On Friday night I came across this post on Craft City Melbourne, about Amitie, a fabric shop in Bentleigh. Now since I moved to Melbourne I've struggled to find any local fabric shops stocking fabrics I actually like, and so have been doing most of my shopping online. Something about the photo of their front window made me think that this one might be worth the drive to visit.
So Saturday afternoon having done the necessary cleaning and grocery shopping and finding myself with a couple of hours to spare before I was due at a friends place for an evening of mass production sewing, I grabbed my street directory and headed off to Amitie.
Now as mentioned in my previous post I have a bit of an obsession going on with all things Denyse Schmidt. I've been eyeing off her latest range "County Fair" which is a heavier "home dec" weight fabric. I'll been contemplating on Friday buying some of the fabrics online in order to make a new handbag, but had been unable to decide on whether the fabrics I was looking at would look right in real life and so had discarded the idea.
So when I walked in the door of Amitie, (having first noticed that the quilt in the window featured fabrics from the Katie Jump Rope collection) and found the entire collection of County fair stacked by the door way, I could barely contain my excitement.
Amitie is a gorgeous shop, an awesome range of fabrics without a hint of country or the an overwhelming array of shabby chic that seems to feature in most patchwork fabric shops. I wondered around for a while feeling a little overwhelmed and generally trying to resist the urge to come up with any new projects before I complete the ones currently on the go.
In the end I bought pieces of three of the county fair fabrics to make a bag, although without a pattern in mind.
I worked out the pattern this morning, and after a quick trip to Spotlight for some extra bits and pieces, I made this bag:
I'm really happy with how it came together, and I'm particularly glad that I took the time to get a few things right - like adding an extra layer of denim inside the top panel to make it stronger. Tomorrow morning will be its test to see if it can hold all my usual handbag contents plus my lunch, apple, water bottle and book. I think it will manage fine, and I can stop carrying two pages to work each day!
I'd bought a new pair of ($12 Kmart) sunglasses yesterday and had decided that I would make a sunglasses case out of the left over fabric to match my new bag. In then end I made it out of the third of the three fabrics I'd bought, which I ended up not needing in the bag. That came together so quickly and easily that I tipped out the contents of my handbag to see what else I could make to go in my handbag. A small pencil case was next to hold the pacer, pen, eraser and mini ruler I carry so I can draw quilt patterns in my notebook. That done, I decided my notebook needed a cover with some pockets to hold some of the other loose bits of paper I carry around.
The notebook cover is the only one I'm not overly happy with. I'd been using this thin stripe fabric as lining and really liked the way it looked with the fabrics, and thought it would make cute binding, but somehow its ended up looking a bit old fashioned. Still, its functional and I finally made myself take the time to actually figure out how to mitre binding corners, so it was a good sampler for that if nothing else!