Tuesday, 25 September 2012


The indian summer I think we all felt we deserved was too short-lived, and autumn has swept in with unseemly haste. Time to think about battening down the hatches for the winter to come. Time to make a draught excluder, to block out those cold blasts that whistle in from under the door.

I also wanted to make inroads into the enormous stash of remnants that threaten to overwhelm me so I chose to make a kind of linear patchwork, and embellished it with some leftover ribbon and, of course, a piece of Gina Take a Bow checkmate border in a sampled colourway that never went into production. PLUS I decided to continue this thrifty theme by using recycled clothing and fabrics to stuff it with. I don't know about you, but my place seems to fill up with odd socks - I keep them in an odd sock basket, vaguely hoping that their partner will turn up one day. 9 times out of 10, they don't. But guess what - odd socks make great stuffing! Then I found a scarf that had seen better days and was - dare I say it - motheaten! (Please note - wash your recycled garments before stuffing, and, if there is any danger that they might be harbouring moth eggs, pop them in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer for a few hours - that will ensure that your draught excluder doesn't become a moth includer!) Add in a couple of sad paint-spattered T-shirts and I had all the stuffing I needed.

1. Choose your fabrics and cut into pieces that all measure 27 cms from top to bottom. I chose to make mine symmetrical so I cut 2 pieces of each fabric. They can be as wide or narrow as you like - play with the colours and mix it up a bit with a dash of something unexpected like the red satin I threw in at the last minute.

2. Stitch the pieces together, and press open the seams:

3. Working on the right side, add ribbons and braid where appropriate:

4. Keep going until you've got a piece of linear patchwork that is 27 cms wide and as long as the width of your doorway plus 12 cms - thats actually 6 cms at each end that you will gather up to form the ends of the sausage. With right sides together, fold the patchwork in half lengthways and, leaving a 1 cm seam allowance, stitch along the long edge. Remember to leave about a 15 cm gap in the centre of your seam so that you will be able to pull your sausage right side out:

5. Still working wrong way out, gather up each end by running a needle and thread in a running stitch around the outside edge about 1 cm in, making sure that one end of the thread is securely knotted. Pull up the gathers tightly and secure by winding the thread all around the gathers a few times and knotting off firmly:

6. Turn the whole thing right way out and begin stuffing, and when its full enough, stitch up the opening by hand.

7. If you want you can add a button at either end:

And there you have it, a totally recycled yet utterly glamourous draught excluder:

I'm so excited I've already started another:

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