Did you enjoy this project? Why not save it to one of your Sewing or Craft and DIY Pinterest Boards!
Fall Sewing Project – Leaf Pot Holder
Treat youreself or a dear friend to a practical handmade piece this autumn!
This week we will look at two beautiful DIY craft projects just perfect for the fall season! It’s all leaves leaves leaves with autumn already here so I have prepared two lovely ideas for you! One is great as an activity that you can do with your kids (coming soon)! The other project is a practical treat or a gift idea, and more fun for grown up sewing lovers. And that’s the one I will begin with today – beautiful Leaf Pot Holder!
Before jumping onto the project and showing you how I completed my botanical style pot holder, let me have a look at some of the most commonly asked questions. It also gives me an opportunity to make a small disclaimer in regards to the material used. Plus it will help us determine what options we have in terms of sizing as well. So here are the Q&A’s!
How do you make a pot holder?
There are different ways to make a pot holder, depending on the style and size you like. Today, we will look at a simple ‘mat-type’ design which is really easy! It’s a great project for any sewing beginner to practice on, made by layering four pieces of fabric and adding embroidery detailing for texture and design. At the end, a small loop is added for the pot holder to hang nicely in the kitchen!
How big should a pot holder be?
As mentioned above, this very much depends on the design you have chosen to make. There are several types of pot holders, from simple square mats to mitt-type pot holders. These could also be single or double oven gloves. The average size of a mat style pot holder is anywhere between 15-20×15-20cm. Our today’s project (if you use the PDF pattern provided) is approx. 20x25cm when finished. Of course, single and double oven gloves will be slightly bigger/longer.
What are pot holders made of?
This is where my disclaimer comes in. For this project, I will be using a combination of 100% cotton fabric and 100% polyester felt for the inside padded lining. These two fabrics are not considered heat resistant fabrics, so it is important to note this before using the pot holder in the kitchen. In general, I find that this material is perfectly fine for regular use around the stove. By regular I mean carrying a hot bowl of soup, opening the oven and handling hot glass baking tray, or maybe handling hot pots and lids while cooking. All these tasks I have always been fine to carry out with my handmade pot holders.
Can you use fleece for pot holders?
Personally, I would not choose fleece for the outside of the pot holder. However, for the inner lining and padding it works just fine.
Leaf Pot Holder – lovely fall craft project to practice your sewing!
It’s always nice to have your kitchen looking neat and stylish! All the little details make a difference – an old rustic looking table, mismatched chairs, large plants all over or small handmade touches that bring a sense of home. I really enjoy sewing and my two most favourite materials to work with are cotton and linen in fabric or yarn. Linen, mainly in mid weight and gorgeous oatmeal shade, I use to make original clothing pieces available in the shop. Also, recently I took my creative journey as a painter seriously and started using the linen as a textile canvas. Fabrics s are incredibly versatile so it’s been my mission to combine the two main joys – textile techniques and painted art.
Cotton is another beautiful, creative and incredibly practical fabric. Unless blended with other materials, it is usually non-stretchy which makes it easier for sewing. Often times, I recycle old cotton clothes with lovely texture or pattern. I often use bedding sheets or large men’s shirts because they offer large fabric pieces to work with! Today, we will also use a large men’s shirt – what a trendy way to reuse what’s already out there!
Supplies you’ll need:
- cotton fabric to match the felt (I upcycled an old men’s 100% cotton shirt with a lovely neutral botanical pattern. You can use cotton by yard, scraps, whatever you prefer.)
- 2 pieces of 30x30cm felt (alternatively you can use multiple layers of cotton used for the outer layer)
- sewing thread
- free motion quilting foot
- 10 cm of 5mm rustic thread for the loop
- a pair of scissors (alternatively you can use a cutting board and round quilting knife)
- free PDF leaf pattern available for Download
Print out the free PDF leaf pattern and cut it out. Place the paper leaf on the fabric (I used the back of the shirt because it offers the largest piece of the fabric) and draw a line around to trace the leaf onto the fabric. Repeat this to have two pieces – front and back.
Cut the pieces out including approx. 1 inch seam allowance, and place the pieces onto the felt. Trace the leaf again onto the felt by making a line with a soft pencil. Once both leaves are drawn onto the felt, cut them out. This time the allowance is already included so you cut right on the line.
Free motion embroidery:
Place the cotton fabric leaves separately, on top of the felt leaves, wrong sides together. Secure with pins and you are ready to embroider on the right side of the cotton fabric, with the felt underneath. Of course, you can also do this step once the pot holder is finished. However, it’s usually easier on the sewing maching if you can reduce the number of layers it needs to sew through.
Machine setting for embroidery:
Install the free motion quilting foot – it should look similar to the open type shown on the image above. Choose which colour thread you’ll use for top and bottom and get both threads ready. I am definitely a fan of neutrals, and despite the botanical pattern of the shirt, my fabric was quite light. I chose a bright green sewing thread to embroider with, to introduce some autumn colour.
Then I set the sewing machine to button hole setting – first step, and reduced the stitch distance from 1 to almost 0. This gave me a lovely, wide (yet small) zig-zag stitch to work with for my embroidery. You can of course use a regular stitch if you prefer. The free motion quilting foot will still allow you to move your fabric around, to follow the pattern.
Now you’re ready to stitch the leaf along the lines, to create a realistic texture on the leaf. Repeat this for both pieces before sewing them together.
With the embroidery finished, place the front and back pieces on top of each other, right sides together. Secure with pins and sew them together approx. 1cm away from the edge. Sew with a simple stitch, leaving a small opening at the bottom. The opening will allow you to turn the piece inside out once you’ve sewn the sides together. When turned inside out, you can iron the piece nice and flat for easier finish.
Before the final sewing, create the loop by folding approx. 8cm thread in half and inserting it into the opening. You can also create a fabric loop by sewing a small rectangle piece of fabric (1 x 4 inch) together and turning it inside out. However, I felt that the botanical design fits beautifully with the rustic style of the thread. Secure the loop with a pin and sew the final stitch around, approx. 2-3mm from the edge.
Well done for making a beautiful fall-inspired sewing project! You have made a lovely piece for your own kitchen or to treat someone to! The care is simple. Cotton pot holder can be washed at 40 degrees C and ironed at mild temperature once dry!
Did you enjoy this project? Why not saving it to one of your Sewing or Craft and DIY Pinterest Boards!
More great sewing articles to read!