Monday, December 15, 2014

Pocket Potholders make easy last minute gifts

Make a potholder with a pocket...tuck a gadget into the pocket...stick a magnetic memo pad inside...tie it up with a nice bow.

It's not an original idea (saw a cheap version in a gift shop), but YOURS will be original and handmade, admired and appreciated.

Experienced seamstresses can figure out the process just by looking at the picture above.  If you need more guidance, detailed instructions and photos follow.

Cut an 8-1/2" square of cardstock for a pattern.

Use the pattern to cut 2 pieces of fabric, one for the front of the potholder, another square for the back (same fabric, or coordinating fabrics).

Cut out a 4" x 8" rectangle for the pocket using half of your cardstock pattern.

Cut a strip 2" x 8-1/2" (any fabric) for facing the pocket.

Cut a strip of fabric 2" x 6" for the hanger loop.

Cut a strip of pre-packaged cording 8-1/2", to trim the pocket.  (If you prefer to make your own cording, cut a strip of fabric 8-1/2" x 2-1/2", along with 8-1/2" of cording to be covered.  Click here to see how to cover your own cording; it's easy).

Sew the contrasting cording onto one long edge of the pocket, raw edges together. 

Press under a 1/2" hem on one long edge of the pocket facing.  

With right sides together, sew the facing onto the pocket, aligning the raw edges of the pocket, the cording, and the facing.

Turn facing to inside of pocket


On right side of pocket, top-stitch the facing down.

Baste the pocket to the front of the potholder, 3/8" seam allowance, right sides of both pieces facing up.

Make a loop for hanging.  Fold the long edges of the 6" x 2" fabric strip in toward the center, and press.  Fold the strip in half lengthwise and press.  
Stitch along long edge, close to edge.

Fold loop in half and pin it at one of the top corners of the potholder front (right side of fabric), with the raw edges of loop even with raw edges of potholder front.  The loop is toward the center of the potholder.

Place potholder front and back together, right sides facing.  Stitch around the potholder edges, 3/8" seam allowance, leaving an opening at the top of the potholder about 3" wide, to stuff in the batting.  

Turn potholder right side out.  Use wooden stick to push out the corners.

Cut 2 pieces of batting the size of the potholder.  

Stuff the batting inside the potholder, keeping it flat, pushing it into the corners.

On front of potholder, topstitch from top of pocket to top corner, across top (thus closing the open edge) and down the other side, ending at the top of the pocket. 

Tuck a wooden spoon, knife, spatula, basting brush, whisk potato peeler, a recipe--you decide--into the pocket.  Tie with a ribbon, raffia, or scrap of fabric.

Make the matching towel holder shown here.  It's my own design updating a very useful old idea for hanging kitchen towels.  Click here for photos and instructions.

Grammar tip of the day:  Your shows possession.  Your idea.  Your call.  You're means "you are."  You're welcome.

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