Vintage floral upholstery fabrics destined for a couch: transformed into bags!

Vintage floral upholstery fabrics destined for a couch: transformed into bags!

Ever heard of an expression: Grandma's couch can be another ladies treasure?

Here's a little behind the scenes overview, how we ended up getting punch of 1970's vintage upholstery swatches and with some love and attention gave them a stunning transformation! Can you guess from the photos, to which floral bags we turned them into?

stack of vintage velvet upholstery samples with ruler

It all started when John Bob Cool Junk (@johnbobcooljunk ) contacted me and said they had some vintage upholstery swatches that they thought I could make good use of. They sent them to me (it was the height of the covid pandemic) and things were very uncertain as to our future in NYC but I couldn't say "no" to such exceptional materials. They shipped them to me in NY. Waft of musty goodness. I have found the best way to get rid of musty smells from vintage fabrics is to wash it with a cup (or two) of vinegar in the wash, and then hang it to dry in the sun for at least 5 hours.  That smell bakes right out of it.   

vintage fabric swatches laying in a grassy yard

cute dog laying in grass with vintage fabrics

In our tiny Brooklyn backyard. I think Franny thought I was crazy, but she didn't mind sharing her sunbathing time with some fabric swatches.

vintage fabrics hanging outdoors on a clothesline

We moved in August of 2020 back to Seattle, where they were safely stashed away until this March, where I started sorting through the swatches by size and choosing which prints would work best for the the Mini Troubadour pockets.    

I am feeling exceptionally optimistic about the weather getting warmer, more folks vaccinated and more excursions OUT of the house. And I’m guessing you might be too?

The key to being able to efficiently cut out small scraps of materials and keep them consistent is having metal dies (like cookie cutters) made by my friend Danny at @continental_die and this @weaverleathersupply “Mighty Wonder” countertop press. I remember at the time thinking it was *so expensive* but I use this sucker every damn day, so I laugh at myself for not investing in good equipment years ago.


Each one is totally one of a kind and will be on the website for pre-sale in the coming weeks.

vintage floral upholstery velvet fabric swatches for bags

I put each fabric in the scanner, and then we drafted mock-ups in photoshop to better visualize which color combinations would look the best.

 bag mockups being printed on a canon printer


I took them with me to the Oregon Coast and cut each out and let my friends and family vote on them.

cut outs of bags on deck with a heart circled on the best bag

crystalyn selfie deciding on fabric choices


Here's to lunch with a "view"- captured this plate of friend's mom caught crabs, that we boiled for a delicious dinner.

a fresh crab dinner while designing bags


And now it's your chance to have a say! Check out our Vintage Fabric Bags Collection to see, which color combinations we chose for our new Spring collection! 







  • Peggy J

    These bags are so well done. They remind me of my childhood couch but in such a tasteful way. I’d love to see more of these clever designs soon. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!!

  • Audrey V

    I just recently received my vintage fabric bag and I’m in love, to say the least! It’s the absolute perfect size and is made with exceptional craftsmanship. It warms my heart that your family and friends had a part in picking out the designs for these bags! It makes my Mini Troubadour feel even more special! Thank you!

  • Sarafina

    I just stumbled upon some vintage curtains I’ve had packed away in basement, and you’ve inspired me to see if I can give them a new life! I can’t get enough of your beautifully-designed vintage fabric bags! I love that each one is handmade from unique fabrics! You never fail to amaze me with your clever design ideas. Thanks for sharing the story behind these stunning bags!

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