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Don’t know about you, but when I travel, not matter how organized I try to be, I’m always hurrying to finish packing my toiletries and make-up. I’m also usually trying to fix my hair at the last minute, which means there sits my flat iron… too hot to pack! This gave us the idea for today’s accessory: the hot tool case. It contains two hidden layers of metalized thermal batting. It looks pretty from the outside and is protective from the inside, so you can pack your curling or flat iron while warm… and still catch your plane on time! It’s also great for your gym bag.

Our hot tool case is cleverly created so you can pack it two different ways, depending on whether the tool is warm or cold. If the tool is warm when you need to pack it, put the tool itself in the inside tool pocket and loop the cord around to the outside cord pocket. This way you don’t store the cord next to the hot tool.

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If you pack the tool when it is cool, the inside pocket is large enough to accommodate both the tool and its cord, and you can put other items, such as a comb and/or brush in the outside pocket.

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The finished flat size of the case is approximately 6″ x 20″.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

The Loulouthi fabric we used is an older collection, but you can still find cuts from online retailers as well as on Etsy. We found a remnant of our selection at Fashionable Fabrics. We also found some coordinating prints at Fabric.com.

  • ½ yard of 44-45″ wide print fabric: we used Loulouthi Curated Bloom in AH39-June by Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit Fabrics
    NOTE: You could probably squeeze by with a ⅓ yard cut, but having a little bit extra gives you the ability to nicely fussy cut the cord pocket.
  • ¼ yard of 58-60″ wide heavy cotton twill in a coordinating solid color; we used 100% cotton twill in brown from Fabric.com
  • Scrap or ¼ yard of lightweight fusible interfacing for cord pocket
  • ½ yard of insulating batting; we used Insul-Fleece by C&T Publishing
    NOTE: If you are new to this type of batting, take a look at our tutorial on thermal product options
  • One package of extra wide double fold bias tape for top pocket edges and entire outside edge of caddy body: we used Wrights Extra Wide Double Fold bias binding in Berry
  • All purpose thread to match bias tape
  • See-through ruler or yardstick
  • Fabric marker, pen, or tailor’s chalk for marking fabric
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

  1. Download and print the TWO 8½” x 11″ pattern sheets: Hot Tool Pouch 1 and Hot Tool Pouch 2
    IMPORTANT: You must print all these PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
  2. Cut out the patterns along the solid lines.
  3. Following the diagram on each sheet, tape the two pieces together. Butt together your cut pieces and tape; do NOT overlap.
  4. From the print fabric (Loulouthi Curated Bloom in June in our sample), cut the following:
    Use the FULL pattern piece to cut ONE full 20″ piece
    Use the CROPPED pattern piece to cut ONE 14″ tool pocket piece – in other words, cut the top of this piece at the horizontal line marked “Top of Tool Pocket.” 
    ONE 17″ x 6″ rectangle for the cord pocket
    NOTE: We fussy cut each rectangle so the pocket print matched the background piece.
    TWO 12″ x 1″ strips for the ties
  5. From the solid fabric (brown cotton twill in our sample), cut the following:
    Use the FULL pattern piece to cut ONE full 20″ piece
    Use the CROPPED pattern piece to cut ONE 14″ tool pocket piece – in other words, cut the top of this piece at the horizontal line marked “Top of Tool Pocket.”
  6. From the insulting batting (Insul-Fleece in our sample) , cut the following:
    Use the FULL pattern piece to cut ONE full 20″ piece
    Use the CROPPED pattern piece to cut ONE 14″ tool pocket piece – in other words, cut the top of this piece at the horizontal line marked “Top of Tool Pocket.”
  7. Cut ONE 6″ x 8½” rectangle from the lightweight fusible interfacing.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Make and attach the narrow ties

  1. On one 12″ x 1″ strip, fold in each end ¼” then fold each side in ¼” so the raw edges meet in the middle similar to a piece of double fold bias binding.
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  2. Fold the strip in half again, encasing the raw edges and aligning the folded edges.
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  3. Stitch one seam the length of the strip, starting and ending as close to each end as possible.
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  4. Repeat to create the second tie.
  5. Place one tie at the center bottom of the print tool pocket piece, 5″ up from the bottom raw edge.
  6. Place the other tie at the center top of the print main case piece, 1½” down from the top raw edge.
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  7. Stitch each tie in place, following the existing seam line. I stitched back and forth several times for about ½”.
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    NOTE: If you prefer, you can skip this step and use narrow bias binding for the ties or ribbon. If you choose to use coordinating ribbon, make sure it is 100% cotton. Anything else could melt should it accidentally touch the hot tool.

