04 August, 2006

Bermuda Dreams

I can remember being a little girl in the early 80’s, and going to my sister’s swim team meets at the Club. In my memory, they seemed to always be at night and the things that resonate to me are the smell of hotdogs, rice crispy treats wrapped in Saran Wrap bigger than my entire hand, and the fire of the gun, signaling the swimmers to take their mark and go. It was always packed as back then, it was ultra cool to be on the swim team (perhaps it still is, I don’t quite know), and they used to actually make large neighborhood pools worthy of having a 50-kid swim team and diving team, and not these small splash pools they’ve been building to conserve property since the mid 90’s. However, another memory I have, while cheering on the myriad of swimmers and divers with all the other screaming family members and coaches in the humid southern summer night, is how I would use that opportunity to tote around my sister’s Bermuda bags for them. I ADORED these bags and I can even remember the navy blue with kelly green whales cover that one of my sisters had (with her monogram, of course), and in it her Bonnie Bell flavored lip gloss with the roller on it that never quite worked well. Boy how I would just lather my lips up good and glossy and have so much fun carrying around those inventive little bags thinking I was hot stuff. And how I yearned for my own. Oh, how I wished I was old enough to have my own! But, it was not to be, and the Bermuda bags eventually they all ended up lost in a box of other so called “out-dated” bags in one of two attics in my parents house, with other “outdated” bags relegated to that musty space such as the half dozen Gucci clutches my mother insisted on dragging back from one of their Italy trips. Sadly, I am pretty sure they all eventually ended up in one garage sale or another. My heart just sinks thinking about it! But lo, I have never forgotten or strayed far away from my summer love affair with the original Pappagallo Bermuda bag, and prayed and prayed they would make them again. But while Pappagallo is no longer making them (foolish, foolish people! You started this preppy summer staple so re-claim it!), I have found there are many other people who are. And not only that, but I’m also going to tell you how to make one for yourself, if you think it’s a project you just might want to tackle. In fact, now that I mention it, I probably should make one and send it to Martha with a little handwritten note, yes? You know, just to let her know I was thinking about her. So let me start by sharing with you one of my favorite little bag-crafting sites, Tall Poppy. I discovered this site many, many months ago and I really love it, as it has given me so many new bag ideas, and you must know I am always toting a bag to properly coordinate with my outfit! So last week, when I was working on my silhouettes, I not only purchased these bamboo handles to use for my burlap silhouette bag I mentioned I am working on, but also these Bermuda bag handles. I have had my eye on the Bermuda bag handles since the spring, but since they require a minimum order for shipping, I was waiting until I needed a few more things to make the shipping worthwhile. Anyhow, the handles I bought were $14 if you can believe that, and with all the other big name retailers selling them for over $60 JUST FOR THE HANDLES, I think I got a pretty good deal. Don’t you think? Now, if you still don’t want to splurge the $14 for the handles, then you can buy an “imperfect” pair in either Maple or Mahogany for the ridiculously low price of $4.03 (in case you are curious, I prefer the mahogany). Want more good news about these little gems I’m passing along to you? They even come with free with the pattern to make the actual Bermuda bag. I mean, seriously folks, does it really get any better?! No, it most certainly doesn’t. And if you’ve had the inkling to make any other type of bag, big small, round, square, or somewhere in between, they are most definitely you’re place to shop. They’ve even got a small fabric selection, and at the bottom of the fabric selection, you will notice that for $7.50 you can have your own custom printed, 8 ¼ x 11 ¾ fabric panel that is not only permanent but also washable. SERIOUSLY. But I digress, and that leads me to another project for another day so I will save that. Right now we’re talking my love of Bermuda bags so let’s get back to it. Now, I know most people just carry their Bermuda bags in the summer, but back in the day, corduroy covers were also very popular, and I honestly can’t think of anything better to kick off my fall than with a monogrammed corduroy Bermuda bag. And now is the perfect time to go stock up on some pretty summer prints at your fabric store while they’re all on sale, and also to get a head start on your fall fabric shopping for your fall Bermuda bag look.
But what’s that? Oh forgive me, it’s the sound of you fellow prepsters who also love these bags but don’t sew or want to be bothered with such a project, so you know you can count on me to point you in the direction of what I’m calling, monogram momma’s Bermuda bag triangle! First of all, I’m sending you over to Rita Wilcox (who, btw, is having a huge summer sale and I love her stuff!) because she’s got her Bermuda bags on sale right now, and not only that, but I swear the pink and green lattice design was made with monogram momma in mind! But after you’ve checked out her summer sale selection on this must have accessory, then cruise on over to Top It Off Accessories where you can check out my personal favorite, the preppy pink ribbon bag. Now, you can buy the handles and bag together, or if you’ve already got the handles, just buy the bag cover you like for around $30. But last and most certainly not least, you just had to know I was going to mention Lilly. And nothing says summer like a pretty Lilly print and that also applies to her Bermuda bags. You can pick them up at any signature Lilly Pulitzer store such as the Pink Wasabi, Pink Whimsey, or In the Pink, just to name a few. OH! But wait! Don’t go anywhere just yet! How could I ever forget my ever faithful, always by my side, loyal friend, ebay? And yes, on ebay too, you will find a collection of old and new wooden Bermuda bag handles (of course, they are calling them “vintage” now. The horror!) and even covers too. So go take a peek and see what you find. Just don’t expect there to be any Bonnie bell lip gloss waiting for you inside!

