The Summer Cottage

posted in: Hills and Pedal Pushers | 1

This coin purse is the beginning of my Exclusive Cut Collection.

There are only 16 of these coin purses in two sizes: (5) 4″H x 7.5″L and (11) 5″H x 4″L

I am deeply moved by this piece for a few reasons. The actual Summer Cottage location will always hold great sentiment as it was a dear friend that initiated this trip of exploration as well as a much needed disconnect from society.  Here is where her mother was more than a generous host; she ended a cycle of bitterness or resentment that was growing inside me.

This was not easy. I reside in Trinidad, where I have an apartment that I could not give up and needed to find people to rent it. I also have a boutique for 10 years and although the last 3 years have been a constant strategic game of ‘how to stay open due to economic changes and lets not forget internet shopping (the silent killer for walk in retail business)’, I could not close it.  I sold everything in my boutique at a give away price and rented it out to 3 local designers. It did hurt when US$100 dresses went for US$5.  It hurt having people demand things of you or even discredit you, when there is no consideration of how this may be affecting me.  As I sit here typing this in the summer cottage, I actually forget how all those months felt. I breathe, easily.

I normally save a prototype of each piece I create, but this is one I feel good selling all, to 16 special people stuffing it with their knick knacks and coins. You see, I don’t need to hold this one in my hand, when this ‘summer cottage’ moment has changed the feeling in my heart, the vision through my eyes, and how sometimes I feel to skip instead of walk.


I am not sure how old the Austrian Fabric is but we know it is at least over 25 years old.  What struck me with this fabric is how the white flowers are printed.  To me, it is not the typical screen printing since this actually looks like paint. Not to mention there is no way it was done digitally, as the flowers are not perfectly aligned.  One day I will discover how they did this, just like how I discovered Riri Zips.

I let this fabric sit because without compromising I had to find the perfect zip for these bags.  I only like to use metal zips and every mercerie that I went to just didn’t have what I wanted. I couldn’t explain it either but there is an instinct that takes over, and when you see the notion you know exactly what it will be used for.

So I waited. Always searching. I always believe that you should never settle in your creation.  I have made things that even though the customer loved it, deep down it did not sit well with me because I know how I really wanted it to be. It is truly the cliché of finding your soul mate.  However, with fabric and notions it always works out, you just need to be patient.

So said, so done.  I found these Riri zips (see article on riri zips: ‎)  Absolute perfection. The teeth were thinner than what I was accustom seeing in a metal zip so I knew they were racking up the years in age. Plus, its an old method to have the teeth painted the same as the tape (fabric the teeth run on).  I was in zipper heaven.

It also took me 2 weeks to find the butterfly tab on the side of the bag. I didn’t want something to childish or too bold…I made the bag with a solid yellow tab and its all I could look at, so I took the bag a part and waited for the right tab.

Even the button on the back…The poor sales lady…I went through easily 50 buttons before I got the muted green heart. The problem with Italy is they have everything behind the counter, in a drawer, in a box, or even under the counter! If its not all on display for me, how do I tell the sales staff what I want If I can’t verbalize it unless I see it.  Did I mention, I don’t speak italian! So you can imagine how much harder this conquest has been.

I chose a thicker lining as well, since with the age of this fabric and how loose it is woven, I figured if it stayed stiff there wouldn’t be much wear and tear as using something lighter and having the fabric bend a lot.

For the smaller coin purse I had to use two colour zips, as thats all that was left! (Very exclusive, I couldn’t even find these zips online to purchase).  So time had to be put into finding a lining that would work with the red and pink zips and the trim/notions that would still blend with both looks.

I am happy!

One Response

  1. I love your website. What a creative girl you are. Wish you much success!! Your new Dufton House friend, Carol

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