Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Last Post in 2008

Time flies and it's already the 53rd Tuesday of 2008. This is my last post in 2008 and above is my last sewing in 2008, too. Can you guess what it is? It's a bag cover but not for storage purposes. You know how the security check at the airport and this is my answer to those severe abuse on bags.
I will fly to London tomorrow for winter holiday and will be back home on 27th January. I am not sure how often I could submit new posts but I try my best. So, everyone, thank you for reading my blog this year and wish you a happy and prosperous new year.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

First Sale at Etsy

I made my first sale at Etsy yesterday! I believe I posted this thimble before but I am so happy that I want to share it with you all again. To be precise, it was not my very first sale, but my first at Etsy, however, it doesn't matter, I made my first sale!!

I set up my shop at Etsy about a month ago. Although my listings have been collecting reasonably satisfactory viewers, I have received no enquiry or sale at all. I was kind of disappointed, not much but a little, because my thimbles do not have practical use for most people and I didn't have high expectations, but still.... Then, out of blue I got enquiry message and voila, it's got sold!

I am so happy that someone I don't know, haven't met before, and most likely will not meet ever, liked my work enough to pay for it. Now, let's cerebrate!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Three Pink Rings

I have already shown you my pink Kelly bag on Tuesday so I have to think of something else. I have to confess I do not have much pink in my household. Don't misunderstand me, I like pink all right, it's just that pink is not really my colour, that I don't look great in pink.

Those are the rings special ordered the other day; the mother of two daughters ordered three matching rings for her daughters and herself. I make a point to take pictures of everything I made, for the record/reference as well as sentimental reasoning and I should have taken the picture of three rings instead of the original thimble (left one) and two rings, but I wanted to make the difference clear from a thimble and rings. It was quite a challenging order because the size of the three rings were different while the design had to look the same.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Kelly Bag

What do you say? This is Kelly Bag from Hermes. You know, that Hermes, French big name saddle and bags maker. Well, it was made of paper, though. I have got this cutie from their official web page. If you would like one for yourself, you can jump from here. You are going to be directed to the official site of Hermes. If you want to buy the real deal or have loved one buy for you for Christmas, go to the on-line boutique. If you are happy with the paper version, then go to the World of Hermes. In the World of Hermes page, you can find a white Kelly bag there, you may need to scroll down a bit to get to it. In that white Kelly bag page, they are offering six Kelly bags in pdf file. You can choose even white one so that you can draw the picture of your own.

I printed on the ordinarily paper but if you use the glossy paper (you know, the one you print the photographs on) your bag should look much nicer.

Look, there is a safety pin at the bottom of the bag! Enjoy!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Pink Scales Thimble

As promised last week, here is a thimble in scales design. The scales are basically continuous triangles as you see here, well, technically, a single triangle can be called a scale, but it's rare and usually the minimum number seems four triangles. You know what, these four triangles are called "three scales" instead of "four". I don't know why, but suppose three triangles (forming one big trianble) makes sequentially the fourth one in the center and only outer three count, perhaps. Where design is concerned in Japan, the scales almost always mean serpents or dragons' scales, and dragons in general in Japan are not evil creatures like in Western world. You'd be better off to find some books in anthropology section in your local library about Far Eastern mythology than listen to my explanation about imaginary creatures in Japan and Far Eastern societies.
Now back to the thimble. I used three shades of pink and white to form quad coloured scales however, the scales are traditionally bi-coloured, like white and silver, red and gold, and black and silver, so my pink one is rather unique :)
My thimbles are hand made, or rather, hand stitched, but it may not be very clear for you what "stitched" means. So here are some pictures to show what I mean "silk stitched".
The Japanese style thimble is basically a ring and you put it on the first knucle of your middle finger. The base is made of stiff paper. You wrap a mold (I use a tube of lip balm) with bias tape once as a lining. Then cut the paper into thin stripe and wrap the paper around the mold (on the bias tape) tightly. Make sure you wrap the paper really tightly otherwise your base becomes dodgy. Turn the both edge of the bias tape up/down and stitch the edge together (herringbone stitch is preffered). Now, you have a base as pictuered below.

Next, you wrap another paper around on the base. This paper (not shown here) is for the guideline of the surface stitch. You measure the circumference of the base and cut the paper into the same size and mark the paper at the certain intervals so that the circumference is evenly devided.

On the marked paper, apply the floss silk as shown above so that the desired thickness is achieved.

Here, you got yourself a nice base.

Now, it's fun part. I divided the circumference into sixteen and following the marking on the paper make a tiny stitch at the top and bottom like zigzag. I should have taken a picture with only one thread instead of after all four colours were done, but you can see what I mean by zigzag? Make stitches with silk thread around the circumference and change to another colour, and then another, and another. Then go back to the first colour and repeat the process until all the segments are filled with stitches (and consequently all the body of the base is filled with thread).

Above picture is after third round.

Now, halfway through.

Almost there.

You got it!
It took me about two hours to to finish this one. This is not a tutorial. I just wanted to show you how the thimble was made. If you are really interested in making your own, please let me know and I may be able to whip up more detailed instruction.
I have created some more blue wave design thimbles and intend to put them on the shelves in my Etsy shop this weekend. If you have time, please have a look and let me know what you think. Thank you.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Red Harlequin

I call this design Harlequin because it reminds me of the costume Mother Goose's Harlequin wore in the book my mother bought for me when I was a little girl. Actually both the costumes of Harlequin and his girl friend, Columbine were illustrated as diamond patterned. The cover of Agatha Christie's "The Mysterious Mr. Quin" is also diamond patterned and Mr. Quin "seemed dressed in rainbow coloured" (or something like this, I cannot remember precisely). Although since I started to make this design, I tried a lot of colour combinations in order to find the most beautiful dress for my Mr Quin, so far not very successful.

This red and white diamond patterned thimble is my best seller. I sold six so far I believe. You can see how small my business is, six sale and it's the best seller :) but it's partly because my thimbles are usually one of a kind and I do not duplicate unless when I got special order or I found people really love one particular design in particular colours. And people love this one. Today I stuffed it with a tiny woollen cushion so that it makes a really small pincushion. It's too small and too light to use as a primary pincushion however, it's really handy for quick sewing job. I always use it when I do embroidery. You know, the embroidery cloth has to be as taught as a drum on the frame, you are not supposed to put anything on the cloth. Still it's light enough and small enough not to disturb the tention on the frame.