laptop in a sporran? Going hands-free and backpain-free while carrying tech

(written in February 2014, published in March 2014)

Since portable technology appeared on the market, I have carried it. These days, I carry my own laptop to work every day as well. The joys of contracting… you’ve got to bring your own hammer to most workplaces, as it were. I’ve been doing this every day since September and my back is starting to be seriously damaged by it. Every day, standing on a crammed carriage, swerving around on the tracks, getting bumped, while carrying a laptop and everything else.

Last night, I had enough. TFL has announced two sets of 48-hour strikes, the first to hit from tonight. Transport mayhem! It would make carrying my tech even more painful. So I decided to take action.

I have always hated backpacks. You cannot keep them on your shoulders in public transport. If you put them down, and it has been raining, they get all wet and muddy, so your coat gets dirty when you strap the bag on again. I have a very good coat. Mud is not happening. So I’m constantly lifting the entire weight of my tech.

Messenger bags are ok, but you end up wearing them cross-body, tilting yourself one way or the other, and the whole weight of laptop plus accessories being carried by a single 1-inch (a bit more if you’re lucky) strap. That would often cut into my shoulder very painfully, despite the padded part of the strap and my thick coat.

Holding the laptop in a shopper causes the same problems (thin straps, one-sided lift on spine and lower back muscles).

The last option, the satchel / attache case, would rely on arm strength and would still be pulling at my spine and shoulders.

I needed to find something that could carry my laptop but which would not rely on shoulder and lower back muscles. What else have we got? Gun holsters! Sporrans! Controversial fanny packs! Belts! You might be getting the picture already…


So far, it works incredibly well. I need to make a better buckle for easier removal, and of course give it better finishings. Some bias tape will take care of that. Taking over the world, one crazy bag idea at a time!

Bow tie, anyone?

Bow tie

Bow tie attempt

Well, I tried.

My boyfriend has his Christmas party tomorrow night, and it’s black tie, and my dress is red, so I figured I’d save us a few pounds and make him a red bow tie. How hard can it be, right?

Well, I found a bow tie pattern on Burda Style, and printed it out.

I went and bought £1.25 of red satin fabric from our local Singer shop.

I cut the pattern, cut the fabric,  sewed it together and all…

I thought it would be easy. But noooooooooooooooo!

a) Sewing such a small detailed thing straight? Not easy.
b) Flipping it inside out? Not easy.
c) Flattening it because the satin is totally poofy and rotating back in on itself? Not easy.
d) Getting a professional finish at the place where the 2 long pieces join? Not easy.
e) Convincing my (italian) boyfriend that a shiny red bow tie doesn’t make him look effeminate? Impossible.

So today i went and bought him a real black silk bow tie from Debenhams.

Can’t win them all.