Thursday, June 14, 2007

An ocean of notions

I admit it, I have a problem. I am completely and totally obsessed with bags. For years, I would only have one purse and when it wore out, I'd buy another one. But now that I can make my own, I've become a bag-oholic. Really, how many bags can one person have? Rob even built me my own purse shelf in the front hall closet, and it's piled and piled with bags of all sorts. I think some of you can understand - the bag you bring to a bbq isn't the same one you'd take "to shopping", right? And I'm always in search of the perfect everyday bag: comfy, not too big, and easy to access.

One of the things that has always frustrated me in the past is the lack of purse notions around here. The only color of webbing I can usually find is dark blue or black. So I made sure to keep my eyes open in Japan for any interesting bag handles or webbing.

At the Toji Temple Market in Kyoto, I found a little stand that had linen fabric, webbing, and yarn. This is what I got from them (and at a steal - 10 meters of webbing for $2.50!)

The place where I found the most notions was the supermarket in Takayama. I think it was because it was so small I could find everything easily. At the bigger fabric stores, I was so overwhelmed by the fabric that was all I could concentrate on. I found different kinds of webbing for some future tote bags.

They also had a fantastic assortment of leather purse handles. I've been coveting these ever since I got my first Japanese craft book. So cute!

I got some other things too, including a few buttons, some thread on cute spools, and some trim.

At Linnet, they had beautiful trim. Some were simple:

while others were fancy!

When my niece was 2, fancy was her favorite word. Speaking of my niece, I wanted to share another craft book I bought in Japan. I have no use for a book of girl's clothing (my niece is growing so fast that I think anything I make her would be too small in a matter of days) but I just had to buy this one. I realized later it was because the little girl looks like my niece (albeit with makeup and curled hair).

Girls' Clothing (ISBN 978-4-529-04437-0)

The clothes are so beautifully presented and shot. I love this book!

Here's a page with all of the patterns included.

I'll save this book to make clothes for some little girl someday (of course, all of my pregnant friends are having boys!)


SJ said...

What great steals you found in Japan! I can't wait to see the cute bags you make with all your notions! (And I'm a big bag/purse person, too, but not being very good with the sewing machine mine are all store-bought.)

The_Add_Knitter said...

You are KILLING me with these amazing posts about your craft finds in Japan...

yumi said...

That little girl does look a lot like Anna!!! And I love all the notions you got in Japan.

yaiAnn said...

So jealous! And she does look like your niece! I can't wait to see all your new bags!

laura said...

why dont you just start your own bag line? just do it!

laurie said...

Oh, the amazing things you have brought back with you from Japan. I was very limited with baggage when I was in China, so I came back with only a few precious items...nothing as spectacular as your finds. Can you figure out the patterns in the beautiful book?
I can't wait to see the bags you create.

Lara said...

Oh my gosh what a haul!! Such gorgeous stuff! Lupinbunny sent me over here to read all your Japan trip posts because I'm heading over there myself in August! I will have to go to these places. Whee! Thanks for sharing!!

MinaG said...

Can't wait to see what you make!

Daisy Smith said...

Never done this before, written to a stranger-kind of... But from what I've seen, we have similar (cat, food, knitting) tastes. I can't sew however. But I have a Japanese bag book that I got in Little Tokyo (LA) called "umami midori." No idea what it means and my husband, who can sew, will help me make some of its patterns, he says.
My unrelated question is: how to knit your kitty pies? Are there directions somewhere on your site?
Your Japan photos were lovely. One felt like one was on the trio too.
Thanks. Daisy

saffron skye said...

I've fallen in love with the Girl's Clothing book. Is there an equivalent for boys?