I ran into an old friend this evening (old, old boyfriend actually - from so long ago that it's barely interesting even to us anymore) and we were sitting around catching up. He's always been an avid fisherman, and he was telling me how he's been spending money on Ebay on vintage silk sewing thread for tying fishing flies. Now I happen to have, among all the other rubble inherited from a tribe of packrattish women, a basket of vintage thread that's been more or less gathering dust in the workroom. Occasionally I'll grab a spool ifI have some hand sewing to do, but I'd never use it in the machine and I tend to forget it's there. I took him up to the workroom and showed him this:
Let's just say I've never seen that reaction from a man about thread. "Silk buttonhole twist! You have silk buttonhole twist!" in a tone I would expect to hear from a fellow sewist at PR Weekend, not from a 40-something blues musician/UPS driver/fly fisherman. "Even the mercerized cotton looks like silk!" In the end, he only took 5 spools , but it was nice to see someone made so happy by something I had never placed any value on. According to him, I could be making a bundle on Ebay selling this to fly fishermen, but I can't be bothered. It will probably continue to sit in its basket on the cabinet in my workroom until he asks for more.
As an actual sewing update, as I said before, I'm making two Lazy Girl Miranda Day Bags for Christmas. I chose to use Amy Butler fabrics for a sort of faux-Vera Bradley effect (one in a blue/brown and one in a pink/maroon). I like Amy Butler fabrics in the abstract, but when faced with them in reality, they're just way too cutesy/colorful for me. The bags are not turning out to my taste at all, but I think the recipients will like them. I hope. I'm a little iffy on the blue/brown one, but I have backup fabric squirreled away – all I need is another yard of batting and I could knock out a replacement bag if necessary.
While I sat sewing the pockets onto the lining last night – 10 of them! – I realized this is a really good, useful bag, and I'm just being prejudiced against it because I'm not liking my fabrics. Then, when I attached the lining to the bag and did the fold at the top where the lining becomes a visible edge on the exterior, I realized that this bag would look great in leather. I would have to change the closure – can't do iron-on Velcro on leather – but I have a bunch of interesting buttons and buckles, so something could be worked out easily enough. I'd also add an exterior pocket, for interest, since I wouldn't have to do all the quilting or topstitch the seams. I'm using purchased handles for the two bags I'm making, but I would sew leather straps for my own bag unless I could find something interesting and vintage.
Hmm, this is going to be a nice post-holiday project. Now if I can just find enough leather, and keep myself from using that nice black lambskin I bought at PR Weekend for a jacket. I have a decent stash of leather from various thrift store purchases; this might be an interesting bag to make out of mismatched leathers – not too "patchy," maybe just alternating brown/black since the top and bottom are each made up of 2 squares. I'll think about that while I'm sewing all this shrill pink cotton.