We all suffer from it sooner or later. Every woman's purse takes a battering and eventually begins to fall apart. Think of all the stuff we put into it, especially the things that tend to stretch and distort it, and eventually spell its doom. When it starts to leak coins and plastic cards, and lets important bits of paper (such as £20 notes) fly away in the wind, and generally looks a bit scruffy and coming-apart-at-the-seams, then one is forced to consider:
# Buying a new purse (could be expensive);
# Using a spare purse that has lain unused and unwanted in a drawer for a long time - generally for some very good reason, such as the colour and design being absolutely ghastly, so that if friends see it all personal credibility and reputation for good taste will be lost forever;
# trying to repair - or at least tart up - the purse you love.
I chose the third option. My Mimco purse was leaking coins, and it was well worth repairing rather than junking. My next door neighbour Jackie would disagree. For some time she has been begging me to throw it away. She greatly detests the look of it. I respect her views, but this is a special item from 2009, part of my personal history, and not lightly to be discarded. In any case, it has some rarity value in this country. Mimco - an Australian fashion company - no longer trade in the UK, and so I therefore possess something distinctive and unusual. They do of course have an Internet presence (see http://www.mimco.com.au/default.aspx) but nobody can now physically go into a Mimco shop in the UK and buy one of their products. So I'm going to hang on to this one as long as I can!
I won't (for obvious security reasons) show you a photo of this purse of mine - at least not of its exterior - but I can certainly describe it. It's a compact wallet-style affair, held closed with a press stud, that unfolds to reveal internal pockets and compartments that are actually useful. Two of the bigger pockets are inward-facing, making it harder for things to fall out. There is a large compartment for banknotes, and a zip-up section for holding coins. The exterior is made of shiny black patent leather, and features a big thick bold brass boss with the Mimco logo deeply incised on it. Inside, the leather is gold, all of it finely stitched with gold thread, and the fabric bits are tastefully grey-striped in a hard-wearing fabric that might be silk but surely can't be.
The exterior has a 'slippery' feel, and that brass boss is unmistakable. It's therefore a purse that can be found easily by touch alone - if you know where in my bag I store it, of course! And I'm not giving that away!
I bought it from House of Fraser in Plymouth for £59 in July 2009, during my first solo caravanning outing to the West Country. Wow, seven years ago... It has aged pretty well, considering all the handling it gets. Although there are many small signs of wear and tear, it isn't yet tatty or disreputable, and I think it will soldier on for some time yet. I hope so - I haven't yet found anything else quite like it.
Anyway, the stitching of the coin compartment was coming undone, and it was time to do something about it. Here are two shots, showing my purse with the plastic membership and loyalty cards and coins taken out, and a restitching of the coin section in progress:
The coin section has side wall at one end, to let it gape a bit when looking for the right coins. The stitching at the top edge, and the stitching in the bottom corner, had both come adrift. The bottom corner would leak small 5p coins, and it had become all too easy for the entire side wall to bulge out and leak £1 coins. Renewing the stitching - even in my very amateurish way - was bound to improve the situation, and it has. It just needed twenty minutes. As you can see, I did have some gold-coloured cotton thread, even if I couldn't mimic the precision of the original stitching.
Another job done!