Appreciate and adapt’ – these two words have been key, personally and particularly during current times. These verbs perfectly capture my recent thoughts and actions which I would love to now share with you to hopefully inspire some thoughts and actions of your own.

It is easy to be obsessed with the new: creating new work; forming new ideas; meeting new people and trying new things. In retrospect, I was taking for granted what was already there, something we are all probably guilty of at times.

I realised I have art that I am proud of – now I can share it. I have ideas that sit undisturbed in my head or scribbled down – I am ready to revisit and share them. I have amazing family and friends that I can reconnect with and finally, I am sharing this with all of you, which is a new thing in itself.

Like others (I assume and hope to make myself feel better), I have watched a lot of telly recently. Sometimes when I watch programmes I think ‘I can do that’. The Great British Sewing Bee is one of those programmes. And although the answer is ultimately, ‘no, no I can’t do that’ – I’ve sewn a ‘yet’ on the end and in doing so had fun trying.

Ultimately, I love the idea of adapting and reusing and teaching ourselves to appreciate things from a new perspective, which is exactly what you get to do when you repurpose your belongings. Below are some examples of easy upcycles I have tried and that you can do too!

Oversized Shorts

These were my Mum’s no-longer-wanted jeans; cut off with fabric shears at chosen length (stops fraying) and turned up if wanted. Paired with a thick belt to pull in. Simple!

A New Top

This was a cut-off from a dress that was too long, (now I have two items I am happy with!) but it can literally be any piece of material. I doubled up the material, sewing along the top. I then sewed about a 1cm channel at the top and threaded elastic, using a bobby pin tied to the end to pull it through. I was going to leave it like this since it does hold itself up but I was not happy with the shape on me. So, finally, I sewed on a piece of chord and now have it as a halterneck. Simple but effective I think!

Cushion Covers

I had some large, cosy jumpers I no longer wanted to wear but were too nice to get rid of. Therefore, I cut the arms off, turned them inside out and sewed along three sides to create a large pocket. I then turned it the right way round (so the seams are neat) and put the cushion inside. A final hand-stitching across the top and I now have two cushions that are just as cosy to lie back on.

I hope you appreciate the crafting ideas I have shared with you and it would be amazing if you feel inspired to adapt any of them for yourself – let me know! If you want to see more of my artwork then check out my business Dragonfly Paint on Facebook and Instagram.

Next week I’ll be back with another feature in my series of appreciating and adapting what we already have, but this time focusing on how to go about adapting and personalising well-known poetry.