Clutch-Me.Com

Learn. Make. Sell. All about clutches.

What interface do I recommend with my purse frames?

*What #number interface do you recommend?

*What interface will go best with my silk? cotton?  upholstery fabric?  vinyl? leather? oil cloth? satin? shantung? etc. etc. etc….  🙂

I get these types of questions a lot, and I always refer those who ask to my blog post about the 15% variance in interface that exists.

Click on the link or pic to access this previous post.

Given this fact, I wanted to go a step further so that you can make the best decision.

Here’s what I recommend:  (And this is not a cop-out.)

*Take your fabric (that you want to use for your clutch) with you to your local fabric supplies store and test it out with the various interface available at the store.  Get a feel for the thickness, fluffiness, stiffness, etc… with your fabric lain on top of the interface.  Remember to have all 3 or 4 layers together:  outer fabric, interface, inner fabric (+interface if you use this for your inner layer as well).  And if you want to add batting, be sure to sandwich that in as well.

Why? 

1.  Personal tastes and artistic preferences differ from one clutch maker to another:  what I consider “ideal”, others might consider “flimsy” while someone might think it’s too “fluffy”.

2.  The variance of interface from batch to batch:  up to 15%.

3.  The difference in weight of fabrics: even among cottons – quilting cotton is much thinner than other cottons.

4.  The design differences in the finished clutches:  will your design be pleated or have other design features that will affect how it lays?

5.  What size of clutch you’re making:  you wouldn’t need heavy fleece interface if you’re making a coin purse, but you might want 2 layers of Thermolam + batting if you’re making a big clutch with straps.

The other important aspect of being a clutch maker is letting your own gut and creative instinct guide you.  I provide supplies you need and teach you the basic methods, but it’s up to you to find out and determine what your creative style and vision is.  Part of the fun is deciding the materials (fabric and interface) that go into making your clutches.

Rest assured, when I designed my purse frames, I tried many different combinations of fabrics and interfaces that most clutch makers use.  This proprietary design took into account all those various weights and thickness and thinness of those materials in designing the perfect width of my u-channels.  Whatever materials that you will be using, my frames made with the Perfect Fit 6(TM) u-channel when used with Gutermann glue will accommodate you and will not require any crimping of the frames.  I’m always amazed at the different designs and materials that clutch makers have come up with!

So put your creativity hat on and go forth feeling up all kinds of interface!  Go on, it’s fun!!!  🙂

Now, that said …. I will tell you that I currently use a combination of 987F (which is Pellon’s most popular fusible interface) and 973F.   (It depends on the fabric that I’m using and the clutch that I’m making!)

Have fun out there!

~Winn 🙂

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April 27, 2011 Posted by | Helpful Tips | , , | 3 Comments

Purse frame inventory status: ANTIQUE BRASS 8×3 – BOTH styles are in!!!

At last, they are here.  And they are FABULOUS!  They are so great that I’m starting a new production because I am going to stock up as many of these as I can!!!!

I’m going to be a hoarder of these frames!  Don’t turn me in!

The 8×3 antique brass are in.  I have them in with loops and no loops.

Check them out!

8x3 antique brass purse frame. AT LAST!!! The right tone - a beautiful finish!!!

They will be inspected starting tonight at 9pm!! Ready to ship tomorrow!

For those who have been patiently waiting …. THANK YOU!  These are FABULOUS!  It took me 5 different plating companies to get it right, but …  how fabulous are these??

No scratches, no nothing.

Not too dark.

Not spotty.

Not too brassy.

Not too orangy.

Not too golden.

Not too antique so that it just looks, well, old.

Just pure gleam!

*Swoon*

I am sorry that I cursed you Antique Br*ss,

As you are no longer my pain in the *ss.

*exhale*

🙂

April 26, 2011 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Purse frame Inventory status: 8×3 nickel-free kisslock with LOOPS!

They made it … they’re in.  I swear UPS guys must dance on the boxes are something … the boxes took quite a beating!

Thy is doing the inspections right now and I’ve just relisted them for sale.

They’re back and they’re beautiful!

Made with Perfect Fit 6(TM) u-channel - the perfectly designed width for making clutches!

