Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2 New Crossbody Bags

I had some remnants from the ricco-ricco Houses fabric which I'd been meaning to turn into a bag for quite some time. The amount of fabric I had was not much to work with. I did not want to just make a rectangular tote because I thought it would look boring? Basically, I had 2 pieces of fabric, 1 with a smaller width. So I thought I would turn the smaller width fabric into a flap. And that's what I did. You could say, it started with a flap.
Check out the book
Out of thousands of books at the library, my girl picked this book!

Another crossbody bag I had in mind for a while now is this houndstooth version.
Front
Back
This bag closes with a top zipper. This is the first time I've constructed a bag this way. The top zip is connected to the side gusset which is also where the handle emerges. It took me some time to figure out how to hide the raw seams on the inside.
Inside - no raw seams
Guess what's inside?
My new cushion I won in a giveaway!
See you in my next post!

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's Over

Today was a rainy day. Ordinarily I wouldn't mind rainy days unless I was selling outdoors or have to be outdoors. Well, today was one of those days when I had to be outdoors seeing how my girl's school decided to re-locate to a holding school in her LAST YEAR IN PRIMARY SCHOOL.

The location of the soon-to-be-rebuilt school is within walking distance of my home. Now we have to travel by train and then by bus in order to get to the new school which is actually an old abandoned school. So, not loving my girl's school very much.

Yes, it's the school holidays and technically there shouldn't be any school. But apparently sports school carries on during the school holidays. So today I had to take my girl to her new school because she doesn't know how to get there on her own. On the way, I received a msg from me hubs that the postwoman had just delivered a big package. Of course I wanted to go home right away to open it but I had to wait around for my girl.

Waiting for someone for 2 hours is no joke. Not when where you are is in no-man's land. Just pavement, bus-stops and flats. I took the bus to the nearest air-conditioned place to kill time. You heard of "time flying" when you're engrossed and how little time you have to spare etc. Well, 2 hours did not fly. It crawled. It hobbled. It slithered. You get the idea. Time, it seems cannot be killed. It must be used or the boredom will kill you. So, not loving my girl's school very much.

1/2 hour before my girl was due at the school gate, I took the bus back to the new school which is actually quite a dirty school. Abandoned furniture and dust everywhere. It started to rain heavily. It poured. It thunder-stormed. Oooh, so not loving my girl's school very much. At the school gate, there was absolutely no shelter to wait at. I was early. So more time to kill. I told the security guard I was gonna wait outside the library where there were dirty chairs.

Time it seems is even harder to kill when you're wet and cold and just staring at the wall. It was just 1/2 an hour but of course it felt like forever.
What could it be?
Reaching home, this package really made my day. I love receiving packages. Don't you all?
My giveaway win
Yep, my cushion which I won in a giveaway from Pings And Needles arrived.
The back
It's not chewing gum
Sarah included a stick of "not chewing gum".
Guess who chomp on it right away?
FQ
Plus my fat quarter win from Just Carol arrived last Thursday. All my goodies have arrived. All good things must come to an end. You know what I learnt? Never brag about your winnings. Because that's when it all ends. That's right. My winning streak is OVER. See ya.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

China Square 25th/26th November 2010 Post-Mortem

Hey folks!

On Thursday and Friday, I had my very first push-cart experience.
Day 1
I am so utterly poor with display. I went to check out a very popular push-cart nearby and this lady had MEGA lights.  Oh, the very first bag I sold was the shoulder bag on the left hung on the hook.
My zip pouches display
Famous fried rice
This was my lunch on Day 1. It turned out to be from a stall by an old lady who is loved by many people for her delicious food. I was of course unaware and only bought from her because the stall was open and didn't look expensive. I thought it tasted so-so.
Me hubs showed up in the afternoon and ate the fried rice. He said it was good. I think he was starving.
After my successful first sale, the crowd, mostly office workers disappeared and it left us with many, many hours to kill. So we took photos of ourselves. What else? This place is not air-conditioned so we literally sweated buckets. I think I lost 1kg.

