Fursday Frustrations


Actually, I know Thursday is spelled with a Th not  F but I say it with  F cos I'm a Luton lass. It's irrelevant really though because my frustrations were yesterday, Wednesday but it doesn't sound as good does it? Wednesday frustrations just doesn't have that ring to it.

Anyway, Dussy let me lie in til 10am yesterday which was super lovely of him considering I'm trying to recover from my rotten stinky cold (just entered husky voice/phlegm stage) but it meant my whole day was quite a bit shorter than usual.

Anyway, first order of the day was to work on a bag I've been commissioned to make for a gorgeous lady I know. (It feels really funny to say I've been commissioned....that's what proper artist type people have, not lil old me).

But, for this bag I needed a 12" zip as the beautiful lady wanted a zip top to it. I had no choice but to visit our market stall in town, 'Aber-Dashery'. (I live in Aberdare). Uniquely named exactly the same as a massive and well stocked fabric store in Aberystwyth. It already shows the individuality of a haberdashers that has to use someone else's name.

Anyway, I try to use them as little as possible which is a shame. I'm a big believer of small businesses and especially ones run by a young brother and sister (with their lovely mam to help).

They took it over shortly before Christmas and as it had been run by two very traditional old ladies with dire taste in fabric and a very condescending manner, I was excited. In fact, I told the brother I was excited when I learned they'd bought the business.

I had a lovely chat with the brother, Tom and excitedly asked whether they could get some floral prints in. This is a market stall that stocks gingham, plain poly cotton and the worst arrangement of nylon suiting in the world. He agreed and I was so pleased. Finally, somewhere local to spend my money! During the conversation he'd said something which should have alarmed me but didn't....why would it? He'd said that Cath Kidston style prints are in, but there's no need to get named cottons because there are some very good un-named designs. Which is good and fine when you think they're going to be cheaper per meter.

Anyway, around mid March time the flowery cottons arrived in. They were a bit thinner than the quality print cottons but that's not necessarily an issue. And then I saw the price tag. £12 per meter. Um. What?! That's the top end of what I'd pay for quality named print cottons in Bristol, Pontypridd, Cardiff, Luton...basically anywhere. Even John Lewis is cheaper than that!

So then I thought I'd try again for general items, sewing needles - they had some, but a really cheap low quality brand but the same price as you'd pay for Klasse needles which are the best in the business. Needless (ha!) to say they went blunt very quickly and pulled what I was sewing. False economy?

I tried them on some of the more unusual things...fusible fleece. "Do you have any fusible fleece?",
They looked so puzzled as they pointed me to their fleece selection.
"No, fusible fleece, it's a stabiliser.",
"Oh, well we only do Vilene."
"Yes, Vilene make fusible fleece."

PUL....urm, we can get you some in, but it'll be very expensive and if you're only going to buy one or two meters it won't be worth it for us.

Bag canvas? Urm, does such a thing exist?


Anyway, so this week I went in for a 12" dark brown zip. Desperate times etc. I went in fully expecting to either have to buy a massive dark brown zip and cut it down or have to buy a 12" zip in a totally wrong colour and hope it coordinated. Such is the expectation I have of them now.

Hurrah though, there was a 12" dark brown zip. I looked at the prices and it was £1.85. Hmm. For a 12" zip that I could get in Cardiff/Bristol/Pontypridd etc for 80p? Ah well, that's not too bad a price hike. Until I discovered it was actually an open ended zip and was £2.65. TWO POUNDS SIXTY FIVE for one measly zip?! I wish I could have turned around and walked off in a huff. But I needed it.

Once when I went in and asked for something 'unusual' like some cord or something like that they told me the rep had only just been and wouldn't be back again for 6 weeks. So that hints to me that they only order stock once every 6 weeks and even then from one rep. That doesn't sound to me as though they're reactive or sensible with their costings. In fact, I'm tempted to email them suggesting that they go to bits and bats wholesalers who do a pack of 10 zips at 14" for £1.20.

If you buy at a high price then you charge a high price you won't make many sales so you put your prices up even higher and make less sales. If only I had some capital to open my own shop. There's obviously a need for one, there are two quilting clubs in Aberdare, I wonder where they get their supplies from. I have a friend in Merthyr who has to go either 30 minutes to Ebbw Vale or 30 minutes to Pontypridd. How many others are out there like us who just want reasonably priced supplies?

Anyway, rant about Aber-dashery over. So then I came home and sewed up a storm and all I had to do on this commissioned bag was sew the outer to the inner and stitch on the handles. And I was ready, I was willing....I was going to get it finished. Then a little voice piped up from the money earning side of the office. "We'd better go now baybee".

Eh? What?! Time for Kidz Club already? Actually, yes, he was right, it was 4:45pm and indeed time to go to Kidz Club. And when we got there I discovered the big bag of new cleaning supplies I'd bought was still at home in the hallway. Grr double grr!

So all in all, yesterday was a very frustrating day.

Today I've almost finished this beautiful bag then I need to make some pin on embellishments for it and I'll show you some pics.

How do you cope with such frustrations? Am I the only one who turns to chocolate?

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  1. Although not quite the same sort of frustration, I had a moment on holiday that should've made me grit my teeth.

    I only had one sleeve left to hook on your sweater (not including all the seaming and edging) so, instead of taking the whole project with me, I packed MY sweater instead.

    I'm making this for me:


    I'm not using silk, but using a similar weight merino wool. That's off the point, though.

    So the first two triangles on the bottom are worked across from right to left. Once the second triangle was completed I had to join the two ends of the fabric then start working in the round.

    I carefully lined up the ends, made sure they weren't twisted and then started working on the second section. A day later, and halfway up the first square of the second section, I laid out the fabric to admire it.

    And discovered the bottom edge was twisted.


    So, I unravelled the full day's work... (and entertained myself by admiring the Yarn Barf)

    When I reached the joining edge I discovered that, although I had carefully avoided twisting at the join, I had accidentally twisted the fabric during the second row. Bah.

    No chocolate, though.

  2. Your post makes me SO glad I live near (well, 30 mins from) a Fabric Land! There is one independent fabric shop in Brighton that has lots of fabric in (it's the kind of place where you cautiously squeeze past piled-up bolts of fabric and hope to see daylight again once you're done) but as a friend once put it, the prices change according to what kind of day they're having!

    Chocolate is my favourite thing to turn to on a frustrating day, though I try not to eat too much! :)


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