Laptop bag

Afternoon, it’s been a while since I updated this blog. Sorry about that, I started my MA in Creative Writing in September and it’s taking up a lot of time and energy. Literally been exhausted and in pain for half the week after my day at university. However it’s reading week this week, my assessment piece for poetry is complete and I have a cold and so walking or gardening are out of the question because I can’t breathe well, so crafting it is. 
I’ve been crocheting another corner to corner blanket using Aran wook and a 5mm hook. It’s going well. When I’m finished it’s going to be a lovely thick red and black blanket. I’ve also been crocheting scarves for my stall. I’m going to pull one back and make a bag with it instead.  

The other week I won a bundle of fabric remnants in the raffle at sewing and craft club. I’ve been umming and ahhing about what to do with them but I think I’ve finally come up with something: tablet and laptop cases/bags. 

This is the one I made this morning, being modelled by my 11.6 inch laptop. I reckon it’ll take up to a twelve inch laptop though.

It doesn’t have any padding but the handles and seams are strong. It’s really designed for carrying a laptop in a sleeve. It looks like a shopping bag – and can be used as such – to disguise your valuable laptop. There’s room for a notebook and pens, and possibly a bottle of water. 

£3 + delivery if out of the UK 

Email to order.

Payment by cash or PayPal only.


Craft fair in Cleethorpes

Good morning, I know that it’s been a while since I posted on this blog but I haven’t been idle. Today we’re at a craft fair in Cleethorpes. It’s the Pink Rose event, raising as much money as possible for the Pink Rose suite.

Unfortunately some people have let the organiser down, which is terribly rude after she rearranged the lay out, moved people around and dug out extra tables. The tables could have been offered to someone else if the previous people had let her know more than a day in advance (or just not turned up as is the case today). 
There would bea photo of our table but my tablet isn’t playing at the moment, so maybe later.

Between talking to people I’m crocheting, and attempting to teach Helen to crochet. So far she’s mastered chains.

Dog bed tutorial: free, easy make

Yesterday I decided my hell hounds needed their bed revamping. They have a crate with a tray in the bottom, and until yesterday, four old pillows. It looked a bit scruffy and was hard to clean. I’d tried washing one of the pillows in the past (there was a butter stealing-vomit incident, I don’t want to talk about it), but it distorted the shape of the pillow. The dogs did like being able to make nests though.

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Bees, backpacks and blankets


My sister and I went to a craft fair yesterday, as you can see we had a good big table. I finished a ‘bee’ pattern from Sew magazine; my sister says it looks more like a glow worm (who remembers those?). You can see the glow worm/bee on the table, bottom right as you look at the screen.

I also made a back pack on Saturday from a pattern in July’s Sewing World. It is going to Paris with me in two weeks as my luggage  as we’ve only got hand luggage. It’s only a three night trip so I don’t need an awful lot and it all fits in my little bag. I’m stupidly proud of myself for making it successfully. I had to do a bit of a repair on the left strap because I didn’t quite get the strap in the right place between the layers of material and interfacing. I used the material from a couple of quilt covers I’d been given by a friend. I used one, a heavier purple/pink material for the outer material, flap and internal pocket. The liner is made from another quilt cover, it’s thinner and white/cream. The straps are made from white webbing and plastic clips. The original pattern has an open pocket inside, but I added a zip for a bit of extra security.

Since I couldn’t settle to much else on Saturday evening I finished my corner-to-corner blanket. It’s rather colourful isn’t it?

c2c blanket

Making Herbert the Dragon

Actually the pattern is called ‘Yoki the Fat Dragon’, but I’ve named him Herbert now he’s finished. It suits him.

In a post earlier this week I linked to a pattern I’d bought from, and on Thursday I finally got to the library to print the pattern out. I sat down on Thursday evening to trace the pattern pieces (it comes with the pattern with and without seam allowance added). I chose to use the pattern without the seem allowance added, because I’m an idiot who didn’t realise that the ones with seam allowance added were on the last three sheets of the pattern book. You should always have a look through the pattern first before starting work.

Making the pattern

After tracing the pattern on to dress makers tracing paper I cut them out and sat down with the material to work out what would go where. The canvas material I have is patterned, with a wide purple border. I don’t know what it used to be but I was gifted it by one of the ladies at sewing club so I’m not complaining. I also dug out some purple felt from my stash to make the back and tail blades.


At this point it was getting twilight, I was getting tired and the paracetamol I’d taken for my headache before I’d started the cutting and tracing still hadn’t started working, so I went to bed.

This afternoon I took a look at the instructions. I’d already ignored several of them. According to the instructions I was supposed to start by drawing the arms on material and cutting them out. I prefer my method. All the cutting and tracing gets done in one go.

Here are the arms.herbert arms

They were terribly fiddly to turn right side out. but stuffed easily enough. I made use of a 3 mm crochet hook to do the job.








One arm stuffed.



Next came the wings. These were fairly easy to make.I cut the batting to the size of the pattern and used it to guide my sewing around the material. Sewing the decoration on, to make the bones and web of the wings, was fairly easy too and quite effective.herbert wings










First wing almost finished


Next up was the head. This was more complicated and might have been easier to sew by hand than on the machine. It turned out a little lopsided but I’m pleased with the eyes, nose and ears.

herbert head








Cute, isn’t he?


Next came the task of putting the body together. This took quite a bit of time and patience.

The legs and feet were particularly tasking, I have to say. Fiddly, and the instructions weren’t too helpful either. Stuffing the body was interesting, it all had to go in through the narrow neck, which meant my stitching got stretched and I had to restitch three seams.

Once the body was made and stuffed the instructions ask you to do something with a needle to make the underbelly and tail bottom striped. I couldn’t work out from the instructions what I was supposed to do, so I didn’t bother with that part.

Finally I had to attach the head, arms and wings. That was a fairly simple task. I’m not sure they’re quite in the right place but near enough as makes no difference. It makes Herbert quirky and different from all the other dragons made using the same pattern.

He’s currently sat on the mantle shelf but has been sunning himself in the garden and eating the sewing machine in the kitchen.

He’s got character, I think. Cheery, slightly silly, and very cute.

What did I think of the tutorial in the pattern book? 

It was okay but not very clear at times. They could do with revising, especially part 7 – the stomach patterning.

Experience/skill level needed

This is probably a project for the moderately experienced crafter, possibly even advanced.