The problem with a non-airconditioned area is people smoke. Oh, how people smoke. Morning, noon and night. My push-cart neighbours on the right are smokers. Serious smokers. I thought I was gonna die from inhaling the smoke.
Jane thru' her bag handles
Yep, that's how bored we were. I am filled with admiration (ok, wonder) for people who could operate push-carts on a daily basis. Pretty much a long lazy day. The only "exciting" thing that happened was when I went to the toilet. I came out of one of the cubicles. To my shock an old MAN came out of another cubicle. At the same moment, a lady entered the toilet. Both of us screamed out, "Female toilet!" at the old guy. The old guy insisted he was in a male toilet. To prove his point, he opened the main door and pointed to the sign on the door which showed a female. See? Male toilet. Then he left. Later I saw him wandering around.
In the evening, it rained and that of course completely ruined the al-fresco dining businesses in the vicinity.
Hainanese pork chops
While waiting for the rain to stop, I went to Han's cafe for dinner while hubs guarded the push-cart. I had Hainanese pork chops. I had been to other outlets of Han's cafe but this one is different. Firstly, it's HUGE. I mean, airport HUGE. It also had polite service crew.
My dear friends, this I swear is the best, no, bestest pork chops I've ever, ever ate. Maybe I was starving. Whatever. It tasted like heaven. While eating, all I could think of was how good it was. Yum, yum. Oh, so mother earth-shattering good. You have to try it. Just to be on the safe side, go starving. I even phoned me hubs to tell him how good the pork chops were. You know, I'm almost afraid to eat it again for fear of ruining the memories.
Day 2
Day 2 was a short day for me. I changed the display a little and added lights. I didn't really expect sales to improve dramatically. My smokers neighbours soon showed up. Oh, wow. Joy. I couldn't really tell the ladies apart. I mean, I couldn't see thru' all that smoke. But I noticed a different lady. She looked even more nicotine-addicted than anyone could possibly look. I was right! What's worse than a smoker? A chain smoker! She smokes while she sells, eats, drinks and pees.

Sales was sluggish. However, my mind was on something else. I had terribly neglected my motherly duty and forgot to renew my son's passport which he needed next week. I had submitted the papers on Monday and of course I was beginning to panic because it's Friday and still no news from the passport people. I spent a long time on the phone waiting for a human to answer my call. Finally, I spoke to a human being and she took pity on my predicament. She told me to go to the passport dept to collect the passport NOW. What!!! I looked at my watch which said 1:40pm. I had sold 3 pouches and I told myself that's not bad. Besides, I was becoming ill from stress (or inhaling smoke) because I totally screwed up with the passport thing and I could go NOW. So I packed up and had hubs and son meet me at the mrt station. By 3pm, I was at the passport department and I'm happy to say it only took me a 2-hour wait to collect the passport.

So, there you have it. My first push-cart experience. And now I totally want to purchase a push-cart to manage. Bye.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This Is How I Sew My Zip Pouch

From time to time, readers email me to ask for a link to how I sew my zip pouch. I can't give a link because I don't know if there's a zip pouch tute out in the net that does it the way I do. Believe me when I say there are lots and lots of zip pouch tutorial available. I just googled zip pouch tutorial and I had a 37,200 results. Of course it doesn't mean there are actually 37,200 zip pouch tutorials but you get the idea.

So, no. I'm not going to write a zip pouch tutorial. Instead I'll just show you just the portions which I do differently.
The top of the zipper
When sewing the top of the zipper to the fabric, I turn the ends in at roughly 90 deg a short distance away from the end of the fabric. How much space you leave between the end of the zipper and the end of the fabric depends on your seam allowance. I also throw in 1/8" for ease.
End of zipper
For the end of the zipper, I just sew all the way to the end.
This is what the zip pouch looks like before the side seams are sewn.

When sewing the side seams where the top of the zipper is, you need to make sure the seams of the outer fabric and lining MATCH UP.
When sewing the side seams where the bottom of the zipper is, you should avoid catching the zipper ends.

Yep, that's it. That's my secret ingredient.
Good luck
Do tell me if it works for you. And I'm adding this post to my Sewing Tips page on the top side bar.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Magic Of The Night 20th November 2010 Post-Mortem

Hey you,

On Saturday, me hubs, my girl and I took a taxi to The Peranakan Museum as I had a table at the Art Mart. It was my first visit to the museum. I had heard of the museum but never had any inclination to visit because I'm not the arty type. My girl had been to the museum because her school is the kind that gives kids a holistic education. That usually means lots of excursions.

We arrived at 4pm to set up my wares. Me hubs just came to look-see and left for work. I was glad my girl came along because the table is outside the museum on a public pavement. That means I need a pair of eyes on my goods at all times. Yes, I'm terrified of being shoplifted. I can just imagine some thieves discussing, "Oh, let's go rob that handmad bag lady. I'll grab the drawstring pouches while you grab the sports bag inspired bags." hahahahaha.

