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"the old has gone, the new has come"

For those of you who have been around know that I thoroughly enjoy things that are old, especially if they can be made new. If you haven’t been around long you can read more about this here. One thing that has always tickled my fancy is vintage fabric. Unfortunately it is fairly hard to come by if you want pieces that are decent in size, in good shape & unstained. You can find loads of it online but because I can’t feel it, smell it, or see ALL of it, I tend to be hesitant to purchase.

While we were away on our adventure Erika and I hit up the “Vintage Collection” which she has featured {w/pictures} here. I was smitten with all the tea towels and tablecloths and managed to come across the little gem pictured above {for less than $3}. Isn’t she so pretty? I could buy a kitchen hand towel at Target or Kmart for the same price {or less} but it certainly wouldn’t be this pretty or have any “history”. She hangs on my dishwasher handle and brightens my kitchen.

This fabric has been in my mother’s sewing closet for probably 30+ years. And thankfully it has been traveling with me for the last 6+ years. They don’t make fabric like this anymore, or if they do, I haven’t seen it. I’ve always wanted to do “something” with it but haven’t come across the right project. Well, yesterday in my computer’s absence I sat down during nap time and did a little something just for me.

For those of you who are interested in sewing but are just getting started or for those of you who love to sew and have been doing it for many years, I recommend you check out Sew Mama, Sew! and their BLOG. It’s in my “reader” and I always love to see what’s up next. They are chocked full of free tutorials. I read about this “tote tutorial” shortly after John Martin was born, printed it off, and have been wanting to try it. I’m starting a Bible study next week and couldn’t think of a better reason to create a new bag to tote my books & Bible in! Irene knows what she’s talking about and has created a very easy to follow tutorial. I followed it to a “T” {well, I did pin my long straps before I sewed them shut because they didn’t want to feed through the machine together} and I’m beyond thrilled with the result! I had never used my “triple stitch” and realized what a fantastic stitch it is for items like bags. I also like the “aesthetic” effect of a “thick” looking stitch.

The bag’s gussets make it a great bag for hauling anything from books, to toys, to groceries. It was very easy to make and I highly recommend this tote-torial! {Ok, that was cheesy!} Please share pictures if you give this one a try!

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  • Courtney
    August 13, 2008 at 6:57 am

    You are so talented with that machine! Sadly, mine sits collecting dust. Every time I go to sew, I always realize how short of patience I have with myself and my time. I totally respect people who can sit down and be quiet enough to do things like this!!

  • Shireen
    August 13, 2008 at 7:02 am

    You ARE so talented, Darby! I want to be interested in sewing…perhaps it will come in time. 🙂

    I got your IM yesterday…you’re sweet…I’d just cked my email and walked away from my computer, so when I got back, your msg was there, but you were offline. 🙁

    Well, I’ll post a pic soon. 🙂

    Love you, miss you! 🙂

  • erika
    August 13, 2008 at 7:17 am


  • Wrights
    August 13, 2008 at 7:50 am

    Love that bag, Darby! I, too, love vintage looking fabrics. My sister works for a children’s clothing designer who uses a lot of vintage fabrics that you might like. The clothes are expensive but they do have good sale items sometimes and you could probably copy some of the patterns with your sewing skills! pearsandbears.com is the website if you want to check it out.

  • Mandy
    August 13, 2008 at 11:43 am

    SO cute…my grandmother had a day gown in this fabric years ago…i want a cute bag like that! Mandy

  • Dianne
    August 13, 2008 at 11:54 am

    You impress me more each time I visit this blog. Great bag! The fabric looks like a Vera floral scarf I used to have. I know you’ll enjoy using it.

  • Anonymous
    August 13, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    You are very talented and should put stuff like that on Etsy if time permits. I think it would sell like hotcakes.
    Susie, KY

  • kay
    August 13, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Darby, I learned about your blog from Tara Roney—and I’ve enjoyed your sewing projects and tips. I was amazed with the first picture in this post. I have a few lapkins made of that fabric. In fact, I have several coordinating patterns. One of my aunts worked in the cotton mills in Valley, AL, and I think they made tea towels out of that pattern. Years ago, my aunt made two dozen napkins for me in a coordinating red and white stripe—and I just love them. Also, I still have a roll of that red and white fabric. I think it is a fifties pattern.

  • Matt, Carrie and Lucy Allen
    August 13, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    darby- I am another one of your stalkers coming out of the closet! I saw your link on lindsey phillips salter’s blog (who is from dothan now in bham) and I read your blog quite often! and-the main reason I am commenting is b/c I made this bag today! just visit our blog to see the pics! I had some extra fabric(not as cute as yours) to practice on…I am not the expert sewer like you, but I can follow a pattern and make dresses (for my daugher), pillows, etc)it was really easy and I can see myself making more of them! Thanks Darby!
    Carrie Allen

  • Lodmell House
    August 13, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    your sewing is what totally got me hooked to your blog. With three small kids of my own (twins 3 1/2, 1 20 months old), sewing must be simple to get completed. Long projects just get started and then gather dust until I am totally bored. I love this tote! I have been looking for a simple tote pattern. I have bookmarked it already! Thanks for all the ideas!! I can’t wait for a day with long naps to make it!

  • megan
    August 15, 2008 at 5:55 am

    total talent!

  • Jules
    August 24, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Okay, I made one, but before you look, I think it looks so floppy because it’s linen.

  • kt
    August 25, 2008 at 11:05 am

    i made 3….but mine don’t look as “perfect” as yours. but, hey, for a beginner, i’m quite pleased!

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