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Category Archives: Handsew with Love

A New Scene

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And it’s an exciting one.

Over time, I think we have made a little name for ourself, for carrying dainty dresses made with chiffon and in pleats. For more than once, I get customers walking in, telling me they were referred here by their friends, when they said they need a pretty dress in flowy soft fabric.

That was a pat-on-the-back achievement unlocked.

And now I want to break new grounds.

It has been an exciting time for the past couple of months and I think I have made my customers’ hearts skipped many more beats when I presented the new designs.

There are new fabric, new captivating details, new colours, new textures and new experience. From visualising the designs to having found exactly what I had in mind, it really took me sometime.

Good things are really worth the time taken.

 

And I feel so fulfilling to see the happy faces in the shop, looking, touching, browsing, trying the new designs and bagged home their prized purchases.

Coming up in the following months, for ladies who love dresses, you will see new designs in different material and textures.

First to debut was The Meadow Dress.
Made of polyester blend, fun details with buttons, conceal back zip and more tucked in at the waist.

 

Eva Embroidery & Texture Dress is the first among the many upcoming dresses with unique prints and textures. I brought in a good range of sizes for more shopping options and thank you very much for liking it.

 

I hear your feedback about lack of bottom pieces in the shop. Mini Patch Pocket Skirt is the latest kid on the block and I promise you I will bring in more interesting matching bottom pieces for the top pieces you have bought from us.

 

Mini Patch Pocket Skirt is not just an ordinary skirt but come lined with a pair of mini shorts. This is highly recommended to ladies who want to attempt shorter skirt length but have reservation about carrying it.

I have also brought in very fun-loving blouses like The Kitty Bow Blouse and The Vintage Buttons Blouse made with very comfy cotton.

 

The multi-colour buttons at the back of The Vintage Buttons Blouse is such a trait of the 60s/70s fashion. There is always something special about the fashion trend during those times that is worth bringing back.

 

And of course not forgetting our very well love handsew kisslock products. I have opened the first batch of pre-orders last month and it is also the first pre-order for the year. Thank you so much for loving this product that is entirely produced by Queenbels. I am in the progress of working on a new shape that I hope can make it in time for our seventh birthday celebration edition. I am still searching for the fabric print and fingers crossed that I find what I have in mind soon.

Handsew with Love

 

There are so many things that I want to do for Queenbels. I have been relooking at the mix of merchandises in the shop. Because of the space constraint, I have been putting on hold some products that I know you ladies will love. I think I have found a way to work around the space constraint.

The first quarter of the year has come and gone. This year seems to be a rather different year. I see new faces. I see new shopping patterns. There are new expectations. We have been in business for six years. Each time I see a new face or repeated faces in the shop, I always ask myself why would people come all the way to buy clothes from Queenbels. Sometimes I ask, I get answers, real answers that I don’t even get from people that I talk to almost everyday. I asked because I want to make the magic work even better so that I can continue to bring the best into the shop. Thank you very much for giving me the most earnest answers, not patronizing and definitely very useful. I conclude that it’s important to ask the right person for advice. Ask the wrong person and they will make you work things in their personal favour and not give a heck if it’s going to lead you into a dead end alley.

Maybe it will surprise you. People I talk to almost everyday and gotten familiar with, are the most harsh when there’s a slightest slip up and borders at calling me stupid when things are not in the order they want. I remind myself constantly, a customer is afterall, a customer.

Be it nice or not, difficult or not, I treasure every single customer.

Customers who have been buying from Queenbels long enough know that I always give back to customers during festive seasons or special occasions. It’s my way, and the only appropriate way, to express my appreciation and thankfulness for the support and kindness given to Queenbels. I don’t earn the money and forget about you once you leave the shop. I always appreciate the fact that you awesome people actually choose to buy from Queenbels among so many fashion boutiques in Singapore. I hope customers are able to feel my appreciation for their support.

Thank you so much for supporting Queenbels and staying with us. I will be back soon to share more shoppe updates.

Cheers,
Shirley

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Everyone Loves A Handsew With Love

The other day, I asked myself, if I receive a handsew purse or clutch bag on my birthday, what would I feel?

When I completed Merry Dots Kisslock Purse that day, I stared at the purse and many thoughts came to the mind. I imagined what I would feel if I am the recipient of this gift.

Delighted, heart-warming and appreciation.

And I will keep this person in mind for a very long time for picking out such a beautiful gift.

