Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The end of a love affair

Have you ever had an affair? With a fabric? Well, I did. And with you know which fabric. (the green-yellow one with green roses) But it's come to an end. Just so you know I tried to stay away. I tried my best to work on other fabric. And god knows I have so much other fabric - in other colours. Blue, yellow, purple, beige, brown, green, blue, orange too. But my thoughts kept drifting over to the green-yellow chucked in one corner. Like what else could I make with it? I could not concentrate. I felt listless. I couldn't accomplish anything. I even branded my hand with a hot iron. (not on purpose)

So folks, I had no choice but to lay my green-yellow fabric on my cutting table. I decided once and for all to make everything I could and use up all the remaining fabric.

First up, my favourite Crescent Bag. I do confess I'm getting a bit sick of the crescent. It's not that easy to make in the first place.

This top zip bag is really very small but you can't really tell from the pic. I'm into lunchtime bags - you know just big enough for a few essentials. So this little bag was made with that in mind. I'm now wondering why the handles are so long. This bag was fun to make. 

You're probably familiar with my Get up and go go sling bag. This fabric really suits the sling bag. It's textured and slubby. Not too thin and not too thick.

The last bag I made was my one-ring wonder shoulder bag. It's been a while since I made this bag and I'm surprised I still enjoy making it. It is a recessed zipper bag as I didn't think a top zip will work.

There isn't much left of the fabric. I've put them away for future patchwork. Now that I've gotten this fabric out of my system, I can get on with my life and look at my other fabric.

Making these 4 bags took a lot of energy out of me. I want to laze around and watch TV all day. But the clock is ticking and if I want to make a total of 74 bags and pouches by 14th December, I have to keep going.

23 out of 74 projects completed.

p.s. if you're anywhere near sandy, do stay safe and dry.

Tea Rose Home

Sew Many Ways

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The return of the pleated bags

In November 2010, I attempted to make a pleated zip pouch and I fell flat. Certainly it didn't look bad because how can I possibly make anything bad? (it's the truth) But it didn't sit well and that really bothered me as I think I've got the proportions or the dimensions wrong. Anyway, I was going to fix it and come up with something that could meet my expectations and then I lost interest totally.

Yes, believe it or not. I went off pleated pouches and pleated bags TOTALLY. I really thought it was not possible to go off pleated anything. I was just so crazy over pleats that year.

So what brought my interest back to pleated bags? A while ago, one of my customers wanted a bag in the following design.

Yes, this design. I use this illustration on my sidebar for my tutorials. She did not realise it was just a drawing. It did amuse me to no end and you know me. I rose to the occasion and accepted the challenge and made her the bag.

This is the bag. Due to a lack of fabric, I could only squeeze in two pleats.

This was the other 2 pleats bag I made. (this one also sold) Anyhoo, 2 pleats was all it took to re-ignite my interest in pleated bags.

After frittering most of October away, I've finally got down to business. First up, I made a small pleated zip wristlet.

I want to be honest with you. It doesn't look bad. But there's still no love. What am I missing? I still feel the wristlet doesn't sit well. Maybe such wristlets aren't meant to sit well.

This medium size pleated zip bag on the other hand doesn't photograph well. It really looks so much better in person. And I love, love it.

Most times I would make the zipper a recessed zipper for pleated bags. But this bag isn't very big to begin with and a recessed zipper would automatically reduce the usable height of the bag.

I have already started work on the next pleated bag and the next one will be much bigger because I have a lot of the fabric. It's not green-yellow, I promise. But yes, it has flowers.

* * *

So October's coming to an end and my Etsy $5 bag pattern sale ($5 per pattern) is also ending on the last day of October Singapore time. It will be a pity if you miss this sale because there won't be another sale for a while!