As always, please let us know if you want a custom listing!

**** And from the looks of the hits that my blog is getting, it looks like you guys really liked my last post!  Thanks and I hope the Helpful Hints Collection it will be a good reference for you!

April 26, 2011 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Helpful Hints – a collection of the best tips!

I have a lot of posts and this WordPress format makes it hard to find them.  So here’s my collection of my most helpful hints for you to refer to.

So when you want to know about making clutches, these posts have helped hundreds of clutch makers.

Time saving tips and tricks to making clutches:

*How to minimize wrinkles.

*How to squeeze all those layers of interface and fabric into your frame.

*How to shorten your time making a clutch.

>>>Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/save-time-shortcut-for-inserting-your-fabric-into-your-frame/

*How to save time squaring off your corners.

>>>Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/quick-tip-for-squaring-off-the-bottom-corners-of-your-clutch/

*How to save time for non-directional fabric and you don’t want a bottom seam.

>>>Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/the-importance-of-the-bottom-seam/

Technical info on purse frames:

*Why nickel-free is better for your potential customers.

>>>Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/why-nickel-free/

>>>And this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/know-your-frame/

*What about the lead content?

>>>Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2010/04/18/whats-the-lead-in-these-metal-purse-frames/

*What else makes our purse frames the finest purse frames.

>>>Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/quality-control-procedures-for-my-fine-metal-purse-frames/

*Why the rectangular purse frame?

>>>Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/in-praise-of-the-neutral-rectangular-purse-frame/

*Why the U-channel width is important for making clutches.

>>>Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2010/09/18/the-perfect-fit-6tm-u-channel-in-my-metal-purse-frames/

*Why you should pick the right size U-channel!

>>>Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2010/11/03/new-8×3-nickel-free-purse-frametm-with-kisslock-loops-in-perfect-fit-6tm/

*What to look for in a purse frame with kisslock ball closures.

>>>Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/kiss-my-kisslock/

>>>And this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2010/09/18/youve-got-balls-kisslock-closure-new-for-fall-and-winter-2010/

*What to look for in the finish of your “silver” purse frame.

>>>Read these:

https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2010/04/01/nickel-frame-got-your-feeling-gray/

https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/a-shiny-new-coat-for-your-metal-purse-frame/

https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2010/04/08/you-need-fiber-just-not-on-your-metal-purse-frame/

*About my trademarked DuskCoat Gunmetal(TM) and GoldenLock(TM) finishes

>>>Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2010/09/19/2-more-for-your-product-line-offering-duskcoat-gunmetaltm-and-goldenlocktm/

*Why I cannot get you that frame as shown in that picture that you sent me …  🙂

>>>Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2010/08/22/can-you-order-this-metal-purse-frame-for-me/

Interface:

*Why making specific recommendations on what fusible interface you should use is not a good idea.

>>> Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/what-the-interface/

>>>And this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/what-interface-do-i-recommend-with-my-purse-frames/

Gutermann glue:

*Tips!!!

>>>Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/tips-gutermann-glue-for-your-clutches/

*Why I can’t ship it internationally.

*Why I price it the way I do …

>>>Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/i-believe-in-gutermann-glue/

Shipping:  (Yes, we combine ship and refund you the excess shipping charge from Etsy.)

*What size boxes we use.

*How much it costs within the US

*How much it costs outside of the US

>>>Read this and see the box dimensions, too:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/shipping-policies-and-new-rates-for-2012/

General Business and Marketing:  **This is, perhaps, the most important section for starting and having a succesful clutch business**

*How you can get listed as a seller on my blog.

>>>Read this and provide me with your info:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/sellers-to-be-added-this-week-etsy-sellers-submit-yours/

*What you can do to increase your chances of making a sale!

>>>Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2010/10/31/4-things-that-can-help-your-clutch-handbag-business/

*How to save money and cut your materials cost like the pros!

>>>Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2010/10/10/how-can-you-get-up-to-50-off/

*How to ship internationally without standing in line at the post office.

>>>Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/time-saver-international-shipping-from-your-desktop-printer/

*How to give your customer more in one clutch.

