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1  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / A photography set! Messenger-tote & laptop sleeve... on: April 26, 2006 02:34:57 PM
Hi Crafty Folks!

It's been a while since I've posted. I had intense finals & then to top it all off, I broke a rib. Thank goodness summer is here!
So, as I finally have time to breathe (sort of, breathing becomes a hassle with rib issues), I finally have time to address all the commissions that came my way in the last 1/2 of the semester. Be forewarned, this is an image-heavy post!

This piece is a direct spinoff of my last set (some of you may have seen it already, it's the typewriter set). Shutterbug requested a set that's photography-themed, and asked that the tote have a flap instead of a zipper. So I ended up changing things around a lot, and I'm happy with the results, after quite a bit of messing about. I feel bad, i guess I'm coming across as a bit of a one-trick pony... but I assure you, I'll soon try something new and different... as it stands, catching up on the commissions will run my life for the next few weeks though!

Anyway, I hope Shutterbug is happy with the results, as I'm not really sure if she was expecting this new arrangement for the design. The messengerish tote is really large, to accomodate the laptop sleeve. there's tonnes of room for books & extras (she requested extra knitting space, also). There are two large inside lining pockets, and then right beneath the flap one large pocket, and then a zippered pocket on top of that pocket. They're simple, but they're my favourite part Smiley Oh, yeah, and I ought to mention the method to do this was silkscreening. My biggest struggle with this project is that I thought it'd be neat flow to have the squared-off sides of the bag just be the strap... but it caused me such a hassle. has anyone else made this horrible mistake? next time, i make the straps entirely independantly of the sides. It's not worth the doubling of the workload!!

Ok, Ok, I'm a talker. Here is a multitude of photos:

 
The SET! I'm addicted to sets, and themes. it's an illness.

The Messengeresque Tote. The strap looks short, but it's about 22" long. the bag's just wide!

These are the bag's guts.

the sleeve. same approach as my typewriter & vespa sleeves.
and last, but not least, my good buddy Syd models the merchandise....


Oy vey, I go on forever.
The end! What do you think, will she approve? I'm sure she'll be here soon to put in her own two cents, though. Cheesy
2  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Click-Clack.... Typewriter Laptop Sleeve & Tote Set! Success!! on: February 22, 2006 06:09:21 PM
So, earlier this month, I was commissioned to create a sleeve & tote set by craftster member Raindrops (english lit student), to carry her laptop in.
She liked my vespa laptop sleeve that I'd posted on here earlier, and requested something similar, only with a typewriter and "click clack" instead.

This is what i came up with.... I'm SOOO pleased!! (sorry, it's pretty image-heavy...)






The tote's scooped front is actually a pocket! I screened the fabric behind it.

They were fairly time-consuming, as I was trying a few new things, and haven't printed with photoemulsion since college...but after a few minor hardships they totally worked out!  I'll be sending these to her later this week.

I've got to be honest... It's going to be really hard too give this all up. I've never made a matching set before, and there's just something about everything fitting together perfectly... sigh! I'll miss them.... but I'm confident they'll be put to good use.
3  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Brown & Pink Vinyl Long Wallet-Clutch! on: February 15, 2006 10:20:48 AM
Hello Again!

It's my reading week this week, and instead of doing all the homework/studying I could be doing, let alone working on several large commisions that have been requested of me (weeeell, I'm actually waiting for my screen to dry so i can print) I decided I needed to stretch my sewing muscles a little and get experimental. This is my first time working on something so detailed in such a small format. So this is my own long-wallet pattern! It's definitely just a prototype, but as a friend of mine asked me to create something along these lines for her, it's (cross my fingers) still going to be used & loved, despite imperfections.

So, Without Further Ado:
Front:

Back: (zippered pocket)

Inside: (yes, there's another zippered pocket at the top!)

As an afterthought, full:


It has 6 card slots & I managed to fit 12 cards in them, a large paper money pocket behind them, a photo card slot, a zippered pocket behind that, and a zippered pocket on the back as well. the outside is vinyl, and the inside is a superhigh threadcount poly lining, stiffened with Interfacing.