* * *

The weather in October has been driving me crazy. First it rains a lot. Like every single day. Then when it doesn't rain, it's very hot. Like make me go insane hot. When I sew, I use the iron a lot and the heat just make me want to be a ranting lunatic. (it is raining as I type)

* * *

Today I got a little miffed when I woke up to a online sale of a bag pattern but no payment. Now, as a seller, getting non-payment occasionally is part and parcel of the trade. And I understand it happens and it has happened to me at craft markets on a few occasions. But it has never happened to me for an online sale so this is my first. So excuse me if I don't brush it off as part and parcel. I emailed the buyer to remind her about payment and I do appreciate that she replied me immediately to tell me she had changed her mind. I think sometimes in online shopping, we forget that there is a real person behind the shop. For me, I do not mind that customers change their mind but wouldn't it be nice if the customer were to leave you a note to cancel the sale so you could recover your listing fees?

* * *

One last thing I wish to talk about. Some of you might read my posts via Facebook. As you know not everyone who subscribe to my Facebook page here will get to see my updates in your news feed. (I don't really know how facebook decides who gets to read my updates) But what I do know is that if you interact with my page (via likes, comments or simply coming to visit the page) you will get to see my updates. Well, if that's too much work, just subscribe to my blog via email. (see sidebar)

Alright then. I hope everyone's having a good weekend.

19 out of 74 projects completed.

Partay: Sew Many Ways

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Slow down October

Hey folks,

Kindly do me a favour and get October to stop hurtling by so dem fast. See I've been having too much fun making a variety of items for my Christmas craft market. Thing is, because I want to do something different and keep myself interested, it takes a lot more effort and time to make each item. Unfortunately, time is what I don't have right now. So perhaps it's time to stop enjoying myself and just knuckle down and churn out the pouches? I've done a calculation and it looks like I'm already way behind my production schedule. If I don't start spitting out pouches and bags starting tomorrow, I'm very sure I'll suffer a financial loss in December's craft market. And you know, I don't like to lose money. Suddenly I feel very afraid.

Today I took time out to get my hair done. New hair - new beginning.

Ha ha. See how I dumbly took a photo of the stool I had sat the camera on.

I suddenly realize I have the same idiot expression on my face. Anyway, I feel very light which is what I like. I hate having so much hair. My hair looks very neat now but trust me. When I wake up tomorrow, I'll get back my sexy disheveled look.

Oh, the Singapore school year is almost over. Tomorrow is my girl's last day of school. My son has an extra week of school. Speaking of son, he has travelled to a neighbouring country with his school. It's all part of his global awareness education. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to have a good sleep until he comes back home safe and sound. It feels strange not to have him around. In my days, my school never took me anywhere other than the usual local sightseeing places. Kids nowadays have such privileges.

My kids report books aren't out yet. But they have received their exam results and from what I've heard, I'm pretty sure I won't need to be hospitalized.  Just kidding. I'm a tough gal.

With 2 months of school holidays ahead, I'm quite stressed over how to occupy my kids' time. I certainly don't want them to be playing computer games all day. (which is how they imagine they'll spend all their time) I have considered enrolling them in pizza and spaghetti cooking courses since they love to eat these. I mean, why not learn to cook them? They're quite resistant to all my suggestions. So it looks like they'll be "studying"  Heroes of Might and Magic VI.

Tomorrow I'm chaining myself to the sewing machine and I will make those pouches and bags. Swear.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The money losing fabric

Remember my money losing Alexander Henry Dragon Princess fabric which I wrote about here? I had problems selling items made out of this fabric. But that was in early December 2011. During the last Christmas craft market, every item I had made in this fabric was sold. So in the end it worked out all right. But I still had a good amount of the fabric left.

Last week, I stared at the fabric again. (not with hate) I decided to once and for all, use up the fabric. After all, I am now certain the items will sell. It's just a matter of time. So I cut up the fabric and I made a total of 3 items. I would have made more but what was left was only suitable for very small items. Let's call them unusable remnants for the moment.

