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Scrappy Quilted Mouse Pad

Hello, I hope everyone is safe and well!

My scrap bag is growing rapidly with every single day from making face masks. I keep them in a laundry bag which now already overflowing. One day I was watching Darlene Video on Youtube about how she turned her skinny strip of fabrics into interesting panels and I just had to try it! 

I have a lot of scrap interfacing and batting. I found one that is around 6" x 8" all-purpose interfacing from making the phone sling bag and I thought it was just perfect. I pulled out a bunch of scraps and start arranging them randomly. 

This is liberating. you just arrange them the way you like it on the glue side of the interfacing and press them nicely. No rule here just covers the interfacing with fabrics!!

After ironing, I put the panel on a scrap batting and start quilting it pretty densely. The quilting really gave character to the panel, right? And once you're passed this stage the possibility of interesting projects will start popping in. I thought I'll make a mobile sling bag, this will make an interesting flap, right?  
But I decided to make a small mouse pad because I need one :D. It turned out just perfect. 

Did you recognize some of the scraps? It's a fun project and a small reminder of this ongoing pandemic. I'm still making masks and also working other projects Finished a couple of wallet orders, but yesterday the state government suddenly announced that we're going into strict lockdown again next week. Hopefully, after a week, there will be relaxation so that I can sending out your orders. Ah, one good news, from now I'll be sending all orders via DHL e-com or FedEx depends on your total orders! Remember my post about the shipping problem we're facing as an Etsy Seller in India? Well, Alhamdulillah more or less they are solved. A few orders have successfully delivered via FedEx. Thank you to all delivery men out there! May the Almighty always keep you safe & well! 

So, don't throw away your scraps, make something from them. Check out Darlene's video below to see her tutorial and her collection of scraps!! Now I feel less guilty of having 10 buckets of scraps LOL

What is your fave scrap project? leave your comment and link in the box below, I'd love to see them!!

Thank you for stopping by!

Stay creative & stay well!

- Elvira -

Mini Sling Bag Pattern Hack

Hello, how's everyone doing? I've been pretty busy making masks and few custom orders. I really appreciate your supports in the past few months since the pandemic started. It's been very tough for everyone, especially with heartbreaking news everywhere. Let's stay positive,  be kind, and help each other. Do what we can as an individual as well as a community. 

Today I will share how to scale up the mini sling bag the easy way without any computer involved. I know it's frustrating to scale up the pattern on the computer and print it a few times before you get the size that you want. 

This mobile sling bag pattern is very versatile. You can easily adjust the pattern based on 2 things:
  1. Phone model
  2. Whether or not it has a softcover. Softcover makes the phone slightly thicker. 
The basic is if you scale up the height of one part of the pattern do the same with the rest of the pattern pieces too. If you increase the height of the main body panel, increase the height/length of the pocket and flap too. Unless you want a shorter flap. Since the pattern pieces are mostly rectangle it's easy to increase the length or the height.

This basic rule applied if you want to increase the width too. I'd suggest increasing the width especially if you want to add a thicker batting or wadding.  Now, here's how to increase the width of the curvy flap:
  1. Take one piece of paper and fold it in half lengthwise. From the fold, mark how much you want to increase by drawing a straight line e.g 0.5 inches away from the fold. 
  2. Fold the original pattern lengthwise and place the fold on the line you just made and trace the pattern.

  3. Now it will look like picture # 3. Cut along the line you just traced.
  4. Your new wider pattern is done. This will increase the overall width by 1 inch. If you want to increase the overall width by 0.5 inches, draw the line 0.25 inches from the fold.

This matryoshka phone sling bag is to fit the new iPhone 11 and the newest android phone. I increase the length and width using the method above. 

If you want to learn how to make this mini sling bag, you can get the pattern on ETSY or my Webshop. 

Here is a supporting video I made a few months ago. I'll make better video when time permits :)

More Pattern Hack/Update

Thank you for stopping by.

