Feb 20, 2009

Hot Iron Cover Tutorial

For several months now a couple of the Belles have been coveting the hot iron covers that we have on the irons at our meeting place. The ones we have and that I have at home were made by June Tailor products and called “Iron Cozy”. I know I purchased all of these at Hancock’s several years ago. We keep looking online and in the fabric stores but to no avail.

I found a pattern online from from Kay's Quilts recently. Pretty cool pattern as it is given for the standard size and for a travel iron size. Might make a good secret pal gift, door prize. I thought I would make one for my Black and Decker Classic iron as it is shorter than the standard size. Mom has the pattern too so we have been comparing notes a bit the past few days.

The more I studied the pattern and with talking with Mom, the more I didn’t want to do it her way. Isn’t that always the way? Look at a pattern and immediately start thinking of ways to change it? LOL I don’t think hers was lined with fabric and Mom said that two layers of insul-bright was just too stiff. Being such a visual learner, I didn’t quite “get” what I was supposed to be doing either. All the more reason to take off with what I am seeing in my head, right?

I looked at my existing cover and see that they had seams at the iron tip and two at the base to shape it and decided to make a prototype last night. Woohoo it worked but I didnt waste the insul-bright on my muslin prototype but I knew it would fit the iron quite nicely. Today I actually made my version with the insul-bright batting. I’ll share the instructions with you.

The pieces I was instructed to cut on Kay’s pattern looked huge! I narrowed down the oval shape considerably but checked to see that it would cover the metal part of the iron plus about an inch. I ended up drawing roughly an oval shape about 15 1/2 inches long and the widest part about 11 inches. I drew it on freezer paper but mainly because it was the widest plain paper I had around here. I folded it to find the middle and cut a notch out at the tip end and two notches at the base. Your iron may be taller so adjust that measurement as needed.

Oh almost forger the fabric requirements: Fat quarters would do it for the body of the piece but you will need more yardage of one of them for bias binding or self ties. Half yard on the insul-bright. Joann’s has it I am told and so does Hobby Lobby.

To cut I pressed the freezer paper down to the top layer of cloth but I did pin it to cut the outer fabric, lining fabric and the insul-bright batting but I used only one layer of it. Wrong side up on the outer fabric, then the insul-bright with the shiny metal looking side up (the instructions on the wrapper said to have that side be near the heat source) and the lining fabric with right side up. I did pin all three layers to cut it and then used some 505 spray to hold things in place but that might have been a little “bass-ackward”.

I had bought some coordinating ribbon to use as a tie to hold the cord of the iron for transporting. Really you could use anything---make matching fabric ties or that stuff like tote bag straps (webbing?) and a bit of Velcro to secure it like the commercially made product has. I folded the pieces in half, top to bottom to roughly find the middle for the ties and stay stitched all around the outside to baste it in place. I cut off about 24 inches of ribbon and halved it. The measurement might be a bit long but I’ll live with it for a while. Can’t stick it back on if you change your mind. I piled up the loose ends in the middle just to keep it out of the way.

In this step I was matching up the notched out edges and sewing a 1/4 inch seam from the lining side of the deal. The one on the left side of the base is already sewn. I was preparing to do the one on the right side of the base. I was using the regular machine foot at this point and would go on to overcast the three seams once they were all stitched in.

This picture shows that the cover is starting to take on the shape of the iron. It will need some way to hold the elastic to gather it in and mold around the iron.

I cut bias strips of the lining fabric 2 1/2 inches but way more than I needed for this little project. (Fold a big square into a triangle and then fold it half at the fold edge and start cutting strips---no need to do the continuous tube thing on something this small) I may make another or can use it for a quilt down the line so no biggie. I needed a piece about 50 inches long in order to do the join but you may need a bit more if your iron is taller than 9.5 inches like my classic.

I put on the walking foot and sewed the binding on inside of the cover. I pressed the binding to the outside with the seam right at the edge of the cover and stitched it close to the edge leaving an opening to put the elastic through. Yeah. there are a few puckers when I sewed the binding back but it won’t make any difference in the end as the thing draws up like a shower cap.

I used 24 inches of the 1/4 inch elastic that I had on hand but could have gone a bit wider. In the picture above, I had an old hemostat stuck on one end and safety pin on the other to thread through the track. Once you have the two ends of the elastic meeting, go over to your iron and pull the elastic up evenly. Mark the spot where the seam should be. I yanked it up a bit tighter and clamped the hemostat on it till I got to the machine. Sew the elastic together, cut off the excess, stuff the ends into the track you made and then sew the opening closed.

Here is the finished product. The ties hold the coiled up cord in a decorative manner.

I will tell you though—empty the water out of the iron if you are transporting it or if the iron is a bit top heavy and might tip over before you cover it. Ask me how I know, LOL. Just to be on the safe side, let the iron cool a tad and pack up the rest of your retreat stuff before you put the cover on.

So you know how I spent my morning! I would have done with it a little sooner but I broke one needle just as I hit the tip seam. NOTE to self: mash those down as much as you can with your finger, stiletto, whatever as you go around those thicknesses. The broken needle would not have been a big deal but when I tried to take the old one out, it feel down into the bobbin case. I got it out but it is hard to get those screws in and out of the plate on my Brother (Innovis NX-450) Third time was a charm on getting the bobbin case seated correctly too. After two failed attempts to sew, to be on the safe side I changed the needle again, changed the thread spool and bobbin since I needed thread to match the binding anyway as the top stitching would be seen.
I am waiting for a pan of cinnamon rolls to go through their 2nd rise right now. DJ was being a smartie pants about why I had to move almost everything off the counter to prepare to roll the dough out. I have so little work space in my kitchen. What else was I supposed to do? The exchange got even worse to the point where he suggested using my sewing table! I told him that he didn’t behave he would not get any rolls. He got me back by saying he would hide the coffee (which he makes, not me) so I couldn’t have a cup to enjoy with my rolls. Point taken. Hope they turn out. I should be thinking about making something for supper as well but the oven will be tied up for a bit. Soup from the freezer and grilled cheese it is! We went out to Captain D’s for lunch so lighter would be better anyway.

Tomorrow I plan on getting back to the sewing on the Cheese and Crackers quilt top with the participating FABs. (or Cheese Spread as Pam is calling it, LOL) I should have the rolls if someone will put the pot on!


  1. Thanks for the tutorial. I have been wanting to make one of these. Our guild has several of the covers and I thought about borrowing one of the to use as a pattern. Now I don't have to since you basically did it for me.


  2. Thanks for sharing your tutorial...it's way cute cover for your iron!

  3. It looks like the iron cover turned out wonderfully! If I put the coffee on, will you bring the rolls? I am looking forwrad to spreading cheese on the crackers tomorrow! LOL

  4. This is such a great idea!! Blogged your tutorial at Craft Gossip Sewing Blog: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/sew-a-cover-for-your-hot-iron/2009/02/22/

  5. Great tutorial Linda! I have a retreat this coming weekend. Thinking to make one for it! Thanks for sharing! 8-)

  6. I have been looking for a pattern for this cover!! I seen one at a quilt bee this week but it had elastic around it instead of the tie. Also, had a handle that came over the top and closed with a button. Thanks soooo much for posting!!!


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