Two steps forward, one step back

My small start back into sewing went quite well last week.  I made a few more iPad covers, remembered (well – was reminded) that I still ‘owed’ my kids a few promised sewn projects, and started developing some new designs.

One of the products that I want to develop is a man’s wallet.  (I also want to make a woman’s wallet/purse but with Father’s Day around the corner thought that the men’s products had to take priority!)  I played around with some ideas and then made this prototype.

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I put it up on my Facebook page and asked for feedback.  Quite a few of my lovely female followers responded, with many of them commenting that it needed a closure of some description.  There were also comments on fabric, leather, colour etc, but I am not too concerned about those as simply making items with different combinations addresses that issue.  However I was concerned about the fastening issue, so I put a post on my personal Facebook profile, asking for input from males on the question of fasteners on wallets.  The first response was ‘No fastener for me. If you need one of those you’re not a man.’  And the following 40+ responses followed that pattern, except for one friend who responded that he had a fastener, then read the other comments and made various ‘manly’ statements to reclaim his manhood.  The respondents were of varied ages, educations, locations, backgrounds etc, so I think this is a fairly definitive indication that men do not like fasteners on their wallets!   I will tinker a bit with the design and hope to make some more this week, and will be sure to label the wallets as ‘man approved’ so that the women buying them don’t think they should have a fastener!

I also put out some feelers on whether people preferred baby bibs to fasten on the back or the side.  The responses were mixed, so I have decided for my next range of bibs to do a bit of both!  This was a custom order, but I plan to make a few more, and make some square ones with teether chews.


I then had a great Saturday afternoon and produced a Kindle cover, shoulder bag, and library bag for my chicks (finally!!)


The shoulder bag as a work in progress


Kindle cover


Library bag for the boy using the fabric he chose some weeks ago.

My steps forward were going well.  But I feel like I am going backwards this week.  The boy only managed to last 40 minutes at school today.  Last week he was there most days for between one and two hours, so I had some time to get things done.  This week, although we have only just started, I am feeling much more dejected about my ability to sew, to earn a living on my own terms, and to keep everything afloat.  I have finally decided to apply for some government benefits to help out.  While part of me feels grateful that the services are there, the other part of me is falling into a deep well of self pity wondering how I went from high-flying lawyer to government benefits.  Of course I know the logical answers – parenting a child with special needs means a change of course – but it is still sucking the energy out of me.    My mission this week, then, is that, in between filling out many, many, many forms, and organising my financial records for my tax return, I will find time to make things that are fun, and will re-energise me.

One of my ideas is to make a few more stencilled bags.  I made these two over the weekend as gifts, and enjoyed it, so a few more will be fun!

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I have also been playing with ideas for handwarmers and road tested a couple  with my boy and his friend yesterday – and received positive feedback from them, so will try to make a few more – sure to get me up and going!


Right.  Here I go, off to get re-energized and move forward again!


8 thoughts on “Two steps forward, one step back

  1. gladeridercrafts

    *hugs* just remember that Rome wasn’t build in a day! It takes time for anyone to set up a business! And most people would be able to lock themselves in their crafting room for hours at a time. Just keep going, and you’ll get there eventually!

    1. a little bird

      Thank you for your encouragement. Today is a better day and I am back to juggling priorities and looking for solutions.

  2. Louise Allan

    I’ve not been stalking other people’s websites like I used to, so I’ve just read a few of your recent posts in one hit—sorry that I’m a bit late!

    Just wanted to let you know that I’m thinking of you. I know you’re trying your hardest to do what’s right and best for your family. I also think that it’s a bugger time of year—winter’s starting to drag, everything’s still grey, the kids are sick of school …

    Hoping you get help and that things improve for your family, especially for you and your son.

    Best wishes xx

    1. a little bird

      I have also not been stalking other people’s websites – must be something in the air!
      Thank you for your lovely words of support.

  3. Rebecca

    I love your stenciled stuff!

    My husband had a wallet that had an elastic band that went around the opening. (Made by women, I’ll point out.) However, the elastic stretched over time until it was no longer useful. Now he has a wallet with no fasteners. It’s interesting that males and females differ on this issue!

    1. a little bird

      Thanks Rebecca!
      I agree – the difference in wallet design from the male and female perspective is quite fascinating! I had one woman I talked to tell me that she likes men’s wallets more than women’s wallets, but, unlike men, doesn’t want to carry her coins in her pocket, so looks for wallets with a coin compartment. Most men said they didn’t like a coin compartment!


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