Dritz_2016_Leaderboard_Visit Dritz
Janome General-Leaderboard right

Facebook Twitter Sew4Home RSS Feed Follow Me on Pinterest Instagram


Casserole Carrier in Simple Marks for Moda Fabrics

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

Which dish are you in charge of for this year's holiday celebrations? Will you be whipping up Nana's famous lasagna or maybe a warm pan of apple-cranberry crisp? If your culinary talents are on-the-go this season, you need a carrier that can keep your special dish toasty on the car ride there. Our wrap-it-up design includes a handy loop to clip a pot holder and an inside pocket for a serving utensil. It would make a wonderful combo-gift for the foodies on your list. Make the pretty carrier, then wrap up a new baking pan you've filled with a homemade holiday treat! Today is the first day of our newest series sponsored by all our friends at Moda Fabrics. This week, we have a selection of clever carriers done in Malka Dubrawsky's Simple Marks. Malka is an amazing textile and fiber artist from Austin, Texas. She's known for her unique "alternation" of fabric, including hand-dying, bleaching, and stitching. The result is fabric with such depth and texture is almost appears to be three-dimensional. If you love the rich tones of this first Simple Marks collection, you'll want to keep your eyes out for the vibrant colorways of this spring's Simple Marks Summer

Our carrier is made for a standard 9" x 12" covered baking pan. You'll want to measure your particular casserole dish and adjust the four "fabric wings" to fit. We noticed many newer dishes have large molded handles. This would definitely be something you'd need to account for, especially for the short bottom and long top wings. We give you the basic sizing and all the steps; all you need to do is adjust to best fit your pan(s). As we often suggest, lay things out on paper first and/or make a prototype in muslin or another inexpensive fabric from your scrap bin. Sometimes, we even make our samples out of paper towels to ensure the dimensions are correct.

Simple Marks came out last month, November 2012, and can be purchased now from many of your favorite online and in-store Moda retailers. We found a great selection at Sew4Home Marketplace vendor, Fat Quarter Shop. Simple Marks Summer will be available in April of 2013.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

Getting Started

  1. From the fabric for the exterior and pocket (Simple Marks Pond Pebbles in our sample), cut the following:
    ONE 29" high x 35" wide rectangle 
    ONE 8" x 6" rectangle for the pocket
  2. From the fabric for the interior, binding and loop (Simple Marks Hand Dyed Pond in our sample), cut the following:
    ONE 29" high x 35" wide rectangle 
    ONE 11" x 3" rectangle for the binding
    ONE 4" x 1¼" rectangle for the loop
  3. From the insulated fleece (Insul-Bright in our sample), cut ONE 29" x 35" rectangle.
  4. From the medium-weight fusible interfacing (Designer's Lite™ in our sample), cut the following:
    ONE 2½" x 7" strip
    ONE 2" x 10" strip
  5. Pull the Velcro® apart and cut as follows:
    TWO 3" lengths of the loop side (the soft side)
    FOUR 3" lengths of the hook side (the rough side)
    ONE 9½" length of the loop side (the soft side)
  6. Cut the webbing into ONE 64" length.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Cutting the corner notches

  1. Place the interior rectangle right side down and flat on your work surface.
  2. Place the exterior rectangle right side down on top of the interior piece. Align all four raw edges of both layers.
  3. Fold both pieces in half lengthwise so they now measure 35" x 14½" and the interior piece now faces right side up. Make sure your layers are still even and laying together nice and flat.
  4. Mark the first corner cut. It should measure 9" up from the bottom raw edge and 7" in from the side raw edge. Make sure your measurements come together at a perfect right angle (a 90˚angle). You can draw your lines with a fabric pen or pencil, or mark with painter's tape as a cutting guide as we did.
  5. Cut out the corner notch through all the layers, keeping your cut lines clean and smooth. We used a rotary cutter. 
  6. Flip the fabric to cut the opposite corner notch. This notch should also measure 9" from the bottom edge, but should be 13" in from the side edge. Again, make sure you have an accurate 90˚ angle. 
  7. When unfolded and laid flat, you should have a cross with two corners that are 9" x 7" and two corners that are 9" x 13".
  8. Repeat to cut matching corner notches from the 29" x 36" rectangle of insulated fleece.