The first bag I made was my favourite Crescent Bag. Usually when I make the Crescent Bag I like to use a thicker fabric but this fabric is thicker than thin so it turned out fine. Now I'm looking at the bag I feel so in love with it. So of course I'm hoping no one buys it because I'm ready to be gifted with it.

The 2nd bag I made was my Get up and go go sling bag. (pattern available here) You see I use a similar sling bag in this same fabric when I sell at craft markets and you can be sure, at least one or two customers will tell me the one I'm carrying is the one she wants. And of course I would not have any available for sale. So this is my last Get up and go go sling bag in this Dragon Princess fabric. I wonder who would buy it? Must remember to take a photo of the future customer. (jumping the gun)

Okay, the 3rd bag I'm not showing you today because it's my secret bag! I'll show it next time.

Anyhoos, last Sunday I woke up and saw this message in my inbox. It was from a reader who had read my post on my losing fabric and offered to buy the fabric from me! Oh, ain't that sweet? Unfortunately my fabric was already in tatters.

17 out of 74 projects completed.

Western Warmth
Skip to my lou
Sew Can Do

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Are you a round bottom or boxy bottom kind of gal?


I think about bottoms a lot. And I mean a lot. For a long time, I was really into round bottoms. Sometimes the bigger and the rounder the better. But lately I've been thinking I should explore other kinds of bottoms as well. Like boxy bottoms for instance.

Hey, wait a minute. Anyone of you out there thinks I'm talking about human bottoms? Please raise your hands. This is a bag blog, my friend!

Now, where was I? Yes, bottoms. One problem with round bottoms is customers tend to think the space is much smaller. It's almost like a visual trick.

Take my lunchtime pouches for instance. When I make this pouch, I had used a regular wallet for sizing and it's pretty roomy. In fact, you could put a wallet, keys, handphone and a packet of tissue in it. Many customers aren't convinced and I have to do a demo. And they will go, "wow" like I had performed magic.

Pouches with boxy bottoms do not have this problem. Customers know just by looking at it if it fits their wallets.

Boxy bottoms sit really well. No need for any stuffing. Of course, round bottoms sit well too. But boxy bottoms have this sharpness. I'm not saying I'm abandoning round bottoms. I'm just saying I'm going to be making many boxy bottoms from now on. Oh, for the bottoms, I use a super stiff interfacing which my friend Mandy had given me. It's like rock. I have a whole bolt of it.

For the black and white boxy pouch, I was going for the Longchamp zipper tabs look. I had to handsew the tabs though. The reason being I had suffered an emotional breakdown after trying to sew through metal. Has this happened to you before? Try to sew through metal? I'm so careful but sometimes you lose your concentration and before you know it, you hear this sickening KAKAKAKAKA sound coming from your sewing machine and you freeze because your brain cannot function. Then you snap out of it to switch off the machine. By then, you are a complete mess because you think you have killed your sewing machine.

So that's why I had to handsew the tab because I couldn't handle sewing through so many layers.

Oh, one thing I have learnt. You must always use original sewing machine needles. Like I use Organ needles and I make sure I buy from legit sources. There are a lot of pirated ones around and you know what happens when you try to sew through metal with a pirated sewing needle? It breaks and if you're unlucky, the needle flies up and injures you. I'm speaking from experience. The original needles don't break. They get bent. And honestly, sewing needles are not expensive. However, I have no experience with any other brands of sewing needles as I have only used Organ.

Hope you have a good weekend. And those of you with your hands still raised, you may put your hands down now.

15 out of 74 projects completed.

Linked: Sew Many Ways

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I built a house today

Dear folks,

You guys know how I love to use house motif in my bags and stuff. Well, I'm sick of doing the usual backstitch house embroidery. So I decided to build a house using paper piecing.

Never heard of paper piecing? It's a technique used in quilting and scrapbooking to piece accurately a design using a template printed on a piece of paper. The template is numbered starting from 1. The numbers indicate the order in which the pieces are sewn. And yes, you sew onto the paper which you will tear away when you are ready to discard it. 

