recycled bath mat

recently the towel that my husband has been using since college (!) sustained some injuries that made it unusable:
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unusable as a towel, that is. as the base for a new bath mat, it was perfect. and so i embarked on a project to dress up our bathroom.

materials:

- an old towel
- a yard or so of fabric that you'd like to place your just-out-of-the-shower feet on [i used the ruffle from an old bedspread]
- pins
- needle and thread, or sewing machine

method:

1) cut your towel into two equal-sized rectangles, at whatever size will fit best in your bathroom.

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2) iron your fabric, and cut it into strips that are 4-1/2" wide, and 4" longer than the sides of your rectangle in length (so, unless you've cut squares out of your towel, you'll have 2 strips of one length and 2 strips of another).

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3) iron down a 1/4" fold on each of the long sides of the strips, then fold in half and iron the whole strip flat, until it looks like this:

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then fold back 2" at the short ends of each strip, and iron down.

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4) place the two rectangles of towel on top of each other, lined up neatly. then place the strips of fabric under the edges of the towels and fold them over at the crease that you ironed in, so that they create a border. follow the photos below to make neat corners:

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5) if you like the way it looks at this point, just sew a straight stitch along the inside edges of the border, being sure that you catch both the front and back edges, and you're all done!

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6) however if, like me, you're not crazy about the color of your towel, or just want more of the fabric in the design, or just want to make life more difficult for yourself, you can keep going. i decided to fill in the middle with a lattice design, like the back of an old lawn chair. if you are going to go this route, don't sew that broder fabric down just yet....

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start by cutting a bunch of strips of fabric in a width that looks appealing to you (i used 2"). remember to add a 1/2" to that width for finishing the edges. measure the open space of your mat that you need to fill, and figure out how many strips you need to cut to fill it. for length, cut them an inch longer than the open space, to allow for them to overlap (or, acutally, underlap) with the border fabric.

iron down a 1/4" on each of the long sides of the strips, then sew them down with a straight or zig-zag stitch.

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**if you are working with a fabric that's prone to fraying, add 1" to the width that you decide on for the strips, and fold the edges of the fabric over on themselves again before sewing down.

7) weave the strips together...

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...pin them around the edges, and baste them to the towels.

8) then put the border fabric back in place, fold it over the lattice, and pin it down. sew a straight stitch along the inside edges of the trim, being sure that you go through both the front and back edges.

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and that's all!

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- cakehouse

'Green' Clothing Collections















As part of a conscious approach to Design I have opted to use unwanted fabrics in the clothing collections I design and create. Every season is different and every garment is unique. I begin by scouting the fabric stores in the garment district, 35th, 36th, and 37th streets between Broadway and 7th. You’ll see me diving under tables, and inside giant cardboard boxes to look for fabric that is in usable condition, by usable I mean I can wash it, rip it, sew it and/ or paint it. Once I find fabrics I coordinate color stories including the various fabrics mixed together and the trimmings I will add later. You can see this in the pictures below. The colors are approached as if they are finished garments on the rack, how do they look next to each other? what is the presence of the colors as a full collection? what is most attractive to a customer? This aids me in making a decision on whether I use the fabrics as accents or as full garments. Once this is set I usually choose 1-4 items, tops, bottoms, or dresses, which I will make with variations on silhouette or trimmings. Creating a few items is useful because I want to be at an affordable price and make my producing time smooth. This also allows me to design smaller capsules within each color or trim idea, with minor variations like a big shirt with a square, scoop, or a u neckline. Also in this manner the collection can be expanded and items can easily be mixed and matched.

I approach the Design process by being inspired with fabric and trim first, I then do lots of research on style and finally I add my favorite crafting finishes. The silhouettes are kept simple to allow the craft details to stand out. Part of the ‘think green’ movement is not just to create instead of buying for yourself or others but to also cut down on the demand of more fabric, try finding unwanted fabrics, and also trimmings, that will stand the wear and tear of creativity and keep them from being dumped in a landfill this is a truly conscious way to Design and craft.