Speaking of stuff, my kids were in complete shock this past spring when I bought a small purse from the local thrift store. You see, I already had a purse, so why would I need another one?
I'm sure most women reading this would not need an explanation, but in case there is any confusion, my purse is a very colorful pattern, and it just didn't go with several outfits. Practical Me, for years, has always stuck with plain materials for my pocketbooks, but in recent years I have thrown caution to the wind and added some pizzazz.
Of course, I tend to wear solid shirts and pants, so a loud purse wasn't a big deal. Then, Impractical Me started adding pattern dresses and shirts into my repertoire. I know, crazy. Symptomatic of a mid-life crisis.
Plus, my regular purse was large, and sometimes I only wanted to carry a few things. It seems silly to carry a big purse when inside is a wallet, some lip balm, keys and a cell phone.
Then my sister and I went down to St. Augustine and I lugged my camera everywhere. My camera is not light. It does fit in my purse, but when traveling I tend to carry around more than a wallet and lip balm, so it was pretty full. I decided that what I really needed was a backpack. We shopped. I looked. I concluded that backpacks for women come in two types: inexpensive but ugly or attractive but way more than I was willing to spend.
Keep in mind that the last purse I bought myself was found at a thrift store.
Then I found this backpack pattern online. For free. All it cost me was time. Well, not exactly true. I had to buy super-stiff interfacing and batting. But I bought no fabric or thread for this project, and I had a coupon for the other supplies. Sewing did take up the better part of the weekend, but I love the results. It was my first real quilting project. And it uses a recycled uniform.
As I sewed this weekend, I vaguely paid attention to the hours it took me and I decided that if I were to make this for someone else I wouldn't do it for less than $80. It just took that much time. I'd do it for me; I'd do simpler patterns for my kids (the most tedious job was the inch wide stripes that I had to sew and iron flat...if I did wider stripes, it would be easier and less work). But I won't be cranking these out for general sale.
But I like the results so well that I really think I'll search the online patterns before I ever buy another purse again.
What do you think?