Thursday, December 30, 2010

Vintage French Market Bag

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I bought this little burlap shopping bag at Goodwill a few years ago for 99 cents, and it was so fragile I have been mostly afraid to touch it ever since.

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It spent such a long time hanging on a hook, both before and after it belonged to me, that it had developed a weird shape, and I decided today that it needed a little TLC.

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It’s already had some—there are a few places on the bag that have been lovingly darned, which I adore so much. Somebody before me knew that this bag is worth it.

Here’s what the back looks like:

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Isn’t it wonderful? I am so in love. I wanted to make a calico lining for it, both to offer it some structure, but also because things lined in flowered calico are always better than things that are not.

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I carefully pressed and measured the bag, and then made a simple rectangular envelope to fit inside, turning the top opening edge under 1/4”. Then I hand-stitched it in place using vintage cotton thread. (I made that decision based on the fact that I am pretty sure I’ll still be unable to make myself use this bag for anything. It’s just so fabulous, and it still seems so fragile. I wouldn’t use old cotton thread for anything that might see a lot of action.)

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I think this bag has already seen its share of hard work anyway. I like to imagine it filled with blossoms and baguettes and baskets of tiny pears. Please excuse the silk flower—it is December, after all.