LastMinuteLucie and the search for time

Posts tagged ‘sewing’

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.

projectIcon

 

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!!

 

 

How to carry a watermelon

How do you carry a watermelon?

Why, in a watermelon bag of course.

watermelon3

Inspired by a watermelon t-shirt seen online while we were planning craft activities for Guide camp, we bought calico bags, red and green fabric dye and seed shaped beads.

The girls dip dyed their bags and, when they were happy with the colour, we rinsed and dried them before decorating them. Most girls opted out of sewing on the beads, preferring to write slogans on with fabric pen, but this is Oldest Daughter’s – and I did the sewing…

watermelon2

 

In this picture, the darker bag is mine. Dip dyeing whilst being in charge meant it got left in significantly longer each time and, as usual for the woman who can’t see a straight line, the pattern is wonky. However I will salvage this with strategically placed ‘seeds’ so the finished bag looks more purposefully arranged!

 

the felt corner shop – an homage

I had to share this because it is rare for my children to get excited about art the way I do.

Youngest daughter watched Newsround recently, when they were covering Lucy Sparrow’s The Corner Shop art installation in which all the items for sale are made of felt.

Shortly after I was preparing another Gruffalo workshop, this time involving felt owls and she asked if she could make tins, like the ones she’d seen on TV. Now youngest daughter has never sewn anything more than a few stitches before, but she sat and sewed these.

tins

 

I am so proud.

 

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)

dress4

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.

 

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:

Fotor0716225620

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…

shorts5

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.

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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…

shorts8shorts9

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.

shorts10

 

 

 

 

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:

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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:

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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.)

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

 

 

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