Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thrift Thursday: That Tablecloth Becomes You!

The other night I was smiling over a new bag pattern I had created, and immediately started to tear into my stash to find new fabric combinations. When you've been designing handbags and collecting vintage fabric for a little over 5 years - your stash just seems to grow and grow - in fact, I always claim that my fabric has babies while I'm out.

Looking through tub after tub of fabric, I smile as I remember the shopping adventure that led to each purchase. My fabric is like a solid group of friends - and making it into bags to be enjoyed by lovely ladies is a really neat way to share my love of textiles!

Today's Thrift Store Score focuses on a HUGE 1970s tablecloth I purchased a few years ago. I remember my heart pounding as I spotted the fabric - a bulky pile amidst the fabric bins. The bright army/olive green shouted at me - Anne Marie! Do you see me? Come and look - unfold me - I am HUGE and you can make dozens of bags out of me!

The tablecloth was a large oval shape, and the fabric a nice plain weave cotton - kind of nubby and woven with thick yarn. The edge of the tablecloth was decorated with quite possibly the ugliest trim I've ever seen, and that HAD to go.

I have been making a few bags out of the fabric each year - trying to extend the life of the tablecloth as long as possible. I find it satisfying to make many different styles of bags out of the same fabric - it brings out new sides of the fabric's character. I have often admired designers like my friend CHIA, who can cut an entire piece of vintage fabric at once, and then be done with it.

I tend to hold onto them like bestest friends - we're not through with each other until every kind of bag possible has been created from it. This style is my hugely popular Wendy Zipper Tote. It's big and roomy but very lightweight - and it holds a LOT. Check it out in my etsy store - and stay tuned for more thrifting, crafting and sewing adventures.

Anne Marie Beard