Sunday, 9 June 2013

Hip hop


In last week’s blog I mentioned I’m going to be out of action for several weeks. On Thursday I'm going into hospital for – fingers crossed – life changing surgery.

To cut a very long story short four years ago I got an infection in my hip replacement (you can read all about it in my other blog ‘The Joint Journals’). Because the infection was so severe (it destroyed pretty much everything; skin, muscle, bone, even the metal joint itself !!!) I’ve been ‘hipless’ ever since.

As you can imagine having no hip joint has had a huge impact on my life. I went from being active to housebound and having to rely heavily on Mr Gertie.

After searching the country to find a consultant who had the skill, ability and love of a challenge, I eventually found Professor Cobb from the King Edward VII Hospital in London who was willing to – in his words – “reattach my leg”.... 

I’m both excited and nervous in equal amount. If all goes well I should get my life back. However it’s a mammoth operation and although the Professor is confident it’ll work, there’s always the risk of failure.

Given that we will both be staying in two different places (Mr Gertie will be staying in a hotel until Sunday) we have to take two separate pieces of luggage. One will be a small suitcase, the other will be a canvas holdall I finished making a week ago.  

We had a leather holdall which we took everywhere with us but it had seen better days so I took some quick measurements of it and use them to make the canvas bag.

It was the first time I’ve sewn with canvas and it wasn’t the easiest thing to work with as it was so stiff.  Had I known how difficult it was going to be I probably would have chosen a different fabric? Still I was stuck with it so had to plod on....

For the lining I used a soft denim fabric and black leatherette for the binding.  I reinforced the base and sides to give it extra strength when carrying it. Even though I’d put some wadding in the handles they were still quite stiff and uncomfortable to grip. So I made a pad out of leatherette and wadding then stitched velco to it and one of the handles.

I was really pleased with how the holdall turned out so the blood, sweat and tears were worth it in the end.  I’d certainly make the holdall again but it’ll be a long time before I venture sewing with canvas!!!

I'm off now to see what fellow craft bloggers have been up to on 'Handmade Monday'.

Have a great week.

Gertie xx

PS from Thursday I will be blogging a day-to-day account of my time in hospital over at Mr Gertie and myself blog ‘The BOGOF blog’, so why not pop over and say hello.


  1. Well, I want to say that as ever I am impressed at your bag making skills (I have just made my husband look at your photos and told him I think your work is AMAZING) but....... I wish you all the best during the next week or so and will look forward to hearing about your progress xx

  2. Great bag - you certainly don't shirk from working with difficult fabrics. I am still catching up on your stiry at the joint journals and will keep up with your new adventures too. Best of luck for the surgery and hope you are soon up and running again (electronically and physically) xx

  3. I hope your surgery goes really well and I look forward to hearing how you are progressing. Your bag is brilliant - you are so clever. Lovely colour too. Hope you have a good week.

  4. Fingers crossed the surgery goes to plan - with that lovely bag you'll be one of the most stylish patients.

  5. Your holdall looks wonderful. Gorgeous colour. I'm wishing you all the best for your op. I hope it is a sucess and will be sending you lots of postive thoughts. Take care of you.
    Ali x

  6. I've taken note of your comments on canvas and think I will give that one a miss! your bag looks great so probably worth the effort in the end though
    All the best for your op

  7. oh wow, what a time you've had! I wish you all the very best for your opp and recovery, you must be so excited at the possibilities if all goes well :)

    your holdall is fantastic! What a skill you have with bag making! I really wouldn't know where to begin with something like this... x

  8. You have done an amazing job on your holdall. Very professional looking. good luck with the surgery and hope you will be up and about soon. Hugs Mrs A.