Honestly, I had no idea what I would get. I know that I like rustic, cottagey design, but I also know that I really like living in a big city (having learned this by spending the last two years living in the suburbs and thoroughly not enjoying myself), and that bright colours and bold patterns are my jam.
I ended up scoring a Country French design style, and I had to look it up, because I know nothing of home decor. And apparently French Country decor is a somewhat vague term, because I still don’t really get it. Some of it is quite nice; earthenware pottery, a lot of natural wood furniture, some toile fabric here and there. But then it gets gaudy. A lot of gilded nonsense, overly ornate couches, and do I really need a chandelier over the coffee table?
However, one element that really stuck with me was the French Market Bag. You know the kind: simple, chic, can be used to carry produce home from the fruit market, or to store towels or my handmade quilts.
And being the starving artist that I am, I started to experiment with making my own. Although I sew a lot, this isn’t really my area of expertise. Not only because I rarely make bags, but it takes some discipline to make pieces that are understated and simple. I’m one of those people who tends to use a lot of colour and pattern detail, so learning to walk the fine line between “simple” and “dull” is a skill that I need to practice.
This is actually bag #2, because I didn’t photograph bag #1. It looks like felt in these pictures, but it’s made from cotton linen, lined with cotton linen, with cotton print handles.
I’m not entirely sold on it, mostly due to the colour scheme. It’s giving me a “I’m a funky arts and crafts teacher who wears a lot of taffeta blouses and listens to the B-52s” vibe. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I said I wanted simple, and I was really feeling the natural unbleached canvas fabrics.
I think bag #3 hit the nail on the head:
Simple canvas fabric? Check.
Clean silhouette? Check.
A splash of colour that happens to have a beachy vibe? Check.
My only issue with it now is that it has too much of a tote shape. That’s a minor tweak though; some simple pattern drafting will fix that issue.
Yay market bags!