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Soup Bowl Cozy for Hot + Cold
We’ve all heard the waiter’s common admonition, “Careful! The plate is hot!” At which point, we instinctively reach out to touch the plate… because we just can’t help ourselves! Hot dishes happen at home as well, and there’s usually no waiters to warn you about them. Instead, use our soup bowl cozy to protect yourself. Made with all natural fibers, it can go right into the microwave. So, even though they (who are they?!) always tell us only the food should heat up in the micro, we know that is not always the case. Say goodbye to “too hot to handle” with our cute cozies. But wait… there’s more. These cozies work just as well to protect your hands from too cold dishes, like ice cream.
S4H Fast Fridays projects are all about whipping up something wonderful in no time at all, and these cozies are super quick and easy. Set up an assembly line and create a bevy of bowl cozies in a single afternoon. They would make great gifts – perhaps with a family recipe for a special soup or a homemade soup starter mix. For summer flair, include some fancy ice cream bowls and spoons.
We made each of our samples from two fat quarters. Our pattern, offered as a free download below, assembles into an approximate 10” x 10” square, making this an excellent project for pre-cuts or scraps. Our original pretty picks are from Tula Pink’s Spirit Animal collection for FreeSpirit Fabrics.
Our sample cozies feature different fabrics for the inside and outside, which makes them twice as pretty. But of course, you could use the same fabric on the front and back. We added a layer of standard cotton batting to each layer.
It can be just as uncomfortable to hold something too cold as too hot. You can slip these cozies over an ice cream bowl to keep the cold at bay, slow the melting of the contents, and absorb the moisture that accumulates on a cold bowl in a warm room.
Use a low loft cotton batting, not a metalicized thermal batting, so you can pop both the bowl and its cozy into the microwave when needed.
Of course, these cozies are not just for the microwave! How many times have you poured a hot liquid from the stove into a bowl and then tried to carry the bowl to the table? “Owwwwww!” Put the bowl into the cozy first, then pour in the hot stuff, then carry it to the table. Much better.
Because the cozies are made from multiple layers of soft fabric and batting, they are flexible enough to wrap around bowls of multiple sizes. The main bowls we used are 6” in diameter x 3” high. But as you can see in the photo above, a larger and deeper bowl as well as a smaller and more shallow bowl worked just as well.
Our cozies finish with an approximate 4” x 4” flat base area. The height varies from 2½” at the top of each “dart” to 4½” at the point of each “wing.”
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Walking or Even Feed foot; or engage your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system, we used the built-in Janome AcuFeed Flex™ Fabric Feeding System
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: The quantities listed below are for ONE bowl cozy, multiply as needed for yourself and/or your gift list.
- TWO coordinating 100% cotton quilting weight Fat Quarters; we originally used Fat Quarters from Tula Pink’s Spirit Animal collection for FreeSpirit Fabrics, selecting two different prints for the inside and outside of each cozy – you could certainly use the same fabric for both sides
NOTE: If you choose not to use Fat Quarters, you’ll need fabric scraps or yardage of approximately the same size. The assembled pattern finishes at just 10” square, but it’s nice to have a piece a little bit larger to allow for fussy cutting.
- ⅓ yard of 24”+ wide low loft cotton batting
- All purpose or cotton thread to match fabric; some folks prefer all-cotton when making an item that will go into the microwave
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Iron and ironing board
- Straight pins
Getting Started and Pattern Download
- DOWNLOAD PATTERN: Download and print TWO copies the Soup Bowl Cozy pattern.
IMPORTANT: The pattern is ONE 8½” x 11″ sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the page to insure your printout is to scale.
- Cut out the two pattern pieces along their solid outer line.
- Using the arrows printed on the pattern, assemble the two sections to create the full pattern.
- From EACH fabric, use the pattern to fussy cut ONE front panel and ONE back panel.
- From the batting, use the pattern to cut TWO panels.
- Make sure you trim the side cutouts from all the layers.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Add a layer of batting against the wrong side of both the front panel and the back panel. The edges of the two layers should be flush all around.
- Using a fabric pen or pencil, draw in the two diagonal lines from corner to corner as shown on the paper pattern.
NOTE: As always when working on the right side of your fabric, make sure your marking tool is one that will easily wipe away or will vanish with exposure to the air or the heat of an iron.
- Lightly pin together the layers at the outside edges and along the drawn lines.
- Thread the machine with thread to best match the fabric. Slightly lengthen the stitch.
- Stitch along the drawn lines on one layered pair. First in one direction and then in the opposite direction, creating a large X.
- Repeat on the second layered pair. Take the time to re-thread with matching thread if need be.
- On both the front and the back panels, pin the cutouts right sides together. These cutouts are similar to a dart, but without the traditional center fold of fabric. This was done to reduce bulk.
- Rather than bringing together two marked lines as you would to create a standard folded dart, you simply align the raw edges of each cutout, right sides together, and pin in place.
- Stitch together using a very narrow seam allowance: ⅛” – ¼”.
- Press open the tiny seam allowances.
- When all four cutouts are sewn on both the front and back panels, your cozy has already begun to form its final boxy shape.
