Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My 2nd Attempt at Making a Bible Cover

 "Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us." Psalm 90:17

I kept to my word (more of a commitment I made to myself) and made a 2nd Bible Cover ;) This time, I used the leftover scraps of City Blooms in Espresso fabric. 

I'm surprised how popular this fabric has been. A whole yard was snapped up so quickly by orders. Perhaps, the customers saw the finished product on my FLICKR page, and confidently placed orders with it, since they know how the end result will look like.

We actually ran out of the padding (which my mom bought from Indonesia). I tried looking for it in Singapore, but cant find a similar one. The one I bought here from Chinatown, has no "lining" on one side of the "sponge-like" material. So, it don't "run" when being sewn on... am I making sense here? 

My mom said she tried (using the padding I bought), but didnt work. Somehow, I'm not quite convinced that it won't work, and decided to try it on my own. I cut extra layers of inner lining, and pinned them underneath the padding when I need to have them sewn on. As you probably guessed by now, it worked! ;)

So, I went ahead with my 2nd attempt at making a Bible Cover. 2nd time round, I'm more confident of what I'm doing, but somehow... still making the same mistakes.

First of all, when it was halfway done, it seemed too small to fit the Bible I have measured. Then there's the thread colour difference...I had to undo some parts, re-thread, and do it all over again.

When it was 3/4 way, I realized that I'd sewn the edge too close to the end of the fabric... such that it "peaked out" of the lining/trimming. I showed these to my mom, who instructed me how I can correct it. Basically, undo the stitches at those parts, tuck the fabric in, and re-stitch them again. At least I learnt a lesson on correction work there ;) Points gained.

Finally, the trimming. It's mostly hand work, instead of machine work there. I was careful to do it well this time round, and was satisfied at the size of the trimming. I went ahead to have it machine sewn on, this time from the right side too (from the printed side of the fabric, instead of the underside, as was with my 1st attempt last time).

To my dismay, the trimming looked OK from the outside, but looked quite sloppy & "ran-over" on the inside :(

My mom's verdict on that is, I didn't "tuck-in" the trimming tightly enough (when I was doing it by hand)...such that it was loose, and it got "spread-out" as the machine stitches them. I was quite sure it was tightly done when I did it by hand. 

I was contemplating of redoing the trimmings, but my mom said its still fine, and I should just practice on making another one.

The pictures above may not show the messed up details, but they're there, & pretty obvious when you see the actual item. All in, I'm still quite pleased & feel very satisfied seeing my own handmade creation being such a perfect fit for my other Bible. This Bible is one that I never use actually ;) it was a gift from someone to my husband.

For my next project, I was actually quite keen to try making a medium sized tote bag (kinda like the shopping bags you see from NTUC) to hold my kids' sweater & cardigan when we go out. I have samples of those shopping bags at home, & think I can tackle making one on my own now.

But my mom said, I should stick to making a 3rd Bible Cover instead. I needed the practice... yep, the trimmings :D

So, thats what I'll do next. Practice makes perfect right? I hope I can persevere till my 4th, 5th 10th, X-numbered (however many times it'll take for me to perfect that) till I know how to do the trimmings as neatly as my mom's.

I read this verse from Psalm 90:17 today, "Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us."

Amen! That's such an encouragement to me, & I hope it'll encourage you too. Whatever you're working hard to make with your hands. God Bless You!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

3in1 Organizer Purse, Now With a "Twist"

The typical (frontal) design of our 3in1 Organizer Purse
Now with the detachable strap as "handles" ;)

Carry it like a mini handbag, or as a wristlet. 2 choices in 1 small purse ;)

A customer requested to have a strap added over our 3in1 Organizer Purse as a handle. However, she'd like it to be detachable, so that she can have it out of the way when she don't feel like carrying it as a "handbag".

So, her "solution" is, to add a snap button on one side, and have it sewn on the other side. I was quite puzzled initially, as what's going to happen to the strap, when "she don't feel like" having it on? After all, one side of it is sewn on. Non-removable.

