Thursday, November 12, 2015

Large Two toned Faux Leather Tote

I completed my Leather tote project yesterday. Feels good having my own customised version of tote. The tote is completely normal in its construction. I have used coffee brown faux leather of two kinds and made the handle with the bottom material of the tote.
There is a zip pocket at the back of the back and one on the inside too. I made a pocket to keep my phone and then there is the pen / pencil holder and a hook to hang my keys. For some reason keys go missing in my normal totes / bags and so when I decided to make a tote I knew I wanted a hook provision to ''hang'' things like keys or maybe extra pouches etc. I used a waterproof bag lining for this tote. I did not put in a regressed zip, instead attached a magnetic snap to the center of the tote.

The finished work - a Large tote. I can fit my laptop in here and an umbrella, some note books as well.

You can see the magnetic snap and the inside zip pocket. I had just one brown zip, which I used for the zip pocket on the outside and ended up using a grey zip for the inner pocket.

The pocket for holding mobile, pen holder and the dangling hook where I keep my keys

Another view

The zip at the back of the tote.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

New beginning maybe? Projects to be completed

I've always wanted to put a label to the things I make and haven't been able to find a name that I like. And then one day while I was out, riding my bike, it came to me. I can't tell you what it is but maybe soon I'll be able to... I don't know how soon that soon will be.... And DH and I were discussing things over and we decided to buy a domain with the said name I came up with. I was excited! it didn't cost us much to get the domain but I still need a website to be set up and that costs money. So for the time being we are taking it slow. Maybe, I can reach a point where I can support the whole online ''store / shop" from the orders I take up or sales I do. It is a long shot and I'd love it for our family to have that extra income. But I'm not there yet and I don't know if I will get there, but I sure can hope for it.

In that line of thought, I thought I need to have an identifying symbol for my ''brand'... I want to do the logo, website look etc. I'm not good at drawings, but I know what I want. So one day last week I sat down and drew what I had in my head. I'll warn you, it isn't pretty or artistic... it looks like a child's work of art and I like that :-). I had help from two gorgeous sisters with their valuable input and the input of my long lasting friend - we go way back to college and ever since have stuck together. We got married, had kids at around the same time. I'm almost ok with the way that looks. Now I need a logo. I've been wanting to work on it, but haven't. Things came up at kids school, PTM, meetings, outing etc.

So what is next up on my agenda or list of tasks / projects to complete
1) Make a sleeve for sister's Mac
2) Make 2 drawstring bags for her kiddos
3) Make a clutch for a cousin's wife
4) Make a tote for self using the faux leather
5) And maybe a wallet using the faux leather

I've been very nervous trying to complete the sleeve for Mac, for the simple reason that I don't have a demo piece or something I can use to verify if the sleeve will fit. I thought of getting a demo piece using Thermocol sheet. Rain has been playing spoilsport... we've been having showers the whole day through that I can't go out. I hope the sleeve fits :-S. I've cut out the outer pieces and the foam sheet is ready, but I need the right zip. Been thinking if I should go to the market again for it. I need a few other knick knacks as well. Kiddos bag won't take long at all, but I've been holding back. I need to solve one problem before I can complete those. I don't have the tools I need and I've been debating on whether I need to get them or not. They don't fit my budget at the moment to be honest.I want to insert grommets, but don't have the tools.

In the meantime I've started on the extra large tote for myself. Yet to finish up the bag handle. I want it to look more professional, but  like I said before, I don't have the tools I need.
Clutch is the difficult one in terms of execution. I don't know if my machine can handle all the layers of that fabric and I can't afford to do a shabby job....

What next? Sample drawstring bag and sample laptop sleeve

Now that I've added some more material to my sewing "hoard" section, you'd think I'd make something. You are right! This is my first attempt at using Faux leather and I wanted to make sure I can do a decent job of making a sleeve for my laptop before I attempt the same for an 11" Macbook. I want it to be perfect. I'm making it for someone special and I lover her :-). She has u always  been there for me - through the good, bad and terrible times. They say sisters tend to do that, especially the Big sisters....

So, anyway, I thought I'd make a sample drawstring bag using the new fabrics, just to check how they'd hold up and also to verify if the waterproof lining I got would do its job. And I wanted to make a sample laptop sleeve as well.

