I've been busy working on a project that didn't require illustration or sewing, but did take an eye for design and a fair bit of DIY elbow grease - an IKEA kitchen renovation! I took advantage of the free teen labor over spring break and we gutted the kitchen and replaced cabinets, countertops, light fixtures, and appliances. There are still a few finishing touches to wrap up, so stay tuned for all the details.
Today I'm sharing a MUCH easier kitchen project. This simple casserole potholder is so useful and makes an excellent housewarming or hostess gift.
For this project, you'll need cotton fabric (I used some scrap IKEA fabric, shock and surprise), cotton batting, Insul Bright batting, and basic sewing notions. Insul Bright batting is an insulated lining that helps keep hot things hot and cold things cold. In this project, it'll help keep your hand from being burned, which is the main point of a potholder after all. You can buy it online or at your local craft store.
Here's what you'll need to cut.
Main cotton fabric: 2 pieces at 7" x 30" and 4 pieces at 7" square
Cotton batting: 1 piece at 7" x 30" and 2 pieces at 7" square
Insul Bright: 1 piece at 7" x 30"
I wanted to round the corners of my potholder, and I used a trivet I had on hand as a template. You could use a plate or bowl - any round thing that's roughly 7" will work. You'll need to round all 4 corners of each of the 7" x 30" pieces, and 2 adjacent corners on each of the 7" squares.
We'll sew the hand pockets first. Layer your materials from top to bottom as shown:
1 piece cotton batting
1 piece main cotton fabric right side down
1 piece main cotton fabric right side up
Sew through all 3 layers along the straight edge only using a .25" seam allowance.
Press the seam open, and then fold the pocket right sides out and press again.
Top stitch along the straight edge only about .25" from the edge.
Before we sandwich the rest of the potholder, let's talk about Insul Bright for a second. The instructions tell you that the shiny side is the reflective side and should face the heat. However, you can easily convince yourself that both sides are shiny.
If you aren't sure which side is which, here's an easy trick. Place the Insul Bright on your ironing board with what you think is the shiny side up. Cover with a piece of your main cotton fabric, and rest your iron on it for about 15 seconds. Slip your hand under the Insul Bright and it should be warm at most, while the top of the cotton should be hot...really-really-more-than-usual-ironing-hot hot. Once you figure out which is the right side, you can mark it with a marker so you don't lose track.
Now we'll sandwich the whole thing, in the following order, top to bottom:
1 piece main cotton fabric, wrong side up
Pockets made in the first step, matching to the curves of the long pieces
1 piece main cotton fabric, right side up
Insul Bright, reflective side up
Pin through all layers all the way around, and sew through all layers using .5" seam allowance, taking extra care around the curves. Leave about 3"-4" open along one of the straight sides for turning right side out.
Clip the curves and then trim down the seam allowance on the straight sides, leaving all of the seam allowance at the opening as shown below.
Turn the potholder right side out, tucking the seam allowance in evenly along the opening. Pin the opening closed through all layers, and top stitch about .25" from the edge all the way around.
Now you're ready to cook! I used this as an excuse to make brownies with candy bar bits in them, and I strongly suggest you do the same.