Purposefully repurposing

My parents, Maddy and I went into Winnipeg yesterday to visit my sister and her husband. We haven't seen my sister or her husband since the end of June when she left to go work up north on a couple of archaeological digs, so it was nice to have a chance to hang out and do some shopping.

I have been looking for vintage luggage - specifically, train sets (although, hat boxes would be awesome, too) - for a while now for the craft sales I'm in.  I want to use them to display my wares in a more unique fashion and as transport/storage. I want to stand out in a crowd at a sale and as I'm not a very extroverted person and am pretty unlikely to obviously seek people out to talk to, having an eyecatching - and memorable - display is the best way to bring people to my table.

I went to Value Village in hopes of finding some luggage. I've seen a few online classified ads selling them here in town, too, but wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to end up paying through the nose for them. I didn't find any luggage, but managed to pick up a few random grab-bags of sewing notions, a bag of Fisher Price toys for Maddy - including a camera - and a few sturdy belts I'm going to use as straps on future bags.

And then I found what could be the turning point in my bag business. That coat in the photo? That coat that's 50% lamb wool, 50% camel hair? That coat that is so soft and well cared for that it's a shame it was in a second-hand shop?


I know there are other bag makers out there who only use repurposed materials and they make some pretty amazing stuff. I like working with the materials I have on hand now - mostly cottons and poly-cotton blends - but trying to make something with this, a beautiful and elegant material... well, it scares me.

I have no immediate plans for the coat. When a plan starts to formulate, there's going to be a lot of research put into it. I may have only paid $7.99 for it, but the coat is worth far more than that. I certainly don't want to be butchering it up like a Sunday roast.

Or maybe I'll keep it for special requests. It may come in handy as a nice incentive to get shoppers to sign up for some custom work.


  1. Just wait...the perfect project will just come out of nowhere for that jacket.

    Great find!

  2. There were quite a few coats like this one that I could have easily picked up, but with our really limited space, I figure one's good enough for now.


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