Monday, June 28, 2010

Vintage pattern and recycled finds

I have just posted a handmade tiered long skirt and matching dolly bag for my six year old niece’s birthday.
The vintage pattern, bias binding trim and recycled beads and bag lining was sourced from an op shop, and was very easy to make up. The bias looked very sweet at the bottom of the skirt.

The red floral fabric was purchased 10 years ago for my then infant daughter, so it was great to find a home for it.

I thought the beads made a nice touch- but also useful- to keep the handles outside the casing. My pile of vintage fabric is ready to go – waiting for inspiring projects!

Next project: bathrobe/dressing gown for my daughter in huge multicoloured spots.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Vintage fabric haul

It didn't last long. The thought that I should stop my thrifting for fabric!
I was very happy last week bringing these home....

The op shops were good to me last week. I loved this bright floral- made up into an apron. My vintage apron collection is growing!

A small tablecloth...
Especially chuffed with the bold floral fabric above- I know it will make up beautifully into a large bag. Then I found some more modern patterns..

Lastly, some big buttons. Small buttons are in all the op shops- they are easy to find. It is particularly rewarding to find buttons large enough to suit our handles or designs. My shopping should be satisfied for a while, school holidays will keep me too busy to thrift.  I did spend a few joyous hours sewing gifts last week. Perhaps we'll put a few more items together to add to the store.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

$100 Bessie prize pack draw - favourite vintage finds

Thanks for checking out our brand new blog page. We have a special offer - enter our $100 prize pack draw. Just comment here, on our website, or like/comment on the facebook page. We'll add an extra entry for each!

In the prize: we'll include a special new release handmade item - very eco-friendly and you will be the first to have one.

Fabric is not the only thing vintage I bring home from op shop trawling.
The first water jug and glasses set we found and admired in a secondhand shop. Lo and behold a few months later, it was a wonderful and very thoughtful surprise present for my birthday.

The juice glasses below were in a beautiful condition. I fell in love with the bright colours.

The 18 piece tea set was flawless as well (Royal Series, Yamato fine china, Japan). My earl grey tastes even better in them. All three items were sourced from Gympie- Wide Bay- Sunshine Coast areas, Australia.

I guess, like most bargain hunters, it was also satisfying that I picked up both for a steal, and they are well loved once more.

Retro fabric finds

First published April 12, 2010
Here is a sneak peak at the latest bags under construction...2 shabby chic in gorgeous salvaged vintage with grosgrain ribbon and 2 sweet princess designs in contemporary butterflies and embroidered gingham........

Plus some of our latest retro and vintage fabric finds, mostly sourced from op shops. Some are durable furnishing fabric remnants, table linen or part of someone's unwanted stash. 

We hit the beach every day last week, but did find time to update the website. It now has a direct link to our Etsy store and more detailed photos of bags.  Select like on facebook Bessievintageandretrobags page and as a join our members to the website for latest releases.

Our first Mother's Day order for a custom made bag has already come in- a personalised option to suprise your mum or mum in law this year. With school back tomorrow... we are looking forward to building up our stock again ready for Mother's day. Meanwhile, these reclaimed fabrics are ready for transformation, and hopefully you'll soon see them as bags in our store!

Anzac treasures- and a tote for Mothers

First published April 26, 2010
With emotion I watched the Parade and ceremony this year - proud to see my  4 marching, and knowing that our Diggers wanted them there. A beautiful spot to commemorate Anzac Day- overlooking the Pacific.

The extra day helped me complete 5 bags this weekend. Here is a preview before I load them on the sites. Firstly, two gorgeous vintage fabric bags made into dainty and detailed shabby chics- pictured with our Magic. The tricolour is from Marchioness fabric - I would love to know more about it. The mint slice is acrylic floral with a recycled stripe lining.

Then two new princess bags -

both  are from contemporary fabrics with recycled buttons. The navy grograin ribbon handles really suit the gingham and the very last of my orange and white striped ribbon was made for the handles of Mademoiselle Butterfly. Both have sweet contrasting pockets (I have included more detailed images for their listings).

Lastly - my first Mother's Day custom made bag.

I was really pleased with the outcome of the lotus ruched tote. I love the peekaboo navy ticking lining - and as a first have included a bottle holder - so the water doesn't topple over in the bag. Tomorrow I will pop it in the mail - hoping the recipient enjoys looking at it as much as I!

Fundraisers and Women's Bags

This blog was first published May 18, 2010. 
The very first bag I made for myself was designed out of need. I was off to a Pink Ladies lunch (a breast cancer fundraiser) and I did not want to walk home in my high heels. The bag had to be small, but I actually cut the fabric according to the size of my flip flops. I also added other essentials like a ticket, sunnies, cash and card. I loved the style so much, I decided to sew another Ribboned Ditty. 
Mauve Flowers on Grey drawstring bag was refashioned from a vintage blouse sleeve -with the original seam. I love this fabric. It has a sheen about it that works well for the evening as well. Then I decided to make another from this beautiful Japanese contemporary fabric.

Adorable colours and print. It has an elegant velvet ribbon tie. Made from remnants (it actually holds all the colours I used in my day bed spruce), it will only fit the littlest shoe, but will be perfect for occasions when you don't want to bring much. Plus it is:
Reversible! In chocolate linen with three exquisite vintage buttons- it is two for one. I wasn't finished there. 

I completed two more bags - well almost. I still need to sew buttons onto a groovy stripey blue retro kokeshi bag. Plus I finished another art deco style bag this one is in retro teal. It flew the coop without a photo, at another ladies lunch ( I don't attend fundraisers all the time - this one was a Breastfeeding fundraiser for Mothering Week), so I am yet to add it to the gallery.

Energy still remaining, with remnants of some gorgeous modern furnishing fabric, I completed more handmade table runners.
 Soon to be listed, unlike my other table runners they all have a fringed edging courtesy of the selvedge.
Last weekend, with no luncheons.... I managed to sort my stash of vintage fabric, I declared I was not to add to my pile! (for now).  I managed to make some more space for the stash by a completing day bed cover and lots of cushion covers- a long awaited for project end. Each cover progressed in it's complexity. Now I just have to muse over how I will use the remnants!

Retro and contemporary fabric bags to brighten our winter

Here is the little number I wrote about in the last blog. Salvaged retro teal curtain fabric from our vintage fabric hoard -  made up brilliantly into an art deco style bag. The new owner kindly brought it back to me for a photo. It is just a mini sized purse - for sunnies, keys and wallet. The fabric is just right for bags- furnishing weight so durable and easy to manage.

Another princess handmade fabric bag left my hands for its new owner recently. In contemporary Ballet fabric, we lined it with recycled stripes and added a contrasting pocket. Just for little girls, it has been designed in a mini whimsy style.  With a recycled yellow button for the clasp- a perfect Princess Hannah!

Another long weekend is here - I am looking forward to completing a few more totes!