Friday, May 31, 2013

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride

Holy crap! Is this week over already? I swear it felt like yesterday when I was just at Vivocity craft market and this weekend, meaning, tomorrow and the day after, I have to go back on duty. It's crazy. 4, 5 days is not enough time to sew anything. In fact I spent almost one whole day just thinking it's not enough time to sew anything. By Wednesday I was so nervous, practically crapping in my pants, partly because it's parent-meet-teacher week for me. And since I have 2 kids in school, it's double that. Both my kids had a couple of subjects they did not do well in and I was very stressed out over that. It's also my girl's streaming year and my son's final year in secondary school so, multiply the stress 10 times. And double that.

Anyhoos, I have faced the teachers, spoken to them, listened to what they have to say and I'm happy to report I survived. No cardiac arrest, like I imagined. No fainting spells and no screams. (from me) My kids have promised to work harder and I shall hold them to their words.

So where was I? Yes, it seems I'm in good health having survived the kids' report cards. And I did manage to make a few items. Wish I could have made a lot more.

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. (read that somewhere, forgot where)

This is a zip pouch wristlet with a little embroidery. Everything was inspired by the colour of the zipper. I know. Some people look to nature, paintings, google images for inspiration. I just stare at my zippers and something is bound to come up.

I've made this butterfly applique plenty of times. But never with this fabric. The bag is made using cotton twill. This fabric is almost running out and I'm almost certain it's no longer available at the shop.

I had no intention of making any more sexy zippy wristlets but I discovered a ready-cut fabric in my "forgotten" tray. I used the super big teeth zippers again.

I usually don't make bags in black or grey but this fabric screamed at me when I was fabric shopping one day. I think it turned out not too bad. I didn't feel like making a long handle so I used webbing. I'm sure to get some scoldings from customers for using webbing.

I made another bag using the flapper girls fabric.

Oh, don't get too excited. This bag isn't really big and probably will just fit a wallet, keys, make-up, camera, an umbrella and maybe a couple of books. And your tablet/ipad as well.

This crossbody bag I completed just as the sun was setting. The fabric is super cute! The animals are cooks. It's linen cotton so there's bound to be some complaints that "the fabric looks dirty". I shall practice my dirty look.

So glad all the sewing is over and done with. I think 6 items in a week is not too bad. That's probably what some of you make in ONE YEAR.

All I need is for these 6 items to sell this weekend at Vivocity craft market and I'll be able to pay the rent, expenses and my girl's lavish meals. (she's coming to help me) I'm so looking forward to next week because I want to stop sewing for a week.

Other than this weekend, I'll be selling at Vivocity on these other dates as well in case you can't make it this weekend.

29th & 30th June
6th & 7th July
27th & 28th July

See ya.

Monday, May 27, 2013

VivoCity Craft Market 25th to 26th May 2013 Post-mortem


I don't ask for very much. I spend my days making bags and pouches and then I sell them at my booth at Vivocity. If I manage to make a sale, I am happy and appreciative. If I don't make a sale, I'm not happy but I'm not unhappy. This is part and parcel of being a handmade seller.

Even though I don't ask for very much, I do ask that I am treated with respect - not so much as a handmade seller but as a human being. Yes, a human being who is not a piece of furniture - who has taste and feelings. On Sunday, a couple decided that the best place to make out (and mind you, this was done quite "violently" with slobbering and saliva) was right in front of me (and I was standing up attending to them). This couple had come to my booth to browse. Nothing caught their fancy. But instead of walking away, they carried on standing in front of my booth trying to dislodge each other's tongue. I believe I should put up a "NO MAKING OUT" sign at my booth.

Luckily for me, my sales on Saturday was quite good. Because on Sunday, it really, really sucked.

Saturday's display

 Sunday's display

My stock is pretty pathetic at the moment. I have another craft market at Vivocity this weekend. Yes, I know. Why did I get arm locked into this arrangement? I have at most 4 days to sew up more stock.

This was me on Saturday. I did not suffer any headaches or migraines. The wax burner was far away from me and the varnish and lacquer people weren't close enough. I was really grateful.

The blue people came to visit and this time one of them hammed it up for me.

Some of you complained that I did not take a front view of the men in blue. So I took one this round. Hope you ladies are satisfied. I took from the side because I didn't want to be too obvious. Please, I have class, you know!

