I'm not quite sure if it's Pat, or her bags I'm addicted to, but I can't stop buying them every time I go to the monthly Mulgrave Makers Market. At just $5 a bag ($7.50 for the longer handled shoulder bag), they're as cheap as chips for the convenience they provide. I can tell you now that they're definitely not making Pat rich, yet this lovely lady continues to make and sell them at those prices for the richness she gains from the joy she gets making them and taking them to the markets. Knowing people love her bags is enough to put a smile on this lady's face.
Personally, I'm delighted by her fabric choices. I've got sparkly bags, see through denim ones, paisley and hippy style and some for the pure colours that hold an attraction for me. I always have at least two of them in my handbag. There's a little inside pocket you can fold the whole bag into so it becomes but a very light handful to carry around. Comes in very handy when you're shopping at Aldi. Don't we all have at least 50 Aldi bags in our cars we always forget to take into the shops?
You'll be surprised how strong they are. I'd say I'm pretty strong and have carried shopping in the bags heavier than I can manage, and there's nary a split in the bag. Being stretchy, the shopping seems to find or make its own space, making it very handy for awkward shapes. However, it's not bullet proof and we all know the fabric will tear if you put sharp things in it.
Pat has been making bags (started with calico bags) since she retired from her job, after 20 years as an Occupational Therapist at the Kingston Centre. She says she was making recyclable, reusable bags way before it became the norm. She started out selling them at the Dingley Markets, but now you can find her at the -
Mt Waverley Rotary Market - 2nd Sunday of the month from 9am till 2pm, except January. Mt Waverley Village Shopping Centre, Hamilton Place, Mount Waverley. Next market is on Sun 14th Feb 2016.
Mulgrave Makers Market - 4th Sunday of the month from 8am to 1pm. Located in the grounds of The Body Shop's HQ, Mulgrave (enter from Jacksons Road, ample parking available on-site), future market dates are Sundays 28 Feb, 27 Mar, 24 Apr and 22 May 2016.
Beaumaris Farmers Market - 2nd Saturday of the month from 8am to 1pm. Sandringham Secondary School (Beaumaris Campus), Cnr Reserve & Balcombe Rds. Next market is on Sat 13 Feb 2016.
Surrey Hills Holy Trinity Church's Treasures & Tastes Market - 3rd Saturday of the month from 9am to 1pm. Corner Union Rd and Montrose St, Surrey Hills. Next market date is
Pat takes great care in choosing her fabrics, including making sure she doesn't choose fabrics that 'run'. She also uses the best Gütermann thread to sew her projects. She goes on to say that some women may never wear clothing made of fabric with too much 'bling' but they'll carry it, and these bags give them the opportunity to indulge in their 'touch' of bling. How ingenious is it that when she started, she cut up a Woolworths plastic bag to get the pattern, to ensure that the handles draped over the holders at the check out, just like the throwaway plastic bags do.
Do yourselves a favour (and I assure you, you'll find them extremely handy to have) and grab a bag. I have to say I bought a lot before Christmas to give away as presents as they make good stocking fillers. Many a checkout lady and others have also admired my 'different kinda bag' and asked me where I got it from. I'm only too happy and willing to share of course.
Make sure you say hello to Pat and tell her you heard about her on Weekend Notes. She doesn't have Facebook, and she doesn't want it because she said technology would interfere with the time she needs to get on with her passion.