Layering and basting the two sections

  1. Make sure all your layers are pressed flat.
  2. Find all three tool pocket pieces and all three main case pieces (print, solid and batting). Layer each set of three as follows: solid right side down, fleece, print right side up.
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  3. Pin each set of layers together being very careful to make sure all the layers remain flat and all the raw edges, especially the rounded corners, are flush.
  4. Machine or hand baste around all sides through all the layers. This will allow you to treat these three layers as one piece during the rest of the construction. I used my Janome Walking Foot to control the fabric. It helps keep multiple layers from shifting.
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  5. Trim back the batting close to the basting line. This will help reduce bulk.
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  6. Cut a 6″ strip from the bias binding and slip it over the top raw edge of the tool pocket layered piece. Pin in place.
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  7. Edgestitch the binding, making sure to catch both sides of the binding.
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Make and place the cord pocket

  1. Find the 17″ x 6″ cord pocket and the 8½” x 6″ interfacing. Following manufacturer’s directions, fuse the interfacing to one half of the wrong side of the cord pocket piece.
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  2. Fold the interfaced pocket piece right sides together, aligning all the raw edges. Pin along the 6″ side.
  3. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along the 6″ side only.
  4. Turn right side out and press well.
  5. Place the pocket on the print side of the main case layered piece. The bottom is the seamed edge; the top is the folded edge. The bottom seamed edge should be placed approximately 4″ from the bottom raw edge of the main case layered piece. This is approximate because if you have fussy cut your pocket to match your fabric, you may need to slide it up or down slightly to get a good match, but try to stay close to the 4″ from the bottom mark.
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  6. When you have your placement set, pin in place, then edgestitch in place across the bottom only.
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Attaching the binding

  1. Place the tool pocket layered piece onto the main case layered piece so the bottom curved edges match, the solid sides are facing in, and the print sides are facing out.
  2. We are attaching our bias tape binding using the traditional method. I’ve summarized my steps, but if you are new to this technique, check out our tutorial: Bias Tape: How To Make It & Attach It.
  3. You’ll notice the bias tape’s folded edges are slightly different in width. Unfold the NARROWER edge and position it right side down along the edge of the case. Align the crease of bias tape with the basting stitch line on the case.
    NOTE: You are working on the INSIDE of the case – the tool pocket side.
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  4. Start pinning at the bottom. Leave about a 2″ of binding tail loose at the beginning, then continue to pin all the way around the case, stopping about 2-3″ from your starting point and leaving another 2″ tail.
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  5. Don’t be afraid to take a little time to futz with the rounded corners and feel free to use a lot of pins. The bias binding is made to curve… you just gotta work at it a little.
    NOTE: It’s also a good idea to pin your little ties out of the way so they don’t accidentally get caught up in the binding.
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  6. Stitch the bias tape to the fabric, following the fold. Because you are stitching right along the fold line, it’s pretty easy to follow and keep your stitching straight. I continued using my Janome Walking Foot because you’re going through a LOT of layers with this project. Remember to leave the beginning and end of the binding loose. This will allow you the extra length you need to join your binding end-to-end, then attach it to the fabric for a clean finish.
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  7. You now have the tail you left at the beginning and the tail you left at the end. Unfold the binding strips and place the two binding tails right sides together.
  8. Determine the point where you can sew a straight seam that will allow your binding to lay flat against fabric. Pin the ends together at this point.
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  9. Pull the binding away from the fabric so you can place it under the foot of your sewing machine.
  10. Sew a seam where you pinned the binding. Trim the tails to a ¼” seam allowance.
  11. The binding should now be a perfect fit against the case. Fold this loose section of the binding back into its original shape and pin in place.
  12. Finish sewing the binding in place, joining your starting and ending points and matching the seam lines.
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  13. Press the binding up and away from the fabric and fold it around to the other side. It should align just beyond your previous stitching line.
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  14. Make sure your fold is even all around the edge. Again, you may need to futz with the rounded corners a little bit on the back to make sure they lay just right. Pin well!
  15. Here’s what mine looked like from the outside…
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  16. and the inside.
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  17. Edgestitch your binding in place, stitching on the inside of the case (the same side on which you made your first binding seam). I used my Janome Ditch Quilting foot to allow me to stay very straight and as close to the edge as possible.
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  18. Press and steam so it is nice and flat.
  19. Carefully check both sides; if any of the original basting stitches show, simply pick them out with a seam ripper.

Hints and Tips

Clean Finishing Option

I used the steps above to create our sample, and it turned out fine. However, if I were to do it again, I think I would choose to hand stitch the binding in place at the final step (step #17 above) for the cleanest finish.

This is the type of finish many quilters prefer for their quilt binding. All the steps are exactly the same as above, but instead of machine stitching all the way around, slip stitch or whip stitch the binding in place from the outside (the cord pocket side).

This technique was used on our Ruffled Table Runner project if you’d like to see step-by-step photos.


Project Design: Alicia Thommas 
Sample Creation: Liz Johnson

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4 years ago

Thanks for the great tutorial

Thanks for the great tutorial.  I made my own binding, instead of using bias binding.  I didn’t cut the binding strips on the bias and felt it worked out fine.  I cut out 2 1/4 inch strips for the binding.

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