I know it’s not spring, but I’ve been doing a lot of clearing out recently.
Long story short, we need to have the house rewired so we had to clear a bit of space for the workmen to start in – it’s a bit like those puzzles where you have one square empty and have to move all the pieces around, into the right place.
Anyway, it’s been fun to revisit some of the forgotten items at the back of cupboards and in boxes in the attic. In particular, I hadn’t realised how many handbags I was hoarding! I love bags, so before getting rid of the old worn-out ones, I wanted to take some pictures of the best ones that I’d like to remake at some point.
This little bag with long strap was one of my favourites as a teen:
Patchwork bag © Becky Skuse
I like the patchwork style of the bag, with all the different shades of fabric and zig-zag stitching over the seam lines. At the time, it was the perfect size for the very few things I needed to carry around at the weekends, so I loved it.
When I was a bit older and at university, I bought this slightly larger bag:
Crochet bag © Becky Skuse
You can see in the top-right corner that it’s a little bit frayed, because I used it so much! This bag reminds me of lazy summers in between years at uni, when I had not a care in the world! I’d spend ages just sitting in the park, reading a uni book, with everything I needed in this bag.
Sometimes I’d just stop and think, watch other people having summer fun, or stare at the pretty crocheted pattern on this bag and wonder how it was made:
Crochet bag stitch pattern © Becky Skuse
These were in the days before I knew much about crochet! Although it was a bit easier to work out how the plaited strap was made:
Crochet bag strap © Becky Skuse
This brown crochet bag has such good memories, I think it’s another contender for a remake at some point.
There was one more gorgeous bag that I found in the back of the cupboard, which just had to be shared with the world:
Vintage bag © Becky Skuse
I bought this bag a few years ago at Beaten Green in St Ives and it was totally love at first sight. It’s such a delicate and pretty vintage bag (I think it’s from the 60s, but I’m not certain), made with luxurious fabric and featuring a delicate pattern of beads and sequins, a clasp opening and flexible gold strap.
A little label inside the bag says ‘Made in Hong Kong’ and I’m intrigued about the lives of the talented seamstresses who would have hand-stitched bags like this. I particularly like the pattern of beads and sequins, although it is a little bit battered:
Vintage bag detail © Becky Skuse
I bought the bag with a view to fixing the broken areas, although I’ve not gotten round to it, and now I’m thinking that actually the broken bits give it character – each stray thread and missing bead or sequin tells a story of glamorous nights out by previous owners. The bag is not just a bag, it’s a key prop in a story I’ve imagined for someone fabulous living during the cultural changes of the 60s. I like the idea that owning this bag is like owning a piece of history, so I need to looking after it and make sure it doesn’t end up at the back of a cupboard again.