I think this is what gifting is all about. To see the big wide smile on the recipient’s face.

I did a quick count today. I have been sewing the kisslocks for three years already. To see a personal DIY project evolved into a growing business, a handsew purse which has become a top choice of gift, the feeling is surreal.

I am lucky to meet people who like what I have made. These awesome people also helped spread word about my handsew with love kisslocks and brought new customers to me. For that, thank you very much.

I hope to discover more pretty fabric prints, unique frames and develop new purse/clutch bag shapes. To also keep getting better at the sewing, making each stitch better each time.

Sign Off With Lots of Love,
Shirley

Be My Lady. Like A Gentleman.

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I have been asked before.

What inspired me to come up with the handsew kisslock product combinations.

The first sight set upon the fabric print is the inspiration. There are bales and bales of fabric, stacks and stacks of quarter fats and yet I will pick out only that handful among all. Whichever fabric print attracts me, that will inspire me on the combination I want to put together.

When I saw both of these, the first thing that popped up; Hey Minnie and Mickey!

The red polka dots are just like the ones on the dresses that Minnie will wear and the blue polka dots look like the ones on the bow ties that Mickey will put on.

Be my lady Minnie. Like a gentleman Mickey.
  

Tadah! Minnie and Happy Red Polka Dots Kisslock Purse. I have used a similar red colour fabric as the polka dots for the purse interior and used a thread colour for the label that is similar with the tiny blue dots colour.
  

 Minnie and Happy Red Polka Dots Kisslock Purse was sold within the first hour of launch. You have no idea how happy I was when I received the message that said:

“I am in love with this purse.”

I am so thankful that there are people buying my works and I am feeling really very grateful towards the love you all have for my handsew products. Thank you!

I cannot wait to see the completed Mickey and Happy Blue Polka Dots Kisslock Purse so I spent the whole of last Sunday on it.

Tadah! Mickey and Happy Blue Polka Dots Kisslock Purse. I have used a shiny silver purse frame for this purse, just like a knight in shining armour.

The other day a customer came to pick up her pre-ordered items and she asked what is my secret that I make such pretty and attractive kisslock products, so well-received and sell out almost immediately upon launch. I was surprised at the comment because it never cross my mind that I have a secret “recipe”. I just make the kisslock purses and clutch bags because I like making them.

That comment had me thinking for a few days if I really have a secret “recipe” that I have never realised. I think, I didn’t start with wanting to make money out of it. I simply picked up a crafting book and wanted to try my hands at making a purse. Over time, I just want to keep getting better at making it. I realised monetary inputs were never the top concern, be it on the threads or the fabric choices. I have not hesitated picking up a fabric because of its cost. The prints, quality and suitability yes, cost no. I guess if I want to measure everything by the dollars and cents, you will not see these handsew kisslock products today.

Along the way, I am very lucky to have met people who love what I make and willing to buy them. For that, I thank my lucky stars.

Cheers,
Shirley

Spring Blossom And Rainbow Petals

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It is always about getting better and better.

The better the response is, the more I cannot settle and stop getting better.

This is not the first time you hear me searching for things. I think by far this has taken me the longest time to locate amongst the related materials I need for my kisslock products.

I have always wanted to have a special packaging for each kisslock product size that I have made. It’s either I find it off the shelves or DIY or get a factory to customize. DIY is struck off the list almost immediately because what I have in mind is not quite achievable without machinery. There is only so much we can DIY. Getting a factory to customize is the fastest way and the most costly way. The minimum quantity required is horrifying.

 So I am left with the last option; finding it off the shelves, which I need alot of luck to depend on. Every now and then I will pop into various shops to browse and hopefully I will find something suitable. If I think of anywhere that might have what I wanted, I will just make a trip there.

Lady luck was very kind to me already. It took almost a year but at least I found what I wanted.

Tadah! A brand new packaging for my handsew kisslock purse. One item ticked off the checklist!

The size is right and it showcase my handsew kisslock purse prominently. This is very useful to my customers who collect my kisslock purses. Yes, I have customers who collect my kisslock purses and are quite disappointed that they are not able to display them in their cabinets in such a way that they can see each purse clearly. The previous packaging is not transparent and you got to open each one to see what is inside. I am so happy that I found this new packaging and I got the shop owner to import many more for me so that going forward, all single purse purchase gets a box each. I have also bought a whole lot on behalf of my customers who wanted them for their previous purchases so that they can display all the collections.