I had the idea that I would use my scraps to build this house. But if you've done paper piecing before, you'll know you can't just take a bunch of scraps and piece them randomly together and hope everything will turn out all right. It doesn't work that way.

Paper piecing is a very deliberate craft. You have to think about how you want your piecing to turn out, look for the fabric and put everything together. But I did managed to use 2 of my scraps. The blue background is a Michael Miller remnant that had been lying around for ages. The door is from a Junichi Nakahara print remnant.

So here you can see how I don't have enough of the blue fabric.....

If you're keen to try paper piecing yourself, here's a tute to start you off.  And this blog has many easy patterns.

A house has to have love, right? This one  is filled with hearts.

And this old pouch was one of my early attempts at paper piecing. Possibly done in 2007.

12 out of 74 projects completed.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The benefits of a secondary school education

Ever since both my kids started attending secondary school, I had been patiently waiting for the day when both are able to cook a simple meal on their own. They're not quite there yet but at least they're able to cook one or two items. I had been looking forward to my kids attending cooking lessons in their schools and tried my best to hide my glee.

My son who's older learnt to cook first. I can't say he's inclined towards cooking. He did manage to cook whatever's required of him. But he simply has no interest in cooking for the family which is my secret wish. However I did persuade him to learn to cook eggs since he is so particular about how he wants his eggs cooked. He was quite game and now whenever I cook, I'll let him take care of the eggs including prawn omelettes.

My girl seems a little more interested in baking. This is her first year learning cooking in school. Her school did not always allocate enough time for her cooking class and once, she brought home an uncooked shepherd's pie. What a shame!

On Saturday my girl was in a baking mood and she baked Queen Cakes which she had learnt in school.

I think she made a mistake in the creaming but the cake still turned out edible.

Me and son gobbled them up. My girl found out that she doesn't like to eat her own cakes!

One of the rules I told my kids they must always follow when they cook is that the cook does the washing up. I'm happy to report so far they have always followed the rule.

This is the recipe we used from her text book. It only serves 2. We halved the sugar and skipped the raisins.

Queen Cakes

100g flour
75g cold butter
50g raisins
75g castor sugar
1 large egg
1 level teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
a little milk

Bake at 190 deg C

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fabric Hair

I've owned 4 sewing machines. First, Singer. Second, Sakura. Third, Brother. Now, Janome. 4 different brands but each time I bought the sewing machine, I was given the same advice. Learn to remove fabric hair from the bobbin area.

For my first machine which I bought many decades ago, a very old man delivered it and proceeded to teach me to use it. To my horror, the first thing he wanted me to learn was to clean the machine. My Singer was an old-fashioned machine and the bobbin was a front-load kind. He made me use a screwdriver and took me step-by-step through the bobbin removal process. It was horrifying. Then he showed me how to clean the bobbin area which was very clean by the way as it was brand new. The difficult part was putting everything back together and getting it to work. By some miracle, I understood everything and never had to telephone him for help. I'm not saying it's easy. But I would struggle and struggle and eventually manage to screw everything back into place again.

My second machine, Sakura was no different. Again, a very old man delivered it and proceeded to teach me to use it. And yes, once more, to my horror, the first thing he wanted me to learn was to clean the machine. I'm pretty sure it was a different old man. Again I managed to listen to instructions and never broke the machine. I came close a few times.

My third machine, Brother was a semi-computerized machine and very different from my Singer and Sakura. First of all, the bobbin was a drop-in kind which I love by the way. This is what I'm talking about. An improvement over the silly front-load kind. Just drop in, hook the thread and you're done. Even though it was a semi-computerized machine, the bobbin area had to be cleaned as well and yep, once again it was the first thing I had to learn. This time it was a school kid who taught me because he was helping his mom.

