LastMinuteLucie and the search for time

Posts tagged ‘revamping’

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!!



a silk purse out of two sows ears

I have continued to have a lovely time going through my make do and mend box and now own several more wearable pairs of trousers and shorts after some mending and cutting – it’s amazing how easily you forget what you own when the items are languishing out of sight.

In amongst the waiting items were two of Lovely Husband’s old grey t-shirts. He had a habit of buying lots of the same item in the past which turned out to be great for me when he put them out for the second hand bag.

With Oldest Daughter on her summer holiday earlier than Youngest Daughter I decided to find her something creative to do, so I gave her a heart shaped stamp, some fabric paint and the t-shirts (with cardboard inside) and told her to stamp away.

When the pattern was dry and ironed to fix, I used the t-shirts as fabric to make her a new summer dress. I literally laid her favourite dress onto the t-shirt; first the top half (adding a few inches as she is ever-growing)


and then the skirt part onto the second t-shirt. I had to wiggle it about here to make it fit, so the swish is slightly less, but it still works.

I then simply sewed the pieces together and hemmed the skirt, neck and armholes.

dress dress2

As you can see it looks pretty and fits well. I think oldest daughter is pleased.


denim – the second week of the refashion runway challenge

I was a bit nervous of this week’s challenge because I don’t wear skirts particularly and, as I wanted to make something I would wear I had to go down the jacket route. I also thought I had a LOT of demin as I had been saving all my old jeans, but when I went to my stash I remembered I’d cut 85% of it into tea plate sized circles for patchwork…
Ah well. Working with the one pair of denim jeans and the black/teal corduroys I had plus some fabric left over from cutting a sale buy Monsoon dress into a top, I used a 1970’s safari jacket pattern for the basic cutting out of pieces. I was pleased to get all the bits I needed from the fabric I had – achieved mainly because I decided to shorten the jacket and leave the sleeves off!

I put it together and discovered it was far too boxy for me, so spent a considerable amount of time adjusting, darting, recutting armholes and basically fitting it to me.

I have some hand sewing to do still and I’m considering what to put on the front – can’t decide whether to put buttons on, add some bling in place of buttons or leave it plain. I also think that it really needs lining to cover up all the adjustments inside, but other than that I’m pleased with it 😀

denim front denim back

when two become one

Oldest daughter, still growing at a rate of knots, found recently that her 2 nighties had shrunk to hip length.

Inspired by Diary of a MadMama’s ice-cream striped dress from week one of the Refashion Runway Challenge, I cut them up into sections and sewed them back together to make one longer nightie. I’m pleased with the end result and oldest daughter’s happy too. Win win!

stripes – the first week of the refashion runway challenge

the finished piece

the finished piece

This jumper dress from New Look came out of a bag of clothes my niece was throwing out. I have worn it, but it is a little too snug and being of average height, it is one of those pieces of clothing that doesn’t really do anything for me. It also has a diamante anchor motif right on the breast – not good.
However I thought the knitted fabric was nice and that it would make a lovely little cardigan, so I challenged myself to ‘make it so’!

First I cut off the bottom of the dress, just under the anchor. Next, I laid the top half on it and judged where to cut the arm holes. With those cut, I cut the sleeves off the original top, along with the neck edge and then used the neck edge to draw a new neckline on the bottom piece. I folded the new garment in half to find the centre front and cut the front open to make it into a cardigan.
Now I just had to put it back together: shoulder seams, sleeves back in and then a blue spotted ribbon from my stash to bind the front and the neck.

I am very happy with the resulting edge to edge cardi – it was deserving of a Buntyboo brag label and I am looking forward to wearing it tomorrow – with a navy blue t-shirt, not this grey one!!

take one skirt and make a second item: little girl’s tunic top

cute tunic top

cute tunic top

A few posts ago I made a pretty, co-ordinating cushion cover from a skirt I spotted in a second hand shop. I was left with the godets and the lining material and really wanted to make a piece of children’s clothing.
In the end I found a 1970’s dress pattern that I adapted for the job and I am super pleased with the result. It is really tunic length and will look fab with little white shorts or leggings (or indeed green).