No, I needn't have worried because as it turned out, nobody really cared to look at my bags. Sure I got the usual poke-poke-poke, point-point-point kind of crowd. A few demanded for the prices and wrinkled their noses. Don't worry. I'm used to this kind of treatment. You gotta have thick-skin to sell! So you've guessed it. Sales was abysmal. What, don't know the meaning? I only have 1 thing to say. Google is your friend.Anyway, I sold a couple of bags. I'm beginning to realise I can't make any sales after 6pm. In most of the places I've sold at, my sales would dry up around 5pm. So what this means is I am a daytime bag seller!!!

Actually the night didn't turn out too bad. It had stopped raining and the pavement was dry. I got to spend "alone" time with my girl which I realize we hardly do anymore. We had free ice-cream.
Cup ice-cream
I skipped the candy floss because I'm trying to lose weight. But it didn't work because I ended up ordering KFC and me and my girl ate cheesy BBQ melt under the stars. (I ate most of it)
 
My girl got a free tote. She's not too impressed because her mom makes bags!!! We skipped the tattoo because I was going for the "bad girl" look but it looks glittery. My girl skipped the magic show because she didn't want to go alone. I'm surprised because she's such a fan of magician's secrets.

I did make 2 more items since my last post. It was midnight when I took the pics so the image quality is not so good.
These are really zip pouches disguised as handbags. Nope, they didn't sell. I used the MoMo fabric again.
Btw, I sold my houses sports bag inspired bag. So I'm officially out of any houses fabric bag. I felt a little bad selling this bag because someone had requested to view it but due to bad timing, it was not done.


On the way home in the taxi, we saw the Christmas light-up along Orchard Road. It looks much better than the shaky photo I took.

On Thursday and Friday, I will experience selling at a new venue. More in my next post. Good nite.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Batik Gold

Some time ago, I wanted to go to Quilts and Friends because it had moved to a new location and I wanted to take a look at its Olympus Kofu fabric. I've never used Olympus Kofu fabric before but I've heard of it and a fabric seller had once shown me a bag made out of the fabric and it looked fabulous. So when I received the newsletter that some Olympus Kofu fabric had arrived, I wanted to get me some.

I'm someone who doesn't have a good sense of direction but since Googlemap was invented, I have no fear of getting lost. Then I discovered the only way to get to the new location which is in a industrial building is by public bus. Now, I have a fear of taking the public bus for unfamiliar route because chances are the driver can't help you. But I dislike taking taxis more so I bravely took the bus after consulting the public bus online system which plots every single bus stop. Gosh, how did we ever live without the internet?

Everything went well. I alighted at the correct bus-stop. I managed to get to the building safely even though it's right smack between 2 weird and terribly busy roads. I found the shop without taking the wrong lift. The shop is quite lovely. Location's not so lovely but never mind. Anyhoo, I found the Olympus Kofu and asked for the price. Wait for it - $52 per metre!!! What? One metre? Not the whole thing? I quickly asked for something cheaper. But the fabric was lovely. So soft and beautiful.

And so I looked at the cheaper stuff. And when I saw the batik fat quarters, I snapped it up. I mean after $52 per metre, everything else was cheaper!
Batik Gold Perfect Size Lunchtime Pouch
I made these perfect size lunchtime pouches with the batik. Not that I'm short of these pouches. They didn't sell out like I'd expected. But since I'm selling at The Perankan Museum this Saturday, I wanted to make some items using batik. Fyi, peranakans wear batik outfits.

Lastly, people often ask me for my catalog. Well, it's time I have a catalog so I'm keeping a catalog of my current stock at projectsbyjane.com. I've created a link called My Catalog at the top side-bar. Yes, now you can see how pathetic my stock level is. hahahaha

This is where I'll be this Sat. See ya.
Venue: The Peranakan Museum
Date: 20th November, Saturday
Time: 6pm to 10pm

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Next Craft Market

Hello friends,
It's been a while since my last post. I'm still here, alive and well. I have news! My next craft market is this Saturday 20th November. Details below:

Venue: The Peranakan Museum
Date: 20th November, Saturday
Time: 6pm to 10pm

I'm participating in the Art Mart which is part of the Explore Singapore: The Magic of the Night.
Lots of exciting programs have been lined up. Let me interest you with some highlights.
- an illusionist show by JC Sum and Ning @8pm, @9pm, @10pm
- live jazzy, electronic sound-scape performances by Muon
- live Ska rhythm by Cesspit
- free glitter tattoo
- create a unique tote bag using silk-screen technique. note:registration is required for tote bag creation. (not sure if any more vacancies)

Best of all, admission to the museum is FREE from 6pm onwards. Free ice-cream, candy floss. Gosh, what not to like? Btw, parental discretion is advised for some of the programs. If I'm not mistaken, toddlers aren't allowed to watch the illusionist show. Please go here if you want to find out more about the activities.

