Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Making a Casserole Carrier
I make the carrier out of four layers of material: Inner fabric, Insul-bright, cotton batting and outer fabric. The original instructions say to start with 2/3 yard of each, but I have found that if the cotton or batting shrinks during the pre-wash or if the length of cloth was cut unevenly, it's not enough material to use as instructed. I've also discovered with the extra thickness I make, it needs to be cut slightly wider than the original instructions. I found 3/4 yard each worked well. The carrier also requires two 12" long 3/8" diameter dowels for the handles.
Cut one 41x11" piece of each of the four materials.
Cut one 27x13" piece of each of the four materials.
(Note to self: next time try 41x12" and 27x14")
Stack the 41x11" pieces on top of each other: Cotton batting, then Insul-brite (shiny-side up), inner fabric (right side up) and outer fabric (wrong side up). Stitch with a 1/4" seam around the outside edge, leaving a 5" opening for turning. Turn right side out and whip stitch opening.
Stack together the 27x13" pieces in the same order as before and pin layers together. Next, mark and cut out a notch on the 13" edge of the 27x13" piece. This notch is 2" deep, and stops at 4 1/2" from each edge. (I cut out only the batting in the photo for contrast). Repeat on the other end. Stitch all around outer edge, leaving a 5" opening for turning on one of the 27" sides. Turn right side out and whip-stitch opening.
Iron all pieces flat. Create dowel pockets by sewing along the top edge of the 13" side at 1/8" from the edge, and again at 1" from the edge. Using your seam ripper, carefully cut through a few stitches of the seam between the two lines that created the dowel pockets. This allows you to slide the dowel through the pockets, creating the handle of the carrier.
At this point, quilt whatever pattern you want on the two pieces of the cozy to keep the batting from shifting.
Position the larger rectangle perpendicular to the smaller rectangle, inner sides up, and center on the smaller rectangle. Stitch close to the edge of the long sides (click on the photo to see which edge is pinned and sewn). Stitch a second row 1/8" from the first. Be careful stitching these seams - I've busted more than one needle trying to go through all of those layers!
I tend to hand stitch the side edges together, so none of the inner fabric shows up against the outer. Slide the dowels into their pockets and it's done!
This carrier is really versatile. I've used it with a deep 10" springform pan and other baking dishes than just a 9x13" casserole dish.
Update 01/08/2017 - The one thing I didn't like about this carrier pattern is it lacks a fastener to keep it closed when filled. I used a big twist tie around the handles for years, but I finally made a snap clasp. Instructions are here.