A Manly Project

When Mr. T’s birthday pressie didn’t look as if it would arrive on time – it was coming from China – I was panicking to think of something I could give him so that he didn’t have to  look all stoically brave yet secretly upset that he didn’t have anything to open apart from his birthday card.

I’ve mentioned before that he has embarked on making leather goods – mainly handbags (hoorah!) – so he does need a certain amount of sewing equipment including needles and, being a bloke (and an untidy one at that) he tends to scatter his haberdashery items around the table top in the shed.  I love any excuse to use the word ‘haberdashery’ it’s one of my favourite words – the French word for it is ‘mercerie’ which doesn’t sound nearly so exciting.

Anyway, I decided to make him a needlecase so that he can keep all his leatherworking needles in one place and off the floor where our dogs could step on them on their way through the shed into the garden as, unlike us, they don’t wear slippers in the house.

Quilted Needlecase


I used all scraps for this so, conveniently, it allows me to link to Kate’s Scrappy Happy day this month.

Quilted Needlecase Inside

I didn’t give him my stork scissors – they are in their just for photographic purposes but I haven’t seen my seam ripper for a while and, I don’t know about you, but I can’t survive long without mine.

His present did turn up on the day in the end so he got a bonus and all feet and paws will be safer.

While I was at it, I made another one which will be a stocking filler for Mlle. Tialys the elder – she says she reads my blog but seems suspiciously ignorant of anything I put on it so I think the secret is safe :/

Forest Themed Needlecase

I can’t really claim this one as a scrap project as the cover fabric was new but the rest is from the scrap bin.

Inside Needlecase

 Finally I’ve found a use for the Kam snaps I seem to have a stock of too.

Did I say ‘stocking filler’?  That brings me to the subject of Christmas and as it’s such a miserable Monday – weather wise and world news wise – I thought I’d cheer you up by giving you the links to the annual battle of the ads designed to win your hearts at this time of year between Sainsbury’s and John Lewis.  If you’re in the U.K. you might already have seen them.  Manipulatively sentimental, of course, but both beautifully done.  I bet you can guess which one is my favourite.



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  1. #1 by katechiconi on November 14, 2016 - 12:03

    Lovely scrappy project! The link’s up, and thanks for the ads; I don’t miss the cold, dark pre-Christmas mayhem in London at all 🙂 Christmas in the height of summer, pretty clothes, picnics, beach barbecues, and huge platters of seafood instead of sausage rolls…

    • #2 by tialys on November 14, 2016 - 12:25

      I think we’ll have to agree to disagree about what makes Christmas special – and I don’t much like seafood anyway 😉

      • #3 by katechiconi on November 14, 2016 - 12:33

        It’s just as well we don’t all like the same things. More salmon and prawns and crab for me… 😉

  2. #4 by jendavismiller on November 14, 2016 - 14:15

    Let me see…..I’m guessing it has something to do with boxers and trampolines? So cute. They’re both very nice. The John Lewis ad was run last year in the states, but that was my first view of Sainsbury’s. Yahoo ran JL and M&S in a comparison, too. Love them all! And what nice gifts you made for hubby and daughter.

    • #5 by tialys on November 14, 2016 - 14:48

      They ran the John Lewis ad in the States last year?? This current one? Are you sure? It’s usually a closely guarded secret until the day of transmission. You’re right about which one’s my favourite though – they are all good (M & S too) but I love the music on the JL one, almost as much as the dog and the foxes 😉

      • #6 by jendavismiller on November 14, 2016 - 17:31

        Not the current one, it was last year’s – the little girl who sent balloons to the lonely old man on the moon. It wasn’t early in the season (after it was released in the UK I’m sure). I love that the new JL one shows all manner of families! ❤

  3. #7 by Oh Sew Tempting on November 14, 2016 - 15:20

    Great to get the scrap pile down a bit. I like the navy blue one the most but both are lovely and very practical too 🙂

    • #8 by tialys on November 14, 2016 - 19:23

      The scrap pile never seems to go down, no matter how hard I try. I think the only way to really reduce it is to introduce some of it to the bin.