And now, the results

Made the laptop sleeve using Faux leather as the outer and inner fabric. Sandwiched between the layers is a layer of 1/2 inch foam padding and foam sheet padding for the front and back panel.
I'm not too proud of the sleeve. I didn't have the right zip and the result is evident... but I'm sure i'll get it right the next time.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Another round of Fabric shopping

Yesterday I went out fabric shopping again. This time, I wanted to get hold of some faux leather, waterproof bag lining and some bag making material. I found just the right things in the least amount of time. I went back to Balepete and I was for some strange reason not able to find the shops I visited last time. Instead, I found new shops and these guys sell the leather of right thickness for making bags / purses. They even have upholstery leather for sofas and car seats. The shop even had a velvet fabric. I thought I'd overshoot my budget, but surprisingly I could stay within my  normal range!

Watch out... in the next few days I should be done with a few projects that have been pending. I'm hoping it works out fine. I'll share the pics then. 

Faux Leather: The first and third fabrics are dark brown the middle one is black. The first one will be used for making sleeve cum bag for a Mac book and the second one is for a clutch. The third one - well I may make a tote for myself... lets see. Maybe even a wallet.

The black one with the lock. This will eventually become a clutch

Waterproof materials for drawstring bags. I may make snack / lunch bag out of these. I loved the pink fabric with hearts on it!

Red waterproof bag material. I may convert this to Lunch bag for kiddos.

Exhibition and Sale

On Thursday kids school sent a circular saying they need to bring handmade items for exhibition on Saturday. So I asked my girl what she wants to take and she told me she wants to make a house! Told her we'd have to make something which people would be interested in buying and so we took a piece of paper and started writing down the things we wish to make. The list went something like this:
1) Hair clips / bands
2) Pouches
3) Fabric dolls (small size)
4) Cookies
We just had a day to make whatever we wanted to, so I told her we'd start off with the clips since they are the easiest to make plus even if we don't manage to finish off the rest we'd have something to sell. So we made a few felt flowers and attached the leaves on and put that on hair clips. Pretty soon we ran out of hair clips and hot glue and it was night time already - too late to go out and buy. I thought I'd get the a label printed from Printo to put on the outer cover. It would be like selling our own brand of products :-).

The next day, i.e. Friday I cut different fabrics out to make the pouches, put the matching zips together and got sewing. Made 3 pouches by 3 PM. Then I went out to get hot glue, hair clips etc. The traffic was horrendous. Horrendous traffic is synonymous with Bangalore, even so, some days are far worse than others. I went to HSR to source zip as well. Got home by 6 PM and go back to making more flowers. In total we made 18 pairs of flowers in Red, Rose, Purple, Yellow and White. Then I went back to completing the two more pouches. Sewing happened only after kids were put to bed, at around 8:30 PM. I had not yet made the cookie batter.

Once dinner was done and kids went to bed I got the cookie batter ready and started baking 6 cookies per batch. The baking tray I have now can accommodate only 6 cookies per batch ;-) and my oven is not a huge one either. While the cookies were baking I started sewing the remaining pouches. All prep work was done, fabric outer and lining was cut and interfacing was ironed on, zip ready for installation etc). With the batter I made I could make 23 large cookies. I then waited for them to cool down. In the meantime, I decided to pack away the slides. I put them in pairs based on colour.

Next step: Packing the cookies. I made little pouch for each cookie with the butter paper and covered it with the Pink Paper I had got from Itsy Bitsy and tied the bakers twine around each cookie. Felt good seeing the end result. And the while I kept thinking I should take pictures... and guess what, I forgot or rather ran out of time. Once the cookies were packed, I got back to sewing the very last pouch. Then I had an idea - yes I get these at the very last moment usually! - I decided to make little handmade bags to give away the pouches. I used the baby pink sheets I had got and instead of gluing the sheet, used the masking tape on the inside to keep the sides of the bag together. Terrible idea, but since I was running out of time, thought I'll just do it this way this time...

Was up till 3:00 AM finishing up all the last minute work. The next day we all went to school and set up the stalls and pouches got sold pretty soon. And the slides as well. Cookies took time to sell because it was packed in butter paper and the outer cover, no one could see the cookies. But we did sell a fair amount. Of the 23 I had baked, all got sold except 5 or 6. We gave those away to the kiddos around the hall. And of the 18, 4 slides were not sold. Those I gave away to my girl's classmates...
All in all I felt great making and selling these.

This is the only picture I could find of my wares. This was after I sold the first two pouches and first 5 pairs of clips / hairbands were sold.