I'll try my best to come up with a few new bags in time for Saturday. I hope to see you then!

Take care.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Incredible Winning Streak

Hey everyone,

In my last post I told you my friend Jon came bearing gifts when I was at MAAD. Before I tell you what he brought, let me just mention that my friend Weng came bearing gifts too - my tea. Yes, I'm a tea leech. I hope my friends don't think I take them for granted because sometimes I do but I hope they don't know that!!

Anyhoo, one of my pastime is participating in giveaways. In blogland, many, many, many bloggers or fabric shop owners give away stuff. All they ask of you is you leave a comment. Sometimes they demand you become a follower. But it's a small price to pay.
This year, I entered in 2 giveaways because I'm a fan of the bloggers. To my surprise I won - a brooch and cards. Technically, I did not win the brooch. Because I was thick-skinned and mentioned it was my birthday, I got the brooch anyway.

The incredible feeling I got from being lucky was so great and addictive that I went on a giveaway entering spree. I don't go looking for giveaways. I get informed. Many bloggers would publicize giveaways because it gives them an extra chance of winning. If I happen to read about one, I'll go look-see and if it's something I really, really want, then I will enter for it. I mean, if it's a zip pouch, then I'll say No Thanks because I have zip pouches coming out of my ears. Get what I mean?

So, wanna know what I've won since the cards?
Do you feel faint? Yes, I won fabric.
Yep, they're all mine. These are Red Rose Farm fabric. All I had to do to enter was write a poem about what I would do with the fabric if I won.

Oh dear, I'm feeling a little shy now. Here's what I wrote...

Be mine
Red Rose Farm
I promise to be kind
And keep you from harm
A pretty purse is what I have in mind
Oh, you gonna charm

Yes, more fabric. These are Anthology fat quarters I won next.

And I kept on winning. These are my loot. I haven't received them yet so it's just a description.
I won.....
- a handmade Brighton print pillow (I've never had a handmade pillow, that's why!)
- a twirly girl skirt pattern plus enough fabric to make it. (I'm gonna make clothes for my girl!)
- 1 awareness fabric fat quarter

Each time I won something, I just want to scream with happiness and such joy but of course with the invention of facebook, I just facebook it.

Yes, more fabric. No, I didn't win them. These are what my friend, Jon brought. His sister had sent them to me! I am such a charmer! I'm kidding. I don't know what I did to deserve such generosity.
Jon and sis. I met her at April 2010 MAAD.

This fabric is very interesting. It has "quilted" diamonds PLUS crochet lace.
This one has a nice print. I like line drawings of flowers and leaves so it's very me.

That's all I have to show you for now. I hope you are able to get a good night's sleep despite reading about my new acquisitions. Sweet dreams.

Monday, November 8, 2010

November MAAD 2010 Post-Mortem

Yes, another MAAD has come and gone. Nothing exciting happened. It was ANOTHER long weekend which means Saturday was relatively quiet.

The red floor where I sell was packed with sellers though. I think it was full house.


The most exciting thing I did on Saturday to kill the long hours was read Twisted by Jeffery Deaver. I have not been this engrossed in a book since I was a child. It was a collection of short stories - all with twisted endings.
This is Janet, co-owner of White Cottage. She was my first customer! Her White Cottage table is behind her. Do you see her Blythe? She sells felt accessories. She also has very interesting outfits. I wish I had taken a pic of her on Sunday!

My sales was so-so. I sold a total of 3 bags and 6 pouches. Interestingly, my fabric covered button hair elastic became a hot item again. I'm very low on stock now. Must make more!

Remember the last bag I made on Friday? My houses crossbody bag became a celebrity. Many people stopped to look at it. It went to June! I wanted to ask to take a photo of her but I don't know why I chickened out. Anyway, I feel so yay! It's really fantastic when you make a bag and it sells quickly.


My 2 dear friends came to visit me. So happy and relaxed.

Jon came bearing gifts. Can you guess what he brought? It's something I use for my bags. I'll show you in my next post. I have another craft market on 20th November. So I guess I'll be making a few more bags. In my next post, I'll show you all the goodies I've received these few weeks. So come back, won't you?
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