      • #9 by Oh Sew Tempting on November 14, 2016 - 21:56

        Oh no, don’t do that. No fabric deserves the bin…does it?

      • #10 by tialys on November 14, 2016 - 22:58

        Black corduroy comes to mind.

  4. #11 by nanacathy2 on November 14, 2016 - 16:32

    Have you seen the spoof John Lewis ad with the American politicians, it’s on Facebook. It made me smile. Love your scrappy projects.

    • #12 by tialys on November 14, 2016 - 19:23

      I saw something about that – I must go and have a look.

    • #13 by jendavismiller on November 15, 2016 - 22:24

      Oh dear…..plenty of material for spoofing, that’s certain! 😉 I’m going to see if I can find it.

  5. #14 by claire93 on November 14, 2016 - 18:06

    so hubby was lucky and got 2 presents this year – bet you didn’t hear him complain.
    And oh, I love the JL ad. Thanks for that/

    • #15 by tialys on November 14, 2016 - 19:25

      I think he preferred the one from China as it was a gadget and a tool but I notice he has put all his needles into the case so it was worthwhile too.

  6. #16 by Janice Marriott on November 14, 2016 - 18:30

    Personally I dislike them both,, If I lived in UK I would leave the room. They are awfully long,
    Well,if I had to choose it would be JL, cos it is shorter and the boxer is cute.
    Feel like Scrooge.

    • #17 by tialys on November 14, 2016 - 19:27

      Bah humbug!! Good job I didn’t include the M & S one 😉 I agree, it would drive me mad if they were on too often but, as they are so long, I don’t think they are. Also, I rarely watch the commercial channels – can’t get them here easily anyway.

  7. #18 by Frivolous Monsters on November 14, 2016 - 18:38

    I thought the John Lewis advert was duff this year. Saw it once and don’t think there’s much more to be got from it. Just saw the Sainsbury one now on your page…and thought it really annoying. And it sounded like James Cordon singing. And I’m not sure how it advertised Sainsbury’s in any way whatsoever.

    • #19 by tialys on November 14, 2016 - 19:39

      I actually find the Sainsbury’s one a bit annoying too, although the animation is very clever – once was enough really – and I think that bloke would get short shrift from his family if he turned up without any pressies on Christmas day. However, I do like the JL one and that’s because I’m a sucker for cute animals and I like the song. As for the advertising aspect of them, I’m not sure that is the point of the Christmas ones any more – the fact that people have now come to expect these mini films from the likes of Sainsbury’s, John Lewis and M & S (have you seen that one?) – mean they tend to go ‘viral’ and get people talking which is probably advertisement enough.

      • #20 by Frivolous Monsters on November 14, 2016 - 21:02

        I was disappointed with John Lewis because the bit with all the cgi (?) animals was just filler, that didn’t affect the plot, and could just be cut out. I don’t know what the shorter TV advert is like. With ones like this snowman one there was an emotional journey involved. I guess the dog here was the character we’re supposed to be interested in…but why didn’t he just bounce on the bed? Didn’t work for me.

        I liked the factory backgrounds more than the character for Sainsbury’s, but preferred the WW1 football from last year.

        Just watched the M&S one now. Certainly a lot more effort involved in that. I’d rate it above the other two. Just found the Waitrose one too. A lot better use of cgi animals.

  8. #21 by Kim on November 14, 2016 - 20:54

    I’m told that JL are in trouble for blowing the Santa myth – dad building the trampoline – but I love it. What’s not to like!
    Lucky Mr T getting extra prezzies. I love his needle case, and great scrap busting. I would make sure you have you name on all your important tools 😉.

    • #22 by tialys on November 14, 2016 - 22:57

      Surely Santa delivered the trampoline as a flat pack for easy transportation and Dad just put it together – that would have been my story for the kids anyway.