I don't understand what happened on Sunday but shoppers seemed to avoid our little craft market. I mean, Vivocity was filled with shoppers. 4 sellers packed up and left early. Maybe they had a plane to catch. Maybe they had an emergency. I felt really defeated. Later while we were packing up, we made one last sale. That sale really made me happy. Like you're down and suddenly you're up again. See ya.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Once you go big


Once you go big, you'll never be able to make a "normal size" zip pouch again. I forgot to use something for sizing when I took the pics earlier but trust me when I say this zip pouch is big.

This is the last item I made for my weekend craft market. I could have made a few more items but I went swimming yesterday and that's like one day's worth of "work" to me. And this morning, my nose allergy was triggered so I don't feel like working anymore. I might even do the price tagging at Vivocity...

Anyway, I showed hubs the flapper girl zip pouch I made and he said:

I have no idea what it is but I want it!

Hopefully, I get the same reaction at the market.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

2 Curvy Zippy Bags

I have slowed down my sewing as I feel fatique creeping in. Alright, it's not really fatique. I just wanna stop sewing for a while. Waaaaah!!!

I made 2 curvy zippy bags. Actually I modified my crescent bag to make it less curvy. The zipper installation is a lot smoother.

This polka dot is made of linen. It might have a very small percent of cotton. I've made this bag slightly bigger than the crescent bag.

You could easily put the following in the bag: umbrella, handphone, wallet, scarf, thin sweater, camera, water bottle and keys.

There's one small patch pocket inside.

This bag made of linen cotton word print fabric is exactly the same size as the polka dot. The difference is I used soft fusible fleece for this bag while the polka dot one, I used stiffer interfacing.

The feel of the two bags are very different. What do you usually use for the interlining? I honestly can go for any kind of interlining. I like to use different ones for same design just to see the difference.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I heart Paris passport cover

Someone's going travelling and it's not me. Nope, I'm not a traveller. What with headaches, altitude sickness, migraine, it's hard enough to stay alive being stationed in one place.

This passport cover is for my friend, Mandy of Mandy Pan Millinery who is going places soon. Lucky girl.

I have no plans to leave Singapore in the near future.

This is my passport. It has long expired. The last time I travelled, my girl was still in kindy. She's 14 this year.

I went through my archives and discovered I haven't made many passport covers in the past.

This was the first one I made many years ago.

This was the second one, made in the same style.

These 2 were made out of interesting print so no embroidery was needed.

 Do you use a passport cover for your passport? For me, I don't. I prefer the raw passport. I don't even use a plastic cover. Somehow it feels more real.

Monday, May 20, 2013

iPhone 5 zip pouch

Ever since hubs bought his iPhone 5 and I had discovered (to my horror) that iPhone 5 is taller than iPhone 4, I had been thinking about making zip pouches for iPhone 5. It makes sense to make them to fit iPhone 5 since it'll fit both the 4 and 5. Of course I dilly and dallied and on Sunday, I forced myself to make them.

I had discovered some red panther Echino scraps and wanted so badly to be able to use it for at least one iPhone zip pouch. This was the best I could do without having to do any piecing.

I made a grand total of 5 of these zip pouches. If you think I made 5 because it's iPhone 5, you're wrong. I just ran out of steam.

I hope these 5 will satisfy my customers at my VivoCity craft market. I don't see myself making any more for quite a while. They do use up scraps nicely.

If you're interested in making this iPhone zip pouch, I have a pattern available for purchase (instant download) at Etsy. Please note that the size only fits iPhone 4 or smaller.

Now I had been thinking about what I should do regarding my iPhone zip pouch pattern. I wonder if I should retire the iPhone 4 version and create a new iPhone 5 version. Or just leave it alone? Anyway, at the moment, I don't have any time to do anything about it. I hope to get some time off sewing in August to take care of my new patterns.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Zip pouch mania

Dear friends,

In my real life I suffer from mania (self diagnosed). I use the term suffer loosely because I don't actually suffer. The people who live with me probably do. I get ridiculously happy and energized and this usually ends with a low. It's the lows that's the problem. I've never really considered it an issue as I always thoroughly enjoy the highs. But lately I've given it a lot of thought and decided it's not a very responsible way to live. After all, I can stop myself from feeling too happy. I'm sure the people who live with me will be quite grateful.

