Rhinestic's Knick Knacks

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Crafting Update 1: Washi Tape Mini Clutch Wristlets ( + a little rambling )

Slightly more than 3 weeks back, I was going through my Facebook feed and chanced upon a post by MT Masking Tape Singapore, calling for fans to join the "Handmade with MT" campaign. Participants were required to create something using only MT tapes for decoration and shortlisted entries would then be displayed and sold at the Launch of the new MT tapes selection. (In case you're wondering, MT tape is the very famous and original brand for washi tapes.)

Thinking it would be a fun experience, I decided to participate, while at the same time, egging on Ailyn from Tat'sWorthy@such to take up the challenge too, which she did.

Both Ailyn and I were of this "since there would be a shortlist, perhaps it's better to up the game instead of purchasing pre-made blank products and taping them" mentality. We went maker-mode and decided to go the "made-from-scratch" route. Ailyn is a new scrapbooker, and she had the brillant idea of making scrapbooking decorations from unexpected supplies and, of course, MT tapes.

As for me, I went through a few possibilities in my mind. I was thinking resin accessories but for some reason, my knitting needle pockets (which I made entirely out of MT tapes) + the act of sewing kept flashing in my head. And then, I suddenly remembered I had this almost-forgotten paper laminate kit which was chucked away in a corner of my sewing studio. *My light bulb lit*

In case you're wondering why a paper laminate kit was sitting in my SEWING studio, that kit was meant for creating sew-able waterproof paper fabrics. With the possibility of creating my very own MT fabrics, I eventually settled on making some kind of MT pouches. I wasn't too sure if MT tapes would work with the paper laminate kit, so I devised a technique of taping the tapes onto a very thin sheet of white paper and did a test swatch...

It seemed to work! I also wanted to make sure the paper fabric was able to withstand a reasonable amount of weight, so I sewed a sample purse (with lining, zipper and all... I must say the paper fabric is not the most pleasant material to sew with...) and brought it out everyday before I was cutting too close to the deadline (we only had 2 weeks to work with)...

Excuse my chipping nail polish and the mismatched strap..

Seemed sturdy enough! (In fact, I am still using it!) And the interesting texture really gave the purse a lot of character! It almost looked like some kind of crumpled leather.

And so, I proceeded to plan the actual bag design. Since the focus was on MT tapes, I decided to go simple on the shape of the bag and go fancy on the fabric designs. I finally came up with the mini clutch wristlet design which is a rectangular pouch, half the size of a normal clutch, and includes a handmade removable strap.

The concept behind this size is to allow the user to either use it as a stand-alone wristlet or as a supplementary pouch which can be put into a bigger bag. I wanted each wristlet to stand on its own, so each of them has a unique fabric design. As with all the other bags I made, the wristlets are fully lined. I also handmade the removable straps from strips of suede.

I managed to make 3 wristlets before the submission deadline, having the intention to make a few more if I got shortlisted. (Ailyn was also thinking of making more only if she's shortlisted) Problem was we were not told when the results would be out and they mentioned they would only message us through FB if we were shortlisted..

A couple of days on and 4 more days (2 if weekends are excluded) to the new MT tapes launch, there was still no news. Ailyn and I were pretty much giving up hope on getting shortlisted, while thinking at the same time that the standard must be pretty high. Then, that very night on the second day, Ailyn told me she was shortlisted! That prompted me to check my FB account... Lo and behold! I was shortlisted too! Yay? We only had 3 days to continue making what we could...

2 more wristlets were all I could manage but I went nuts with the fabric design on them. I guess I was on an adrenalin high. I was crazily punching out hexagons and cutting out parallelograms by hand, and aligning and pasting them one by one on my pieces of paper. Gosh...

And so, I made a total of 5 wristlets (check my next post for a clearer shot of each one!) and brought them down to the event.. Perhaps we should have lowered our expectation a little.. Ailyn and I weren't too impressed by the very small "Handmade with MT" section... There were only 4 types of items, including ours. And looking at the decor-ed notebooks and decor-ed plastic card holders, both of us were wondering why we even put in that much effort... (They later added a decorated stool.. But it's still straight taping...)

Mini Clutch Wristlets, decor-ed stool, scrapbooking goodies, decor-ed card holder, decor-ed notebooks (The rest are MT products), photo by MT SG

Perhaps what is worse is that up till now, there doesn't seem to be much (or any) sales. (I know my wristlets have yet to have any sales.. which is, I won't lie, disappointing...) Not sure if it's the lack of advertising on MT SG's part, or the people here are still not adept to buying handmade items.. We still have until end of this week, so fingers crossed...?

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