Happy Rainbow Petals in Warm was procured quite sometime back but I never had a chance to showcase it. I need time to take proper photos and sometimes I just don’t have the luxury of it. Completing the pre-orders on time was of utmost importance and I don’t allow myself to default on the deadline. It is all about keeping to what I have promised.

Happy Rainbow Petals Kisslock Purse in Warm

It is constantly on my to-do list to make the kisslock purses available in store for customers who prefer to walk in and buy right away. I know the waiting list can get a little too long.

So sorry for any disappointment caused if you have made a special trip down and find all kisslock products completely all sold. I will try my best to increase the number of kisslock purses available in store.

Usually I will take a two days break after I completed a handsew kisslock product. I have to rest my hand, especially my wrist. If I overwork it, it may strained and it can take a long time to heal. Prevention is always better than cure. I seek your kind understanding that I need a certain time frame to complete your pre-order and it will be ready for collection on the date I promised you. I appreciate your offer to pay a premium for a faster delivery but I cannot skip orders because I have to complete the items, ready for collection on the dates I have already promised other people before you. I really need the time to come to your order and work on it. Once again, I appreciate your offer but I cannot take it up. Please accept my apologies. Thank you so much for loving my handsew kisslock products.

I made use of the quiet time in the shop last Saturday and part of Sunday to work on a new fabric print. I really want to see the completed product which I have been visualising.

Why the anticipation? There was quite a debate with myself on the purse frame design to use and choosing the colour of the purse interior. I can tell you, what you see now, are not the first choices. For the first time, I wavered between the different purse frames and purse interior colours, throughout the sewing process.

I am very happy with the completed product and I named it ‘My Fair Lady’ because the flower purse knots are so dainty and the florals are in such pretty hues.

My Fair Lady Kisslock Purse in Spring

My Fair Lady Kisslock Purse in Spring is now available in store. You may purchase it online too via our webstore. If you have any questions on our products, please email us at shop@queenbels.com.

Happy Shopping!

Cheers,
Shirley

Matchy matchy

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Thank you so much for the pre-orders that poured in!

Thank you for making my handsew with love kisslock products your choice of gift this Mother’s Day.

Thank you for always making Queenbels your first choice when you want to buy ladies apparel, accessories, purses, be it for yourself or for your love ones.

I wished that I had taken at least a snapshot of the completed products before they were collected, especially the sizes that I am making the first time. I really cared more about not missing the collection time and making sure that I did everything properly.

I started working on this new fabric print which comes in two different colours, about two weeks ago. I only posted a tiny sneak peek but I have customers who actually spied them and knew these are new fabric prints and asked if I can take in pre-orders for Mother’s Day gifts. Because the list got very long, I did not make anymore heads-up on our Facebook page.

Sneak peek of new fabric print

Sneak peek of new fabric print

Tadah! The completed kisslock purses! These purses will be available for purchase in the shop from 12 May 2015 onwards.

I have not think of a name for this new fabric print. Any suggestions?

About making detachable straps for the kisslock clutch bags, I will be taking special orders for that rather than making it a permanent detail on all the kisslocks. The feedback I have got is most customers do not need it. So if you like my handsew with love kisslock clutch bags and need a detachable strap to go with it, please email me at shop@queenbels.com to place a special order.

I have got customers mentioning to me that when they carry big bags or totes, sometimes they had a hard time finding the purse among the numerous things in their bags. I know how that feels because it happened to me too when I have hundred and one things inside my big bag.

Recently I am very into mini bags and I have been browsing lots of them in the shops. Some of them come with very cute bag charms and it just add a very pretty detail to the bag. This gave me the idea to make the kisslock purse into a functional bag charm. Number one, it will solve the problem of not locating it in the deep big bag. Number two, the kisslock purse doubles up as a pretty bag charm on a big bag.

It really took me awhile to find these clasp closures. I need them in a suitable size, that doesn’t look out of proportion when I attach it to the kisslock.

Tadah!

I really love this new clasp closure detail. I have also included a fabric button that I have made using the remaining fabric as a detail. I am giving away the free clasp closure as seen on this photo when you purchase this kisslock purse. And now you can clip your new kisslock purse on your bag!