- Place the front and back panels right sides together. The outer edges of the the layers should be flush all around. The tiny seams should be aligned.
- Pin together, leaving an approximate 2” – 3” opening for turning along one “wing.”
- Re-set the stitch length to normal.
- Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch all the way around the outer perimeter. Remember to pivot at all the corners and to lock the seam at either side of the 2” – 3” opening.
- Trim back just the batting close to the seam on both the panels to reduce bulk.
- Clip into base of each “dart” to allow it to ease and curve when turned right side out.
- Clip the corners and press open the seam allowance all around.
- Turn right side out through the opening. Use a long, blunt end tool to gently push out all the corners. A knitting needle, chopstick or point turner are all good choices.
- Press flat all around, making sure the perimeter seam runs straight along the edge.
- Press in the raw edges at the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam and pin closed.
- Re-thread if necessary with thread to best match the inside in the top and the outside in the bobbin. We found it easiest to stitch with the inside facing up. You can really stitch from either direction, just re-thread the top and bobbin accordingly. Slightly lengthen the stitch to match the diagonal stitching you did above.
- Edgestitch around the entire perimeter. This stabilizes the edge and closes the opening used for turning.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild
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bonjour j’adore ce patron est-il possible de le faire pour bol plus large et moins profond merci
Thanks, Sylvie — As you can see in the photos above, this design fits quite a few sizes of bowls. If you wish to adjust it further, you’d want to try to re-draw the pattern – enlarging it proportionately all around. Then, make a prototype out of muslin or a similar scrap fabric and test it on the bowl you wish to fit.
I made a bunch of these using a different type pattern and used lighter weight fleece instead of the batting. Much easier to work with.
Hi Betty – There are certainly other patterns out there to try. We used and recommend batting because we wanted to be sure the entire thing was done in 100% cotton – even using cotton thread – to insure there would be zero chance of problems in the microwave.
I am making a bunch of these. My bff grandson, age 7 likes to rise early and MW oatmeal. Now his mom can stay in bed. These cozies could change the world. A big seller at craft fairs.
Thanks, Jane — we are ALL about changing the world 🙂
Love this, thank you!
Hi Doris – you are welcome! These are SUPER popular; I’m sure you’ll enjoy making and using them 🙂
is there a way to print just the directions, so I can have them at sewing machine with me
Hi Gail – look for the vertical SHARE bar that travels along the left edge of all our articles (if you’re on a smaller device, it may appear horizontally across the top) – this includes options to print and well to save as a PDF (you could also print from that) as well as social. You might also find this article on PDFs and printing at S4H handy: https://sew4home.com/how-use-sew4home-pdfs-articles-patterns/
Thank you soooooo much. Never realized I could do that. You have such cute ideas too.
You are welcome – and thanks for lovin’ our ideas!
Thank you so much for the free pattern and instructions. Your instructions are excellent. Thanks again.
You are so welcome, Wendy — these are a tried and true favorite. Enjoy!
I love this pattern so much. I printed out two pattern pieces and taped together to form one big pattern. I then glued it to some thin cardboard and voila, I have an easy template I just place on the fabric and trace. Works on the batting too. Love this, thanks so much for the pattern. Everyone is getting these for Xmas this year. Lol.
Hi Rosemary – yes! As listed above, printing two is indeed the way to go. I’m sure your friends and family will love them!
Me encantó gracias por el patron
You are welcome – enjoy!
I am not a seamstress (by any stretch of the imagination) and have at least one question at the moment. in the few clothing patterns I have made the arrows at a solid line mean to cut on the fold. Is that the case here? It looks as if two separate pieces(of the same fabric) are cut out but then I don’t see how it is stitched together. What am I missing?
I REALLY want to make these because we are traveling for Christmas this year and I am trying to make small items as gifts.
In this case, cut it out placing the lines on a fold or do what I did, print out two pattern pieces and tape together to form one piece. I then cut out on the fabric and that way I have actually cut out two bowl patterns at a time. Much easier.
Thanks so much for your pattern. FYI: I print all my patterns (mostly sew doll clothes) onto Freezer Paper and then just iron the shiny back side of it to my fabric – no pins needed. The Freezer Paper patterns can be used over & over many times before needing to reprint, but for the cotton batting, probably better to pin it, as it will stick too much to the Freezer Paper.
Thanks for your tips, Marge. And, you’re welcome — this is such a popular project!
What kind of freezer paper do you use? From a roll, or sheets. Do you cut it to paper size in order to print on it? Thanks 😊
I buy a roll of Reynold’s Freezer Paper at Walmart (I find it in the foil and plastic wrap section). It lasts forever and you can cut it to whatever size you need.
Hello Rose, I’m sorry, but with all the angles, points and darts on this pattern, there really isn’t an efficient way to describe all the measurements and insure you could draw/cut something that would turn out well. Perhaps you have a friend or family member who could help you print the pattern.
