I posted earlier about finding this Grandma Moses barkcloth on ebay. Well, I think it made some really cute Christmas stockings! I’ve made quite a few different ones for markets this fall. The one on the left has a cuff made from vintage chenille and fringe. Doncha love that curled-up toe??? The other (traditionally shaped) stocking has a cuff made from a vintage napkin. I sewed a bunch of fun buttons on it for accent.

Here are a couple of other fun uses of vintage materials. These 2 jackets are from the same pattern—they look so different! My friend Maria is wearing a jacket I originally designed for myself. I took it to a market before it was finished, just in case someone came along who might be interested in this type of jacket. Well, Maria came along and wanted THAT jacket! She came over the next day to pick out buttons and I finished it up for her. You can tell from her big grin that she loves it! So I went ahead and created another jacket for myself, pictured on the right.
I am frequently asked, “What IS barkcloth?” Barkcloth is a cotton fabric with a rough, nubby weave, thus the name. It was popular in the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s, primarily used for curtains. Because curtains don’t get much “wear”, they have survived in great shape. There were several popular pattern styles—tropical, asian, floral and “scenic”. The colors are different than what I find in contemporary fabrics (like that funky lime green) which makes it hard sometimes to find coordinating materials.

>Lots of people like to window shop online. It’s fun, free, and your feet don’t get tired! The main thing I shop for online is fabric. The types of fabrics I find most interesting and inspiring are mostly vintage materials, which I find on ebay or at estate sales (when I’m lucky enough to be able to get to one!) The hunt for authentic barkcloth, in a pattern I like, at a reasonable price, is a favorite break-time activity.

I just love my most recent barkcloth finds and thought I’d share some of them with you!

This fabric I’ve already used for beautiful purse (custom order) and have cut out a jacket for another order.

I found this pretty grey/pink color way of the same fabric I just used for the messenger bag! One of my sons’ girlfriend has already ordered the messenger bag in this one. Just need to find some great lining fabric!

I’m not sure if this one is really barkcloth, but it’s the same type of texture. The little country scenes are so cute–can’t wait to applique some of it on some denim pieces!

This is my grand prize (for now!) Some real Grandma Moses “Springtime on the farm” panels. It hasn’t even arrived in the mail yet, can’t wait to see it! It will be great for jackets. I’ll have to see it in person to really formulate some ideas.

Barkcloth florals are pretty easy to find, but the rural, farm-type scenes are much harder to come by. So finding and using them in creative ways has become my little “niche” in the handmade market.