>>>Read this: https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2011/01/15/be-on-top-of-latest-market-trend-purse-frames-with-loops-and-chains/

*How to get more exposure to your clutches and shop.

>>>Read this: https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/spreading-the-word-about-your-shops-on-my-facebook-page-for-whilebabynaps-etsy-com/

>>>Read this: https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2011/02/01/follow-me-on-twitter-purseframes/

*Tips for selling at arts and crafts fairs

>>>Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/selling-your-clutches-at-arts-and-crafts-fairs/

*What does it take to start your own clutch business.

>>>Read this: https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2011/03/06/business-tips-for-clutch-makers/

*Why Etsy is a great place to start … but are you missing out on other opportunities?

>>>Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/etsy-founder-kalin/

Why I do what I do:

>>>Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2011/01/16/empowering-women-and-getting-that-in-return-in-spades/

>>>Read this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/empowering-women-why-it-should-matter-to-you/

And this:  https://clutchme.wordpress.com/testimonials/

April 25, 2011 Posted by | Helpful Tips, WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , | 5 Comments

It’s up! DiamondCut(TM) brushed antique brass just listed!

Guys …. THANK YOU for your patience.  I still don’t have much of a voice.  Still recovering.  I’m exhausted and my hubby leaves tomorrow for 3 weeks abroad … I’ve been trying to get well in anticipation of being a single parent again …

But I just got the first listing of the DiamondCut(TM) brushed antique brass.

Check it out:

Product listing page!

I have not even come close to getting the new sizes and styles listed at my webstore.  As you know, I am the developer, SEO, head coder for that as well …  🙂

When you have a home-business, you have to cut costs where you can and hiring out someone to do my webstore will only drive prices up, so no thank you … I’ll just take my time and do it when I can!  I prefer Etsy’s venue due to their ease of use!

The first shipment will start THURSDAY, April 28th.  We will keep to this 72-hour shipment window:  we will ship it within 72 hours of your order.  I’ve been building up stock of it so that we’ve got a cushion, so the first orders will ship out within 24 hours of April 28th.

First order in, first order out.

I am so excited with this new finish.  As they are custom hand-finished, each one takes the same amount of time to finish.  There are a minimum of 6 steps per frame to get it done, and each one takes the same amount of time to get done.  That is, there is no time savings to finish 1 or 10.  But I have given small price breaks for volume purchases, though just not as generous as all the other manufactured frames.

Thanks everyone!  Have a great Easter holiday!  ~Winn

April 22, 2011 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , | Leave a comment

Debuting NEW Antique brass chains – shoulder length!

Thank you for your kind messages during my bout of allergies and bronchitis!  I really appreciate your thoughts.  My first official illness in 2 years … thank goodness Thy took over all the packaging and shipping for me!

I wanted to let you all know of my new antique brass chains coming out later today or tomorrow.  It’s 45 inches long from tip to tip of the lobster claw.  These are made with the new bigger jump rings and bigger lobster claws.  These will coordinate with the antique brass purse frames that I will have back in stock within 2 weeks, as well as the new DiamondCut(TM) brushed antique brass!

Speaking of which, the new DiamondCut(TM) brushed antique brass will be listed by this week and will be ready to ship.  Due to my sickness, it got tabled until I recovered.  But I did get to working with it and will have a tip sheet that goes with every order.  I plan to include:  how to take pictures (to maximize the sparkles), how to remove Gutermann glue from the frame (got a solution that will take it off 100%!), and how it differs from all other frames on the market (oils from your fingers are desireable – it adds to its luster!).

Here’s a sneak peek of the shoulder length antique brass chain.

Longer shoulder length antique brass chain for your antique brass purse frames!

These will be up for sale later today or tomorrow at my Etsy shop.  (Haven’t had time to write code for the webstore yet … as always, email me if you need a special order and it’s not yet listed.)

April 20, 2011 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , | Leave a comment

New antique brass and GoldenLock(TM) purse chains for your clutches.