But we went ahead with her request. And we were truly impressed! It looked so pretty, and even more functional now! 

You see, our original design already has a snap button at the bottom side of the purse, so that the zipper end can be neatly tucked away. Now, this extra strap can actually be snapped on to that button as well. So, when she don't "feel like" carrying it like a mini handbag, it can actually be turned into a wristlet!

Now, how cool is that? ;)

I think, we can go ahead & promote this "new design". Check back at The Laughing House soon... I'll have it listed one of these days.

Thank you for your kind support, & feel free to throw any ideas my way. Customer's ideas has proven to be one of the most creative ones we've ever heard, cus it's based on needs & practicality. We'd love to hear more, & will definitely try our best to explore ways to make it work for YOU! 

Monday, June 22, 2009

Etsy Featured Shop 13 (Part 2)

Buy Handmade
Note from the seller, & a little something about her:
Cards with Care has a wide range of invitations and stationery products to choose from. Whether it's an invitation for your son's first birthday party, stationery for your best friend or gift tags for your holiday packages, Cards with Care has something to offer you.

We also specialize in creating custom items, so if you don't find exactly what you are looking for, or you want to "tweak" one our designs, we are willing to do so. Just contact us and we'll work it out with you!
I am a teacher by day, entrepreneur by night... I started Cards with Care after creating my own wedding invitations 2 years ago. Since then, I have developed many of my own designs for clients. I enjoy creating custom designs and working with clients to develop exactly what they are looking for. 
A lovely & professionally run cards & stationery shop, I'm sure you won't be disappointed with your finds there! Have fun ;)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

What's Father's Day all about? To honor the Fathers or Father figures around us, I suppose. In church this morning, the speaker (Pastor Song Tjoa) shared, that he felt it's not so much of what he wish his children will do for him as a Father... but rather, for him as a child, going to his Father, and honoring him.

Made me see it from a different angle, and yes I agree. All of us, regardless of our age, are all children belonging to someone. This is just a day in the calendar year, for us to remember, honor & thank our earthly Fathers.

Perhaps some of us grew up without an earthly Father (I'm one) and yet many others grew up with a "non-existent" Fathers (whatever the reason). Despite that, we have a heavenly Father who loves us & provides for our every needs, & who hears when we call.

If our earthly Father is undeserving of the honor, surely our heavenly Father more than deserve the honor & thanks for being a faithful & ever present help to all of us his children.

To all the Fathers out there, Happy Father's Day! & Don't forget, to honor your Fathers today as well ;) Last but not least, to our heavenly Father: Thank you, You deserve all honor always & Happy Father's Day! ;)))

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Signed Up on ArtFire!

It's been quite sometime now that I'm contemplating of "dropping" Winniel...my jewelry line on Etsy that is ;)

Reason being, I realized that I cant focus on having 2 shops & handling them well, simultaneously. I started out with Winniel, & opened The Laughing House to tap on my Mom's sewing expertise. 

Gotta admit, I spent a lot more time doing work on The Laughing House (promoting/blogging/flickr-ing etc) thus neglecting Winniel. Sales were definitely affected, and since The Laughing House has better exposure & sales, it gives me more motivation to improve & do it better too!

Well, I've not quite decided what to do with Winniel for now, but am not making any new pieces & allowing older pieces to "expire" from my Etsy shop.

This afternoon, I came across a forum thread on Etsy, about Artfire, which is another site for "indie-preneurs" like myself to showcase our handmade products & selling them directly to consumers.

I've heard of Artfire for quite sometime now, & always resisted on signing up an account there. But today, I decided to give it a try. Opened an account, & started listing a few items. ;)

Hours later, I was pleasantly surprised to hear from an admin staff of Artfire, that my Organizer Wristlet is featured in her personal blog!

Wow....I'm really pleased & honoured ;) Perhaps the fact that Artfire is younger & has a smaller community compared to Etsy, allows me the chance to be "seen" :D

I signed up for the basic account, where everything is still free. It's definitely no harm trying right? ;)

See you at my new Artfire shop soon!

