Sunday, March 29

Time change!

What time change? I'm sleeping in...

Friday, March 27

Sewing 'bloopers'

Although I'm self-taught, I'd say I'm fairly adept at sewing (I started to handsew at 13). Plus my previous job in the textile industry offered a chance for me to get a close-up look at what goes on in professional design studios, i.e. grading and plotting. Grading is done on the computer where the measurements of, say, a blouse, are graded to range from size 34 - 46. The pattern is then plotted out on these huge sheets of paper, which are then used as a template on the fabric. At least that's how they did it back then. I also learned a lot about fitting from my good friend and professional seamstress Catherine. Knowing how to 'fit' a garment is what makes a great seamstress. When I moved out here I was lucky enough to get to know a fashion designer from whom I was able to learn all the little tricks that aren't found in any sewing books. I've been honing my skills ever since. Of course that doesn't mean I've always been sewing perfectly! Let me share with you how it all started: 1. my first project was a long-sleeved shirt: I mixed up the left and right sleeves when worn, movement of the arms is slighty inhibiting 2. next, I tried my hand at a pair of denim jeans: I mistakenly made the length of the crutch too short best not worn to Sunday lunch with the in-laws 3. then I made a fitted blouse: too bad the buttons and their respective button holes didn't match up note to self :do not ever wear to interviews

4. it was a friend's birthday, and I was really short of time, so I speedily made up a cosmetic pouch: pity the zipper pull ended up on the inside

only for people with agile fingers

Ahem, well. Learning by doing is my motto. And I never give up. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 25

Another surprise in the mail!

Yippee! A gift from my good friend Abby over at Simply Charming in SC arrived in the mail today. My day brightened instantly! As part of the 'Generosity Award', Abby made a pair of earrings just for me - in pink - what else?! Thank you ever so much, Abby ♥ I love, love, love them! I am now a proud owner of original 'Simply Charming' earrings. Yay! And they match 80% of my wardrobe - what could be better?
Take a look now at these gorgeous, sparkly earrings: Abby sent me an elegant note card with a personal message inside too
And that's me wearing them. Aren't they pretty?
Thank you, my friend, for this beautiful gift, which I will cherish forever! I'm preparing my own little gifts for a few wonderful people I met through Blogger and Entrecard, but I want it to be a surprise, so I won't reveal what it is...obviously it will be something handmade by me. More on this at a later date. Hope everyone is having better weather than we are at the moment: still raining, still cold, still gloomy. Urrgh! I'm going to get myself a steaming cup of tea... Till next time!

Sales

It seems spring has taken a backseat, while the rain continues to pour down and temperatures have dropped to 3°C. Brrrr. We even got a bit of sleet yesterday. Since I won't be going out in this weather I decided to analyze my sales on my selling site. I joined Dawanda in October of last year. Overall I'd say my sales are steady, with December '08 being my strongest month. Considering I don't have the means nor the time to churn out bags en masse, I'm happy with the turnout so far. Interestingly, blue/white combinations seem to be the favoured colour choice here in Germany. All the bags in this colour group have sold quickly. My blue strawberry bag has sold five times over: And according to your comments on my giveaway post, most of you carry either black, brown or cream bags. Guess I'm going against the trend. After all this analyzing, two things have become clear: I need to stock up my shop, and I need to come up with a few larger bags, i.e. totes, sling bags etc. For these I will probably go for a neutral/with blue, pink, green combination, however, my make-up bags will remain colourful! My biggest challenge for this year is to set up my own website from which I will sell one-of-a-kind, special edition and custom bags. I'm pretty clear on the design aspect, and hopefully I will find someone to help me with the technical side of it. As I mentioned somewhere in my blog I only know basic HTML. I'm hoping to get this up and running by summertime. Fingers crossed!

Monday, March 23

New in...

I received a fabric delivery at the weekend, among them this whimsical print: I've been doing a few rough sketches working out bag shapes! You should see my sketchbook: it's full of scribbles and basically indecipherable. My ideas keep changing until I wake up one morning knowing exactly what to do. Watch this space for the finished product...