Take care & stay safe!

- Elvira- 

Do What You Can

Whatever you’re facing right now, whatever you’re dealing with won’t last. Nothing does. So get a perspective on life. Things will get better. That’s the Almighty’s promise. Tomorrow brings new hope. Daybreak will happen. Get hold of yourself and keep moving. You’ll get there! - Mufti Menk

Last week  India was shocked by the news of young upcoming actor Sushant Singh Rajput's suicide. Fame and wealth are not guaranteed to happiness. Everyone has their own challenges they have to face every day. Even the famous and rich. We truly cannot judge people by what they appear to be in public. Please be kind! Talk with kindness even if you disagree with someone. You never know what the other party is struggling with. 

For my readers, if you are reading this and going through a challenging time in your life, I want you to know that I'm here for you. You can reach out to me anytime. 

During this lockdown, many of us feel desperate and uncertain. Some of us maybe have a long list of resolutions for 2020. But this is not the end of the world. It's OK not to be OK. It's OK to slow down, adjust your step to reach your goal. 

I like this video by Bon Jovi 

If you can't do what you do, you do what you can :)
That's exactly what we should do at this time. Do what you can, slowly at your own pace, and enjoy the process. 

Cheer up and have a nice day ;)

- Elvira-

Solar Eclipse 2020

Guwahati, Assam, India
Some pictures of Partial Solar Eclipse that happened yesterday. I took these photos using my phone OPPO Reno 10x zoom and just changed the exposure. 

One of my faves is taking sky photos. I have tons of them in my camera/phone. And yesterday I got to know quite late about the solar eclipse but luckily it was just in time. After finished reading my prayers, I quickly ran up to the terrace with my phone and goggles :D. It was a quite cloudy, windy, and humid day. 

This was the actual scene. It was cloudy and the sun kept disappearing. 

This is how it looked when I zoomed in and I could see the moon behind the bright sun! Subhanallah. 

The crows crowded me as I am trying to take more pictures. There were dozens of them, 

the crescent moon appeared briefly and I quickly took a few shots.

All the photos are not edited. I love how the cloud looks mysterious as I darken the exposure (as Eva said like in horror movie lol).

I hope you enjoy the pictures. 

Take care & stay safe,

Shop Update and Corona

Half the year already and we're still busy sewing masks as positive cases are going up in thousands here in India. The other day I watched the third interview of South Korea Coronavirus Expert on Asian Boss Youtube Channel where he explained the origin of this coronavirus. He said it's from bats, but the intermediate animal which transmits the virus from Bat to human, the scientist suspected 2 wild animals, snake, and pangolin. He said humans may be infected during the process of capturing wild animals, not because of eating them. This is what happened with other previous outbreaks, like MERS and SARS. 

what I learned from the video:
  1. This virus is very small 1/10000th of 1 mm
  2. It can't replicate itself in an external environment, it can only do so in a living cell. So if someone is exposed to the virus and the virus enters their respiratory cells, it will use the resources from the cells to replicate itself in thousands.
  3. He also expected the second wave to happen around Fall because we don't have any vaccine yet.
Well, it looks like this Covid19 will be here for a while, and we have to learn to live with it by adapting to the new normal. 

TUTORIAL - How to Make Easy Fabric Ear Savers

Necessity is the mother of invention.

That quote is so true and looks at how people can be so creative with a mask during the pandemic. They even come up with the name, yes, ear savers.
I remember during my trip to Japan 2 years ago, I struggled with earloop masks because I'm wearing a hijab. Luckily my dear friend brought masks from Indonesia which is designed for hijaber, like me. Basically, it was like ear saver only it was a string of elastic. When I saw many people started making and sharing in Pinterest, I remember the one I wore in Japan. 

Today I finally get a chance to make one for myself and here is how I made it. The measurement is based on my measurement, so please feel free to reduce or add the length as necessary. 