I'm really pleased with it, despite all the obvious errors such as alignment and imperfect measurments. after all, it's just a prototype (my friend won't mind). It did take bloody forever, though. the next one, i won't be doing each card pocket individually. i thought It would come off as rather chic... but next time, I'll just do three rows with a line sewed down the middle, thankyou. I'm also not crazy about the closure. My friend specifically requested no magnetic snaps for fear of card damage... but she also insisted on not having a tri-fold.... so this was all i could think of (I thought velcro might come off as a little tacky).

The front design, i can't really take credit for. I was showing my friend another crafty site I admire, and she said, "something like that design would be perfect"... so inspiration credit goes to http://www.stitchpixie.com for her 'fifities wallpaper' stylings. (not to worry, my future attempts that i might sell will be using my own designs, so I won't be stepping on Cheryl's toes... I hope she doesn't mind this rendition!)

Sorry about the quick photoshopping- I clearly didn't notice that it made the edges look ragged... they're much cleaner in reality.

so, yup, what do you think? Ideas for the next attempt?
4  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Screen Printing: Discussion and Questions / Fearful of Over-exposing my screen... eek! on: February 15, 2006 05:47:10 AM
Hi Guys...

I'm not new to screening at all, actually - i went to art college & used to screen with photoemulsion lots, the only problem being that the school had a lighttable that was set at an 8 minute exposure time.... which means I just have no idea how to judge how long I should expose my images on the lighttable I've just built. I gave it a shot yesterday, at the round old fifteen minute mark, and when i went to the shower to wash the unwanted filler away, it just washed most of the filler away fairly quickly. Definitely sounds like a bad case of the under-exposure blues.

SO... does anyone here know if over-exposing is a bad thing? (for example: If I had left a screen exposing at the 8-minute table at school for, like, 30 minutes.... umm... what would have happened?

OR - do you guys have some clever way of calculating how long I should expose, based on the wattage of light, or something?

I'm thinking I'll expose for 30 minutes this time around... but I'd rather be safe than sorry, and leave it for longer, if I knew it wouldn't ruin things in some way.
5  CITY GUIDES FOR CRAFTSTERS / CANADA / canada post - exorbitant prices? on: February 13, 2006 02:02:25 PM
Hi guys: just curious as to your thoughts...

Um... is canada post extremely overcharging?

what would cost me 5 dollars to send in the states seems to cost 13 dollars to send here.... I paid 14.65 today to send a CLUTCH I had made from toronto to BC. had I not selected tracking also it would have been 1 dollar less.

I very rarely send things from within Canada: I usually send to the states, which is seemingly way cheaper...

I don't know: on all crafty sites, people seem to charge between 3 and 6 dollars to ship their merch, but frankly, I can't understand how that's possible considering it cost me more than my materials just to send the darn thing, in a bubble envelope mailer.

thoughts?
6  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / An Underselling Discussion: crafting problem everywhere... on: February 05, 2006 01:26:04 PM
I've been thinking about this for a while, noticing all the crafters around here who seem to be extremely underselling themselves. All the pricing threads are so disturbing... many crafters here seem to price their projects lower than even the materials cost, or simply at cost of materials! Frankly, I don't understand how anyone can price a hand-made, love-invested purse at $15.00, or a hand-screened T-shirt at 10.00. Is everyone aware of how much the mass-produced and not-as-good equivalent goes for at any hipster store (like urban outfitters for example)? What about all the love, and time that you put into your project?!

Then, today, when I finally had a bunch of time to myself, I decided to devote a bunch of time to etsy surfing... and I realized how severe this issue is. I thought maybe it was a small issue, reserved to only a small number of people. But on the Etsy site, it seems even worse than it is here. My prices seem outrageous compared to all the items listed there. It makes me feel like I must be demanding a totally unfair price: only I assure you, my products are doing very well in the local stores.

I got to thinking about how internet pricing seems to have gone too far: to be competitive, you seem to have to underprice everything. Of *course* all crafters wish they could make money crafting, but know they can't: their prices are totally way too low.
My concerns become:

1) how can we possibly expect to be selling our "standard-priced" merchandise, when so many crafters are selling at incredibly low prices?
2) Where's their pride, confidence and self-respect? It's as though they're paying people to buy their merch!
3) If crafting is to be appreciated, valued, and taken seriously by your average non-crafter, doesn't this low-pricing trend give us all a bad rap?
4) is it simply that their items aren't as well made? i kind of doubt that. Crafted items are often superior to your average mass-produced products.

