Sunday, 3 August 2014

Handy, Eco Friendly Utility Cloth

Hey friends!

Who doesn't need a handy duster around the house for wiping up spills? But why do they have to be mundane looking? And why do they have to be disposable?? Let's do our bit to help the environment and make our home nicer at the same time.

Enter the handy utility cloth! This is easy to make and only takes a scrap of fabric. I have backed it with flannelette to make it absorbant and I have chosen a pretty coordinating cotton fabric for the other side. Add a ribbon tab and a button and you have something a lot more exciting than a scrap of old rag!

Take a look at these pretty things!

I think that we can agree that these are much nicer for wiping up spills!

So what will we need?

35cm sq. piece of flannelette 
35cm sq. piece of coordinating cotton fabric
a large button to match 
15cm piece of coordinating ribbon
Fray Stopper

Here are my chosen bits and pieces...

As you can see, I have two buttons. This can look nice if you can find one which fits neatly inside of the other. This is a little matchy-matchy but I think that it will work for a nice retro feel. Blue was the best colour of flannelette that I could buy on eBay (sooo wanted pistachio green...) so I had to find a cotton fabric to go with it. You don't have to match though, all up to you.

Firstly, place the two fabrics  right sides together and pin...

Sew all around the edge leaving a gap for turning out (mine is between the two blue pins.... 

Clip across the corners to reduce bulk....

Then turn the right way out. 

TIP: you can use a wooden chopstick or similar object to push the corners out so that they are super sharp.
See what I mean? This is an example of a poor corner...

And here is what we are looking for...

Slip stitch the opening closed and then pin so that the edges are even and spot on - no edge overhanging. 

TIP: to get the edges neat, 'roll' them between your fingers. Sometimes, misting them with water works because many fabrics behave slightly better when damp.

Now machine topstitch all the way around. You can do this twice if you want a nice solid edge. You can either use a twin needle or sew once around and then use the first line of sewing as a guide for the second.

Now cut the ribbon level on the bottom and coat the raw edge with a little fray stopper. Hand sew the ribbon to one corner of the cloth at an angle....

Then sew the button (s) over the top.

Now you have a washable and very useful cloth. It is easy to make and quite cost effective too. I have made others and they are all over the house, looking pretty and waiting to be useful. I use them for watering and wiping up after my indoor plants but they are good for babies, pet feet, kitchen needs, anything at all that you would use any other sort of duster for. The flannelette is good at absorbing a lot of water too.

Here is a final look plus one that I made in a different colour.

looks so good in the vintage home too as you can see on my 
Nana's sewing machine...

Thanks so much for stopping by! I do hope that you have enjoyed this tutorial and you will use it to bring more pretty things into your life!