Well, it’s gray and chilly here and the pollen has overtaken our cars and homes with a fine coat of chartreuse … *ACHOO!*

Yes, I officially have my first official sick days … despite the antihistamines and everything else, the allergies won out and my mental fog from allergies has set in!  And I can’t breathe and am quickly running out of tissues.  At least I’ve got company:  my 3 kids and dog all have allergies too!   Allergic to pollen and I pick to live in the “Garden State”…  Brilliant move!  🙂

Not to worry, Thy has been shipping out all of your orders, but this illness means I’ve been delayed in the DiamondCut(TM) brushed antique brass frames.

However, I have just listed the new GoldenLock purse chains and Antique Brass purse chains.

Same trademarked nice rich tone!

This coordinates with this new frame!

Made to coordinate with the 9x3 with loops in GoldenLock(TM).

And also debuting my new antique brass purse chains.  They have bigger jump rings and lobster claws than before.  In fact, they are the same size and sturdiness as my well-sold nickel-free purse chains!  The reviews on this has been tremendous as well … now if only those DiamondCut(TM) brushed antique brass will be listed already …  😉

Substantial, tough, and rich in tone!

Compare with the old chain on the right, these new antique brass chains on the left are much more prominent.

Everything is bigger in scale!

Here’s all 3 side-by-side:

All in the same scale and size!

Thy and I would like to thank everyone for your wonderful support in this transition.  It has fully transitioned to Thy doing all the packaging and shipping.  In addition, she’s been the photographer for all the new frames and chains, too!  Nice work, don’t you think?  She’s now dealing with juggling a home-based job and raising her two kids.

And guess what?  … She has the cuddliest 3 year old still at home, so she has to work while baby naps!  That’s how it started with me, how it starts with many of you, and how it’s starting with her as well!  🙂  We all know what it’s like to squeeze in some work, errands or a meal while the baby naps!

Wishing everyone a wonderful and safe and joyous weekend!  ~Winn

April 15, 2011 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , | 1 Comment

DiamondCut(TM) brushed antique brass purse frame – tips and pictures

Thank you all for your excitement and interest with my new trademarked finish – DiamondCut(TM) brushed antique brass.  I’ve been working with it and have some pictures and tips that I want to share with you.

First of all, as it is a completely custom hand-finished product, I’m currently building up inventory before I list them.  This will ensure that I will have enough on hand to fulfill orders within the 72-hour purchase window that I’m striving for.  As opposed to all other orders where we ship it same day or within 24 hours 95% of the time (bigger orders take longer for inspections), these DiamondCut(TM) antique brass are hand-finished per your order.

For those who have asked about how it compares to my traditional antique brass frames (yes, I’m still working on those, too!), take a look at this series of pictures.

Depending on the angle, it can go from a subtle difference… to dramatic.  The new DiamondCut(TM) brushed antique brass is shown on the right.

Under "studio" lighting. Tungsten lights used. A little subtle ...

**Note the soaps — the most thoughtful gesture from a customer I’ve ever gotten.  Ming, from Ourblueiguana got me these soaps and a balm that I’ve been using every night on my gnarly feet!  (Yes, I said it.)  🙂

I’m lucky and blessed to have many wonderful and supportive customers … but this one tops the cake!  My jaw literally dropped when I got a package!  (“I didn’t order anything…”)  And to get her sweet note, well, I’m still floating in the air – just with nicer, smoother feet!  :0  Thanks, Ming!

Back to the program … *ahem*

Notice the texturized surface on the right of the DiamondCut(TM).

At this angle, you can see a little more of the sheen of the regular antique brass. Notice that it is uniformly shiny vs. the DiamondCut(TM) which has more sparkles.

Under high hat lights. At this angle, the traditional antique brass appears more matte.

With high hats overhead at this angle, the difference is quite a bit more dramatic.

With incandescent lights shown above. The DiamondCut(TM) really sparkles while the regular antique brass appears solid and matte.

Tips to use and key points:

*DiamondCut(TM) brushed antique brass can be subtle in appearance or more dramatic in appearance depending on the angle and lighting.  It changes … just like the weather.  🙂

*It is a highly texturized surface and will feel rougher (not sharp) to the touch than the regular antique brass.

