Unsuitable for dogs

With a custom order for a couple of pencil rolls to make up, I finally found myself prompted into action on redesigning them before I made a new batch last week. My mother, who is the font of both wonderful frippery and downright practicality, had long ago told me that, despite the opportunities for pleasing ribbon-fabric coordination, she didn't think that a pencil roll that required fastening with a bow was at all suitable for small hands or their busy mothers. I think that she is wrong in some ways because one happy customer told me that her child's pencil roll doubled as a coat for their small dog and that her children had spent many happy hours being delighted by seeing the dog trot around in a spotted pencil roll jacket, the bow tied at her tummy. It is my firmly held belief that any other fastening would not have so welcomingly accommodated even the smallest of canine girths.

However, not everyone has a dog and it will only be a fraction of pencil roll purchasers who have hopes that their roll might be dual-purposed in this way....which is why I have heeded my mother's wise advice and redesigned my rolls to have velcro tabs. I had felt a little sad that this didn't allow me to have the happiness of choosing ribbons, but actually, I made my own fun in trying to find little pictures or nice fabric swatches to go on each tab.

And how could one not go foraging for little details like this when one has been set up so nicely to think that way by the thoughtful manufacturer who chose to produce inspiring selvages like the one below - it's so lovely I can barely believe that it actually exists and resides in my house.

And one of those sweet little houses and trees found their way onto the front of one of the pencil roll holders - I would have loved this when I was small. It reminds me of some yellow and red hair bobbles that I had that were made from a plasticised fabric and featured a hot air balloon...how I would love to still have those (to look at, not to wear...no weirdy pigtail regression here!)....there's something so lovely about very miniature things.

Some of these will find their way into my shop within the next week...which I feel I can now say with much relief, having lost my shop (and email - horrors!) for 24 hours due to strange server problems. But it's over now, and I can breathe again. How oddly attached one becomes to one's website - it feels like an extension of myself and for it not to be there felt tantamount to suddenly being told that my ear lobe had gone missing. Mr Teacake tells me that despite the fact that I pay nothing for his web services, I am somehow more demanding than any of his real clients. Mmm. This is probably true...but I have deemed this to be the prerogative of the person who maintains a constant supply of pistachio nuts solely for his nut-eating happiness.

Happy tulips...

Anyway, there is so much more to tell, but not quite enough time to tell it in, so I shall leave you with this photograph of the wonderful matryoshka tape measure that my sister surprised me with last week.

I am off to do some measuring with it...and tomorrow, we are off to the hospital for Mr Teacakes' operation on his hand. Thank you so much for your well wishes for him. x


  1. These are so lovely, and I think the velcro tabs are a great idea - I think Mum's are normally right in the end :)

    I love the pink one with the little tree & house.

  2. I had a good giggle reading this story. You may have stifled the imaginations of countless children and think of the poor dogs who will get scalped by the velcro as the are forced to wear these inadequate coats. LOL Cherrie

  3. I love them all, very sweet fabric, and a great present from your sister.

  4. BEAUTIFUL fabric! I wish I had a photo of the doggys wearing their pencil rolls! LOL!

  5. the best thing about pencil rolls is they make great rafts for dolls who have been trapped on the rug and need to make their way across to the sofa, ribbons might be disastrous for this expedition as they could look like the raft was unravelling.......... these are lovely ones though!

  6. The velcro tabs are a great idea, especially when the fabric is fussy cut, although I do like the idea of objects being multi-functional!
    I agree with you that your shadows in your previous post were VERY Rob Ryan! How could your husband not see that - must have been the hand pain that was distracting him. Hope his surgery is successful. My son broke 2 fingers playing goalie when he was small although both were taken care of with casts and didn't, fortunately, require surgery.

  7. The velcro is a great idea,ribbons are such a pain in the bum when the babes keep coming back and forth for me to tie them,untie them,get the blody knots out!!!
    must find myself some velcro!!

  8. Do you know how tempted I am to make a special cot for the cats? Very. I won't though. That would be far too silly.

    I like the evolution of the pencil roll - very lovely. (I don't know how dumb I am but it's only just occurred to me that I could put my crochet roll to the same sort of use.) Love the coloured velcro too...

  9. How funny about the dog coat! I know what you mean about the ribbon ties, I've had the same dilemma. I do like the way you've chosen little motifs for the velcro tabs - very cute!

    Hope Mr Teacakes is making a good recovery.

  10. I love them! They look so cute and the fabric is fab too! Do you buy your fabrics online or in the shops? (see I'm already asking sewing related questions, ha ha!)

  11. An absolute charming blog, a total pleasure to read! I'll be checking back to read more when im not so tired that I can read it with both eyes open at once! Ha ha, would of loved to see those dogs in their new coats! X

  12. What is it about Mums and their inherent 'rightness'? While I happily admit that your velcro tabs are supremely lovely, we would be a family who would opt for the dog-carrying ribbon roll version. Besides - extra good practise for shoe lace tying!


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