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Topic: Tutorial: Dual Draft Dodger!  (Read 3319 times)
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« on: November 04, 2011 09:40:13 AM »

~1/2 yard of Fabric (new or reconned!)
Polyfill (or rice, corn, sand, etc)
Sewing machine and matching thread

So my apartment has a shared hallway that leads to the outside door.  Unfortunately that means that any time any one in the building come inside (or worse, props the door open!) in the winter, it can get mighty chilly right by the front door!  I love the idea of "draft dodgers", (you know, those tubes you put up against the door to block the air?) but I just get frustrated when I have to push them back against the door every time I open it. So I thought I'd make a DUAL draft dodger!

Basically, it consists of two tubes joined by fabric on the underside. I've seen infomercials for these, but this definitely didn't cost $20! Even with new materials! If you reused materials it would be next to nothing and it really took very little time.

First, I went and got some lovely fabric.  I bought new home-dec weight fabric from my favorite local fabric shop, but you could easily use whatever's in your stash or even recon something! I did a trial run with an old wool skirt, and it worked great! I bought 1 yard of fabric which was enough for TWO dual draft dodgers plus a fair amount left over for other little projects

Now, you need to do some measuring, then some math. Woohoo! That geometry class will finally come in handy! (Don't worry, it's really not hard.)

You'll need to measure the width of your door, the depth, and how far off the ground it is.  Mine was 35.75 in. wide, 1.625 in. deep, and 1 inch off the ground. I figured I would want the tubes of my draft dodger to be at least 2 inches tall to cover the gap along the bottom.

Now, here's where you start to do some math. Smiley Your draft dodger will be made from a simple rectangle of fabric with 1/2 inch seam allowance.  So if your door is 35.75 inches wide, you want your rectangle to be 36.75 inches wide.

The depth of your rectangle is really where the math-y magic happens. You know you need the depth of your door, enough fabric to give you a 2 inch tall tube on each side, plus your seam allowance. To figure out how much fabric you need for your tube, just multiple by pi! (If you forgot ,which we'll pretend that I didn't originally Wink, to get the circumference is the diameter times pi - 3.14.)  So basically, however tall you want your draft dodgers tubes to be, you multiply that times 3.14 (or just 3 if you want, it's not that serious) to get the length of fabric you'll need to create it. Since I want my tubes to be 2 inches tall I'll need about 6.25 inches of fabric (because 2 x 3.14 is 6.28!) on either side. Then I just add 1 inch for my seam allowance.

This is sounding way more complicated than it is!  Here's a little diagram.

Now, once you have  your fabric cut, just iron your seam allowance to help your sewing go easier. Trust me, it's more trouble to mess with a seam that isn't ironed than it is to just get the iron out real quick!  I folded my seam allowance twice, which made it a little fiddly. You don't have to do this if you don't want! It's fine just to fold it over once.

From the edge, measure out the circumference of your tube and mark it on the short side of your fabric. Remember, for my tubes, I needed 6.25 inches of fabric on either side.

Then pin! You're going for tubes of fabric on either side. (The middle section should be the depth of your door!)

Once your tubes are pinned mark your fabric 1/2 inch down the side of each tube. This is marking your seam allowance on the end.

Once you're done sewing your tubes, you'll need to iron down those little seam allowances at either end of each tube.  Here you can see where I've ironed one side but not the other.

Now take ONE end and sew straight across, closing up both tubes.  (Don't get overzealous and close both like I almost did. Wink That isn't conducive to stuffing!)

Take your stuffing material and have at it!! As someone who has made a LOT of plush in her days, I had bags of polyfill lying around so that's what I used. You can use lots of other things though! Rice, corn, sand, etc. Here you can see I've stuffed one side completely. I wouldn't recommend this if you're using polyfill! I'd recommend staying about even on either side. Being this lopsided while pushing in the stuffing isn't the worst but it's not great.

If you're using something other than polyfill you will probably want to try to pin your tubes closed before you try to sew them up so that you don't get your filling material leaking out.  Just like the first end, you're going to sew straight across.

That's it!! Slide your new draft dodger underneath your door! I slid mine so that the right side of the fabric on the bottom faces up.

Now enjoy your draft-less door!


« Last Edit: December 18, 2012 12:01:01 PM by jungrrl - Reason: fixed picture(s) » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2011 10:13:05 AM »

I may put this idea to use - even though I live in hot & sunny AZ, I do sometimes have my A/C leaking slowly out underneath my front door.  It would be nice NOT to pay for air conditioning my front yard!

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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2011 11:04:00 AM »

Cute fabric and energy-saving project! Sure beats the plain ones available commercially!

I use mine all year round for heat and cold air loss prevention!

Nice job!


« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2013 01:06:00 PM »

That's a fab idea! Looks great too
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