You know, this blog is looking more and more like a sewing blog and less like the yarn-appreciation site it is meant to be. The sewing projects move quickly and get photographed and make my bloggy life easy. I promise there will be yarny goodness soon. Until then (SURPRISE!) more sewing.
I think good crafting ideas absoltely must be shared. Not necessarily ideas so good you could patent them and have yarn money for life, but all the little things we think of that might make someone else's handmaking easier or better. I had one such idea.
A little backstory...
I have this dog, you see. Loki by name, pain-in-the-ass by game.
His favourite napping spot under the sideboard didn't look particuarly cozy, so I decided to get him a bed. I searched tirelessly, dear readers, for the right dog bed. It needed to fit my budget and fit my small to medium sized dog. It couldn't have stupid paw-print or fire hydrant upholstery. It absolutely was not allowed to look like a tiny couch or armchair. It had to be flat because he sleeps all stretched out. Above all, it had to be washable. Of course, it didn't exist.
Luckily, I remembered that I am a fair-to-good seamstress, and that I had the perfect fabric. What could I stuff it with that would have lots of volume but could easily be washed? Most stuffings get lumpy and awful if you machine wash them. And then it happened. The Idea. What is soft, cushy, completely washable, and can be easily found at a thrift store? A bed comforter! How had I never thought of this before? $14 later, I had a good sized, quality comforter that had already successfully been washed many times. I folded it into a Loki sized square, took some measurements, cut two pieces of fabric of the same size, and sewed a giant zippered pouch. If I hadn't had a perfectly sized zipper handy I could have put buttons or ties on the open end. It's essentially a giant pillowcase. In went the comforter, on went the dog, and voila! Canine coziness! Even better, he can ooze any kind of liquid he likes on it and I can just pop it apart and wash it.
If you want to make a comforter-stuffed dog bed of your own, I have a few tips for you.
1. Use a washable decor-weight fabric. I used a cute striped denim from Ikea. I had originally bought it to make a dress, before the early 90's called wanting their tacky denim jumpers back and I thought better of it. Ikea's decor fabrics are fantastically priced and a delight to work with.
2. Once you've sewn the pouch and turned it right side out, topstich around the three closed sides, and on either side of the zipper. It will add strength to your seams and make the whole thing look more professional.
3. If you're buying a thrifted comforter, choose one you wouldn't mind using as a blanket, because it's always good to have a second use for the things you buy. Choose one with a cottony looking outer fabric (for washablility) and lots of loft. Shake it out outside before bringing it in and wash and dry it on hot right away. You may not live in a city infested with bedbugs and fleas, but I do, and it's worth a litte extra care.
4. If you want to de-stink your dog a bit, throw a lavender sachet in with the comforter, or put a few drops of essential oil in the centre of the folded blanket. Of course, make sure that your dog won't be harmed by your chosen scent, and that he isn't repulsed by it. Go easy on the scent, as his nose is way better than yours, and it's his bed.
There you have it folks! My not-genius-but-still-useful idea is yours to play with. Enjoy!