LastMinuteLucie and the search for time

Posts tagged ‘revamp’

Laptop Luxury

I am supposed to be sorting paperwork, but as I was up as early as usual, I have spent 2 hours finally making the laptop case that’s been in my head since Christmas.

I had been carrying my little laptop round in a padded envelope for a while and I thought to myself,  ‘why not make a case from it?’

Of course, lovely as padded envelopes are, I am a fancy fabric girl and ( a shock to you I know) I had kept a dress of my daughter’s, (already upcycled from Lovely Husband’s Great Aunt’s skirt) that she had grown out of. The fabric was too gorgeous to give up so I decided to use it for this project.

I discovered some co-ordinating lining fabric in my stash and basically made a pillow case to slot the opened up envelopes into. Then I folded and sewed the edges together and turned it right side out to make a pretty padded envelope before topstitching some of the edges to hold them in place. A piece of elastic I’d saved from the waistband of a garment too worn to give away was perfect for holding the flap closed and to finish off I raided my braid box.



The bonus is that my little laptop can no longer lurk in dark places, laughing at me while I search for it – this bright wrapping will make it easy to find!!



No new stationery allowed

I have a house full of notebooks.

Ok that is a bit of an overstatement, but I certainly possess a lot of notebooks because I can’t resist buying them whether I need one right now or not PLUS I can’t let a free one pass me by.

Is there a word for stationery fetish? I am certainly suffering from it…

In a bid to save some money and use up my stock I had a good look through and decided that part of the reason I am not choosing to use some of them immediately is because they are not the most beautiful  notebooks in the pile. I decided to give them a makeover!

I was using duct tape recently for another craft project and thought to myself, ‘ I know I could use a bit for this!’

Here are the results:

WP_002593 WP_002592 WP_002594

this one was hardback – I simply added a band of orange, some Sharpie patterns and orange paper ends inside.

WP_002583    WP_002589

This one I strengthened the cover of as it was just a paper front. On  top of the weighting I used duct tape to go round the whole book – even over the spiral binding which I had covered with an old advertising leaflet. It still opens and shuts well and looks much more appealing!

I almost can’t wait for my current notebook to be finished 🙂

Minion madness

Youngest daughter went to a Minion themed party last night. I think they stuffed themselves with pizza and popcorn and had a Despicable Me fest, but for a gift my daughter and I drew these little canvases for the birthday girl:


As luck would have it I had saved the bright yellow gift bag Youngest Daughter got from the Big Brownie Birthday bash in the summer and we turned it into a minion gift bag:


Job’s a good ‘un 🙂

nail art, but not as we know it

I was tidying my bedroom today and I came across an old handbag mirror. It still opened and shut but the silver outside was horribly tarnished, so I got my nail varnish out and prettied it up.

mirror mirror2

I will use some proper varnish to try and protect it, but however long it lasts, it looks so much more attractive now!

busy busy busy

I cleared out my craft corner (again) recently, trying to make space for the paperwork I know will be part of my new course.

This meant I unearthed my sewing machine from its corner and yesterday I set to on my make do and mend box.

In one day I managed to:

shorten/adjust two dresses

fix and line my favourite handbag

adjust a t-shirt for a better fit

repair my horribly torn pyjama trousers

hem smallest daughters school trousers for next year

In addition I rediscovered a much loved linen jacket. It had torn and worn cuffs so I hand pleated 5 metres of cotton ribbon, cut off and reapplied the cuffs and then applied the ribbon to the bottom hem and cuff ends. Here is the gallery of work:


Am very happy.

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.






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.



matchbox makeover

I went to use my box of matches the other day and decided it just wasn’t attractive enough.

Needless to say I have a stash of second hand wrapping paper at my disposal so with scissors and glue I beautified it

matches2 matches

a creative urge satisfied!

turtle neck to cosy hood

It’s been horrible here – days of wind and rain after a promisingly sunny start to February.

Some years ago my sister in law bought me a fleece scarf/rollneck/tabard affair. It was a glorious purple and a lovely idea, but I hardly ever used it because (and here is vanity from a woman who never carries a brush with her) getting it on and off gave me Einstein hair.

So, now my girls ‘borrow’ all my hats on a regular basis and never put them back in the drawer, I thought I’d change this purple piece into a hood and scarf that I would use.

Here it is in it’s Before photo – beautifully modelled by my wonderful mum:


As you can see it has the rollneck thing going on and the scarf piece at the front has a matching bit at the back. Anyway, I unpicked one side then marked and pinned a hood shape in the other:

scarf4 scarf2

I stitched the shape and cut off the excess material before trying it on for size:

scarf 5 scarf3 scarf6You can see here it wasn’t quite unpicked enough to sit neatly on the nape of my neck so I unpicked it further after marking with a pin where it should go to.


I then hemmed all the raw edges on my machine.

scarf 8

Now I have a scarf with a hood attached I can go out in the blustery wind and keep my head, ears and neck warm!


I’m very glad to be able to wear it now – it’s such a cheering colour on a dull day.

Hoodie to cushion-a tutorial

So here I am at January Challenge number 4 on the 25th of January – with a tutorial. Hurray!

This time it is a pink hoodie my daughter got for Christmas 2012 and has now grown out of. She loved the picture however, so I said I would make it into a cushion to add to the collection on her bed.

I loved the shape of the Panda so I decided to keep this as part of the cushion design. I pinned the front and back of the hoodie together, drew a line an inch away from the panda and then cut out the motif:

panda panda2

I then put the pieces right sides together, pinned and sewed a seam all the way round – leaving a couple of inches open at the bottom for stuffing:

panda3 panda4

before turning it right sides out I clipped the edge all the way round because it is curvy. This gave me a better edge:

panda5 panda6

I decided not to go for toy stuffing or cushions stuffing. While making my sewing mat I realised I had an entire drawer full of offcuts and fabric bits and pieces that I will never use. I cut these up and used them to stuff the cushion:

panda7 panda9 panda8

When I was happy with the stuffing I sewed the bottom up by hand:


My panda cushions is heavier than a normal cushion – so he is a kind of cushion/toy combo. But he looks great, my daughter loves him and, although I kept a garment from the second hand bag I also have plans for the hood, so the hoodie didn’t die in vain… 🙂

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