Friday 30 April 2021

...creative challenges accepted!

When I made the 'Extra Pocket' bags for my friends recently, I asked my daughter if she would like one, and she said she thought she would, but preferably with a zip, and possibly another (double Extra?) pocket... 

I can't recall inserting a zip into anything since my 'O' level needlework days, when I would think nothing of running myself up a shirt, or a skirt or a jacket on the sewing machine. Try as I might, when I was pondering the construction in my head, I couldn't quite figure out the correct order in which to add the zip, the strap and the lining without ending up with a raw edge somewhere on the inside. So I turned to the interweb and soon came across this lovely video tutorial by Michelle Wootton, which worked for me and took all (well, almost all) of the brain-ache out of it. You just have to trust the instructions and follow them to the letter, even when you're not sure how they're actually going to work. I made some notes as I watched the video, but still had to go back and re-watch the final step where five layers are sandwiched and stitched together, turned inside out and then pulled backwards through the open zip.  Like a magician pulling a rabbit out of an empty hat this sleight of hand reveals a perfectly finished (apart from 3" of handstitching to close the gap in the bottom lining) 'Extra Pocket with an Extra Pocket and a Zip' bag! Hooray!
Next up, my husband commissioned some custom counters for a football board game he plays over Zoom with his brother. He sawed 12mm diameter dowel into 1 cm lengths which I then sanded, painted and varnished in the specified team colours - apparently the Home and Away strips of their youthful 5-aside football team, "The Slayers"! Fiddly work, but fun to see the delight on the face of the 40+ year old recipient!
...and finally, the garden gnome population has been forming an orderly queue for a much-needed repair and rejuvenation operation - I didn't get a 'before' picture of this 'Scary Vampire' Minion, but here he is halfway through his repaint, getting his hands glued back on...
...and here he is back in the Fright Business, sneaking up behind his long-suffering and decidedly un-spooked buddy (although he is looking a little pale and flaky by comparison).



  1. The bag looks great, and I love your choice of fabric.
    And what a neat job you made of the counters, I'm not surprised your talents are in demand. X