August 19th, 2014 / posted by paularath
Created from Juli's mother's linen jacket.

Created from Juli Walter’s mother’s handmade-in-Tokyo jacket.

When Lynda Sakraida is the featured artist at The Gallery at Ward Centre, you know there’s a treat in store for anyone who loves textiles, notions, fashion and accessories.

Featuring Cora Yee's vintage silk velvet trim.

Featuring Cora Yee’s vintage silk velvet trim.

Right now, Lynda is madly sewing Hadji Baba Bags for an upcoming show called “Bags with Histories.”  Initially, the show was to be called “Haute Totes.” (Lynda is a whiz with naming and branding.) But it took a new direction when she realized how inspired she is by the stories friends tell her when they give her old garments and swatches and yardage from their personal or family stashes. The show  morphed into “Bags with Histories.” Here’s what she said about this new collection:

“It seemed one friend after another gave me someone’s treasured textiles or clothes.  Cora (Yee) gave me her aunties’ handmade-in-Hong Kong cheongsams, Juli (Walters) gave me some lovely handmade-in-Tokyo clothes her mother had owned.  I went to two different estate sales and found lovely textiles from both India and Indonesia, all in the form of carry sacks or shawls, etc. …. So, one thing lead to another, and my show theme completely changed from ‘Haute Totes’ to ‘Bags with Histories’:  new Hadji Baba Bags made from reclaimed textiles.  I wish I had more time, as I have enough to make hundreds of bags.  Unfortunately, the textiles are so special to me that I can’t just make simple little bags….and each one so far has taken days and days to finish.  Yikes….I’m in trouble.  And you know me….I also find myself dyeing quite a few of the fabrics….the off white bridal veil had spots so I dyed it teal….the India carry sacks were quite stained, so I washed and then dyed them, too.  Then I had to dye some cording so I would have something to go with it……the tasks go on and on.  I wish I could have a helper, but you know I never know what I’m doing until the fabrics tell me the next step!”

A bridal veil Lynda dyed teal to cover old age spots.

A bridal veil Lynda dyed teal to cover old age spots. Love those baubles!

Indeed. Her process is totally organic. I have watched her work. She spreads out the fabrics near her sewing machine  and places the notions all around them, selects a color of thread that works and simply starts to sew. Pieces are patched, zippers are attached, buttons and amulets added. One task just flows into the next. Who could possibly keep up with her and be an assistant?

Silk bag fashioned from a pair of old Citron pants.

Silk bag fashioned from a pair of old Citron pants.

Don’t miss Lynda’s opening reception, as she’s also an amazing – and extremely generous -cook:

Sunday, August 31, from 3 to 5 p.m., The Gallery at Ward Centre

Lynda is sharing the show with artist Doug Young, who will be showing his newest work, “Keawaiki.” Expect the spectacular from Doug!

– Paula Rath

 

This bag started out as a custom made cheongsam from one of Cora Yee's aunties.

This bag started out as a custom made cheongsam from one of Cora Yee’s aunties.

 

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