Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A little sewing: Easy Pot Holder Tutorial

When I've visited my Mom and Dad in Oregon the last two summers, I have found myself drawn to this book my Mom has.  It's called "Ready, Set, Serge" and it's by Georgie Melot.
The book is written with serger sewing machines in mind. I do have a serger but have not used it in years. I need to get it out and figure out how to thread it again.  Last I recall, one of four areas had become unthreaded.  If you are not familiar with sergers, they are amazing.  They use four threads and two needles. When you sew, you get two lines of straight stitches, two threads that create an overlock stitch over the raw edges of the fabric, and the serger also cuts the fabric as you go.  You can kind of see that in the photo above. 
I love a lot of the patterns in the book and I plan to get the book. When I was at my Mom and Dad's place a few months back, I took some photos of the potholder project and tried it out at home.  The amazing thing about Georgie Melot's patterns in this book is that there is virtually no finish work in the projects.  You simply layer the fabrics in such a way that when you turn things inside out, the unfinished edges are concealed with in the project.  Love that!
Let me show you how you layer the pot holder.  I used an 8 1/2 square of  batting which is intended for use in pot holders.  The batting goes on the bottom.
Then I added this cute purple Halloween fabric with ghosts (8 1/2 inch square), right side up on top of the batting.
Then I cut two pieces of the black fabric with white polka dots. These are actually rectangles which measure 7 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches. These pieces are folded in half, with the folded sides to the center and the raw edges to the outside of the square. I also added a bit of ribbon which is black with white polka dots.  So in the photo below, the layers are as follows: batting on the bottom, purple ghost fabric on top (right side up) and then two flaps with the folded edges toward the center, and a little ribbon which will become a little handle.

Next you need to make another 8 1/2 square.  I used a third fabric.  On one side of the square, you need to finish the raw edge.  I folded one raw edge over about 1/4 inch and then folded it over another 1/4 inch, and stitched a straight stitch.  You can see that little hem in the photo below.  This "square" needs to be a bit smaller than the rest of the pot holder. It will make sense in just a minute... I promise.  It's magic I tell ya!
So now you add this square with the little hemmed edge to the other layers.  Batting on the bottom,  purple ghost fabric on top (right side up) and then two flaps with the folded edges toward the center, and a little ribbon which will become a little handle, and on top of all that is the square with the little hemmed edge (right side down).  Pin around all four edges.  Sew all four sides with a hem which is a little more than 1/4 inch.  Important: Looking at the photo below... when you sew along the side where there is that little hemmed edge, you will be sewing to the right of the little hemmed edge.  Do not sew on top of the little hemmed edge. That way, you have a place to turn your pot holder. 

Clip your corners on all four corners (pictured below).

Now for the magic. Turn the pot holder inside out once.  In the photos below, you will see the two sides of the pot holder.  In the left photo, you will see there is one area where the batting is exposed beyond that little hemmed edge... no worries. In the right photo, you can see what the pot holder looks like on the other side.
Now fold the flaps made out of the black and white polka dot fabric to the opposite side of the pot holder. Viola!  No raw edges are showing and no more finish work or hand sewing is required.  Brilliant, right?!
I made two identical pot holders.  In photo below, you can see what the two sides look like.  You can insert your fingers and thumb in the fabric flaps when you grab hot items.  

I have tried the project with 6 1/2 squares and 8 1/2 inch squares. Next I think I'll try 7 1/2 inch squares. You can use two fabrics or three; the possibilities are endless. The pattern calls for rounded edges which would make it easier to stitch with a serger.  These little pot holders are a great last minute gift.  Enjoy!

No comments: