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"Summer Social" Guest Post — Make a Ruffled Laptop Bag Refashion!

Hi Tatertots and Jello readers! My name is Ellie G. And I am the president of the Tatertots & Jello fan club. {tee hee} Really, I just love Jen and this blog. I’m so honored to be here. I blog at Less Cake {more frosting}. I get asked a lot if it’s a food blog. And it’s not. It’s about all the things I love…so definitely food is included, but not exclusive. I also love things like: making stuff, Mod Podge, Diet Coke, graphic design, and frosting.   My husband and I are going on a trip for our 12th anniversary. (can I get a “WHOOT” for making it to twelve?) In the preparations, I decided that it would be nice to take the laptop with us so we can talk to our kids on Skype. But I don’t really want to carry it, because I am without a cute laptop bag. So, of course, I mentioned that I ought to buy a new laptop bag, for the trip. And I was greeted with, “but we have a laptop bag downstairs.”    
THIS THING?? Seriously? This is what I have to carry? It’s a super sturdy bag, and has lots of pockets that I love. But seriously? My husband is in advertising, and I just yearn for having something that isn’t a promotional item! But, alas, my idea for a new bag was shot down. And I am stuck with this little beauty. But never fear! I remembered what I did last Spring with my new camera bag and I decided I’d try my hand at making this bag less REI and more “Ellie G”.  

I started with some elastic lace. I actually have a whole bolt of this stuff from a FABULOUS trim and notions store in Phoenix. (that I was introduced to by Miss Whippycake herself!) So I have a lot of it on hand. I love it! It’s super vintage-ee and looks like it’s already been loved a couple times. I sewed it on to the front flap of the bag in rows. Because of the elastic, it was pretty essential to pin before sewing. Plus it maintains nice straight rows.

When working with stretchy materials, you really have to compensate for the stretch. In this instance I DIDN’T want to use the elastic properties, so I tried not to stretch. But some stretching is inevitable. So don’t do any exact trimming until after you’ve sewn each strip. You can cut the excess and get a perfect finish!

Manipulating a big heavy bag to go into my sewing machine was tricky, at times. But I really didn’t want to disassemble it. This is supposed to be a pretty quick project! There were a few rows I just couldn’t work out. So I just hand-stitched the last couple.  
Then I used a loop of vinyl to make a cute bow. Just a rectangle, with a strip wrapped around the center to pinch. Easy peasy! The key to working with thick materials is a really long sharp needle, and upholstery thread. They are essential!  

I definitely will feel much more confident carrying this yummy, ruffled bag with me on the plane. I know, I know…..I shouldn’t care that much. But I do. So sue me! You can do this too. Even though you don’t have this exact bag! Look at the bags you might want to get rid of, or look at thrift store bags with a fresh eye. You might be able to transform them into something fabulous!!

Oh my goodness Lara– that is adorable!!!
I love it.
Ellie G. is one of my favorite blogging friends IRL too. We started talking through comments and I mentioned that a new Hobby Lobby had opened up near my house. It turns out that it was across the street from Ellie’s house. So we went to lunch and became fast friends!!!
Ellie is one of the most creative people I have ever met. 
I love her projects — they are a mix of modern and colorful. 
Plus, Lara makes amazing printables!
Like this calendar for August
 {Like this Calendar for August}
And how awesome is this Teacher Printable? Perfect for the first week of school!

PS — I’m in San Diego. Have you ever been here? It’s GORGEOUS!! I have a big crush on this town. We had a great time at the Clever Girls Party last night. So fun!!! #BlogHer



  2. This was incredibly awesome. Seriously, I am so amazed. Thank you for sharing! -Loralee

  3. Alison@Oopsey Daisy says:

    WOW!! This is great, Lara! I am impressed at the transformation!

  4. Desiree @ The 36th Avenue says:

    LOVE it!

  5. {Trulie Scrumptious} says:

    what a fabulous bag transformation. Absolutely Am-Azing!

  6. Beverly @ FlamingoToes.com says:

    LOVE the bag Lara!! That is a fabulous transformation. Now I'm eyeing my laptop bag. Wonder if I could get it transformed without hubby noticing. lol.

    Jen – glad you're having a blast at Blogher!! SD is awesome. But then I'm kinda biased. :)

  7. Love Ellie's redo! And the first thing I thought when I saw her picture was, "She has such pretty teeth and a gorgeous complexion!"

    I HAVE been to SD but only for work trips so definitely not *as* much fun but I still did get to appreciate the beauty a little! Have a great time!

  8. Domestic Chicky says:

    Cute bag-I love a good re-fashion!

    I will see you saturday!

  9. Wow. Once I get my sewing room unpacked from the move I am so gonna change the look of my dull camera and laptop bag. I was thinking about it but now seeing Ellie G's redo I'm inspired. Thanks and I think I just found a new blog to follow. ;o)

  10. Cool bag! I live in San Diego. :) Of course you love this town! LOL If you're needing tips on what to do, let me know, I know most of the ins and outs around here.;) JsSteph7@aol.com

  11. Thank you SO much for letting me visit TT&J, Jen! You know how much I adore you….right? I hope San Diego is a total blast! You guys look like you are having so much fun! Thanks again! {hugs} –Lara

  12. Kelli @ RTSM says:

    What a great makeover! We have a not so attractive laptop bag too, but I'm not sure my hubby would go for the bow…but I might be able to get away with the ruffles:)

  13. Amanda @ Serenity Now says:

    I have been trying, for months, to remember where I saw that camera bag makeover! I finally got my JoTote, and I think it needs a little something else…thanks for the link. What an amazing crafter Ellie is!

  14. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    Love the bag transformation! What a great idea! That lace trim is perfect.

    P.S. I found that nail polish alternative, Jen, and can't wait to try it. I went the safe route and chose a pink, but I plan on trying it this weekend! : )

  15. What a neat way to turn a standard bag into something with a little more 'life'. Happy Friday!

  16. Amber @ Quilted Euphoria says:

    This was great, loved it! I would love for you to come visit my weekend link party!