thanks you so much for the bag, its wonderful! I will definitely get lots of use out of it for many years to come.
It was so nice to receive it in such lovely packaging as well!
Good luck with the term ahead,
Design Process for a custom ordered tote bag (8 Aug, 2015)
I received below inquiry email from Bonnie in Sydney:
Hi Yoko,I got your business card from Stephen who works at the Enmore artshop. He showed me some pictures of your sewing work and I was very impressed with the quality and beautiful fabrics you use.I was wondering if you might be interested in making 2 fabric bags for me?I love Japanese fabrics and have two ‘supermarket/green’ bags that I would really like replaced with nice handmade fabric bags.I was wondering if you were interested in making a copy of each of the bags using Japanese fabrics? I find the size and shape of the supermarket/green bags perfect for me, but I would like to have nicer versions of them made from good fabric which would last longer as well.I can give the 2 bags I would like copied to Stephen who can pass them on to you if you are interested.Let me know if this is something you would like to do and how much you charge for this service.Thankyou!Regards,Bonnie
Showed what I can make to Bonnie (22 August, 2015)
I sent photos of a grocery shopping bag, which I’ve made for myself, and asked if Bonnie would be happy to have something similar.
Features of my grocery shopping bag:
- Square shape at base.
- It can hold a lot of things inside.
- Lining fabric can be the colour of your choice.
|Lining fabric – can be colour of your choice|
ABOUT THE SMALL LOOP AT THE TOP THAT ECO BAGS COMMONLY HAVE:
I went to Woolworth and Coles and looked at their eco bags. I could see that a small loop would be quite useful to hook the bag onto the stand at the supermarket checkout.
I have come up with the design below. The loop can be made with elastic – you can hook the bag onto the stand at the supermarket checkout.
I added a cover button on the other side of the bag so that the loop can be hooked to this button to close the bag, too.
|Blue fabric for the cover button. Same material from the outer fabric.|
|Green fabric for the cover button. Same material from the bottom outer fabric|
Below are my current stock:
– AVAILABILITY: I can make 1 bag only. I don’t have enough stock to make 2 bags.
– COLOURS: Off-white – It may appear pure white on the below photo. But it is off-white.
– DESIGN: They are vintage Japanese shop signs and labels. (e.g., Miso soybean paste company, Soy source company, Seaweed company, Jewellery company, Pickled vegetables company, etc). I love the unique font, shape, and layout of this design.
– AVAILABILITY: I can make 1 bag only.
– COLOURS: Black – On below photo, it may appear like purple or navy, but it is black.
– DESIGN: Same design as above fabric, but different colour.
– AVAILABILITY: I can make more than 1 bag.
– COLOURS: Navy – It is a dark navy. Beige – It may appear white on below photo, but it is beige.
– DESIGN: ‘Kamon’ pattern. They are family crests design from different samurai families.
– AVAILABILITY: I can make more than 1 bag.
– COLOURS: Colours in below photos are pretty close to how it actually look on the fabric.
– DESIGN: ‘Koi’ fish. ‘Koi’ is a carp. Carp is commonly seen in a pond at Japanese gardens.
– JAPANESE FABRIC: Cotton duck (Cotton 100%) – Heavy, plain woven cotton fabric. Bought from a local retail store in Sydney. $17 per metre.
– LINING FABRIC: Cotton 100%. Bought from a local retail store in Sydney. $10 per metre.
PRICE TO MAKE THIS BAG = $85:
– Lining fabric – 1m ($10 per metre)
TOTAL MATERIAL COST= $27.
– Time to cut fabrics: 1 hour.
– Time to sew a bag: 2 hours.
– Total hours to make this bag: 3 hours.
LABOUR COST: $20 per hour x 3 hours = $60
– Material cost $27 + Labour cost $60 = TOTAL $87. But I can give you $2 discount. The ground total is $85.
I’m aware that avarage eco bags in Sydney cost about $20 – $40. My bag price may sound very expensive. This is the reason why:
– Takes less time for big manufacturing factories. They use industrial cutting machines to cut out the fabric in a second. I use a paper template (which I designed) to cut out the fabric with scissors.
– Low-paid workers make bags at big manufacturing factories. Bags are often made in China, India, Cambodia by a cheap labour. If selling my bag for $40, I have to work at a wage of $13 ($4.30 per hour). People are paid, much, much less in China and Cambodia.
– I wish I could offer you a cheaper price… But this is best of what I can offer.
ABOUT A RECTANGLE SHAPE AT THE BASE, NOT SQUARE:
– Making 1 more bag in the shape of the brown/black bag the client showed me – which works well for carrying books and lunch to university. With the straps at that size.
– I recommend to use lining fabric as it makes the bag more durable and stronger.
– I know that your brown/black bag come with a plastic baseboard to keep the bag bottom flat. I don’t have such plastic material.
– PRICE = $95. In order to make this bag, my first process is to make a template with paper. I need to think about margins to sew up for each fabric piece. It will be helpful if I can have a sample bag that I could disassemble from you. It will take minimum of 1 hour to make a template. So, the template design fee $10 will be added to $87. But I can give you $2 discount. The grand total is $95.
23, AUGUST 2015 — 2ND PROCESS
ABOUT THE LINING FABRIC COLOURS:
The client chose:
-‘Japanese Text – White Text on Black Fabric, with a Red lining Fabric’.
– Light orange lining out of various options.
|A bit darker green than above|
I made the tote bag yesterday. I used the dark fabric with Japanese text (Cotton 100%) and light orange lining fabric (Cotton 100%). This colour combination is so lovely.
The small loop would be quite useful to hook the bag onto the stand at the supermarket checkout. The loop is made with elastic. There is a cover button on the other side of the bag so that the loop can be hooked to this button to close the bag, too.
Inspired by traditional Japanese gift wrapping style with ‘Noshigami’ (a gift wrapping paper) and ‘Mizuhiki Umemusubi’ (a decorative Japanese cord made from twisted paper), but with a modern twist.