Thursday, March 19

Satin Evening Clutch

Way back in January I wrote about the satin fabrics I bought. Satin is a delicate fabric and needs to be handled with care. When sewing, adjust the pressure foot to 'light', so that you don't leave 'skid marks' on the shiny fabric. Also, use a Microtex needle to avoid unsightly holes where the needle punctures the fabric. Satin may be gently ironed from the left side on the silk setting of your iron. I finally had the opportunity to use the burgundy satin. I made this evening clutch for a girlfriend of mine. Working out the correct size of the bow was a little tricky, but I think the end-result looks pretty good! It's feminine yet simple and works best with evening wear. I'm contemplating making this clutch in emerald green and pink too!

Wednesday, March 18

Changes...

My previous post made me reminisce about how my life has completely changed since I moved out to the country. Sure, there are ups and downs everywhere, and I don't really compare the places - they are just different. But one thing that I'm so relieved about, having left the textile industry behind (and don't laugh at this), is that I finally get to choose what I WANT TO WEAR! Throughout my career I had to conform to the fashion dictates of the companies I worked for. This meant a wardrobe full of black basics. I never had any trouble deciding what to wear each workday morning, because I just had to choose between a black pant suit or a black blazer/skirt combination with either white or black blouses or tops underneath. Boooooring. I'm such a colour person and it was getting kind of depressing after a while. These days I wear mostly casual, slightly hippie-inspired clothes, which I occasionally sew myself - like these cream cotton 5-pocket-pants and mille-fleur tunic with cap sleeves. It's so much more me. If my ex-colleagues could see me now!

Saturday, March 14

Spring is in the air, I think...I hope?

I woke up this morning wondering what that yellow light coming through the blinds was. I looked outside and couldn't believe it was the sun! The very first rays of sunshine after months and months of grey clouds, rain, snow, storms, and yes, even hail! I felt so happy that I got us square muffins for breakfast (yeah, my baker's got a sense of humour) I also finally finished my Springtime bag. Actually I started this in January, then I fell ill. When I got better (or thought I did) I worked on it some more, then I fell ill again - only worse. That's why I was only able to finish it now. In fact, just in time for Dawanda's colour of the month, which happens to be green. I like green in all variations. The bag is decorated with a dainty floral trim and dragonfly appliqué. Wishing everyone a sunny weekend!

Thursday, March 12

Hide-and-Seek

I luvz playing hide'n'seek!
Mommy can't see me here...
...or here
Gotcha!
Spoilsport!

Monday, March 9

silly Monday fun!

I've always been fascinated by linguistics, so I do take more than a passing interest in the verification word that occasionally pops up when I comment on your blogs ☺ I've listed a few below along with my explanation. For this you must use your imagination a little... thyper - a hyper kid with a lisp unfrie - it isn't free! reinging - German. past tense of 'rein gehen'. Engl. transl. to go in macurani - southern Indian noodle specialty frenzld - this is how I feel and look after shopping for groceries, cooking, washing up, ironing a week's worth of shirts, translating a text on the benefits of wearing orthopaedic shoes, and tutoring unruly 10-year olds! Isn't this so much better than Esperanto? *the caption reads - had a good laugh yet?

Saturday, March 7

And the winner is...

First of all, I want to thank EVERYONE who participated in my giveaway! It was so much fun and please don't be sad if you didn't win this time around. I'll be planning more giveaways in future! Okay, the moment you've all been waiting for. Watch the video to find out who won!!! I'll be in touch with the winner! Happy weekend!

Wednesday, March 4

Dawanda frontpage hot trends

Recently I spotted one of my bags on Dawanda's frontpage featuring hot trends. In this case Amy Butler fabrics. This is the first time I've ever seen anything I made on the frontpage. The frontpage changes constantly, so I'm glad I caught it in the nick of time! Quick reminder: There's still time to enter my giveaway. Don't miss this opportunity! And thank you to everyone who has participated so far!