Friday, December 30, 2011

Jane market totes...and some not-so-modern fabric

Any creative thought I can muster today has to be directed to course design -- I am in the process of drafting a new course, a senior seminar on Victorian women's ghost stories (I do love my job!), and the clock is I'll keep this brief.

I just wanted to share the two versions of Alicia Paulson's "Jane" market bag I whipped up yesterday.  These were fun and quick makes, perfect for hauling piles of books and exams to and from work, so I think there will be more of these in my future.

The first is a gift, and hopefully  the recipient is not working her way through her Google reader today! I really do think I'm safe in sharing this one, so here it goes: I bought the Kokka (oops) Echino camera fabric over 18 months ago, with this friend in mind, so it's great to finally use some of this stash of Japanese cotton-linen prints.  I lined the bag in a cotton solid that I dyed a soft purple-gray, with logwood, (during the "natural dyeing" workshop I took last August at the workroom), gave it some structure by using fusible Pellon interfacing, and matched the Echino prints with a deep plum Kona cotton (the front panel and straps).

With the construction steps fresh in my mind, I made myself one of these market totes from a small stash of 19th c. reproduction fabrics (combined with some natural Essex linen for the front panel and lining) that -- I must admit -- I love.

I added one step to the construction for this second version of the tote: I created bottom edge seams to give the bottom of the bag more definition (and to keep things in the two exterior pockets from slipping down too far).  I imagine others have done this as well, since it seams an obvious addition to the pattern -- if I had more time, I would tour around the "Jane's market tote" flickr pool -- but I just thought I'd mention it :)

My taste pulls me in a few different directions, exemplified in yesterday's output: I am drawn to modern fabrics (they got me into sewing to begin with) but I also love feedsack reproductions, 30s fabrics, and yes, even some of what have come to be known as "civil war" fabrics.  I think all of these can co-exist harmoniously in my stash cabinet.  Anyway, the 19th c. repros made for a very grown-up bag, one I can certainly use at work. 


Now back to the ghost stories.


Jennifer said...

i would definitely register for that class! ghost stories have always been my favorite literature since childhood, and i haven't changed at all. the university where i completed my undergrad offered a class in american horror lit; it was always full in the first few days of registration. i was lucky enough to get in!

my favorite read from the course was shirley jackson's haunting of hill house (pretend that's underlined); that book was extremely eerie without having a whole lot happen. i guess that goes to show the magic you can work with words!