*Although it has a top coat to seal it, Gutermann glue will not easily come off the surface due to the textureIf you are not an experienced clutch-maker and to prevent this mishap from happening, you can do the good old tricks of the trade:

1.  Do not overfill your u-channel to cause spillage of the glue.  A little goes a long way with Gutermann …

2.  You can tape the frame where necessary.  Any “extra” glue will spill onto the tape.  After you are done gluing, simply pull the tape off!

3.  As per the package directions, you can try removing the glue with acetone.  (Note:  I’ve never had to do this but Gutermann has tested this.  Be sure to test in an inconspicuous area before attempting.  Be careful with your fabric.)

I will have these listed and ready to ship this weekend.  I just don’t want to over-promise, so that’s why they have not been listed.  As you all can tell by the new sizes and styles at the shop, we’ve had a lot of activity in the last month!  Both Thy and I are literally burning the midnight oil these days.

As always, your support is tremendously appreciated!

~Winn (and Thy)

April 12, 2011 Posted by | Helpful Tips, WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , | 2 Comments

Debuting the new 3×1.5 purse frame!

Debuting another style — the new 3×1.5s.  I LOVE the new size of the kisslock balls!  (Insert “That’s what she said” here.)  🙂

Just when I thought these little guys could not get any cuter … I think you’re going to really love this new look.

New 3x1.5 inch nickel-free purse frame on the right.

The previous style appears on the left.  Please note:  the way it is positioned in the picture above is an optical illusion as they are both the exact same size frame — 3×1.5.  The only change is in the more pronounced kisslock balls.

These new kisslock balls are the same 12mm size as my 6x3s and 8x3s and 10x3s.  I think it adds a new prominence and makes this little one more substantial in style.

The best part?  Even though there is more metal used to make the larger kisslock balls, I was able to keep the price the same due to producing a larger amount!  YAY to volume discounts!!!

Take a look!

Measurement - substantial weight 12mm kisslock balls.

I should have them up and listed some time tonight.

April 11, 2011 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shipping from Columbus, Ohio!

Hi all!  It’s with great excitement that I let you all know that we are just about done with our transition of the business.  Thy (“T”), my older sister, who lives Powell, Ohio right outside of Columbus is taking over all the shipping for my businesses as I get my kids ready for our own move abroad.

Other than some loose ends, most of the inventory that has been in transit is at her house and being organized.  Speaking of organization, take a look at her office!

Recognize the green and brown? Same office system!

So all orders will ship from her house from now on.

All marketing, sales, and promotions will continue to be done by me, yours truly.  In fact, unless it has to do with a custom listing or shipment of an order, it’ll all be me who you’ll hear from.

Convo us as you would normally and one or both of us will answer you depending on your needs.

Shipping costs are the same prices and time since we use Priority Mail flat rate ensuring that you’ll get what you need in the quickest, most cost-effective manner.

What’s on my docket this week and beyond:

1.  Taxes!!!!  *ughhhhh*  I don’t serve in the military (my niece does) … so I think that paying my taxes is the most patriotic thing that I can do!  I just hate the paperwork involved …

2.  List new purse chains and frames that have been designed and produced!  New 9×3 and 10×3 frames at my Etsy shop are up.

***Oh, check out the new 10×3 nickel-free frames.  Same Perfect Fit 6(TM) u-channel and kisslock balls.  I am SOLD OUT of the 10×3 nickel-free kisslock with loops and will have them back in production in 3-4 weeks, but these are the same without the loops.  They are also priced lower as it costs less to make them!  (The  frames with loops require the welding of the loops and that raises my labor costs in addition to the cost of metal.)

Same frame as before, but no loops.

3.  Getting the DiamondCut(TM) brushed antique brass ready for sale.  As these are custom and hand-finished, it takes longer than to just post them.  I need to build up the stock so that orders will be shipped out quickly!

4.  Finally get to launching the PurseFramesOutlet business.  As my main business is WhileBabyNaps, I cannot start on this new exciting venture until I’m fully transitioned off of the shipping and my own office is organized.

Thank you for your support and excitement with all the new frame sizes and styles!   These are great offerings to have in your line of clutches as you get ready for the Spring arts and craft shows.  🙂

April 10, 2011 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , | Leave a comment

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