When I found this old canvas jeep cover, I couldn’t yet imagine what it would turn into. The more I paired it with the bright warm colors like yellow, orange & sometimes, clean, white stripes the more versatile it became. The options & combinations were limitless. All colors seem to compliment this neutral tan fabric. I made shortish handles using leather bridle reigns, popped the inside in bright contrast canvas colors & the patch pocket on the front is perfect for holding plane tickets. When I came up with this long rectangular shape I was picturing it used to hold a computer & essentials while running through an airport. It feels & is a sturdy bag that is fully machine washable when the straps are removed. (*if your trying to guess what those bright straps are that hold the body together, you’ve guessed correctly if you said , Martial arts belts!)
The fabric for this clutch is made from an old army tarp. Add some bright canvas, paint some stripes, sew in a zipper, add a leather tab….Wa-La!
A couple of weeks ago I came by a man selling old canvas tents from the 60′s. I had been looking on ebay for just that sort of thing. Eureeka! It was like I stumbled on my own secret treasure trove. I was thinking, “I better buy these quickly before someone else takes them!” I brought them home & all everyone could say was,”Why, Elke?” Couldn’t they see the potential in the old waxy cotton? I cut them in pieces (gasp) then washed them. Firstly, I learned that you should NEVER put waxed cotton in a high heat dryer (picture a box of crayons melted all over the inside….I will not say more) After cleaning I found the fabric to be even more beautiful & full of character than before. Love you ask? Most definitely. I am picturing them as very casual over-sized summer bags that you would fill with towels to bring to the beach. Here is a very quick first sample that I whipped up as a hostess gift to friends that will be gone all summer. More proto’s to come.
This is the third version that I’ve made of this bag. For the first one I copied a pattern & when it was done, it worked but was not the proportion I was looking for. The second time I made it, I ended up using it all summer as it was made from this really great brown & white heavy linen stripe. The THIRD time I tried this bag, I used the concept but made my own pattern. Instead of the 3 pockets on each side I revised it to 2. Plus the 2 outside pockets on either end it still had 6 pockets which was just fine with me. After I cut out the pieces I painted the white bits by hand then sewed it together. Instead of a lining I just added a natural twill tape binding. To finish off the inside hem I painted a bright yellow stripe on the cotton webbing for fun. The straps were also hand painted on the tips. I finally made the bag that I was thinking of. I think this would make a fun 2 part class……
There are few things in our closets that we are attached to like our favorite pair of jeans. I recently had two pairs that fell apart at the same time. For a while they sat up next to my sewing machine waiting to get fixed until after maybe just 2-3 days, necessity called & I just missed them too much. If it was any other pair of pant it may have been springtime before I actually took the effort to fix them. It took 2 nights of watching discovery channel to finish sewing the edges & stenciling them. The patches are all from vintage fabric. The brown canvas is from an army rucksack, the ticking is actually very old & I’ve been holding onto it for quite a while. The brown polkadot poplin I found in a baggy with other 1960′s scraps at a flea market.
The easiest way I found to apply the patch was to use an iron-on adhesive. That way it gives strength to the patch & it also stays in one place when you sew the edges.
A while ago I made a half dozen little bags for little girls. The one above is made in a really heavy linen canvas. The mouths zip open for storing all the candy & treasures that they want to take along. I made covered buttons for the back tails & nylon cording for straps. Each animal is unique with hand embroidered details for the faces.