  9. #23 by sewchet on November 14, 2016 - 22:26

    I know how you felt thinking his pressie might not turn up on time and they do try to put on a brave face, don’t they, even if they can’t actually hide their disappointment at all. How cool to be able to make a needlecase for him, though. Don’t think my husband would appreciate one…….

    • #24 by tialys on November 14, 2016 - 23:02

      I love it when somebody is in the early stages of a hobby – birthdays and Christmas sorted for the first couple of years at least.

  10. #25 by Dartmoor Yarns on November 14, 2016 - 23:22

    Ha ha! Seem to remember me giving my hubby pieces of a sweater this year, because I hadn’t finished his pressie. Loving the John Lewis ad, think they’ve really pulled it back after that weird penguin one and the odd old man that Aldi took the mic out of. Not so sure about Sainbury’s but my hubby has just been shouting at the telly and saying it’s rubbish :-0

    • #26 by tialys on November 14, 2016 - 23:50

      It’s a nice sentiment of course and we really should just be glad to have somebody’s company rather than a gift – yeah right, try explaining that to the kids on Christmas morning and see where it gets you.

      • #27 by Dartmoor Yarns on November 15, 2016 - 00:23

        It is and I guess there are a lot of children in the world who wish for people who are absent to be there in their lives, but not those the advert is aimed at.

  11. #28 by nettyg on November 15, 2016 - 05:47

    How big did you make the needle cases, wondering if they needed to be larger for “man business sewing tools”. We need a pic now with it full of hubby’s sewing gear. Do like the blue one and the woodsy one is cute.

    • #29 by tialys on November 15, 2016 - 20:56

      Just normal size – although I think the leather needles tend to be a bit larger than normal. I’ll probably never see it again though – it will be buried beneath offcuts of leather and various ‘prototypes’.

  12. #30 by magpiesue on November 15, 2016 - 19:22

    Loved Buster the Boxer! It was all new to me. You did great with the needle case(s) too. Seam rippers? I have one everywhere I tend to sit with any sewing… small embroidery scissors too. ;- )

    • #31 by tialys on November 15, 2016 - 20:54

      Thanks Sue, I’ve actually made a couple of nicer – in my opinion – needle cases now because I found the double fold binding with mitred corners was a little difficult to achieve neatly on such a small project. I’ll keep it for quilts in future. Where would we all be without our friend the seam ripper?

  13. #32 by dezertsuz on November 16, 2016 - 19:39

    Both of those are great ads. Hard to pick just one! I’m guessing the boxer is your fave? Love your needle cases. What an amazing idea for your husband’s leatherworking. Your MIL’s case is also absolutely great. I should try making one. All I need is energy. LOL

    • #33 by tialys on November 17, 2016 - 09:18

      You would be guessing correctly Susan 🙂 I hope your energy levels improve soon x

  14. #34 by sew2pro on November 17, 2016 - 00:07

    Lovely presents Lynn (ah, to have time/common sense to make stocking fillers in November!) I’m intrigued by what is coming from China though!!

    I saw the hideous spoof before the JL ad. It may ruin your eyes but it’s here: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/watch-hilarious-spoof-john-lewis-9251867

    I’m starting to feel all Christmassy and craving mulled wine now! Just as well my work ‘WInter Party’ is on Friday.

    • #35 by tialys on November 17, 2016 - 09:26

      It was a leather skiving machine – well, you did ask.
      I have been playing around with quick and easy(ish) projects so that I can amass some stuff to sell at the Christmas fundraiser for ‘retired’ dogs i.e old dogs that people can’t afford to treat, are ‘orphaned’ by their even older owners dying or are just left to fend for themselves in their dotage. There’s a marvellous couple living out here who have given over their lives (and their home) to take in some of these oldies – they generally have about 30 dogs at one time draped over their sofas or laying around in the garden – to see out their last days in comfort with some TLC thrown in.
      I don’t think I’ve ever been accused of having common sense before 😉
      Work parties! How I miss them. Well, sort of. The best tactic is to remain sober while surveying the mayhem going on around you – I never managed it myself.
      What will you wear?

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