It's a rug made from fabric braids, I made mine for the bathroom. It's really quite simple to make, and what I love about it is that you can incorporate fabrics in your stash that you wouldn't know what else to do with anymore otherwise. You know, the sales-bin fabric that upon closer inspection is a really nasty synthetic fiber, not suitable for a garment. Or the one that looks different in daylight, or the left-overs from a garment, for which you bought twice the amount than you actually needed. You get my point.
The only thing you should think about is that you can wash it in the end - so no fabrics that bleed heavily or that aren't washable. Make sure you pre-wash all the fabrics, too.
I made a little video of this project, with a couple real-time stitches and otherwise talking you through the steps, but I am also posting photos and instructions below, in case you prefer that.
Here is the video (sorry, I have a bit of a sore throat...):
Instructions and photos:
- You need fabric strips, so this project is more suitable for fabric left-overs that aren't in very small pieces, not tiny scraps. More like that left-over yard from a project... Cut strips of about 4-6 inches width, depending of how thick your fabric is and how thick you want your braids to be. I started with a light fabric and narrow strips in the center, which made the narrow curve easier.
- You need an underlying fabric, a little bigger than you want your rug to be in the end. Of course you can piece it together, as it will not be visible in the end. I used an old towel, which worked really well.
- Take three strips of fabric and braid them, always making sure to fold under the rough, fraying edges so that the top of the braid is nice and smooth. When one strip comes to an end, add on the next strips of fabric. Don't make the mistake to sew together the strips before braiding. They will tangle up and make braiding a big pain. So it goes braiding, adding on, braiding, adding on...
- Once you have a good amount of braiding done (but you don't have to have everything braided yet, you'll go back and braid some more later, the project is much easier to handle that way!), you start sewing the outside of the braid to the towel/base fabric, using a strong needle and heavy duty thread that doesn't tear. Start in the center of the fabric. In the beginning, it helps to use a crochet hook:
This is what the back looks like. At this point, you can remove the crochet hook. The project is heavy enough to work without it by now.
- 5. After sewing the outside of the braid to the underlying fabric, you will sew the inside of that braid to the adjoining outside of the other braid:
Then go back and repeat steps 1-5: braiding, adding fabric strips, braiding, sewing the outside, sewing the inside etc...
- 6. To finish the rug, make your fabric strips get narrower and the braid get smaller and smaller:
That way, you can blend together the end of the braid to the circle:
- 7. When sewing the last outside round, include a strip of fabric cut on the bias. Mine was about 4 inches wide, but I cut it back a lot later, so 3 inches would be enough. Fold it under by about 1/2 inch and sandwich it between base fabric and braids:
This is the only time you should make sure the stitches are nice and disappear under the braid.
- 8. Cut back the base fabric to about 0.5 - 1 inch:
- 9. Cut back the bias strip. This is what the underside of the rug looks like now. I'll get rid of all the thread ends later:
- 10. Fold the bias strip so the two edges meet:
...and then over the edge of the base fabric to the underside of the rug:
...Pin it, first with wide gaps between pins:
...then filling in between them to make sure everything is nice and smooth along the curve:
Check the other side to make sure you don't have any ugly wrinkles:
- 11. Stitch the bias strip to the other side (I'm showing some real-time stitches of this in the video at the top of this post):
This is what the underside looks like, after finally also getting rid of the loose thread ends...:
- 12. This isn't mandatory, but I used a running stitch around the edge, to make a nice flat "frame". You can even use contrasting thread if you feel like it:
I admit, it was quite a lot of hand-stitching and crawling on the floor and such, but this is the kind of project I have running parallel to my other sewing projects. It's the one I do in front of the TV, while the husband is watching soccer or the likes ;-)
Here it is in it's final destination... the bathroom. I had gathered all the fabrics in my stash that match my bathroom, and I have to say I really like it. I used some pretty thick fabrics and the braids are so nice and soft to step on! It's ok to step on it with wet feet, and even if you drip some lotion on it or the likes, the stains disappear nicely ;-) And after all, you can throw it into the washing machine any time it's necessary.
My bathroom is really small, impossible to take good pictures...
... but you get the idea...
So then, off I go to finish the 1938 dress, yeah! I'll add the belt piece and skirt, and then get to that vintage snap button closure tutorial.
Take care and be sure to let me know if you make one of these - I will link you up here if you want!