Kisslock purse as bag charm

Cheers,
Shirley

Here We Are

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I stringed the individual deadlines very closely. Reading the dates is really to make sure I am on time to get the work done and I didn’t quite feel year 2014 has ended. I had my eyes fixed on the timeline, following each date scheduled for to-do items, arrival of the next shipment, expected date of arrival of the delivered packages to my customers.

However, the arrival of the Lunar New Year is something that almost everyone around me will constantly remind me. We focus alot on getting our home ready for the Lunar New Year, whether or not we get guests. We must spring clean and we really clean every corner of the house and move items out of our storage areas to declutter and clean the hard-to-reach spots. While doing all the above, I was also jotting down the various happenings that I want to share with all of you in this space.

I am happy with what took place for Queenbels in year 2014. We didn’t do exceptionally well but we kept up with the previous year’s performance. There were a few unexpected situations that had me struggled abit between adhering to the house rules and to keep the particular few customers happy. I can only say, house rules are important if I want to keep this business running for many more years to come.

Remember the kids apparel that I have launched around March 2014? The subsequent designs and quality were totally out of the specifications and I decided that I will take a break on kids apparel until I find something good again. I rather not do than to bring in something that spoils my shop’s name. My apologies to my lovely customers who were eagerly looking out for the next selection. Sorry for the disappointment. I hope you had found something you like for your little ones, in the other brands outside that I have recommended.

On our main business, lady apparel, we began to place our emphasize on bringing you the most gorgeous work-appropriate blouses in year 2014. Blouses that have the versatility to double up as a weekend outfit with easy change of bottom pieces and shoes.

The return of the Whimsical Selections were champagne-popping excitements. Until now as I am typing this, I am still beaming with joy that I brought these fantasy, eye-catching prints back to Queenbels. You can read here and here on my covers on both selections.

Whimsical Selections I and II

For ladies who love our dresses, I make sure you have a good range to select from too.

My handsew with love projects made good progress. I did an upsize to two new sizes; kisslock mini clutch bag and kisslock clutch bag.

Handsew with Love_Happy Mint Ruby Daisy Preorder 1

Handsew with Love Kisslock Purse + Mini Clutch Bag + Clutch Bag

Pre-orders came in very quickly for the clutch bags. There were pre-orders of sets of a kisslock purse and a kisslock clutch bag. I was extremely overjoyed with the positive response and I remembered I had to take a few days off from the shop to complete all the pre-orders on time.

Happy Petals Kisslock Purse and The Good Fortune Kisslock Clutch Bag Peony Kisslock Purse + Clutch Bag Ruby Kisslock Purse and Clutch Bag

Shortly after, I progressed to a new size which is between the mini clutch bag and the clutch bag; the kisslock mini clutch bag size two. At the same time, I upgraded the fabric quality of the purse interior, which I wanted to do early last year but I had constraints. To overcome the constraints, I had to do a necessary adjustment across all sizes.

Baby Blue Dot Daisy Kisslock Purse + Lucky Clover Kisslock Mini Clutch Bag

Baby Blue Dot Daisy Kisslock Purse + Lucky Clover Kisslock Mini Clutch Bag size two

I did a price adjustment.

A close regular customer asked me this: “Are you paying yourself?” My reply was: “Do you mean monetary payback? If yes, ya, I pay myself a token.” Making money was not what I had started with when I did my first kisslock purse.

The very observant ones knew I was really paying myself a token. Some were very frank with me. They had actually attempted at making the kisslocks themselves and gave up after making the interior. And emphasized that given the amount of work, effort and time involved, they will never sell their pieces at the old (lower) prices I was selling.

To be honest, I was pretty afraid of doing an upward price adjustment. Very few see the good fabric quality I had chosen, the work and effort put in. I was prepared to see a significant drop in the pre-orders. When the price adjustment took effect, there were a handful who pre-ordered quite a number especially during festive season, never make enquiries again and never spoken a word about my handsew with love kisslocks. There was a slight dent in my morale.

Luckily the majority stayed with me and pre-ordered even more than usual. I know this is their way to show their support and I was very, very, thankful and grateful. Thank you very much.

I continue to acquire more new fabric prints to produce my handsew with love kisslock products.

Merry Dots Kisslock Purse Lucky Clover Kisslock Purse in Tangerine Baby Blue Dot Daisy Kisslock Purse
The Sassy Pink Kisslock Purse Red Dot Daisy Kisslock Purse Happy Rainbow Petals Kisslock Purse

I was inspired to do a theme launch too. The Friendship Kisslock Purse.

