my handmade Christmas presents

As I write this post I am still working on finishing the last of my Christmas presents, that’s right, Christmas is not over in this house yet. One more apron to go! The week before Christmas all the girls in this house had nasty colds and one little baby with croup. So I went a whole week with nearly any sleep and not sewing a single thing. Thankfully, I have some very understanding friends and family. You know making most of your Christmas presents is way harder then just buying them from the store. So thanks guys for understanding! So here are a few of the gifts that were given away this year for Christmas.

Casserole carrier using melon from the Meadowsweet collection.

**Quick question: Would you think differently of me if you knew that I carried my casserole dish to Christmas dinner wrapped in aluminum foil? That’s right, I do not have a casserole carrier of my own!**
Velour terry cloth dish towels.
And lots of aprons! This was year that lots of little ones were getting their first kitchen sets and NEEDED an apron to go along with it.

This is one of my favorites! First of all, you know my love for orange, but also I love this plaid fabric from Michael Miller! Hope it makes a little nephew of mine happy.

So, am I the only one still working on their Christmas presents?

Casserole Carrier {Tutorial}

I am really excited to share this with all of you. This is unlike any other casserole carrier you have ever seen. I love that the handles are made of fabric and are not wooden dowels. I think it gives the carrier more stability. I also like that it is lined with Insul-Bright to keep your casserole dishes warm or cold while transporting. With that said, I do not recommend taking dishes directly from the oven and placing into carrier. It may work, but I’m not going to try that one. Just let the dish cool a bit first. The carrier is made of all machine washable fabrics, so wash away. I suggest line drying instead of placing into the dryer. Casserole carrier will hold a 8×12 or 9×13 rectangular pan. (Please forgive me on the pictures. I hope you are all able to see my stitches. I used the darkest fabric I had and used white thread. But I was taking these pictures in the middle of the night and the lighting was not so good.)
Don’t let all the steps scare you. I tried to make this tutorial as easy as possible for everyone to follow along. It really is easy. Your just taking two pieces of fabric and making a cross with them and attaching some handles. I hate to think that my ideas are basic, but they are!

Materials Needed:

*Insul-Bright (1 yard, make sure it is 44″ x 36″)

*medium or light weight cotton fabric (2 yards of fabric)

*2″ wide Velcro ( 24″ of 2″ wide Velcro)
Let’s get started!
We will be cutting materials along the way instead of cutting all of the materials ahead of time.
Cut two pieces of Insul-Bright to the following sizes: 30″ X 15″ and 37″ X 12″
Cut two pieces of fabric slightly larger then the 30″ X 15″ and 37″ X 12″ pieces of Insul-Bright.
You don’t have to be too picky on cutting out the fabric pieces because you will be trimming them later. I just find it quicker to sew the pieces together this way and trim the fabric off later. Plus it saves you time from having to cut out the pieces of fabric to the correct size.
Gather the 30″ X 15″ piece of insul-bright and the two pieces of fabric that you cut out to go along with it. Take the two pieces of fabric and lay flat with right sides facing and now place the Insul-Bright on top of the fabric like shown.
Sew all around pinned pieces using the edge of insul-bright as your guide. Leave a 3″ opening for turning right side out.
**note: I changed the foot on my machine to H at this point. It is a plastic foot that glides over the Insul-Bright instead of getting caught up on the material. I didn’t do this on my first casserole carrier but did it on this one and it made a huge difference. Change foot back once finished sewing directly on the Insul-Bright.**
Trim excess fabric except where the opening is, you want to leave that section a little longer so that when you turn right sides out it will tuck and sew shut nicely. Don’t forget to square off corners. Now pull fabric out through opening.
 
Iron and push out corners so that they are nicely pointed. Now top stitch around the entire piece of fabric.
Repeat with the 37″ x 12″ of Insul-Bright and fabric pieces.
 
Pieces should look like this now.
 
Lay the pieces out on top of each other making a cross like pictured below.
Make sure the 37″ X 12″ piece is on top.
Line them up straight. The right side of the 37″ x 12″ piece sticks out about 10″.
 

And measures 9″ up from the bottom.
 
