Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Iron Craft Challenge 2: Dress Pants Draft Dodger

If any regular readers have been wondering what the new icon in the sidebar is all about, let me explain.  I've signed up for a weekly craft challenge called the Iron Craft (see the blog at  Every week, the organizers post a new challenge for the crafters to complete.  Then the entrants upload pictures of their completed projects to a Flickr group and the Iron Craft creators round up the projects on their blog.  There aren't any winners or losers (so not a lot of pressure), but I figured it would be a great way to connect with like-minded crafters.  I found out about The Iron Craft too late to complete the first challenge of the year, but here is my project for week 2.  Challenge 2 was to create a draft dodger or door snake.  Perfect for us because, while our apartment may be many things, well-insulated it is not.

My husband provided me with the perfect material for a fabric project: a stack of old suit pants.  I started by salvaging any buttons, snaps, and zippers from the pants.  Then I ripped them apart at the seams--literally.  Our living room window is 60" wide and it is super drafty.  I decided to make two draft blockers, each about 30" long.  I planned to make a piece of fabric 72" by 12" by creating 6 strips of fabric 2" wide and 72" long.  I cut a total of 12 strips of fabric 18" long, 2" wide and 18 strips of fabric 12" long, 2" wide.  Each of the 72" long strips was comprised of two 18" strips and three 12" strips. I laid the pieces out on the floor, varying them so that strips of the same color and length weren't directly next to each other.  I began stitching together the pieces that comprised the 72" lengths.  Once I had six strips, each 72" long, I pressed the seams along them open (see photo).  Then I sewed the six strips together, making sure that I maintained the order I intended.  When I was finished, I pressed the entire piece.

I folded the fabric in half, hamburger style, and pressed in a crease.  Then I cut along the crease, making the two rectangles of fabric that would become my draft dodger tubes.  Beginning with the first rectangle, I folded one short edge under about 1/4" and sewed along it.  I repeated this on the other end.  Then I folded the rectangle in half (hot dog), right side inside.  I stitched along the open edges, leaving about 1.5" at each end unstitched.  I pressed this seam open, also pressing the unstitched seam allowance to each side (as if I were going to put a zipper in it).  Then I stitched down the seam allowance on each side.  This created a finished opening for the ends of the ribbon drawstring to come out on either side.  I cut a length of ribbon for the drawstring and folded the end of the draft dodger down over it.  Then I stitched along the open edge, enclosing the ribbon in a tube.  I did the same on the opposite end.  I turned the tube rightside out and added three buttons to one end, just for a little snazz.  I repeated this process for the other rectangle.

Once my two tubes were complete, I cinched the drawstring at one end of each tube.  Then I filled them with the remaining scraps of fabric; I figured wool-blend pants would make decent insulation.  At some point, I might make plain sleeves to fit inside these covers and fill them with rice, fish gravel, or dried beans.  For now, though, pants scraps will work just fine.  I love looking at other crafters' entries for this challenge, seeing how others interpreted the task.  And if you have drafty windows or doors, I hope you'll consider using whatever materials you have at your disposal to make your home a little more energy efficient.  Be creative and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. nice upcycle! I like the button embellishment.
    Welcome to the games!