I recently discovered New Hampshire native Alice Saunders' gorgeous bags on Etsy — and oh, what a happy discovery. Saunders now lives in Jamaica Plain and scours New England shops and markets for antique, utilitarian fabrics like feed bags, soldiers' duffels, and mail sacks. She then sews the materials into her roomy Forestbound totes, complete with leather straps and brass hardware. The fabric is usually weathered and sometimes discolored and marked, which just adds to the charm.
Here are a few beauts from the early spring collection:
I also love the stories behind the bags. Saunders put together a "harvest collection," made entirely from old feed and harvesting sacks from a family farm in northeastern New Hampshire. The name of the farm — Brown Farm — and the farmer's initials are visible on the cream cloth, as are the little repairs made many years ago.
Perfect for the anthropologically curious.