My fourth machine, Janome is very similar to my Brother with all the bells and some whistles. A woman delivered the machine and guess what she said to me?

The first thing you must learn is to clean the bobbin area!

I wonder if there is a standard manual sewing machines dealers refer to? The no. 1 item on the manual must be teach customer to clean the bobbin area.

This time I decided to ask the woman why she wanted me to learn to clean the bobbin area. She said it was to give herself less work as a well maintained machine would result in fewer calls to her!

For my fifth sewing machine, I'm getting one that is self-cleaning. Even though I know how to open up the bobbin area, putting it back together still gives me nightmares. Sometimes I really feel like I've broken the machine.

I cleaned my sewing machine a few days ago. It's not that bad, right? I mean, considering I sew every day.

This is my little useful brush. Also, I use masking tape to catch the dust. But I make sure not to let the sticky tape touch the metal bits. And when was the last time you cleaned your bobbin area?

I leave you with these advice:

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I taught my sister to make a pouch

The last time I had a booth at VivoCity Craft market, my sister Elaine came by. She mentioned that she wanted to learn to make my drawstring pouch which I usually have for sale at craft markets. I don't remember what I said to her but I know I didn't promise to teach her.

Days went by and suddenly one day I woke up and decided I would teach my sister to sew my pouch. And you know how I teach people to sew. Yes, I created a pdf bag pattern. So I sent some fabric and supplies to my sister and told her she would be the tester for the pattern.

I don't know if she felt frightened by this enormous task. But she has never made a bag or a pouch in her life. So she was really perfect to be the tester. She did have some experience sewing some simple items. Since this is her first pouch, I think I've totally spoilt it for her. She'll never accept raw edges again.

Here she is proudly showing off her Treasure Pouch. She said the pouch is good for keeping her "rubbish". I've politely declined to call it the Rubbish Pouch.

Read FAQ before buying
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This pouch can be made in two ways. One way is to use a pretty print. Mine is a Lecien print. Aren't the retro flowers pretty? Lecien does retro flowers really well. And the other way, still in keeping with the floral theme, is to embroider simple flowers on a piece of linen or calico.

This pattern is a great project for someone who has never made a pouch or a bag and would like to start. Currently available on Etsy here. I will list this bag pattern in my other pattern shops soon.

Oh, I know it's a little early to mention Christmas. But if you're thinking of making something handmade as gifts, I have a little sale going on at my Etsy shop. ALL my bag patterns are currently marked down to $5 each. (Yes, every bag pattern.) It's a great deal! I'll keep this price until end October Singapore time.

See ya.


Monday, October 8, 2012

There's this creep

I've been struggling to regain my fitness for the past 2 months. It's been rough ever since my left knee started hurting. Now, my knee is one part of my body I've never had to fret over. I never even think about it as I take it for granted. I mean I wake up and I never wonder, will it hurt when I stand up?

All it took was just one click-clack and suddenly walking is an issue. I remember looking at a flight of stairs and wondering if I could climb it. Imagine! I remember going to Gardens of the Bay and wondering if I needed crutches.

I rested it a lot and later I felt I was able to start exercising again. However, running was out of the question. So I went to the Senior Citizens Corner to use the exercise machines.

The machine in the pic above? That's one of my favourite exercise machines. It exercises the joints in the legs. Plus, my legs don't hurt when I use it. There are many machines at this corner that I could use for exercising different parts of my body. Over time, I realised that exercising my legs did not worsen my knee problem. So I continued going to the Senior Citizens Corner. (it's an actual name)

One day, I realised that there was this creep. I go to exercise early in the morning after walking my son to the train station. It's cool and not crowded - perfect time for me. Anyway this creep would be at the Senior Citizens Corner as well. He must be new because I know all the regulars. He doesn't use any of the machines. However, he would stand very close to the machine that I am using. Like he would sneak up on you and stand close enough to you so you feel creeped out. Meanwhile, he would be swinging his arms or whatever, pretending to exercise. And the most horrible part, I would catch him staring at my chest. Yes, the bloody pervert! I wanted to poke his eyes out.

