My Mom has some holders for pyrex pans at her house that allow the glass dishes to go to the table HOT. I took my memories of these as my inspiration, went back to the thick felt, and created one.
Felt Casserole Cozy
- thick felt
- (a bib, so you do not drool on the felt, because it is so beautiful)
- sharp scissors (fabric scissors)
- paper bag – or other paper for creating the template
- paper scissors
- sewing machine
Create a template from a grocery bag (or other paper, if all of your bags are getting recycled) that fits around the sides of your baking dish. Tape the template to the dish, and adjust the fit. Place tape to hold the corners where you will stitch the felt. And put tape on the sides to hold the template along the long sides. Mark the changes needed, cut, retape.
Repeat until the fit is perfect
(Please note, I would offer a template, but the glass pans are now being offered in all shapes and sizes. Even in my house, this felt does not fit two of my pans, but it fits this lovely blue one perfectly. It is important to make your own template.)
This felt, priced by the square foot, is some of the most expensive stuff I have worked with. It makes me a little nervous to cut it. So the template is an important part of the process.
Lay the template on the felt. If you try to pin the paper to the felt, the felt will bow, and the paper will slide around. The best strategy is just to STAB the pin down through the paper and the felt.
Cut the felt. Take care to hold the scissors at a 90 degree angle to the fabric. Cut cautiously with long strokes, do not “chew” the scissors through this felt. The cut edge will show prominently, and the beauty of the fabric can be seen on the horizontal edge. Cut the basic rectangle shape first. then, for a better fit, go back to cut the notch to go under the lip/rim on the short ends.
Sew the holder in two stages. First, with a needle and thread, hand stitch the corner folds. Try it on. The felt does not “fold” happily so the hand stitching will take some energy.
Once the corners are in place, and even, run the corners through the sewing machine. The double felt is so thick, the presser foot almost does not go down. This is the thickest thing that a conventional at-home machine will tolerate.
The thread can be a contrast color (shown here in a burnt yellow) Or it can be a match to the felt. It would also be interesting to try some decorative embroidery stitches. Tiny scissors and tweezers will help to get the basting out.
And you are done
Here the notch is more visible
The felt sits low on this one. That was intentional – so that if a big dish of cheesie, bubbling goodness was passed around, this would not bubble over onto the holder itself.
Red stitching and/or accents would make this a beautiful holiday piece.
Red felt and white stitching would lend a Swedish feel to the table.
This was a fun project. It would make a great gift. And it will be around for years.
Happy warm casserole!
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