Hi Dad – I made it for you! Do you like it?!

Oh dear – this week’s post it brought to you by the letter ‘F’. F for FAIL, and ‘FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE JUST BUY SOMETHING FROM A SHOP!’ Ahem, I had planned this week, to make my Dad a little something for his birthday (which was a good week ago, but I won’t see him until next week, which means definitely not late in my book). 

It’s so rare you find a good stitchy present idea for a man. Really, all the cute totes, clutches, tea cosies etc – are essentially very feminine. Pinterest had even guided me to this fab tutorial for a great boxy toiletries bag. Perfect for getting lots of kit in ready for the big cross-country walk he’s taking on later this spring. It looked so nice and simple that even I, the world’s worst bag maker, who has never inserted a zip, sewn with oilcloth or in fact made anything that wasn’t intended for sitting on or snuggling under thought I could manage it. 

I’m pretty sure if I’d just stuck to the original pattern it might just have turned out just fine. Instead, I decided to tart it up a bit (it really didn’t need it – I just panic when there’s no patchwork or perle stitching required).

The linen is beautiful to sew with, perfectly softened, great colour, flows through the machine a treat. The oilcloth was really a tablecloth fabric and far too stiff for such a small project. It really didn’t get on well with the linen, which went all slippy and coy and kept refusing to co-operate. Not one to lose heart, even in the face of a blindingly obvious imminent fail, I pressed on, finally producing…this.


Yes Dad, this misshapen, lumpen construction (rapidly fraying where the linen refused to associate itself with the oilcloth on one end) was very nearly your birthday present! Aren’t you proud of your little girl?! 

Sigh…I will not be beaten by a fabric box. You and I will meet again boxy toiletries bag, but not alas for Dad’s birthday.

When’s Father’s Day again?

Thanks for reading,

3 thoughts on “Hi Dad – I made it for you! Do you like it?!

  1. Well, that’s a very fine try. Fitting a zipper in such a small construction (with barely co-operative materials) is not easy. At least you got to the end of it. Kind of.

    If it makes you feel any better, my brother (with learning disabilites) immediately binned the last homemade gift I made him: a pair of felted slippers of which I was inordinately proud. Sadly, he preferred his trainers. :-/

    Welcome to the Failed Homemade Gifts for Family Males Club! At least there’s no fee to join…

  2. Thank you Eirlys, thank you. It makes an admirably capacious pencil case for the monkeys huge collection of art supplies. Plus I won't be distraught when an inevitable missing felt-tip top occurs. I LOVED those slippers you made your brother. Were you able to rescue them at all?

  3. Sadly not. He was gripped by a fairly determined chucking-out obsession at the time, and almost everything was hitting the dustbin – unless it was nailed down – which he would then watch vigilantly until the binmen came to collect. The staff did their best to retrieve what they could under cover of darkness, but not these, alas. Nevermind. At least I have the pictures!

    I do agree that handmade gifts for guys are a bit of a stumbling block. I guess there are always covers for phones, tablets and other devices, but it can be a struggle to make them sufficiently masculine looking. I can’t see how any man can object to a nice bit of Harris Tweed, so perhaps one can get away with otherwise somewhat feminine household items (coasters etc) if they’re crafted in part from that. I also love your combination of linen (reassuringly austere-yet-luxurious) with a jaunty stripe; perhaps you can make the combination behave on another (simpler) item? Better luck next time!

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