You know I do the same thing with food. If I enjoy a particular food, I will eat it every single day - to enjoy the "taste of heaven" until I get sick and tired of it. I would not space it out over weeks so I could enjoy it longer. The desire to just enjoy it while I can is always too strong. Not too long ago, I ate a slice of pineapple and I had the "taste of heaven". Of course I had to ruin it by eating one slice every day. Then one time I had two slices in a day and that's what killed it for me. It was too much. Now I can't look at a slice of pineapple again.

It's no different for sewing. I go through periods where I can't sew anything with much enthusiasm. Then suddenly I get hit by the mania and it's ka-boom bling blang. This whole week I did nothing but make zip pouches because I got zapped by the zip pouch mania.

I will be selling these zip pouches at my next craft market at VivoCity, Singapore from 25th to 26th May. Go here for more details. I have calculated that if I somehow have the capability to sell all these zip pouches at the craft market, it will be enough to pay for rent and supplies and my meals and if my kids come along, their meals as well.

I am quite the hoarder when it comes to fabric and fabric scraps. I had saved these small strips of Echino turquoise panther fabric forever. Echino fabric is very expensive especially when you live in Singapore so there was no way I was throwing them away. Finally I saw a chance to use them. 

It started with this zipper that I had bought, also many months ago and I just wanted to use it. See the teeth? It's different from dress zippers. I would have liked to buy more of these but the shop that I bought it from? I really dislike being inside the shop. They put up these smelly thick plastic curtains at the door and every time I'm inside the shop, I feel like fainting.

I paired up the usable Echino strips with black cotton twill.

I even managed to make the wrist handle out of some of it. It was quite challenging making this pouch. In layman terms, I cursed a lot. A lot. A lot lot.

If you've ever wondered if I free motion quilt (FMQ), here's your answer. Yes, I do but not very well. The front and back of this pouch is about the same. I am not a huge fan of FMQ. Maybe it's because I can't do it well? I have considered taking up a class.

I finally got round to turning my sequin beaded Pegasus into a zip pouch. I got a little nervous ironing near the sequins because it's really easy to destroy them with heat.

I had the perfect lining for this little indigo Pegasus zip pouch. Indigo really shows up lint, doesn't it? I'm going to have to remove the lint before I put it up for sale.




I made 2 checkerboard zip pouches. Tell me if you find them a little weird? I'm quite intrigued by them. They're big. Lately I've enjoyed making larger zip pouches.





These two patchwork zip pouches are more "regular size". Hope these two will satisfy the people who say, your zip pouches are too big!

I finally found the fabric my friend, Mandy @Mandy Pan Millinery had given me at Christmas last year when we were at Vivocity. She gave me a lot. A lot. A lot lot. The poor thing had to lug them to VivoCity from her home.  I had put them in different plastic bags and well, I couldn't find them for a long time.





I made two zip pouches with the Paris fabric. The one with the blue zipper is for Mandy. I hope it fits all her barang-barang. I will also be making a passport cover with the same fabric. I'm just wondering if I should use interfacing.

Here you can see the difference in the sizes.

I made a big-assed sexy zippy pouch using a quilted patchwork method. Well, first, I patched strips of scrap fabric together. Then I quit the patchwork to a piece of batting. This way of patching allows me to control the look of the patchwork.

It is meant to be hand carried. I thought about making it a shoulder bag but in the end I felt a shorter handle makes it look better. Some Singapore women are so small that it's quite possible they could use this bag as a shoulder bag.

Would you believe this bag started with a zipper as well? I have this longer red zipper with the huge plastic teeth. It is an odd size and I didn't want it to stay in my zipper box forever. So I drafted a bigger sexy zippy pouch pattern to fit the zipper. After I had completed the pouch, I realised I should have included a pocket inside but I totally forgot. This pouch took like forever to make. I made different portions of it over different days as I didn't want to feel fatigue.

How big is this patchwork sexy zippy pouch? Thought this photo might help you out. The yellow-green sexy zippy pouch is the regular size. And oh yes, the patchwork zip pouch is big enough to fit my head, a scarf, a thin sweater, an umbrella, magazines, books, wallets, phone, keys and make-up. I don't know, what else do women put in their bags?



Much to my delight, after I had completed the super sized sexy zippy pouch, I had 2 pieces of patchwork left - just enough to make another small zip pouch! I wish I had planned it this way but it was all luck.

Which zip pouch do you like best? My favourite is the big-assed sexy zippy patchwork pouch. Have a great weekend!

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