Layering and quilting the main front and back pieces

  1. Place the insulated fleece right side down (shiny side down) on your work surface.
  2. Place the exterior fabric right side up on top of it.
  3. Place the interior fabric right side down on top of everything. 
  4. You now have a three layer quilt sandwich. 
  5. Pin in place all across the "cross," leaving the longest 11" end open for turning (the 11" end of the 11" x 13" arm of the cross).
  6. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch all around, pivoting at each corner, and locking your seam at the beginning and end. Remember, that one 11" end is completely un-sewn.
  7. Trim back the seam allowance to approximately ¼" and cut in diagonally at each corner. If you are new to this technique, check out our tutorial on sewing and cutting corners.
  8. Turn the piece right side out through the open end and press well.
  9. Starting at one 15" end of the cross, mark quilting lines at one inch intervals across the entire piece. You can draw in the lines with a fabric pen or pencil (make sure it is one that will wipe away or vanish with exposure to air as you are working on the right side of the fabric). You can use painter's tape as guide lines (the favorite method of our seamstress, Aimee for this project). Or, if you have a Walking foot with a Quilt Bar, you can use that to maintain an even distance. 
  10. For more tips and techniques on straight line quilting, you might want to read our tutorial from our friend, and extraordinary quilter, Heather Jones.
  11. You want the quilting lines to blend in to the fabric, so be sure to thread your machine with thread to match the exterior fabric in the top and the interior fabric in the bobbin. We had coordinating fabrics and so used turquoise thread in both the top and bobbin. 
  12. Set your pretty quilted body aside. 


  1. Find the 8" x 6" pocket piece and the 2½" x 7" interfacing strip.
  2. Fold the 8" x 6" piece in half right sides together so it is now 8" x 3". 
  3. Unfold wrong side up so the crease line is visible. Place the interfacing along the crease line and centered end to end. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse in place. 
  4. Refold the pocket right sides together. Pin along both 3" sides and the 8" side, leaving an approximate 2"-3" opening along the 8" side for turning.
  5. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch along both 3" sides and along the 8" side, pivoting at the corners, and remembering to lock your seam at either side of the approximate 2"-3" opening along the bottom. Clip corners. Press the seam.
  6. Turn the pocket right side out through the opening. Push out the corners so they are nice and sharp. A chopstick or long knitting needle works well for this.
  7. Fold in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. Press flat.
  8. Place the quilted carrier body right side up on your work surface with the long end of the cross to the left, the short end of the cross to the right, and the upper and lower wings in the middle. The pocket should be placed on the upper wing of the cross with the open end of the pocket facing towards the long end. The bottom of the pocket should be 2" in from the right edge, and the outer edge of the pocket should be 2¼" down from the top edge of the wing.
  9. Pin the pocket in place along both its sides and across the bottom.
  10. Edgestitch the pocket in place along both its sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners and with a generous backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam, ie. at the pocket top. This is a stress point for the pocket and it's smart to secure the seam well. We used our Janome Quarter Inch foot to keep a precise seam. 

Binding and loop

  1. Find the 11" x 3" binding strip and the 10" x 2" interfacing strip. Center the interfacing side to side and top to bottom on the wrong side of the binding strip. You should have ½" of fabric showing all around. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing in place. Fold the strip in half lengthwise and press lightly to set a long center crease. Unfold, wrong side up. 
  2. Fold back each 3" end ½" and press well. Fold back each long side (now 10" in length) by ½" and press well. 
  3. Flip over so the folded piece is now right side up and the center crease line is visible. 
  4. Find the 9½" length of Velcro® loop. Center it within one half of the flat binding strip between the center crease line and one outside folded edge. It should also be centered end to end. 
  5. Pin the Velcro® strip in place. You can also use a fusible seam tape or a spray adhesive to lightly hold the strip in place.
  6. Thread your machine with thread to match the Velcro® in the top and thread to match the interior fabric in the bobbin. We had black in the top and turquoise in the bobbin. 
  7. Edgestitch the Velcro® in place along all four sides. 
  8. Re-fold the binding strip wrong sides together so all the folded edges align. Slip the binding over the raw edges of the open end of the carrier (the end you used for turning right side out). The side with the Velcro® should be on the inside. Pin in place. 
  9. Rethread your machine with fabric to match the fabric in the top and bobbin.
  10. Find the 4" x 1¼" loop piece.
  11. Fold the loop in half wrong sides together so it is now 4" x ⅝" and press. 
  12. Open it back up, wrong side up, so the center crease is visible. Fold in each long side to meet in the middle along the center crease. Press. Fold in half along the original crease line so the folded edges align and press again. Pin in place.
  13. Edgestitch along the folded edges to secure. Both ends are raw. 
  14. Fold the thin loop in half, aligning the raw edges. 
  15. Slip the raw ends under the binding on the exterior of the carrier. The loop should be in the exact center of the binding. Pin in place.
  16. Edgestitch across both ends and all along the bottom edge of the binding. Go slowly and make sure you are catching both sides of the binding with your stitching. 