Mark on the bottom piece of fabric where the top piece of fabric is positioned on it. Make sure you make marks onto the top piece of fabric where the bottom piece is positioned underneath it as well. This doesn’t mean anything now, but it will help in later steps.
Now place a casserole dish in the center of the two pieces and fold closed. Fold the 37″ x 12″ piece close first then fold the 30″ x 15″ piece closed next.
Now you are going to feel for the top of the casserole dish and make a mark on the fabric where the top of the dish is. This mark will tell you where to stop sewing when attaching the handles.
See my little mark? Now take a ruler and extend that mark the entire length of the fabric to show where the top of the casserole dish is. Repeat on the opposite side.
Set aside for now.
Now it is time to make the handles.
Cut four pieces of fabric 40″ X 2 1/2″. Cut two pieces of flannel or batting the same size. Layer with the flannel on the bottom and the two pieces of fabric right sides facing on top of the flannel.
Sew together on both sides, the entire length of the pieces. Flip right side out, iron and top stitch.
Handles should look like this.
Time to attach the handles you just made. Gather the 30″ x 15″ piece, this is the piece you will be attaching the handles to.
Remember the marks you made earlier when you used the casserole dish as a guide? well, this is where those marks you made from the top of the casserole dish come in handy. See them on the picture above?
You will want to line up the handles as pictured above. Make sure they are evenly spaced and about 3″ in from the edge. Make sure the middle of the handles are in the middle of the piece of fabric. You don’t want lop sided handles.

Sew the handles on. Use the top stitch that you did on the handles as a guide, and stitch right on top of those stitches again. Do not sew past the marks on the fabric showing you where the top of your casserole dish will be. You want to make sure you sew straight lines. These will be seen on the bottom of the carrier.

Pieces should look like this now.
Now it is time to attach the two pieces together.Line the pieces up again like you did when you first made the cross. Remember the 37″ X 12″ fabric is on top and the fabric with the handles is on the bottom. Pin in place.
Do not sew directly on the marked lines. Sew in a little about. See where I made my stitches? Again, I wanted to make sure my stitches lined up with the stitches on the bottom piece. These stitches will be seen from the bottom. It will just make it look neater on the bottom of the carrier.
This is what the bottom of the carrier looks like now.
See how nicely the stitches line up on the bottom?
Time to attach the Velcro. Lay carrier flat, place casserole dish inside and pin Velcro in place where you want it.
Play with the pieces and see where you would like them most. Here is where I placed mine. I placed it in about 2″ from the edge. I used a 2″ wide Velcro so that I can use this carrier for two sized pans.

Time to finish the handles. I prefer to make little padded sections to attach the handles together.

To make the padded handles, cut four pieces of fabric and flannel (or batting) 6 1/2″ X 3″
Layer them like so, with 1 piece of flannel, 2 pieces of fabric right sides facing, and the last piece of flannel on top.
Sew sides together, leaving ends open.
Turn right right side out and iron. Fold ends in about 1/2″ and iron again.
Slide ends of handles into the middle of the padded handle. Make sure the handles are evenly lined up. You don’t want a lop sided carrier!
Pin and sew in place on the ends of padded handle.
The fabrics are pretty thick at this point and I had a hard time sewing through all the layers until I switched needles. I can’t remember the last time I changed my needle, it’s actually kinda embarassing.

Cut two pieces of fabric 5″X 2″
Sew together the two pieces of fabric, right sides facing. Leave a 1 1/2″ opening for turning right side out.
Turn right side out through opening, iron and top stitch.
Sew the Velcro on. Make sure the Velcro is sewn on opposite sides and ends like in the picture above. The hook on the bottom front and the loop on the top back of piece of fabric.
 

Fold spoon holder in half and mark where the center is. Now measure 1/2″ away from the center on the right and left sides. These marks will be where you want to sew the spoon holder onto the carrier. This way it will keep the spoon from wobbling too much.

You are finished!
**This tutorial is for personal use only! If you are going to link up and use my pictures, please link back to this post and don’t forget to give credit where credit is due! **

I hope you will find some time to sew one up. I would say it takes about 3-4 hours from start to finish to make one of these. You will have a little extra fabric and Insul-Bright left over, so sew up some matching hot pads or oven mitts to go along with the carrier. If you make one using this tutorial, please email me a picture or add it to my flickr group, I would love to see it.

Tutorial updated: January 5, 2011

This beauty has a tutorial on its way!

Remember the much loved casserole carrier I designed and created for my sister in laws bridal shower? Well, I had so many requests for a tutorial on it, that I decided to put one together for y’all. A great idea like that cannot go unused, right? Or maybe it was the comment on it being the “chicest casserole carrier” someone had ever see. Why thank you!!! I will take full credit for designing and creating this beauty on my own! And now I want to share with all of you how to make one of your own.
The tutorial is almost finished, but for now here is a little peek at it again.

HMM, now what to do with the finished product? A gift, for sale, or for keeps?!

casserole carrier

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! You sure know how to make a girl feel special! I received a ton of emails (ok, so maybe it was only 6) wanting a tutorial for this beauty and well I just don’t have time to put one together right now, sorry. And actually, I think this beauty deserves a real pattern! So we will see. But for now, enjoy the pictures and who knows maybe I will add a few of these and a pattern to my etsy shop in time for Christmas.