Monday, May 05, 2008

Thinking bags...

Go Outdoors! called a few days back, agreeing completely that my tent did indeed have a three foot gash in the built in ground sheet and that this damage probably happened before it left the factory. I headed over on Friday night after work and picked up a replacement and fingers crossed that this time, it's as it should be.

Now we just have to find time to do a test pitch and this time, inspect it thoroughly!

I bought a couple of new books this week, Making Handbags and Chic Bags, both bought from The Book Depository. My thought was to have a go at making bags, since it would keep my sewing hand in but each bag should be relatively quick to make. Of course I hadn't reckoned on how hard it would be to find suitable supplies in Coventry.

I flicked through Making Handbags, which is a fairly basic book compared to Chic Bags (which has some very, very nice bags in it) covering basic bag designs - namely the tote, the clutch, the drawstring and the beach bag - and variations on each. I'd decided to have a go at making a basic drawstring bag, which is not disimilar to a tote, but with gromits set into the top and finished off with a clip on strap.

Sadly it was not to be.

I found some upholstery fabric offcuts I liked without difficulty after sticking my head into Busy Fingers in town. I rather fell of the wagon there, buying fabric, despite the fact that I've probably got suitable fabric in my stash, but it was pretty... And I justified the purchase after Dave commented that the fabric would make excellent breeches, so it has a secondary purpose already.

Then I walked up to Hobbycraft, thinking I'd pick up some grommits and either dog leash clips (as the book describes them) or key ring split rings. This is where I was thwarted. Hobbycraft had 8mm grommits which are possibly too small but no starter kits or die sets, to fit them. The 11mm grommits, were sold in starter kits but it was a case of you can have any colour you like, so long as it's black. Clips and keyring split rings were not to be found.

After scouring the store, I sought out a shop assistant... who proceeded to patronise me and act in a generally terse and aggressive fashion. She did try to help I suppose, but only after I stopped acting like I knew what I was talking about and apologised for expecting her to do her job.

I left the store without buying anything at all, which demonstrates just how frustrated and generally demoralised I felt by the time this woman was done with me.

So, no gromits and no clips which means I'll need to hunt down the required bits online.

On the plus side, we popped over to see Esther and family yesterday for a natter. I got to hold the latest addition and received some tips for the kind of store to search for. So far, the places which seem promising are Corsetry Suppliers (a store I already use here), leather working suppliers, saddlers and pet shops. I did look at online chandlers, who sell all manner of interesting clips but nothing quite like I was looking for. Bead shops sell lots of other things I'd like to buy and are very tempting, so I'm going to have to return for a second look. And of course, camping suppliers...

I did find out the proper name for a dog leash clip is a trigger hook - which helps no end when trying to do a search.


steel breeze said...

Talking of dense store staff, I waited ten minutes to talk to a member of staff at Dunelm - I was looking for thread net to go over a particularly slippy thread. First she'd never heard of it (surprising 'cos she was in her 50s). Then she said "Can't you sew a bit slower?". It's the looper thread on an overlocker. durr!

Bought some on Ebay this morning, anyway.

Richard said...

You got hold of the latest addition, are you refering to treestump?

Frizbe said...

Ahhhh my handbag tickled your fancy eh? :-) actually if you're ever wondering through the Derbyshire Dales, visit MeMeMe handbags, I think they're a dotcom too, lovely American Expat doing her own thing, I used to do the craft shows with her, before we both grew up and got different shops!

Esther said...

Richard - yes she means Treestump.
Julie- Have you ever been in the home and garden store next to the Sainsburys off the 444? WE looked in there for the first time yesterday and among many other things they had a pets deptament with many dog leads a good few with various size clips around 4 pounds. I'd hope you can find the clips cheaper than that but if not. WE didn't even get upstairs where I assume the fabric they are advertising is on sale is!!