Position the Velcro®

  1. Find the 3" lengths of Velcro®. You should have two loop lengths and four hook lengths. 
  2. Place the carrier body right side up and flat on your work surface. It should be the same direction as it was when you placed the pocket, with the long end to the left, the short end to the right and the "wings" top and bottom in the middle. 
  3. Find the four lengths of hook (the rough side).
  4. Position one in each corner of the bottom middle wing, and one in each corner of the short end. The strip should be positioned perpendicular to the quilting lines on the middle wing and parallel to the stitching on the end. Position the strip 1¼" in from the side and ½" up from the bottom. 
  5. Re-thread your machine with thread to match the Velcro® in the top and thread to match the fabric in the bobbin. 
  6. Pin or fuse each piece of Velcro® in place, then edgestitch around all four sides. 
  7. Flip over the carrier to place the last two lengths of Velcro®. They go on the inside of the wing opposite the wing to which you just attached the hook lengths. 
  8. As above, the strips run perpendicular to the quilting stitching and are 1¼" from the side and ½" up from the bottom. Edgestitch in place as above. 

The webbing handle

  1. Find the 64" length of webbing. Make a loop, butting the raw ends together. Make sure there are no twists and turns in your loop.
  2. Using a very tight zig zag stitch, attach the ends. We stitched across the joint three times. 
  3. Place the finished carrier right side up on your work surface. 
  4. Fold the handle so the seam is at one end. Place a pin at the opposite folded end. 
  5. Center the handle across the middle of the carrier. It should be positioned so the zig zag seam and the opposite center pin point (the point you marked above when you folded the handle) are both aligned with the center quilting line. The outer edge of the webbing should be 3" in from the edge of the carrier. Pin the loop in place from the center point outwards, stopping 1" beyond each corner. This end point should align with a line of quilting. 
  6. Here is a close up view of the positioning of one corner.
  7. Re-thread your machine with thread to match the webbing in the top and thread to match the interior fabric in the bobbin. 
  8. Edgestitch each side of the handle in place, starting and stopping at the one-inch-beyond pin points. Add a box stitch at the beginning and end to reinforce. In the illustration below, we've shown the handle stitching in black so you can see the pattern.


Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Aimee McGaffey



Comments (38)

Kate DeBorde said:
Kate DeBorde 's picture

Can't I make it with a normal 100% cotton fabric 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Kate DeBorde - I'm not sure what you mean by a normal 100% cotton fabric. That is what we specify. We always also specify the exact fabric(s) we use because many of our visitors like to exactly replicate our samples.

Kiernen said:
Kiernen's picture

Do you think I could make the handles out of coordinating fabric if I interfaced them?  If so, what weight interfacing would you recommend?  I don't have any cotton webbing on hand and I need to make one of these for a gift and won't have time to drive to the nearest store that would have the webbing. 

Thanks so much!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Kiernen - I think that would probably work. It depends on the weight of fabric you're using, but I would recommend the heaviest interfacing you have on hand. These handles need to be able to take the weight of a casserole pan.

chelo said:
chelo's picture

When do you sew the 11 inch end that is left open for turning?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ chelo - During the "Binding and loop" section. That open end gets the binding on the back of which is the Velcro® strip. 

Jane Coombs said:
Jane Coombs's picture

I am making this now. Why in Step 6 did you say to flip it. I ask this question because I messed up. Fortunately on the bigger side.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Jane Coombs - Not sure I understand the question. You are basically making two cuts at that point - in the opposite corners of your folded fabric. So, you need to cut on one side and then the other. When you unfold it, it then should look like the drawn picture. Is it the word "flip" -- flip it around, move it around, slide it around - most folks don't have a super giant work space. However works best for you, just position to make the cuts in each corner.

Jane Coombs said:
Jane Coombs's picture

I guess I have been around my gymnast grandson too long. When I hear the verb  flip my interpretation is vastly different than what you were intending.

Jacky said:
Jacky 's picture

Love this. I often take meals to people who are sick so this is a great thing to have. Pattern looks easy and straight forward.

Gma D said:
Gma D's picture

I think this casserole carrier is much cuter than the ones I've seen in the past...maybe because of the great fabric choices!!!

Joan B said:
Joan B's picture

Made this yesterday and it turned out great! With a pan and two oven mitts it will be a Christmas gift. 

