Friday, January 24, 2014

A DIY Liberty Print Hot Water Bottle

I'm really feeling the love for my Liberty print hot water bottle DIY tutorial at the moment! Those clever ladies at The New Craft Society gave it a go as part of 'Try It Tuesday' using hand made Liberty print bias binding and the result totally blue me away! Check out their blog post here! If you're not already familiar with Try It Tuesday, this is the brainchild of Kate, Kendall and Emily, the crafters behind the awesome blog Trends With Benefits. The aim is to encourage craft bloggers to try out each others DIYs and share the results via their blogs and social media platforms (using the hash tag #tryittuesday) on... you guessed it, Tuesdays! I think it's a great idea and can't wait to get involved.

You can see my tutorial over on the Liberty Craft Blog but seeing as the weather has taken a turn for the chilly and I have a feeling we've got a long, long Winter ahead of us, I wanted to share it here also. Time to grab your hottie bottie and get sewing!

Here's a tutorial to make a quilted hot water bottle cover using gorgeous Liberty print cotton. If you're in need of a little inspiration, take a peek at Liberty's new season Spring fabrics here! You'll need some batting fabric also - I personally like to stick to all natural materials so I love the 100% cotton batting that Liberty sell in their habadashery department. You can have fun playing around with different fabric and bias binding combinations - I think a plain hot water bottle and patterned bias binding would look equally marvelous!

Materials and Equipment:

Liberty print cotton fabric 60 x 50 cm
Cotton batting 50 x 120 cm
Plain cotton fabric (for lining) 60 x 50 cm
Bias binding
Matching cotton thread for sewing bias binding
Contrasting cotton thread for quilting and tacking
Needle for hand sewing
Ruler and / or tape measure
Fabric scissors
Paper scissors
Tracing wheel (or tailors chalk)
Sewing machine
Sheets of A4 paper
Hot water bottle

Before you begin: Wash, dry and iron your fabric according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Making the Paper Pattern

1. Tape together 4 x pieces of A4 paper to make one large sheet. Place the hot water bottle in the centre and draw around the outside of the bottle. Remove the bottle and using a ruler, draw a straight line from the ‘shoulder’ of the bottle straight up to the top of the spout.

2. Using a ruler and pencil, mark 3 cm away from the outline of the bottle every 3 cm or so, right the way round.

3. Join up the dots to form the cutting line for the pattern (use a ruler to help straighten the sides). This will allow for a 1 cm seam allowance and 2 cm wiggle room for the hot water bottle once it’s full.

4. Cut out your pattern along the outer line.

5. Using this pattern as a template, draw and cut out two more identical pieces (so you have three hot water bottle patterns in total).

6. Label one pattern piece as ’1) Front’ and set aside. Using a ruler, draw and then cut the next pattern piece across horizontally, approximately 2/3 of the way up (just before the ‘shoulder’ of the bottle starts to curve). Label the bottom section of this pattern piece ’2) Lower Back’ and discard the top.

7. Taking the remaining pattern piece, draw and then cut a line horizontally, 3 cm lower than the top edge of pattern piece 2. Label the top section ’3) Upper Back’ and discard the bottom section. Pattern pieces 2 and 3 will form the back opening of the hot water bottle cover – the idea is for the edges of pattern pieces 2 and 3 to overlap slightly once the bottle is inside.

You now have three pattern pieces as follows:

1) Front
2) Lower Back
3) Upper Back

Cutting the Fabric Pieces

1. Layer your fabric as follows:

Lining fabric – wrong side (WS) facing (if applicable)
Cotton batting (folded in half to form a double layer)
Main fabric – right side (RS) facing

2. Pin each pattern piece to the stack of fabric and cut out all four layers of fabric at the same time, being careful not to angle the scissors as you do so. Remove the paper pattern and re-pin the edges of the fabric together. (It’s helpful to pin each corner first to help stop the layers sliding about.)


1. Using a contrasting thread, tack around the edge of each pattern piece, making sure the stitches are pulled firm, then remove the pins. Using a sewing machine, sew a few lines of stitching horizontally across each pattern piece – this will help stop the layers from sliding about when it comes to the quilting. Changing direction with each line of stitches will help prevent the fabric from slipping.

2. Using a ruler and stitch marker, start in the bottom left hand corner and mark diagonal lines across the whole surface of the fabric, placing the lines a ruler’s width (or 4 cm) apart. Once you’ve covered the fabric with lines in one direction, start at the bottom right hand corner and work your way across the fabric the other way – making sure the lines meet each other at 90 degrees so you’re left with perfect squares after quilting. Repeat for all three pattern pieces.

3. Starting at the centre and working outwards, machine stitch along all the quilting lines using a contrasting thread. Backstitch at the beginning and end of each line. Changing direction with each row will help prevent the fabric from bunching. Repeat for all three pattern pieces, then remove the horizontal lines of tacking stitches.

Trimming the Opening

1. Taking pattern pieces 2 & 3, cut two strips of bias binding to fit both opening edges

2. Unfold the bias binding and with the right side (RS) of the fabric and wrong side (WS) of the bias binding facing you, line up the edge of the bias binding with the edge of the fabric. Pin along the length of the bias binding (pinning on the far side to where you will be sewing).

3. Thread the machine with the matching cotton thread and sew carefully along the crease, 1cm (depending on the width of your bias binding) away from the raw edge.

4. Re-fold the bias binding and wrap it round onto the WS of the fabric (you can trim a little of the seam allowance if you need to). Using a slip stitch, hand sew into the fold of the bias binding attaching it to the lining fabric just above the line of stitching.

Assembling the Hot Water Bottle Cover

1. Assemble the hot water bottle cover as follows: Pattern piece 1 wrong side (WS) facing, Pattern pieces 2 & 3 right side (RS) facing with pattern piece 3 topmost. Pin all three layers of fabric together in this position.

2. With RS of pattern piece 1 facing, cut a length of bias binding to go all the way around the edge of the hot water bottle cover.

3. Open out the bias binding and with WS facing, pin to RS of fabric (same as in step 4) gently curving the bias binding around the corners and pinning any folds up away from the fold where you will be stitching. Machine stitch into the fold of the bias binding all the way round.

4. Un-pin the bias binding. You may need to trim the seam allowance by 1/2 cm or so, enough so that you can re-fold the bias binding and wrap it round onto the WS of the hot water bottle cover. Pin into position then slip stitch in place.

5. Your hot water bottle cover is ready! To use, simply fill your hot water bottle and insert it into the opening on the back. Once the hot water bottle is inside, the back of the hot water bottle cover will overlap, safely covering the bottle inside.

Congratulations! You're now the proud owner of your very own hot water bottle cover! If you feel tempted to give it a try do send me a picture, I would love to see what you've made!

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