Friday, July 29, 2011

Rag Rug

That sounds like "red-rum" but other than bloody fingers from sewing a gazillion stitches, no harm came from the making of this thrift store corduroy rug.

I love our cottage in Port Austin, MI. Love love love. Everything about it is cute, even the unfinished-ness of some of it.

Husband was having bro-friends for a long weekend so we purchased a bunk bed for one of the two diminutive bedrooms. It had mostly been used for storage: in other words it was a junk room. The transformation to usable room included some kind of floor covering. Before, it was the remnant of the bathroom carpet. After, it was a small but cushy corduroy braided rug. Hand braided, hand sewn by me. In two days.

Let me explain. Day one: cutting the rug (tee hee)

I bought these pants long ago at the Bad Axe thrift store for a song. They were plush and large. And I liked the colors. I had six pairs of corduroys- three of them were of similar rusty color, and the others were velvety contrasting colors.

Next day: I went about braiding them. Now, in hindsight, I was pretty sloppy. I've had long hair my whole life so I feel like my braiding skills are above average, but the way I cut the strips left some dangling edges and unevenness that had to all be braided in.

I figured I could fix it all when I sewed it all up.

Sewing it all up- now that was the real project.

As the sun lowered, I kept at it till my fingers were bloody. I kept pricking myself. I used fishing line and a simple if somewhat erratic stitch. I used a LOT of fishing line, and a LOT of stitches. It took all day. But what fun!
I was blocking the rug in the pre-sewing stage.

Finished product:
It's dinky! But dang- what a lot of work! It's soft and kind of matches the thrown together decor. And I'm sure the bro-friends won't have a clue, but for all you thrift-store crafty souls out there, Yay for us!


I am knitting, but it's a lace shawl and I don't always have the steady nerves or fearless demeanor it takes to knit row upon row of lace.

So to keep the craft-on, I made my Ma an apron out of a thrift store sun dress. (Before you scream "Why did she cut up a perfectly nice dress for an APRON??" it was 1. too large and 2. didn't have a belt. )

Here's what I did: I took this pretty cotton dress, and cut it in half. Then I took some of the black trim from the back and made the background for the belt of it. As you see, Little One was very helpful overseeing my work and holding it down with his silken paws.

I dutifully pinned and then sewed. I thought the white thread was a nice contrast.

As you see, Iggy said nothing on the issue of the straightness of my stitching. He's so polite, he just silently looked on. Then I put the green grosgrain I had purchased (by far the most expensive part of this project- $7 for almost three yards, but I had to have it- green is Ma's fave color!)

Ack! Yuck! Where's my seam ripper????

At this point I should mention I'm a highly sporadic sewer- can't remember the last thing I used my Kenmore for, so my sewing is very organic- I had a vague plan but I let the dress tell me what to do. Right then it was screaming..."BLACK THREAD, GIRL!"

Ok I can live with this.
Next came the neck closures. The existing strap already had button holes, so I modified the structure and sewed on some new buttons. Now, I dug through my collection and found Rhinestones and Pearls. If it were for me: rhinestones, no brainer. But Ma...she'll get the pearls.
So here is the first draft. Nice, but it has a built in padded bra-type of thing going on, and it gaped. Drag. So... I used some grosgrain to put little buttresses on either side of the strap- I realized the error of design- aprons generally are triangular on top- so I fudged it with grosgrain. Then I made a little grosgrain flowery thing to frost the cake a little. After all, it was a birthday gift!
Happy Birthday Mamma Mia!