Autumnal uke tote bags in the Ivy Arch Etsy shop

Three new ukulele tote bags for the Ivy Arch shop. The bag on the right is made from a rare piece of Heals screenprinted fabric called 'Herbage', designed by Susan Cook in 1968. The Victoria & Albert Museum have a piece of this fabric in their textiles collection. I think the rich browns of the William Morris print on the appliquéd uke perfectly complement Cook's design in a feast of autumnal colours.
For more pictures of these bags or to buy, visit the uke tote bag section of my Etsy shop

One less Lonely Dollop

Lonely in his youth
The Lonely Dollop is soft felt creature made from a pattern designed by Shawn Smith and featured in Therese Laskey’s excellent Softies craft project book. As the book says, he’s “a blob of poo, and he has a lonely look”.

I made one for my daughter some time ago. He’s much loved but recently, concerned about his loneliness, she’s been asking me to make him a companion “she must have eyelashes – three on each eye”.  So this afternoon we made one together using Smith’s pattern and adding a little bit of glamour. 

The Lonely Dollop is lonely no more.

Today in happier times
If you want to make your own cuddly poo track down a copy of Softies: 25 Simple Instructions for Plush Pals published by Chronicle Books

If you’d prefer to buy a ready-made dollop or to see some of Shawn Smith’s other zany creations, visit Shawnimals.

Ukulele appliqué tote bags - now on sale at

I've made a second batch of cheerful ukulele tote bags. You can see them at and they're on sale now from my Etsy shopThe tote bags are all made from different types of vintage and repurposed fabric. My favourites are the 50s barkcloth bags and the apple-printed ones made from tea towels. 

They're just the right size for carrying your Wukulele songbooks, the current issue of Vogue magazine, and several back issues of Private Eye. What more could one want?

North by Northwest of Worthing

On what felt like the last real day of summer, windfree and sun shining we took the 700 bus to Roundstone Farm. Spent three hours picking berries, pulling carrots from the ground, played hide-and-seek in the forest of sweetcorn and lay down in a field of monumental bright orange pumpkins.

We rode to the furthest reaches of the vast farm in a trailer towed by tractor in the company of a Slovak family with pram full of produce. The driver announced the next stop ‘Red Onions’ on his tannoy system.

Returned home with three carrier bags of fruit and veg including four courgette flowers worth their weight in gold and it all came to less than £10. The Soup Bible beckons.

Your Fleas have bags - new gigbags at

The Flea Museum is a fansite dedicated to all things FLEA ukulele. Last month they kindly ran a feature about the very first uke gig bag I made for my own Flea. I promised Flea Museum readers I’d make some more Flea gig bags for the shop and here they are at last!
Both are made from Ikea furnishing fabric in glorious, bold prints. I love Ikea’s fabric designs and these two with their circular motifs seemed a perfect fit for the curves of the Flea.

The psychedelic uke bag is made with mulitcoloured Saralisa printed fabric by artist Cilla Ramnek. The print reminds me of Heinz Edelmann's zany illustrations and hallucinogenic landscape of Pepperland in the Beatles' Yellow Submarine film.  And you thought it was just a bright, cheerful gig bag.

The yellow bird-cage fabric is by print designer by Lotta Kühlhorn. It's part of her Annamoa range for Ikea featuring designs inspired by different environments around Sweden.

To buy either of these or to see my other Ivy Arch handmade uke gig bags, visit

You can read my interview with the Flea Museum here.

Ivy Arch launches

I'm pleased to introduce, a new site dedicated to Ivy Arch ukulele gig bags. 
I'll be adding new items to the shop this month, including bags for different types and sizes of ukulele, as well as the classic soprano sized uke bag.