23 Comments:

cape cod mermaid said...

Since you mentioned it - can I give a shout out to a "friend" who sells Top It Off Accessories (for less with free shipping!)?!? :)

www.babyfishmouthboutique.com

Monogram Momma said...

Well there you have it folks! Go visit babyfishmouthboutique.com and tell them monogram momma sent you!

Maureen said...

I can't beleive that someone other than myself loves these. I have all of mine from the 80's. I have the mongram and the "vintage" Lilly covers. I hate saying vintage because that makes me sound old. ok I give (early 40's).

cape cod mermaid said...

Thanks MM!

Monogram Momma said...

Maureen, these are CLASSIC, not Vintage! They are only "vintage" to the people who never knew what they were in teh 80's and are just now discovering them! So no, do not feel old! I can't wait to get my Tall Poppy order so I can start working on some new bags!

thepreppyprincess said...

I have the pink/black bermuda bag from Top It Off and I love it.

Preppy Kiki said...

I have the light wood Lilly handles, and I used my Bermuda bag this past 4th of July. I love the idea of cord covers. I will have to pick up some cord fabric and make one of my own. I traced around my Lilly cover to make my own pattern for just the covers. The piping can be purchased anywhere that sells fabric. I use maxi piping from Wrights. To give them extra body I iron on adhesive interfacing.

Anonymous said...

but cc mermaid told us about the new site!!

Ksk said...

Ok, I have a question for you all. Be gentle but truthful. Would a 45 year old look silly carrying a bermuda bag? (I still love them - I can't help myself! BUT, I love my dignity too.) -Katherine S K

Monogram Momma said...

NO WAY! I don't think of these as a young/hip/trendy bag. I see them as a classic and as such, I think anyone can carry it. I'm not saying to go make your cover out of Hello Kitty fabric, but there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't carry a beautiful little monogrammed bag with mohoghany handles! It's truly timeless, and I swear I am getting nothing for free for pushing these bags. I just love them! Think of this.. Nice dark blue jeans, a corded blazer, simple button down, loafers, and a bermuda bag w/ monogrammed corduroy cover. Now, what is silly about that?

Pink Cupcakes said...

Oh I just love Lilly's Bags they are so pretty!

Ksk said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ksk said...

By the way, Bermuda Bags have been around since the 1960s - my sister (who was a teenager then) had a beautiful wool covered Papagallo bermuda bag.

Casey said...

Thank you for the links. I have an adorable little one I bought for my two year old but only one cover. I may have to make us both bags and lots of covers.

Maureen said...

KSK
As stated in my comment I am in my early 40's and I have used my bermuda bag. I have Lilly patterns from before and Lilly new patterns.
MM--I love love rice krispie treats too. I make them with my 3 yr old neice all the time. (my sister is rather strict about her diet and this is as close as it comes for sweets).

thepreppyprincess said...

My mom is going to be 61 and carries a bermuda bag - it's a Lilly too :-)

Ksk said...

Thanks for the ideas! I love the idea of a monogrammed corduroy cover!! Now to figure out who can make one for me...

Ksk said...

another bermuda bag question - do the different brands (i.e. Lilly , Papagallo, etc) have different button configurations? In other words, one cover won't fit the other?

Maureen said...

I have two handle sets that were bought at a Pappagallo store and I have been able to fit the Lilly patterns on them.

Monogram Momma said...

I think it really depends.. I have heard that some fit and some don't so it might have to be trial and error. But, like maureen said, the Liilly patterns do fit the old pappagallo.

thepreppyprincess said...

I know some are three button and some are four so I think you have to keep that in mind. The one I have from Top It Off is a 4 button, I will have to see if the Lilly fits it - it should!

nicole said...

I found an off-white Bermuda Bag with initial H in navy blue, wooden handle too.
Marked "The Bermuda Bag made by Smith's". Anyone knows if it's a vintage item by the tag or brand new? No buttons at all.
Thank you!

pattiv02 said...

I have my Pappagallo bermuda bag covers from college, but I can't find the wooden purse itself! Does anyone know where I can buy one?

Thanks!
Patti