The Friendship Kisslock Purse

About two weeks before we wrapped up for Lunar New Year, I finally found a fabric print that I have a feel for, that I want to do for 2015 Lunar New Year Edition. I squeezed in time to complete two sets of Happiness in Full Blooms Kisslock Purse and Kisslock Mini Clutch Bag size two. Totally worth the time when one set was sold within an hour of launch.

Happiness in Full Blooms Kisslock Purse and Mini Clutch Bag

Happiness in Full Blooms Kisslock Purse and Mini Kisslock Clutch Bag size two

Thank you very much for loving my handsew with love kisslock products. Thank you for willing to buy and use what I have made.

Today is Day 12 of Lunar New Year 2015. Celebration stretches for fifteen days and I hereby once more, wishes all who celebrates, Happy Lunar New Year 2015!

Happy-Lunar-New-Year-2015

Business resumes in the shop tomorrow ie 3 March 2015. It is going to be a short week though as I still need abit of time to wrap up the back-office work. I am setting new shopping hours in the shop which will take effect 10 March 2015. Stay on our Facebook page for instant updates.

Cheers,
Shirley

Lots of Kisses

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First, it took me two weeks to get the size right, the size that I think is suitable for a clutch bag. I have to draw my own template this time if I want to incorporate the details I want into the new clutch bag. I did up a few prototypes and all ended up in the dustbin.

And finally, Ruby Kisslock Mini Clutch Bag!

Our first handsew with love mini clutch bag!

Ruby Kisslock Mini Clutch Bag

Ruby Kisslock Mini Clutch Bag

Enquiries streamed in after I posted Ruby Kisslock Mini Clutch Bag on our Facebook page. I made Ruby Kisslock Mini Clutch Bag to have it function like a clutch bag. It allows a namecard holder, a bunch of seven to eight keys, a pack of tissue paper and a lip gloss. However it does not allow a smart phone. I think a smart phone needs a smart phone holder. Just like you need a wallet to put your dollar notes and a laptop bag for a laptop.

After receiving numerous requests, I decided to attempt to make it slightly bigger to allow the size of an iPhone. This is most probably the biggest size I will make for a kisslock clutch bag, after several rounds of thinking and for very practical reasons.

Then it took me another week and over to re-work the template, did prototypes, to make it to allow an iPhone.

Let’s welcome Daisy Dotty Kisslock Clutch Bag!

Daisy Dotty Kisslock Clutch Bag

Daisy Dotty Kisslock Clutch Bag

I am very pleased with the final product and even happier to hear the positive compliments from my happy customers. Thank you so much for loving my handsew with love kisslock clutch bags. Thank you for having faith in me and encouraging me to expand my handsew with love products.

Handsew with Love_Happy Mint Ruby Daisy Preorder

Handsew with Love – Kisslock Purse and Clutch Bags

Now we have kisslock purse, kisslock mini clutch bag and kisslock clutch bag under our Handsew with Love line.

With the encouraging response, I have acquired more new kisslock frame designs for the clutch bags, that will go with the fabric prints that I am already using for the kisslock purse.

Purple Ruby Kisslock Frame For Clutch Bags

Purple Ruby Kisslock Frame For Clutch Bags + matching fabric prints

Jade Ruby Kisslock Frame For Clutch Bags

Jade Ruby Kisslock Frame For Clutch Bags + matching fabric prints

I have also picked up new kisslock purse frame designs, that are similar to the frames for the clutch bags. I think it’s really pretty to have a complete set of purse and clutch bag with similar frames. I have customers who have pre-ordered mother-daughter set, the purse for their daughters and matching clutch bag for themselves.

More Ruby Kisslock Frames For Kisslock Purse

More Ruby Kisslock Frames For Kisslock Purse

New Mickey Kisslock Purse Frame

New Mickey Kisslock Purse Frame

I have also selected a new fabric print for our handsew with love products.

New Frame+New Fabric for Kisslock Purse

New Frame+New Fabric for Kisslock Purse

Pre-orders are already open. You may place your pre-orders via our webstore or email to shop@queenbels.com.sg. If you have any enquiries, feel free to email to shop@queenbels.com.sg. Currently I need approximately 4-6 weeks to come to your pre-order. My apologies if I cannot accede to requests for earlier completion date. I work on a first-come-first-serve basis and I cannot skip orders. Thank you very much for your kind understanding on the above.

Cheers!
Shirley

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