Friday, December 2, 2011

Flying pigs and dirty linen

Hello friends near and far,

Is it December already? I didn't even know it's Friday today so I missed the recycling people. It's the school holidays and days merge into nights. It's all a blur. We sleep at 3am now. Back to the problem - we have bags of recycled stuff lying around. Me hubs is mad.

You know once in a while I make a very good investment in a piece of fabric. I usually only get a yard of print fabric.

This pigs fabric has got to be one of my best investments. When I first saw the fabric, I immediately thought "flying pigs" even though the pigs aren't really flying. I looked closely at the texture and saw that it was a linen-cotton blend and I had to have it.

What I love more is linen. Linen has the best texture any fabric could offer. But I really, really hate to sew with linen. I go mad just trying to cut a straight grain and for bags, if your grain ain't straight, you might as well ditch the bag.

Then I discovered linen-cotton. Linen-cotton is the fabric manufacturer's answer to linen lovers who wish to keep their sanity.

I want to say linen and linen-cotton is an acquired taste. First of all, they cost a lot more than cotton. These are premium fabric. But I know not everyone cares for these fabric like I do and I have a story to tell.

I have made many, many small pouches out of this flying pigs fabric. This particular linen-cotton blend is thin which is unusual as most linen-cotton is thicker than cotton. So small item is a wise choice.

The first time it happened I was really stunned. A customer took a good look at my flying pigs item and finally put it down. She told me the fabric was dirty. I immediately looked at my pouch and searched for the dirt but I couldn't find it. Finally the customer pointed to all the slightly darker "stains" all over the fabric. "there, there, there, there."

I had a good laugh. The customer mistook the natural colour of linen for stains. Unlike cotton, linen has streaks of impurity and I often feel that's what makes linen and linen-cotton charming (to me).

Then it happened again and again. Each time I would patiently explain that the fabric was not dirty but natural streaks. Occasionally, I managed to convert a customer and she would pay for the "dirty" item.

One day this customer came along. She loved the flying pigs item. I could see it in her eyes. She looked at it for at least 15 minutes. Usually I get nervous if anyone eyed my items for so long but it's linen-cotton so I gave her time to get over the "dirt".

When I went in for the "kill", she told me she really loved the item and so badly wants to buy it but she's so unsure about the "dirt". I explained linen to her, that they were natural streaks. But I could see her head and her heart having a big struggle.

Sadly, she decided not to buy.

Half an hour later, she re-appeared with a man, maybe a husband/boyfriend/lover/father/brother? She hovered in the background while the husband/boyfriend/lover/father/brother? took a good look at my pouch. He even removed his glasses to have a better look. After a very long time like maybe 10 minutes, he had a small conference with the woman and then turned to inform me in a very serious voice, "Your fabric IS dirty. You shouldn't sell things with dirty fabric."

Sigh. I don't even make much money doing this handmade business.

I pried my flying pigs item from the guy's hands and waved them away. I could not be bothered to argue or say anything. You just can't educate people who don't want to be educated.

I've finally run out of the flying pigs fabric. These are the last 4 items I made. The flying pigs are the selling point which is why I usually make very simple items. I will sell these at Vivocity in 2 weeks. Let's hope no crazy bitches tell me they're dirty.

So farewell to my dear pigs. It was a good run. I did some embroidery  of the pigs - on clean linen-cotton. (washed twice just to be sure....ok kidding, just once)

Yes, another drawstring pouch. I almost feel like I'm incapable of making anything else at the moment. 14 more sewing days to go.

See you. Have a good weekend my friends.


Bethany said...

You sure get some saucy customers in your section of the world :)

Melinda said...

Definitely keep doing these craft fairs - you get some of your best stories! LOL! How can I find some of that "dirty" linen? Love it!

mandy said...

I'm going to sew pigs on my hats.... to repel evil-fingers when I sell at Vivo next time. Maybe I'll just give them de-stress ball each time someone crush the flowers on my hats with their hands.

jane p said...

@Melinda, try googling "dirty linen". I bought mine at a local fabric shop. No manufacturer's name on fabric. It's made in Japan.

jane p said...

@Mandy, look forward to your pigs hat. Just put a sign, "You crush my flowers you bought it."

Yadira said...

OMG! LOL I'm still out of breath. Thank you for such a good laugh, though I guess it has to be annoying dealing with such people in front of your table criticizing a perfectly cute item for which materials are a little more expensive than others. I think you are a very patient woman, congrats on the self control. Have an awesome weekend!

Little Blue Mouse said...

Well I would definitely buy one of your flying pig items (if they didn't look so dirty!).

Laurie-Jane said...

Airing your dirty linen in public love it. I'm partial to pigs I had an uncle who was in the navy who wouldn't say the word pig nor could we say it in his house he called them Guissies it's because they can't swim. Not a problem when they fly though. Laurie

jane p said...

My FIL would not eat pork (according to me hubs) and he's neither Muslim nor Jewish. I think it was for a superstitious reason.

tamdoll said...

I cannot believe this. Cannot! Doesn't everyone know that the fabric has these natural color variations in it? Can't believe it, really. Did I say that already? I think the pigs are adorable and I like your embroidery, too.

punkychewster said...

i love the fabric! this one is a winner! i know what you mean about the 'dirty' look. but too bad for customers who pass them up!

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