Joan B said:
Joan B's picture

Made this yesterday and it turned out great! With a pa and two oven mitts it will be a Christmas gift. 

sbsantafe said:
sbsantafe's picture

I found these directions very confusing.  It would have been so very helpful to have had an illustration of exactly where to cut the "wings" and exactly where to put the Velcro. The close-ups show that you are indeed cutting the wings the dimensions you say, but a wider shot would have been more instructive as to where those cuts should be made.  Perhaps you could label each end to communicate what to do where.  When sewing down the 9 1/2" piece of Velcro (not 10", as it says in the directions), it would be good to say to make sure it's sewn to the lining fabric.  Plus, I have four 9" x 13" pans in the house.  After I finished sewing this, it did not fit any of them.  Not one.  So I have been sewing for hours and doing my best to follow these directions and now I have something that doesn't fit anything.  It's certainly well made and a great idea, but it will be going straight into the trash.  Perhaps you could provide suggestions for how to adapt these directions to fit the 9" x 13" Pyrex pans that are being sold these days, which all seem to have handles that stick way out.  It's been very disappointing.  I have had great success with many of the projects you provide on this site and I really enjoy reading your blog.  But I can't help but feel that this particular project would benefit from further editing.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ sbsantafe - sorry to hear you were confused. We made our sample for a 9 x 12 baking pan as stated above, with no handles. It fits and wraps great, however, we did go to extra lengths in the introduction to caution folks to measure their pan(s) first to be sure - especially calling out the issue of handles - even suggesting a paper prototype, which is often what we do. The Velcro is indeed 9-1/2" per the supply list and instructions - not sure about that problem. That Velcro strip is stitched to the binding, which is made from the lining fabric. I'm sorry to hear that wasn't clear. 

missk8t said:
missk8t's picture

In Aus, we have a lot of casserole dishes that are circular. Do you think this would be a design capable enough to carry those as well?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ missk8t - I don't think this design would wrap well around a circular dish. For that, you really need something like a shallow round carrier. I don't have anything that quite fits the bill on the site at this moment, and so will add this to our official You Asked 4 It list. In the meantime, you might be able to downsize either our round tool tote or round sewing basket below. 



Anonymous said:
Anonymous's picture

Trying again- Only made comment in order to save file!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

We're not sure the problem. A comment is not requried to save or print the project.

Anonymous said:
Anonymous's picture

I didn't have a comment yet, but I had to make one in order to save this pattern.  Seems odd!

YvonneLJ said:
YvonneLJ's picture

And to think we always used two teatowels knotted over the top of the lid of the casserole!  This is just beautiful and now on my To-Do list THIS week!  Happy Christmas to all!

MarciaFlorida said:
MarciaFlorida's picture

My SIL uses a carrier like this and it keeps that casserole stable and hot.

Maria Clau said:
Maria Clau's picture

I did it.. and i love it!!!

Greetings from Colombia!

Betty Davis said:
Betty Davis's picture

I decide last week next year for Christmas I wanted to do these for gifts!!  Thanks 1 year early!!!

Coucouzine said:
Coucouzine's picture

Another great great project and what a nice Xmas gift to make.  Thank you very much.  I would like to make a suggestion/ask a question: since your projects are always of professional quality, do you think you might be looking at a project for doggie booties in the near future?

Thanks again,


Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Coucouzine - nothing coming up in doggie booties, but we will add the suggestion to our official "You Asked 4 It" list. Thanks.

SallyLu said:
SallyLu's picture

This is going to make a great gift for all the ladies in our cooking group at church. I had picked up a spatula and pan to give as secret santa, now this will complet it!  Looking forward to the rest of the weeks projects.

Nicole Grenier said:
Nicole Grenier's picture

Bravo !  Vraiment adorable et pratique.  Idéale pour le temps des fêtes.  À faire sans attendre.

Thank you !

Carmen Wilson said:
Carmen Wilson's picture

 Cannot get the pdf to save...anyone else having problems with it?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Carmen Wilson - we have tested the PDF and it is working well. Please try again when you can. Thanks!

babs4008 said:
babs4008's picture

Love it!  Do you have a tutorial for the oven mitt?  What a great gift they would make!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ babs4008 - a tutorial for the oven mitt is coming up later this week.

lenka.steiger@comcast.net said:
lenka.steiger@comcast.net's picture

What a great carries this is. I cannot wait to make one. It can be a nice Christmas girft as well.

mpistey said:
mpistey's picture

Love this, great hostess gift for the holidays.  I'm excited about the rest of the week!

Pisces said:
Pisces's picture

I have been wanting something like this for a while, I suffer with dexterity problems so this will be handy for me with it having handles, thank you so much it's fabulous.

Add new comment

*Sew4Home reserves the right to restrict comments that don’t relate to the article, contain profanity, personal attacks or promote personal or other business.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.