Archive for January, 2012

January 26, 2012

free entertainment?

There’s nothing good on telly on Tuesday 31st January; so if you’re at a loose end that evening, and crave diversion at zero cost, then please come down to the Phoenix Cavendish Square.

Forwhy? Well, Olly and I will be recording a radio pilot for a new comedy quiz – with Ian Collins, Tom Parry and Bridget Christie as the contestants – and we need YOU to be in the Live Studio Audience. I promise you won’t get hauled up on stage or forced to recount your most embarrassing sexual experience, as it’s neither panto nor So Graham Norton. (I have a phobia of audience participation, so I wouldn’t do that to you.)

Doors open at 7pm for a punctual 7.30 commencement, concluding by around 9pm. As there are no tickets, it’s first come first served for the chairs. I don’t know whether the pub allows bring-your-own for furniture.

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January 5, 2012

Keep your laptop warm all winter

This isn’t the most exciting or original thing I’ve made, but it turned out quite pleasingly so here it is. It is my friend Miranda’s birthday this week, and I received word she wanted a laptop sleeve. Mine not to reason why, mine but to do and…do. Here it is:

Miranda is an academic, so the exterior is corduroy, the second most academic of fabrics (the first being, of course, tweed).

But inside…

…hot pink silk shantung!

It was extremely simple to make, but if you’re too time-poor to expend 3 seconds thinking how to do it, here’s a ‘tutorial’:

1. Make a paper template approximating the following shape. Miranda has a small laptop, so I cut mine 27″ long plus seam allowance, but for a bigger computer, 30+ inches would be necessary. Approximately, the template needs to be thrice the length of your laptop and a couple of inches wider than its width, plus half an inch of seam allowance all round. Use the template to cut three pieces of the same size: one of each of your outer fabric, lining fabric and thin batting.

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2. Sandwich the right sides of your outer and lining fabrics together, place the batting on top, and sew around all but one of the edges, as marked in the photo above.

3. Turn the right way out; tuck in the raw edges, then sew the open edge closed.

4. Fold up the bottom edge to a height appropriate to your laptop’s comfort, and sew up each side. I oversewed them by hand, as my sewing machine refused to penetrate the combined six layers of corduroy, batting and shantung.

5. Attach a little loop of thin elastic to the underside of the top flap (if I make another one, I’ll remember to sandwich this between the layers of fabric before embarking upon stage 2) and firmly sew a nice button towards the bottom of the sleeve.

I don’t know about you, but I tend feel that the objects I make are a little redolent of whatever film or TV programme I was watching whilst making them. For instance, the oversized patchwork on my sofa = Babette’s Feast and Infamous. So, sorry, Miranda; your laptop sleeve is imbued with the essence of Revolutionary Road and the Marilyn Monroe episode of Quantum Leap. Happy birthday!

Laptop not included; for demonstration purposes only.