Dyeing for a change

unloved items

unloved items

I am not a lover of white or pastel colours and they don’t love me. My smallest daughter also bypassed some lovely passed down items because of the colour so, instead of consigning them to the charity bin or trying to sell them on Ebay, I thought I’d give them a makeover.

Trusty Dylon washing machine fabric dye came to our rescue. I chose Tulip Red because I enjoy a good blue-red and, following the very simple instructions, I dyed the four items above plus three very boring cream hand towels, a couple of white pillowcases and (ridiculously) one old shoelace from a discarded pair of trainers.

I am very pleased with the results and my washing machine has not suffered from the glorious colour that washed around it for two hours or more.

What was interesting was that although all the items were cotton, they took the dye in entirely different ways. The towels got the truest colour I think and look lovely in my downstairs bathroom, but the rest have come out in varying shades of pinky reddish coralish that I am enjoying.

The shirt retained its white stitching, the vest gained a light pink edge and the little halterneck now has white embroidery on the chest that looks lovely on the coloured background. Best of all the cardigan’s stains have disappeared and my daughter has now claimed the two items for her wardrobe.

sporting my new matching vest and shirt

a more attractive addition to smallest daughter's wardrobe

a more attractive addition to smallest daughter’s wardrobe

Not bad for just over £5 on dye and some water  rates.

We will try very hard not to do the matching mother and daughter thing though 😀

a facelift for an old bag

the before shot

the before shot


When we go food shopping we take our trusty bags with us. They come in all shapes and sizes – Bags For Life, hessian bags, fabric bags, freezer bags, plasticised tote bags, canvas bags…and most of them I have been given or acquired somehow.

Recently however, two of the hessian bags had started looking a little worse for wear – the handles are good and the print on the outside is fine but the inside finishing had come away, leaving them soft and saggy.

I understood how they felt and was compelled to give these perfectly good shopping companions a facelift so that it we could continue stepping out together and they would hold my purchases with pride once more.

I had some material in my stash that came from a man who makes cushion covers for garden furniture. It is strong and durable – if not in the frontline of fashion design – and slightly waterproof toboot.

Measuring each section of one of my bags I cut out two ‘front’ panels (or a front and back if you prefer), two side panels and a bottom panel. These I stitched on my machine using a standard seam allowance. Trying it on the old bag for size, I found that it was a little too big, so to remedy this and to add a little design detail, I ‘french seamed’ them so that the seams had a decorative ridge on the right side of the fabric.

As the inside of the hessian bag had become unsightly as well as soft and saggy I turned it inside out so that the lining of my bag would be the decorated fronts. I also used an old Amazon cardboard wrapper (see, there’s a reason I keep everything!) and some duct tape to make a new card base which I placed into the bottom of my new bag before inserting the old one.

Keeping the handles free, I stitched (slowly because it was pretty thick) the turned in top of the new bag to the top of the hessian bag and ‘eh voila!’ one useful and attractive revamped shopping bag.

As I have more than one piece of the aforementioned fabric in my stash, and it was so easy to do, I have no excuse for not giving the second bag its facelift in the next few days…


a new lease of life for an old friend!

the necessary 'before' shot

the necessary ‘before’ shot

new look cardi sporting one of my Buntyboo labels

new look cardi sporting one of my Buntyboo labels

See, just having to write this has already made a difference!

Yesterday I took a sad and lonely old wool friend, that I bought in Edinburgh in around 1995, out of my jumper drawer-we hadn’t been out much together for a long time even though it’s been pretty cold for the UK recently, and I revamped it into a Chanelesque cardigan. We are now planning many late winter/early Spring outings!

It was much easier than I thought to cut it up and use my sewing machine on the knit fabric of this wool jumper. I stay stitched where I was going to cut before I took the plunge with the scissors and then I bound the raw edges with  strips of a remnant of fabric that I’ve had in my fabric stash for almost the same length of time! They were a perfect match for one another – the jumper is a heather/soft grey marl and the fabric a darker grey silk effect finely shot through with gold, red, blue and green.

I liked it so much I added one of my ‘brag-labels’ and I am wearing it today!

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