Thursday, January 25, 2007

Hotpad Tutorial

Okay, ladies, this is really simple! Just cutting, pinning, and straight-line sewing. There are probably *better* ways to sew up a hotpad, but this has got to be the easiest.

You're going to need your hotpad fabric and some batting, nothing fancy:

Now, cut out your fabric squares, about 10 inches square. Then cut out batting about 1 1/2 inchessmaller on each side (maybe 8 1/2" square) . I used two layers of batting and simply cut a rectangle and folded it over double.

Now press your fabric nicely (don't press the batting!), then take each square and press under a seam allowance. Some steam in your iron or a water spray bottle will help it press nicely and hold its shape:

Now just sandwich your layers together. You're hoping that your fabric edges come out just a smidgen farther than the batting. If the batting's sticking out, just poke it in--it doesn't matter if it bunches up a little bit. Pin everything together securely. Maybe your corners will match up better than mine! I always end up tweaking mine right as they are going under the needle. In sewing, whatever works is fine, and a hotpad is no place for perfectionism!

Stich all the way around the four sides, as close to the edge as possible without going off. Now get brave and zip the hotpad through again a few times in some random lines--maybe a smaller concentric square, or an X, or three diagonals. The only thing I would caution you about is making more than two lines meet at any given point--the batting gets too compressed to give you good protection from a hot pan. Feel free to work an asymmetrical pattern--that's part of the "homespun charm" you're going for.

You may find that the top layer wants to bunch up a tiny bit as you run the hotpad through, making a tiny "bump" or gather as you meet up with a stitching line. My attitude is, who cares? Because it's a really cute hotpad and it's going to get used and stained, and a little bump is no big deal!

Have fun!


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting these instructions! I was hoping you would. :) My vintage dishtowels will have a new life!

Serena said...

A great project for using up scraps, and also for a quick gift, if, like me, you are informed two days before Christmas that Grandma and Grandpa are going to be here! I like your version of topstitching, and not sewing right sides together, turning, and sewing up opening, much better!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing this.I will be having a go with my children.
love Denise

Julian said...

thanksso much.I was thinking last night tha I wanted t make some, but had NO clue how to make them as usual, and now, I can thanks to you!

Leslie said...

This is great! Thank you so much for sharing this!!! My sewing skills are very basic, but I think I can do this!

Anonymous said...

Do you have a sewing room or do you so in another area of your home? I have a small home (1000sq.ft)and cannot give one room solely to sewing. Do you, or any of your readers, have any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

LOL I like your attitude toward sewing. :)

Anonymous said...

I thought I'd reply to your comment. We live in a 922 square foot house with only two bedrooms, so I also don't have a dedicated sewing room. I used to sew on the kitchen table, but that's a little tricky when it's our only eating-on table, so I finally bought one of those old sewing desks for the living room. It has lots of nice drawers and space designed for holding notions, and I can put my sewing machine away in a zip and it's just a nice piece of furniture that I also use for writing and paying bills. My sewing machine that I have now doesn't fit in the drop down part of the desk, but I just keep it in a nearby closet and set it on top of the desk when I need it. Maybe someday I'll have one of the vintage Singers that's designed to fit in that desk. By the way, I bought it second-hand on Craigslist, and it was very inexpensive--and much nicer looking than many modern pieces.

Hope that idea helps!

Shannon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shannon said...

I don't have a dedicated sewing room, either (though I REALLY wish that I did!). It's a little small and not exactly suited for sewing, but it keeps me from having to set up and take down my machine from the dining table all the time - I bought an old desk with lots of drawers from a garage sale last summer, took off the hardware and spray painted them silver, and sprayed the desk yellow... nice and sunny! It sits in a corner of my diningroom/computer room/husband's office and I store my supposed-to-be-dwindling stash of fabrics behind a little curtain I hung under our computer desk (it sits at an angle in another corner). I usually cut things out in the evening after my babies are in bed and if I know I'm going to have time to sew quite a bit, I'll cut out two or three things at once and stash each item in a large ziploc - that way I'm only making the cutting-out mess once instead of three times. :)


Jennifer in MS said...

I love this idea! I have some extra fabric and I'm going to give this a try!
Thanks Anna!

Erica said...

hi Anna!

Thanks so much for the instructions! I thought about entering in your drawing, but I felt bad doing that when I'd never left a comment here before. Although I am a faithful visitor. :-) I think I should make some surprise hotpads for my mother this weekend. Yours are lovely!

--Erica (I'm from the Sense and Sensibility message board. My username there is FaithRewarded.)

Erica said...

Sorry to comment again, but I had a question. I'd really like to make my mom some surprise hotpads this weekend when I have time to sew (no school on the weekends--yay!), but we don't have batting. Just fiberfill. (I think that's the same as plain stuffing.) Would that work too? I thought it might not work because it'd be too lumpy, which wouldn't be good. What do you think?



Anna said...


I think I would stick with batting, or, if you have some, some thick wool fabric. That has worked well for me before. I think stuffing is going to shift too much. Good luck!


Anonymous said...

I have to get some batting, but I'm going to give this a try. I have teen boy jeans too ripped for repair. I may try some denim hot pads. Lynn

Anonymous said...

Thanks also for posting the tutorial. My almost-13-yr-old needs to work a sewing project for a scout badge. This fills the bill exactly.

Also glad for the 'felted wool' tip. I have a sweater that is too felted to wear or to donate. It will make great hotpad filling.


Dee Wilcox said...

I realize this thread is old, but I thought I'd post anyway and thank you for sharing this idea. I had a scrap of fabric that I turned into two matching hot pads and two decorative towels in just an hour or two. I will say that I just used the fiber fill I had on hand, and it did shift quite a bit! Good thing these were just for practice! If I make them again, I'll definitely use batting instead.

Anonymous said...

Today I re-purposed a tablecloth that did not fit any of my tables, inot a table runner and placemats...and was so happy that you explained hot to make hotpads. I had many failed attempts and the matching hotpads to my project are PERFECT! I am gathering up fabric pieces to make a nice big fluffy pile of them. Thank You !

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