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.
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?
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

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Below are my bag patterns which are available for sale at Etsy (instant download). Clicking on the images will take you to my Etsy shop.

hand sanitizer holder pattern




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