After running into him and being perved at over and over again, I decided I would have to exercise at a different time. I think I have the most horrible luck.

Trying to exercise in the evening is a lot harder than in the morning. You have to go at the right time when it's not too hot and not too late. I'm usually in the middle of something and I have to interrupt myself and it's a real pain. But it has to be done.

Yesterday for the first time I was able to shuffle jog without killing my knees. Just imagine a 100 year old woman trying to run. Anyway, I managed to shuffle jog my usual 6 rounds. Today I woke up and expected to be completed crippled but to my surprise my knees held up. So I am really happy about that. I hope my knee completely recovers. I have already signed up for another public run with hubs.  I forget if it's in November or December. It's a walk or jog so I can always walk.

I have another Tai Chi session tomorrow. I'm actually looking forward to it. Alright, I'm lying. It's getting really hard. Tomorrow I intend to ask for a slower pace. Hope no one throws stones at me.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

So you want to sell your handmade stuff online?

Has this ever happened to you? You have a hobby. You learn through books, online tutorials or perhaps you attended a class or two. You find that as you get deeper into the hobby, you enjoy making stuff more and more. One day you start giving your family member/friend/colleague what you have made and they love it. They love it so much your family member/friend/colleague says this to you:

You know, you should sell the stuff you make!

And you're delighted with what they said because it's been your secret wish all this while - to sell the stuff you made.

So what's the point of this post? Ah, no. It's not a lecture on the pitfalls of selling handmade. (I'll leave it to you to experience first hand) Although I sell my handmade items at craft markets, I've been selling online (mostly my bag patterns) at various online marketplaces. I'm sharing with you my experience with these sites. I'm not including the fees charged because you can easily find out for yourself. Please know that this is just based on my own experience and my experience can be tainted by my own inexperience/inpatience/stupidity. Lastly I DO NOT benefit in any way if you sign up with any of the marketplaces I've listed.

1. Etsy
The first online marketplace I signed up with. Etsy has changed a lot since I joined in 2009. I like the interface (very easy to navigate) and although the past 1.5 years it introduced a lot of changes which I didn't always like, it's still my favourite. Mainly because it gets its own massive traffic and I feel, technically it's the best. Needless to say, I've been most successful here. I have read a lot of negative comments about Etsy from forums and one day I decided I would stop reading them because in the end, I just want to sell my items. And if Etsy can do the job, then I will continue keeping my shop here.

2. Artfire
The 2nd online marketplace I signed up with. I hated it. Hated, hated, hated it. That was the old Artfire. In the old days, the interface was stupid. One day, I think I triggered a massive muscle pain because I was so frustrated with the navigation. I was very unsuccessful here because I could barely understand how to put in my items. Also, it required you to participate in stuff in order to gain points? I forgot all the terms they used. But it wasn't just a marketplace. One day I was informed that I had to pay rent for my empty shop so I deleted my account. Recently I went back to it and to my delight, it looks less scary - almost like this century. I might just give it another chance.

3. Zibbet
I joined Zibbet when it was just starting out and when a site is just starting out, it has a lot of technical problems. I gave it a chance as I loved the interface. It's almost an Etsy copycat and I have to say I think, at first, technically, it felt superior to Etsy. But later, changes were made to the categories and for me, it went downhill from then on. I still have a shop on Zibbet here. But I've sold ZERO items. My views are practically non-existent. Yet many sellers managed to sell plenty on Zibbet. So don't know what I'm doing wrong. Perhaps it's because I have a basic (not premium) shop which is free?

4. Made It Myself
I joined this site in 2009 but forgot about it. My shop is here. This year I remembered I was a member and decided to sell my bag patterns. The interface is horrid. Horrid. I get into a very bad mood whenever I list my items on this site. It takes a very long time too. This marketplace is still new to me so I don't know how successful I will be. I can't equate the technical difficulties with the sales because it's all about the traffic.

