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Date: 19 February 2015. Sewn Up (shopping bag repair)

It's always something. And today it happened to be my shopping bag. You see, I've sewn bunches of bags out of light weight *spinnaker fabric. They fold small and fit into my purse. When going to the grocery store or a book sale at the library, I've always got a way to get my goodies home. Almost that is.

*Spinnaker: A spinnaker is the big poofy sail that is useful for sailboats when the wind is light. It will often have a brightly colored decoration though not always.

Photo from my Chapman's.

Today, when I loaded my groceries one of the handles of my fabric bag tore free from the seam. Nonetheless I was able to use it to get the items home.

Knowing that in addition to putting away the rabbit food (think "produce") I'd have to fix the bag did not make for a happy boater! The Pity Party lasted all of two or three minutes before I came to my senses:

I'm living on a boat in Florida. And life is wonderful afloat!

Having a sewing kit [see Sewing Kit Saves Time vignette] at the ready makes these minor irritations a relatively easy repair.

Not having to hunt down the components or dig
them out of a locker means I fix stuff immediately.

After perhaps twenty years of use and umpteen trips through the washing machine, the threads in my bag had deteriorated to the point where they were breaking. Of course I could have thrown out the shopping bag and for many that is a viable option. For me however, budget constraints mean I've plenty of time and not so much cash. Thus, I got out my sewing kit and went at it.



My sewing kit isn't fancy. It's a little snap fabric bag (Chinese, bought decades ago) and in it I have a needle, a thimble, a pair of folding scissors, and one spool of thread. It matters not to me what color thread I use, as long as it's a Coats & Clark brand.

Cheap thread doesn't last and as long as better brands.

When fixing something I expect it to last a long time. I doggone sure don't want to be doing the same thing again soon. That's why I buy decent thread.

On some items I'm more than willing to take a short cut and go for lesser cost items, but not for sewing.

Another thing: for me it's easier to have a contrasting color when making repairs. For fixing loose buttons on my white shirts I do use white thread. Otherwise, I really don't care what color is used.

This time I ended up with blue thread on the pink bag. It was easy to see where my stitches were going too. Hey, it works, and will presumably last me another decade or two.

Side Note: If you're making this type of carry-all bag, do make the straps wider. Mine are too narrow at one inch wide. That means that when carrying heavy items the straps cut into my shoulder. Wider is better.

Not too long though: you want to be able to have your arm straight down and not drag the bag. I aim to have mine about 1" above ground level when my arm is extended.


Of course there was a reason for my immediate repair. Later this week, on Saturday is the annual book sale at the Carrabelle Library and I fully intend to do all I can for the local economy. And this is better than your usual library book sale. Check it out:

What's not to like about a library that in addition to sharing wonderful books, also adds soup and bread to their annual sale?!?

And in Carrabelle, the library (#2) is located on the waterfront, just right for boaters coming through.

#1 is Lady Pamela IV, a beautiful Hatteras; #3 is an unnamed powerboat.

Life is good afloat. I'm going to read another book. And when I finish with it, I'll do as is the norm: return it to the library so they can sell it again. I did notice a few books at the sale that I'd bought, read, and returned.

Carrabelle is a small town and that is indeed one of it's charms. I met Richard from Lanark Village at the sale, and another lady I'd seen at the post office earlier in the morning. Folks are friendly and that makes all the difference in the world.

Happy cruising and perhaps I'll see you along the waterways one day.

Are you a library fan?
Given a choice, would you rather go to a library sale, a used book store or a place like Amazon?


Categories: Boat Talk, Boats, Books, Characters, Locations, Money

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