Rose, it isn’t hard at all. Take 2 10″ fabric squares, match up with 2-9.5 ” cotton batting squares. Starting with 1 matched pair, fold one side in half (with the fabric on the outside of the fold. Measure 2.5″ down from raw edge and mark a dot on the fold. Now, sew a dart 1/2″ at raw edge down to your marked dot. Do this on all 8 edges of the matched squared. Trim dart. Match fabric sides of the squares right sides together. Sew around outside edge, leaving an opening. Turn. Press..Topstitch edge in a 16th” edgestitch. Sew… Read more »
There are many other easier patterns online. I cut 10 x 10 inch fabric square, 9.5 x 9.5 inch batting. Don’t cut out sides. Instead sew 1 x 2 inch darts on each side then cut away the excess fabric/batting. End result is the same and so much easier.
That’s what is so cool about sewing — always lots of alternatives! Our patterns is loved by lots – especially those with no experience with darts. But there are always options.
Thank you for this great pattern! I have tried others and have struggled due to the bulkiness. Not with this patter and instructions. Your instructions were easy to follow and I love the way my bowl cozies have turned out!
Thank you, Christina! This is such a popular pattern and we love hearing a few of the reason why that must be so! Thanks for letting us know about your success!
MUCHAS GRACIAS, APENAS ME INSCRIBÍ, ES UNA MARAVILLA. MIL BENDICIONES, SALUDOS DESDE COLOMBIA.
Welcome! We hope you enjoy browsing all the projects and techniques!
Question … can these be washed in the washing machine?
Yes – they are all cotton and washable. But as with any project, it’s best to pre-wash your elements prior to construction in the same way you plan to launder them when done. You can find more details in our Pre-Wash/Pre-Shrink tutorial:
I have to try this. Looks interesting.
Really good instructions.AND if you quilt could use the leftover quilt batting to help make these.
Hi Mouse – Thank you – this has been such a super popular project, and – yes – leftover cotton batting is the perfect resource.
I am just learning to sew and this would be a neat little Project. How can I get the pattern for this. I am retired and wanting a hobby.
Hi Leisha – I think you’ll love this project. It’s very popular. All the instructions are right here on the page. You’ll find the pattern download link as the first step in the Getting Started and Pattern Download section above.
Hello, made a few for my daughter and I think she will like them. I was doing some research and found that someone had used mercercized thread and when they placed it in the microwave it singed the thread and ruined the bowl cozy. A lot of other sewing enthusiasts insist on the 100 percent cotton thread ( although very expensive) is worth it if you would like to have something that will last.
Thank you so much for the pattern, images and simplicity of something so needed when dealing with hot stuff.
Hi Delphina, we’re glad to hear you had fun with our pattern. Yes, we do also recommend all cotton elements as listed in the supplies above. It’s really the safest bet.
Thank you for an excellent pattern.Love to make useful items and they are perfect.
Hi Jenny – thank you so much. These little cozies are super duper popular; we’re glad to hear you’re having fun with the pattern as well. If you follow us on social media (there are links in the upper right of every page) we’d love to have you post a picture of the ones you’ve made!
Thank you for an excellent tutorial! I’ve made a bunch and need to send them off to family, short distance. What is the best economical way to do this for about 3-4 cozies? USPS shipping bag? Box?
Hi there — we haven’t shipped our samples anywhere, however, they are quite soft and lightweight, so I would think a simple large, padded envelope would work well. In terms of economy – that is something you’d need to explore on your end with your specific starting and ending zip codes. We’re so glad to hear you are loving the tutorial. It is SUPER popular.
While you think of hot and cold items: same thread but I want to encourage sewers/gift givers that these are a great idea or those going through Chemo. Help a friend of a friend, the neuropathy chemo can cause in hands and feet make touching/holding a very difficult thing. While we always think of family and friends with our home made gifts of love, make a few for an unknown going through Chemo. We all know someone who knows someone who has cancer. I now know first hand how invaluable this little tool is! On the upside, winning!
Hi Barb – What a lovely idea and so true. I remember well when a very dear friend was going through chemo how red and painful the palms of her hands became. Thank you for alerting us to this new use!
Made these for the whole family as Christmas gifts. Everyone loved them. Great patten and very clear instructions
Hi Lesley – Thank you so much for letting us know about your big holiday success! This is such a popular pattern and we love hearing how it’s reaching out into the world.
Hi do you have measurements for larger bowl please.
Hello Alzira – This is a full pattern so it is only available in the one size. As mentioned in the introduction, “Because the cozies are made from multiple layers of soft fabric and batting, they are flexible enough to wrap around bowls of multiple sizes. The main bowls we used are 6” in diameter x 3” high. But as you can see in the photos above, a larger and deeper bowl as well as a smaller and more shallow bowl worked just as well.”
Check you tube some has for bigger bowls and plates.
Do you have a tutorial on YouTube?
Hi Sherri – No, we don’t have a video for this tutorial, but the steps and photos here are quite complete. We hope you still give it a go.
I made these for my family Christmas gifts. I put an Anchor 2-Cup covered bowl from Wal Mart that is micro safe. Everyone LOVED them!
@MKP Design – Thanks for letting us know about your success with our pattern! These really are such a great gift idea!
Cozies you are very beautiful
Cozies you are very beautiful and many uses. I appreciate your idea of this.