5. Craftsy
I joined Craftsy last year and started selling my bag patterns here. I have to say Craftsy has surprised me the most because I managed to make a few sales every month. The best thing though is Craftsy doesn't charge any commission! If you don't sell patterns, you could also promote your handmade items via projects. What you do is add a project (of what you made) and you link to the marketplace that sells your handmade item.

6. Luulla
Someone recommended Luulla to me and I went and opened a shop right away here. It is really another Etsy copycat with small differences here and there. Unfortunately, I think the interface needs more tweaking. Sometimes I want to navigate to where I want to go and I could feel myself screaming inside my head because I can't SEE IT. I have made a grand total of 1 sale since I opened a few months ago. One day I was googling something and almost fainted when I saw that it pointed to my Luulla item. This has never happened to me for my Etsy listings before. So I feel a little hopeful that Luulla is doing something right.

7. Dawanda
I have a shop here but I kinda forgot about it. I think I joined it a long time ago when there were no English versions. Now that an English version of the marketplace is available, I shoudn't have any excuses for not listing my items.

8. Pattern Spot
This marketplace sells instant download PDF patterns only. I need to be high on morphine (just kidding) in order to list an item for sale. There's something I'm not understanding about how the HTML works because my listing always comes out funny. So I have to manually adjust and it still doesn't come out perfect, the way I want it. My shop's here. This site charges a ransom for sales commission so please don't buy from me here. I have made a grand total of 2 sales since I listed a few months ago.

The following are marketplaces I tried to join but was rejected.

1. Felt
This is a New Zealand online marketplace and I was informed that at the present moment, it is closed to non-residents. I'm curious why it used such a generic name. Google "felt" and see how many hits you get.

2. Folksy
This one's UK and only open to residents as well.

The following are marketplaces I have joined but have not listed any items yet.

1. Handbag Lessons
This marketplace sells instant download pdf patterns. A reader, Amy, recommended this site to me. Unfortunately it has a policy against links to other marketplaces so I'm going to have to remove them before I can list my patterns here.

2. Delighted
Someone suggested I try this handmade marketplace and I'm going to wait till it rains one night before I sit down and explore this site further. So far I haven't seen any restrictions to non-residents so I'm hopeful. Again, I'm curious why such a generic name is chosen.

If you know of any other online marketplaces, please drop me a comment? I will only blame you just a little if it turns out horrid.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Embroidery floss sorrow


Another day in the life of a sewer. I've been living in a tangled web of embroidery floss hell for a while now. I've tried everything.

This container and the little paper bobbins did not work. The paper bobbins are too small.

This container is supposed to hold the skeins that are not opened yet. There's another zip lock bag full of tangled mess. I'm not showing you that photo because let's keep the horror to a minimum.

One day this year I came up with a brilliant idea. (it felt brilliant then) Every time I'm done with the strands of working embroidery floss, I will stick them to a masking tape which I tape to the wall. That way, the next time I need to use any embroidery thread, all I need to do is scan what's on the wall and take what I need.

The problem with this idea? I just keep adding the orphan embroidery floss. Now the masking tape and the thread looks like a permanent home decor.

Last night I was in the middle of untangling a mess of floss when I came up with another brilliant idea.

See this old desk calendar? The paper is made of stiff card. I divide each page into little sections by cutting out small strips spaced out nicely.

I wrap the embroidery floss in 3 lots. The first one contains the unstranded skein. As I usually use 2 strands of floss, the middle space is for the 4 strands while the first slot is for the orphan 2 strands which I used to stick on the masking tape. To hold the start and end of the floss, I cut small slits on the paper.

This little calendar is definitely not enough to hold all my embroidery thread. But if the idea works out, I could easily make a batch of card stock. What do you think? Will this work?
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