I'm just curious about everyone else's response to this. am I silly- should I just lower my prices like everyone else? Must we really lower our prices to be competitive for internet sales? Are crafters actually making money off of their inexpensive items?

Sorry for the lengthy post... I'm just a little disturbed by this realization.
7  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Vespa Hipster Laptop Sleeve on: February 03, 2006 06:33:17 PM
So, I was commissioned over Christmas to create a custom sleeve as a gift, and I'm finally getting around to posting it. Funny how I made it instead of studying for my finals. le sigh. (I passed, though!)


anyway, I'm really pleased with it. It's a brown twill exterior, cotton quilted batting black interior, with dark brown vinyl trim on the outside, with a silscreened vespa & "vroom vroom" stamped, to top it all off.

I was very pleased with how it turned out! What do you think?
8  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / New Year? New Look! my redecorated site needs earnest feedback... on: January 05, 2006 01:54:54 PM
Hi Guys,

I've been working on re-doing my website over the holidays. It's current look has been well-received, but I have quite a few qualms with it. Primarily, I've just found it to be *too* peppy-cutesy & over-geometric. Sort of generic. I don't think I was being very innovative when i designed it. But hey, for a first stage, it's not bad. I just think it's a bit limiting in its suggestion of what my product's all about. I Think the colour-scheme pops a little *too* much.

Anyway, I've been hard at work on some improvements, and want to get the new version up before school gets into full swing this semester. But I need some quality constructive criticism and feedback to do it! What I tried to do was make it a little more subtle & elegant, yet retaining the original site's quirkiness. I'm hoping that now it will be a fitting home for the more chic pieces I've been doing for a while, while remaining a comfy environment for the perky & cute vinyl things I make. I'm afraid much of the content that's currently on the site is highly outdated, and doesn't really reflect my product that well, as I've been waiting for the new look's launch to update it... alas. but nonetheless, I think the spirit of the thing is present.

anyway, if you can tell me what you like in the new, preferred in the old, what's missing in the new, what there's too much of, etc... the works.... it would be highly valued.

the site as it stands: http://www.jasfitz.com
the screenshot of the new look: http://www.jasfitz.com/graphics/Picture3.png (please excuse the nonsense text filler, copy-pasted from a project I wrote last term Wink )

Thanks a bazillion. As a graphic designer, it's strang how difficult it is for me to get a perspective on my own work!
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Fifties-esque polka-dot top with peter pan collar :) on: January 03, 2006 08:49:31 PM
After all this time I've been here commenting on things, putting in my two cents, using wonderful tutorials, I'm finally posting a project! 'Bout time! I just never seem to get around to it.
In this case, I couldn't help myself, as I received a serger for christmas, and this project is my very first experimentation with it!

It's my own pattern, but I didn't really draft it or anything... I never really do. i tend to throw caution into the wind. In any case it's full of first tries for all sorts of fun stuff! I haven't been making clothing since high school, and that was some time ago, so I'm feeling rather accomplished. I didn't really know what the proper term for that kind of round-lapel collar would be. anyone?




I'm very pleased how this baby came out. Note the not-so-very-puffy-puffed sleeves, the buttons that serve no real purpose, and the incorporated...er.... sash-thing. Isn't the fabric cute?!

For my next try, I'm looking forward to getting a little more creative/mischievious/venturing into the deeper end. Any suggestions or constructive criticism would be welcome!



10  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / where do you put your labels? on: November 21, 2005 11:12:42 AM
Hi guys.

I was just wondering about where everyone likes to put their labels on their purses/totes/pouches/etc....?

I always thought they'd go inside, hidden (I hate the mega branding thing), but I just had some woven labels made, and I think they look awesome on the zippered-side of my pouches, along the bottom, or in the corner. at first i was putting them just inside, below the zipper.

so, i guess I'm just curious what y'all do, and why?

Jas
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