Materials and Measurements: 

1 piece of fabric 8" w x 4" H (20 cm x cm)
1 piece of lightweight interfacing or all-purpose interfacing 7" x 2" (18 cm x 5 cm)
2 pairs of kam snap button 

Let's Have Fun : 

1. Center and fuse the interfacing on the wrong side of the fabric and fold in all around seam towards the wrong side. 

2. Now fold the fabric lengthwise, clip it using wonder clips, and sew all around the perimeter using 1/8" seam allowance.

3. Installing snap buttons. Remember, the button stud and socket should be installed on the same side. First, install the stud on the outermost (3/8" or 1/2") from the edge. And the socket 1" from the stud. 

And voila! Your DIY ear saver is ready.  Now go ahead and make a few in different colors! If you wear hijab, you maybe want to pull the ear saver a little up so the mask won't slip down your face. I was thinking to use velcro but velcro tends to ruin my hijab or tangle your hair.  If you need more inspiration, I put together a board on Pinterest for this. Check it out. 

I hope you enjoy the tutorial. Do share with people who you think might benefit from this tutorial. After all, sharing is caring.

Thank you for stopping by today!

Take care & stay safe,

- Elvira - 

Small Business and Lockdown

The pandemic and lockdown have brought uncertainty for everyone. And for us, small business owners or we proudly said mompreneur, we have to take the business to the back seat. For those who sell digital products, they won't be much impacted because there's no product to be shipped.

While sewing and other behind the scene works are going on, we're worried about how and when we can ship them. During the strict lockdown for 2 months, I had to shut down my fabric and handmade shop, both in Etsy and Website. I actively following every bit of news about government guidelines regarding e-commerce shipping. By the way, strict lockdown means a movement of non-essential items is restricted. And since most people are gone to their village or hometown, no couriers are in operation until last week! 

Now we're on the 5th phase of lockdown and thankfully, postal and courier services for all have resumed. I put out a notification in my Etsy and Website that Shipping will resume after 31st May. According to the India Post replied to my tweet, we can ship to 103 countries, including the USA and UK, but when we went to the PO, the officer said the service to both the USA and UK is not available. As I am writing this, I'm still waiting for their response to my queries regarding this confusion. 

In the meantime, I got several calls from DHL e-commerce rep saying that Etsy India has tied up with them and I can send my packages through DHL. I was so excited and I called up the Bluedart (DHL rep locally) but I was going in a circle. Few rounds of call and WhatsApp messages didn't bring any good news ( as yet). Going to their website, there's no clarity about the tariff rate, etc. I mean, why would you offer such service and not updating the website? I feel that courier services should have a rate calculator for every service they offer regardless of whether they are individual or company. 
On a positive note (hopefully), I got a newsletter email from Shiprocket, which I recently used for delivering our domestic orders, that they tied up with several e-commerce courier services to deliver internationally, including DHL e-commerce, FedEx, dan Aramex. Well, this is certainly very good news to us, Etsy Sellers in India. So today, I upgraded my account and will complete any necessary paperwork (or e-paperwork).  I am trying to get hold of their customer service but it looks like everybody is busy :P. 
Anyway, I managed to understand how to schedule shipping from the computer. I understand that this e-commerce international service is very new, but I am sure the courier service company understood, even though we - small business owners - are small fish in the pond, but we're great in numbers. If anything  IMHO, the small e-commerce business will be able to jump-start the economic slump due to the pandemic. I hope they will simplify the paperwork and make international shipping as easy as India Post. Let's hope and pray this will work. 

So that's a little bit behind the scene of small business. If you're happened to place orders with one of our Shops, please bear with us. We're trying to get things sorted out. Your continued support and trust at this time really mean a lot to us! 

Now I better get back to my sewing table and finish a few orders. Thank you so much for dropping by and reading my blog. 

Until next time,

Take care & stay safe!!


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