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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Let's get sewing...

About 6 months ago I finally got a sewing machine. It's something I have thought about for years but have never lived anywhere with enough storage space to justify buying one. However, now I have a home waiting to be filled with wonderful and pretty and badly stitched  things so I felt that was the perfect excuse to buy one. 6 months on and I have only so far made a laundry bag and some cute bunting for my niece...although I have done very well at accumulating numerous pieces of material (why is it I'm so good at doing anything that involves cluttering our home?)

I have been reminded lately of how drafty our house was last winter so I decided to make a...

Beard warmer? Also known as a draught excluder. I had a look up on google to see how people made them and couldn't believe it when I found a designer draught excluder being sold for over £100 -eek! This is much much cheaper...and the fabric is so much nicer. Anyway, I started to use a pattern but it wouldn't have been very chunky (surely an essential element of being a draught excluder) here's my version...

What you need:

Measuring tape
Chosen fabric
Sewing pins
Sewing machine
Some form of stuffing: I used hollowfibre filling but have seen rice, polystyrene balls and cat litter also recommended
Tea (optional)

1) Before measuring the fabric, iron it to remove any creases.

2) Measure the width of your doorway. Next, cut the fabric to 13" wide x length of the doorway + 2" (mine was 36"). I don't have a rotary cutter, so to ensure a straight line I marked the fabric with a dressmakers pencil at regular intervals.

3) Fold the fabric in half length ways with the right sides facing. Pin together along the edges.

4) And now sew, sew, sew away! Don't forget to backstitch to secure the thread. Sew first along the length of the open side with a 1/4" seam. In the middle leave a gap large enough to be able to fill the tube (about 5"). Then sew the short sides as well.

Here's mousey at work
5) Now you need to turn the tube the right way out and fill it with the stuffing.

6) Now to secure the opening. I pulled out my trusty martha stewart book and looked up how to slip stitch.

Slip stitch is great to use when wanting to make an invisible seam...exactly what we want to do here. First secure the thread with a back stitch and use a slip stitch to secure the opening.

Pull the thread tight and secure again with a back stitch.

Then place by chosen door and enjoy many cosy nights in, free from draughts :)

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