Friday, June 12, 2009

My 1st Attempt at Making a Bible Cover

Finally, I've begun & completed making my very first Bible Cover. Proud to say, everything was done entirely by me, though with lots of guidance from my mom ;) Below are some of the pictures I took along the way, highlighting the process & progress.

I chose my small purse sized Bible as my first "model", as its tiny & won't waste so much fabric *grin* ... My mom suggested that I used left over scraps of the less attractive fabric since this is my first attempt, & for practice purposes.

However, I need some extra motivation to keep me going... now choosing a non-attractive fabric will just made me fizzle out easily. So, I chose one of my newly bought Japanese fabric (Swirling Bee), as I like its simple design with muted colours. I figured, this fabric is not one of my customers top favourite either...so, its safe to use up this fabric for my practice purposes.

I started off with drawing up the patterns, cutting up the paper & fabric. Easy peasy.

Next, cutting the matching cotton & the padding.

There should be more pictures b4 it came to this stage, which I realized belatedly. Well, when I've reached this stage, I had gone thru stitching the pieces together, sewing "criss crossing" across the front of the piece. And, made a mistake along the way... though "endorsed" by my mom. So to say, she made the mistake along with me, hehe...

You see, the criss crossing of the main piece, is of a certain angle. Now, I have to sew the criss cross on the other piece, which you see as the front pocket on the above picture. We agreed on the wrong angle, which resulted in a more elongated "diamonds".

So, this project was stalled for a day or two, b4 I got into the mood to cut another piece of fabric, & redo this part.

The above picture shows the pocket & cover all sewn together, with the right sized "diamonds" on it ;)

Measuring, & re-measuring at various junctions. Since I have the bible with me, I can easily verify if the size is right, & how much more allowance do I have to work on. But for custom orders with only numerical measurements to guide us along, this aspect is really important.

"last fitting" ;)

Almost completed, with the 2 silk ribbons already attached, and the side trimming sewn on. What comes next, is hand sewing that trimming, making sure its not too tight or too loose. Too tight, and it looked very uncomfortable. Too lose, it looked really sloppy. This may be a small part of the whole process, but I realized, this is the "king maker" in this sense ;) The trimmings either kill or made it! ;)

My last 2 attempts at doing these trimmings had both the "too loose" & "too tight" ones....so I had more or less gotten the hang of it, but not perfecting the skill yet.

This time round, my trimmings were more "uniformed" in size, but still a bit loose.
I'm happy to present, my very first handmade Bible Cover ;) 

All the "undoings" that I had to do along the way made me think that sewing requires the patience of a saint! I remembered my sewing projects during secondary school days, where I'd give up in frustration when I realized that I had done something the wrong way (upside down, wrong direction etc).

It's just so frustrating having to undo something that you've put time & effort to do carefully, & yet it was still wrong or not good enough. This time round, I was determined to diligently do all the "corrections" my mom asked me to in areas of mistakes etc, so that I can fully understand what goes thru making a Bible Cover.

I've seen my mom make this countless times (though not the whole complete procedure...just bits & pieces here & there). It seemed easy & straight forward. Now I knew better ;)

Next in line will be practicing on making a second piece. I've decided to pick another small size, hard cover Bible for my nx practice, followed by a large study Bible as the 3rd piece. By the 3rd piece, I'm hoping to be able to do one, with handles :D

Be on the lookout for them, & tell me what u think of this one ;)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lovely Fabric - Lovely 3 Fold Tool Kit Case

A new custom order for a 3 Fold Toolkit Case, in lovely City Blooms in Espresso fabric, by Kitty Yoshida.

I have a cousin in Jakarta, who runs a beauty salon. She carries this little tool kit case with her whenever she works, or go house visit for special customers. She uses this to organize her scissors,  make up brushes & combs. 

While the small zippered pocket at the side is a convenient & safe place for her to put her cash in. 

My mom is very close to her, and often stay over at her house, when she saw this very useful toolkit case, in a boring black synthetic leather. She studied it, and decided to start drawing out the patterns, & make one with it. 

