp fell off?

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

June 2012

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

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