Wednesday 12 November 2014

DIY Draught Excluder

Well the weather's officially turned, and I really needed a draught excluder for my front door. I wanted it to match my front room colour scheme, so I set about making one. Here's how I did it:

MATERIALS: Fabric in your chosen colours, a pair of old tights (just 1 leg needed!), lots of uncooked rice/lentils

TOOLS: Sewing machine/needle & threads

Start by cutting fabric to size: 2 x 960mm by 170mm, plus small pieces for ends. (I cut an extra layer of white cotton as a backing to my geometric print as it was not opaque.) Pin the fabric outer sides facing, and stitch with a 10mm seam allowance down the lengths on both sides.

To cut the end circles at the correct size you need to use some maths. Turn the tube inside out and double check the width of the fabric (should be 150mm if you have allowed a neat 10mm seam allowance each side) Double this to give the circumference. Divide the circumference by pi (3.14) to give the diameter (=95.5mm) then add 20mm for 2 seam allowances on the ends. Using a compass mark out the size to cut to give the correct diameter, and then pencil over again to give a clear line to cut to with scissors.

Turn the tube inside out again and hand stitch one circle with a running stitch, leaving the 10mm seam. This bit is a bit fiddly and you have to keep realigning the circle to keep the circle even. There's probably an effective way of doing this on the machine, but I prefer to have more control and do it manually. Turn tube the right way out again. Then tie a knot in the end of a leg of an old pair of tights, and get filling enthusiastically with dried rice/beans/lentils, and shimmy the filled tights into your tube until its super sturdy.

Then fold the ends of the tube down inside until they are the same height as the filled tights (knot the other end too!) and hand stitch the final circle on as before. Halfway round you have to adopt a hemming stitch to finish off. I then added some black string trim to cover the untidy stitching and give it a clean finish. Tada!

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