LastMinuteLucie and the search for time

Archive for May, 2014

Summer Skort – an upcycling challenge

It’s Half Term! Huzzah!

In reality this just means I am only working two days instead of four and have had to organise childcare, however, it does involve a Bank Holiday, so all is good.

I am a winter skirt wearer – when tights can be worn without comment. The reason for this is comfort, but I love the idea of summer dresses and skirts.

Halfway through yesterday I decided I had time to try and make something that has been rolling round the creative space in my brain for a while – a skirt with shorts underneath; so I took that pair of trousers with inside leg wear (aka a hole) and a top that I no longer love as much (but still love the material) and made it.

Here’s what I did:

First, I cut the legs off the trousers at the point where they had worn. Fortunately for me this was at a short shorts, rather than a hotpants point  🙂

shorts shorts3 shorts4

Then I cut each of the detached legs open at the inside seam and opened it out and cut the top at the underarm point – I ironed them after this photo…


The next step was to create a piece of material long enough to give me the opportunity to try a pleated skirt, so I cut the top into equal pieces and sewed the pieces together alternately, then trimmed the length.


Joining the pieces gave me a circle of fabric to pin to my shorts. This was the most time consuming part. I pinned and unpinned several times using my trusty dressmaking model. The hardest part was deciding how high to pin the skirt so I got a flattering length. I basted the pleats and, after a few try-ons, I pinned and sewed the skirt to the shorts using a zigzag to try and flatten the top edge a bit – I have enough bulk of my own…


I am pleased with the result. It looks the way I imagined it and it is comfortable to wear. I won’t worry about the summer breeze and flashing my knickers and I have the comfort of a pair of shorts. I won’t be wearing it to any events, but it will be great for ordinary days out and for popping to the beach etc. Roll on proper summer.






lollystick chore pot

Over on’ Taking The Path I Took Yesterday’ I have been ruminating about housework and divvying up chores –

I decided to use lollysticks in a jar – each of us take two lollysticks after dinner and do the chore written on it. It’s been running three days and our house is already looking as if someone takes care of it. It also seems to be making people think twice before they leave stuff around – after all they might have to clear someone elses stuff up later!

If you want to have a go, this is what you will need:


Choose the chores you want done after dinner and write them on the lollysticks. I chose things like ‘pack the dishwasher’ and ‘sweep the floor’ as well as other chores on the ground floor like ‘swish and swipe the downstairs loo.


Using the rotary trimmer (because I couldn’t find any scissors…) I cut a piece of sticky backed plastic and applied it to my clean jar.

jar4 jar5

Eh voila! The chore pot is so far causing great hilarity after dinner, seeing who gets the ‘easy’ and the ‘rubbish’ chores, but it’s making a difference.




the green green bags of home

I have a number of reusable bags – so many that when they are not all in use as a ‘filing’ system for paperwork I can hardly get the drawer shut.

I am amazed what a short period of time it has taken for the reusable bag to become standard amongst shoppers – in supermarkets at least the number of people I see using them has significantly increased in the last decade. Most of us, I am sure, forget to take them to town on a Saturday or carry one with us in case we have the urge to shop, but the change can’t be denied.

Because they live with me and come shopping with me every Friday and serve me well I am always upset when one dies a death. This week it was a Tesco hessian number with a ladybird motif. The handle fell off after we took it, laden, from the car to the house.

Initially I thought, oh well, the drawer is overflowing, I’ll have to retire it…send it to the recycle fairy…send it to bag heaven and then I thought, hang on! I have a plethora of plastic bags under the stairs that need a nice neat home – and I got on with making my Recycled Hessian Bag O’ Bags

You will have seen these tubular affairs in shops, but they are super easy to make.

I took my poor old handle-less bag and cut it into flat squares and rectangles:

bagbag bagbag2

Then I sewed the two larger rectangles together at the shortest end and then sewed the long rectangle-cut from the gusset along the long edge:

bagbag3 bagbag4

I turned over each end to make a channel for elastic or a lace and then, right sides together, sewed the final long side to make a tube and turned it right side out:

bagbag5 bagbag6

After that it was a matter of inserting a groovy lace I found in my stash into the bottom channel and attaching one of the handles to the top:

bagbag7 bagbag8

Here it is – I roll the plastic bags into a loose knot and put them in the top. It hangs under my stairs and the bags can be pulled out from the bottom. I photographed it on my coat for contrast  (Incidentally, I dyed that coat – it was originally grey, then mouse brown after 5 years of wear and now it is a glorious navy thanks to two boxes of Dylon machine dye. Marvellous.)


My family were a bit nonplussed when they first encountered the Bag O’ Bags, but now they understand, and it is working very well.



mind the gap

Once again there’s been more than a week between posts  – someone should really make me take that weekly blogger badge down…

There has been creativity, granted it’s been mostly in my head, but I tell myself that’s where all the good stuff begins :).

My next post is on it’s way after a bit of a fight getting the pictures from my phone to my computer – it had some sort of spat with the WiFi router affair, so not long to wait.

Incidentally, I have a new adventure just round the corner in the form of teacher training and I decided I would blog about that too. (I know…if I can’t keep up with this one…)

If you’d like to take a look this is the link…


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