Chilly autumnal days are slowly drawing in on us, so its time to dig out those cosy old friends of ours – The Hot Water Bottles! They’ve probably been lying somewhere unloved for a while, I know mine certainly was! The first thing I noticed about my HWB upon excavation was how bare it was. I couldn’t for the life of me remember where the covers had gotten too. Then suddenly I was overcome with the need to throw together a cover to cosy-up my bottle to make it snuggle-friendly again for the months ahead.
I made a quilted bottle-cover using fabric I bought at a good price some time ago. (You may also remember I made zipper pouches using the same material). I used batting for the filling and appliqued a heart-shaped felt motif on to the front.
The extra special feature of this cover is that it is reversible as it has been sewn using the ‘French Seam’. Its really easy to do if you want to learn and I have outlined the steps for you below if you would like to try it for yourself.
- Difficulty rating: Easy
- Time taken: Approx 2 hours start to finish, medium working speed.
- Fabric of your choice
- Matching cotton thread
- Some coloured felt for your applique motif
- Batting (for quilting)
- A Hair Band or other similar piece of elastic band
- Med-Large Button
- Tape measure
- Sharp scissors
- Sewing machine
- Tailor’s Chalk or pencil
- Tacking Pins
- Hot Water Bottle (HWB)
THE MEASUREMENTS AND IMPORTANT NOTES:
1. Measure your HWB horizontally and vertically.
2. All your fabric pieces will be about 3 inches bigger than your HWB all the way around, unless otherwise specified.
3. Cut 2x identical pieces of fabric for the whole length of the HWB front- which was about 19″ x 13″ for mine
4. The back of the cover will be in two parts. Cut 2x part A and 2x part B as shown in the picture below. (There needs to be an overlap between the two parts to give an envelope-style opening)
5. You will have 6 pieces of fabric altogether, about the sizes shown:
6. Cut your batting to the same size as these pieces of fabric. You will sandwich the batting in between the twin pieces and pin in place:
Quilting Your Pieces!
7. Take your ‘sandwiches’ to your sewing machine. Using a regular stitch length (about 2.5 – 3) quilt your pieces to your desired pattern (I did a quick concerted-squares pattern).
Adding your motif!
8. Cut out a shape of your choice from coloured felt for your front cover (I made a heart shape from red felt).
9. Position your motif to the front cover piece and pin in place.
10. Take to your machine and using a zig-zag stitch, sew on to your front piece.
11. This is what you should have once the motif has been attached (hopefully a bit tidier than mine ):
Preparing the back pieces!
12. The edges of your back pieces that will form the envelope opening should be folded in by about 1/2″ ….and then again by 1/2″ before being sewn.
13. You can insert a hair-band (elastic band) into the top part A before sewing down the edge. This will allow it to form an enclosure band between part A and B later.
(Velcro can also be used at the envelope opening to allow Part A and B to stick together).
14. Once the opening edges have been sewn down, you are ready to create your HWB shape.
Creating the HWB shape!
15. Pin your front and back pieces together, as you will have them with nice sides facing out (remember parts A and B need to overlap).
16. Using a pencil or tailor’s chalk, draw around your HWB leaving a 2″ allowance all around.
Sew the HWB shape using the French Seam!
17. Take your pinned-together cover to the sewing machine, and using a wide basting stitch, stitch around your pencilled/chalked drawing still nice side up (be careful not to shift the back pieces from their place).
18. Taking very sharp scissors, trim extremely close to this basted HWB shape to remove all excess fabric! (Its important to trim very close to the stitch line but not so close to unravel any stitches)
19. This is what you should have (showing the back only):
20. Now, turn your cover inside out and using a standard 2.5-3 stitch length, sew close to the edge again (about 1/2″ in) TIP- Feel your way around the edge ensuring any thickness/bulkiness has been pushed to the outward edges of the cover and not caught in this new seam.
21. Once you have gone all the way around your cover (maintaining the HWB shape), this completes the French Seam!
22. Turn your cover the nice side out again. You can at this point lightly iron (no steam) the edges to lie flat.
23. At the back, you can sew on a medium to large flat button to complement your elastic band to form an enclosure mechanism.
Your quilted HWB cover is complete!
Slip your hot bottle into your new cover, grab yourself and warming drink and get yourself nice and cosy (just be sure not to spill your drink on the cover as washing your cover is a whole different story😉 ) Enjoy!