June 10, 2007

Marie Irene and Enid Collins

About three years ago, I went to an estate sale a few blocks from my home. This particular sale was the stuff of my dreams--old sewing notions, fabric, embroidery supplies, vintage linens, and purses. I thought I recognized the family as that of a high school classmate of mine, and my suspicions were confirmed when I found this amazing butterfly bag (50 cents), overlooked and forlorn under a pile of things in a corner. Inside was one of those old red embossed tape labels bearing the name of their matriarch. When I discovered that she and I shared a middle name, I decided she might be glad to know that I'd be carrying her bejeweled handbag from now on.

A few months before, during the height of the Enid Collins craze, I scored a real Collins of Texas Roadrunner purse at a sale in Neosho, Missouri, also for 50 cents, that Mom and I later sold on eBay for a heck of a lot more than my initial investment. I figured my bag had been a knockoff of Enid's popular designs during the 60s, but it wasn't until I happened upon this ad in McCall's Needlework and Crafts from 1966 that I realized that Mrs. Marie Irene must have made this little number herself from a General Crafts kit. That plastic label inside was the signature of an artist!

There are several designs that a crafty lady such as Marie might have purchased for only $9.95, with her choice of three background colors in either natural, olive or black. The ad promises "a PERFECT HANDBAG ON YOUR FIRST TRY", along with "breathtakingly beautiful designs on a luxurious fabric so durable it will withstand the roughest treatment." I can vouch for these bags' durability, Dollfaces, as this is the purse I was carrying when Mr. Sweetheart and I took a little spill, flipping our car upside down in a ditch a couple of years ago. Some of my belongings were thrown out of the bag's open top during the tumble, but Marie's handiwork survived intact.

Dollfaces, do you see what I see? Is that our butterfly design I spy in the top right corner? Why, yes! Marie did a bang up job, wouldn't you say?

Take a look at these designs in black. I don't mind telling you that I would kick a nun to get my hands on the peacock and pagoda bags.

In fact, I'm pinin' away for some of these designs so terribly, I've been considering my own crafty knockoff of a knockoff. During a Google search for Enid Collins, I found Amy of angrychicken's post from last year about her Enid inspired wooden box purses. Aren't they great? Now I'm on the hunt for all the sparkles and spangles I can dig up!


Suzan said...

Well, guess what I have! A bag of jewels that Enid, herself, would be proud of. Purchased from the same estate sale as all the crochet books. I will find them for you, then you can gom or glam as you will.

cathy of california said...

i think you might like this photo:


jungle dream pagoda said...

Oh yes Enid rocks the house!...and I have several,actually in my own house(heavens ,but I'm a packrat!).I want that pagoda kit!
P.S. I nominated you as a thinking blogger details at my place.

Rachelle said...

Oooh, I love that bag! Great find! As is your blog, I'll be stopping by again.

Heather said...

Love it! I've had my eye on a reproduction of a similar bag with a peacock.

Kristen said...


I have one of these do-it-yourself bags for sale at my Etsy shop!