That antique tea towel you picked up at a rummage sale or charity shop deserves a new lease on life. What better way to do this than to repurpose it into a charming doorstop, some pattern weights, or lavender sachets, all shaped as cute triangles?
Tip: Take advantage of monograms or hand embroidery on the towel to add a special touch.
- 1 tea towel or about ½ yard of linen or linen blend fabric
- About ½ yard of muslin or similar utility fabric
- Small shirting buttons
- Feathers to fill the bundle (I repurposed an old pillow)
- Thread to match the tea towel or linen
- Stapler and staples
- Edgestitch foot (such as BERNINA Edgestitch Foot #10/10C/10D)
All seam allowance are 3/8″-wide unless otherwise noted.
The doorstop layers are sewn in three identical steps with the addition of a handle on the end of the outer covering. First is a small weighted bundle filled with rice, then a larger bundle filled with feathers, and finally the vintage linen cover.
Step 1) Prepare the fabric pieces.
Chances are years of laundering have distorted your tea towel. To square the cloth make a little notch at the bottom of one of the long sides, near the hem, and tear the fabric.
Vintage linen: Cut a 25″ by 13½” rectangle for the outside cover. Leave the selvage along one 25″-long side; this will be on the outside of the completed door stop.
- Cut a 13″ x 24″ rectangle for the middle bundle.
- Cut an 8″ x 14″ rectangle for the small bundle.
Step 2) Sew the bags.
Pin the short edges of the tea towel together, matching the selvage ends and any stripes or patterns.
Repeat for all layers.
Sew the short edges together using a 3/8″-wide seam allowance. I used the edge of my all-purpose foot, BERNINA Reverse Pattern Foot #1C.
Press the seam allowances open, positioning them in the middle of one side rather than at the edge of the tube you have created. (See photo.)
Outside layer only (tea towel/vintage linen): Turn the tube right side out and press the edges. (Do not turn the lining pieces right side out.)
All layers: Pin the lower edges together and sew shut. For the outer layer, the selvage or finished edge will be on the outside.
Turn the two muslin lining pieces right side out and press.
Step 3) Make the small weighted bundle.
This bundle, containing rice, is both sewn and stapled. Because the rice can easily escape the bundle as you attempt to close it and enter your sewing machine, where it might cause damage, it is preferable to staple it shut.
Fill the smallest bundle with rice. Fold the opening edges perpendicular to the seam and pin well.
Staple the opening shut.
Step 4) Make the feather-stuffed middle bundle.
Place the rice bundle inside the large muslin bag and fill the bag with feathers. This is a messy process but it is nothing a quick pass of the vacuumcannot fix.
Fold the top perpendicular to the bottom seam and pin it well. Sew the top shut.
Step 5) Make the vintage fabric outer layer.
Create a handle for your door stop using a strip of linen or a ribbon. A good size for the handle strip is 1″ x 1″.
If you choose to use linen, cut a 2½” x 10″ strip. Fold the strip in half lengthwise and fold in the raw edges. Stitch close to each long edge using an edgestitch foot.
Before filling the outer layer, fold in the edges a scant ½” and press. This will be helpful later when you pin these edges together.
Place the inner bundles into the vintage linen bag. Pin the seam shut perpendicular to the bottom seam. Pin the handle, folded in half, inside the seam.
Stitch the top closed.
Paperweights or Lavender Sachets
Cut a 10″ x 11″ rectangle of fabric. Construct the bundle following the steps for the door stop bundles.
Fill the bag with rice or lavender. Do not overfill, as you will have to sew the top shut later.
Use ribbon to create a handle for the paperweight, or make a bow with a button at its center for the lavender sachet.