Thursday, 16 July 2015

In bed with a Hottie - Upcycled Tutorial featured in Hazed Magazine

Skill Level: Beginner/Intermediate (Just a bit more advanced than beginner level)

Just what you need to keep you snuggly on a cold winters night. And to keep you extra toasty why not try your hand at a hot water bottle cover? I have used a thrifted woolen blanket and sheet - however you can come up with your own eco-conscious cover using all sorts of upcycled garments - a woolen jersey, dressing gown or coat. Fabric to applique a design onto your cover can be nearly any type as you will fuse it with iron on fusing, giving it stability and strength. I have used a sheet for this one and neck ties for the hottie cover on the grey cover. Be creative, and feel free to send me pics of your creation, as I love to see what people come up with.

So what you will need to complete this project is:
Your chosen garments/linen/blanket
A hot water bottle for template
A sewing machine
Sewing thread
Sewing pins
Sewing scissors
Taylors Chalk or a light pencil
Ruler or tape measure
An iron and ironing board (or towel to iron on)
Paper or light card for a template and applique design
Sticky tape
Fusable interfacing/violene (make sure it has one side that has glue dots on it)
A button and loop of ribbon or cord for back closure

1. Firstly place your hottie onto paper/card and trace around. Now add 2cm around the entire template except the neck of the hottie. This part needs 3cm on each side to allow for the hottie to fit through the neck hole. This is your front template.

2. Now make a copy of your front template for the back. Measure ⅔ down this template and cut a straight line across. These 2 parts are the back template. You will now need to take the top part of your back template and cellotape 3cm on the bottom edge, so that your top back template ends up overlapping your bottom back template. This will provide the opening to slip the hottie into.


3. Label everything, pin the templates to your blanket and carefully cut around. You will now have 1 front piece and 2 back pieces.



4. Zig-zag stitch around all 3 templates to prevent fraying. You may find the material becomes wavy and slightly stretched. Just press it with your iron and it will return to its original shape.

5. Time to applique. Decide on a shape/symbol etc you like and draw or print this onto paper. Carefully cut around it (good idea to simplify it a bit if there are complicated areas, which is what I did with my NZ map).


9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 to make a small shape to applique onto the bottom back piece to hold the loop on.

10. Now pin the loop at the halfway point on the bottom piece near the top where the opening is.


11. Place your appliqued shape over the loop ends and zig-zag around it, securing the loop ends in place

12. Now place the top back piece over the bottom back piece and line it up until the back pieces are the same size as the front piece. Zig-zag these together along the sides to create the back opening.

13. Now you are ready to join it all together. Place the front piece on top of the back piece with the right sides facing each other.

14. Sew a straight stitch around the pieces 5mm in from the edges right around the pieces, starting at the top neck, and ending up back at the top neck.

15. Press the cover carefully before turning it in the right way. You may need to then press it again once it’s out the right way, to get the curves sitting nicely.

16. Lastly stitch a button near the bottom of the top back piece for the loop to go around to keep the hottie cover closed.

17. Now jump under the covers and snuggle your lovely eco-friendly hottie!


I made the grey one from an upcycled army blanket, to commemorate 100yrs since Gallipoli, and to pay tribute to those in NZ who lost their lives in the war.