It turned out as good, but PRETTIER with our Japanese fabrics & other imported designer fabrics. So, thats how we decided to start selling this in The Laughing House as well.

She made 3 of them initially, all in different fabrics. But they took forever to sell...so, I decided that its better to list it as custom orders instead. So that customers have a choice of ordering this in THEIR Choice of Fabric. At the same time, we won't need to stock up on items like this which are not so popularly used by the majority of us.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Complete Organizer Purse Matching Set

Complete Organizer Purse Matching Set, in Amy Butler's Brown Laceworks.

I've had many customers who requested custom orders for 3 of our shops's BEST SELLING Organizer Purses, in matching fabrics. And with this last set that turned out so pretty, I thought it's a good chance to take a picture of this complete "family portrait" (LOL), & start offering our customers this complete set, at an attractive price!

It's always nice to have a complete matching set of Wristlets & Purses. I love it that way, & I believe many women out there, including YOU share this similarity with me ;)
To place an order, or check out our other products, please visit The Laughing House.
Hope to see u there soon ;)

~ Functional & Unique Organizer Purse Set, for Modern Women on the Go! ~

Monday, June 8, 2009

Etsy Featured Shop 12 (Part 2)

Buy Handmade
A little something about the seller:
I'm Leslie, the "Stymiepie" in Stymiepie Studios, an artist who lives and works in New Jersey. I paint murals in homes across the country, handpaint items for several local stores, and illustrate children's books. I'm a graduate of Art and Design and FIT. The thing i love best about what i do , whether it's painting a mural in a baby to be's room, or handpainting a piggy bank,or custom canvas..is being part of something special in someone's life..usually a happy time. It's a lovely compliment to be included in that moment, and i thank all of my customers for choosing me to help them celebrate their lives.

I am a daughter, a mom, an aunt, a sister and an artist who believes that every positive thing, thought, or action taken brings something better back to you. Peace and love, Stymiepie
Check out the lovely paintings to bring some life & creativity into your homes! :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Day Tote Size M

front view
side view
This Day Tote was made for a customer who wanted our Mini Day Tote design, made larger. Initially we agreed to go according to the specified size given by her. However, while drawing out the pattern, we realized that there's a certain "rule" (in terms of ratio) to abide by, in order for us to maintain the original shape of this tote.

Thankfully, it was completed well! ;) My mom & I were really pleased by how this piece turned out.

Though simple in design, it's quite a challenging piece to work on. Partly due to the fact that our sewing machine is a really basic unit (modern electrical type)... whereas my mom is used to the old style sewing machine, where the "unit head" (I don't know how else to describe that) is small, and the "table" is spacious. 

Now, the above picture can be misleading. It don't look that big, but is actually not small either ;) So, certain angles were rather "squeez-ey" to sew on with our limited "basic function" sewing machine, especially around the round handle, where my mom had to undo it 3 times to get it right.

Hm...the patience & persistence of a true craftswoman ;) I wonder if it were me, whether I can patiently go through the full rigor of completing a detailed & tedious work such as this.

My "potential" has yet to be seen, hehe... hopefully her crafting genes were passed on in completion to me ;)

* For custom order of Day Tote Size M in YOUR choice of Fabric, please contact me directly at The Laughing House.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Etsy Featured Shop 11 (Part 2)

Buy Handmade
A little something about the seller:
My passion for fashion began as a 6 year old girl doodling designs in a Mickey Mouse steno pad.

As an adult, I craved that creative outlet once again and began working for an established children's fashion company. Initially, I did web design and photography. From there, I started to do some sales and customer retention work. Finally, I started attending industry tradeshows and I found my niche.

Childhood Clothing was born and I opened my own brick and mortar boutique. We carried and still work closely with several Etsy designers.

Childhood now has its own name brand line. We operate as an online retailer and wholesaler. Our designs can be found in several boutiques or in the comfort of shopping online.
A truly delightful shop that'll bring back some childhood memories ;) or, if you have little ones... you may face a certain amount of temptation *hint* lol...ENJOY!

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