Hot pads and oven mitts are great, but sometimes can be overkill when all you need to do is protect your hand when holding a hot pan or pot handle while cooking. Time to downsize with a slip-on hot handle sleeve. Ours finishes, when bound, at approximately 3¼” x 6¼”, with the opening itself 2⅜” x 5¾”, which is designed to fit most standard cookware handles and is the same size as the options we found available from retail outlets. As always, we recommend testing the pattern against your handle of choice and increasing and decreasing as needed for your best fit.
S4H Fast Fridays projects are all about whipping up something wonderful in no time at all. The supplies shown below are for just one handle sleeve, but you need just very small cuts of fabric, batting, interfacing, and binding. It would be easy to collect everything from materials on hand, set up an assembly line, and whip up a host of handle sleeves in a single afternoon.
These handy sleeves would make great little gifts – perhaps with a new pan, utensils and/or a cookbook. Including a handmade item along with store-bought products always adds a thoughtful, personal touch to a present.
We worked with 10” x 10” pre-cut layer cake squares for our exterior and lining panels. The pattern itself is 3” x 6” so this would also be an excellent ScrapBusters project should you not have pre-cuts on hand. Natural fibers, like cotton are traditionally the best choice for hot pads.
Our sleeves call for two layers of thermal batting: one at the front and one at the back. As with all our hot pad and oven mitt projects, you could certainly add more than one layer if you feel you need extra heat protection. Just bear in mind that you might need to futz a bit more with the binding due to the extra thickness of the layers.
Our binding was done similarly to a traditional quilt binding with one line of stitching to start, then a wrap around to the back, and a hand-stitched finish. You can follow this option or choose your favorite binding method. If you’re brand new to working with bias binding, we have two good step-by-step tutorials on figuring and cutting as well as applying.
As mentioned above, out Hot Handle Sleeves finish at approximately 3¼” x 6¼”, with the opening itself 2⅜” x 5¾”.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Walking or Even Feed foot; if your machine has a built-in fabric feeding system, this is a good time to use it; we like to use the built-in the Janome AcuFeed Flex™ system
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: The quantities listed below are for ONE hot handle sleeve, multiply as needed for yourself and/or your gift list.
- TWO coordinating 100% cotton quilting weight Layer Cakes - one for the exterior and one for the lining
NOTE: If you choose not to use layer cake squares, you’ll need fabric scraps or yardage to fit the pattern, which is approximately 6” x 3”.
- ⅛ yard or scrap of 20”+ wide thermal batting; we used Insul-Bright by the Warm Company
- ⅛ yard or scrap of 20”+ wide lightweight fusible interfacing for the exterior; we used Pellon Shape Flex
NOTE: We do recommend Shape Flex because it is a 100% woven interfacing
- 1 yard of bias binding; we used Wright’s Extra Wide Double Fold Bias Binding
- All purpose thread to match fabric and binding
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Iron and ironing board
- Straight pins
- Sewing clips; optional, but our choice for quilting and binding
- Hand sewing needle
Getting Started and Pattern Download
- Download and print the Sleeve 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.
- Cut out the pattern along the solid line.
- From the exterior fabric, use the pattern to cut TWO panels.
- From the lining fabric, use the pattern to cut TWO panels.
- From the lightweight fusible interfacing, use the pattern to cut TWO panels.
- From the thermal batting, use the pattern to cut TWO panels.
- You can stack the fabric wrong sides together with the batting between the layers and cut the two exterior layers and the two batting layers all at once.
- Cut the binding into TWO 3” lengths and ONE 18” length.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Assemble the front and back “sandwiches”
- Find the two exterior panels and the two interfacing panels.
- Place an interfacing panel on the wrong side of each fabric panel. The raw edges of the two layers should be flush all around. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Collect one fused exterior panel, one batting panel, and one lining panel for the front and the same set of the three for the back.
- For each set, place the fabric panels wrong sides together with the thermal batting sandwiched between the layers. Pin together.
- Thread the machine with thread to best match the exterior fabric in the top and to best match the lining fabric in the bobbin. Slightly lengthen the stitch. If possible, engage your machine's built-in fabric feeding system. You could also attach a Walking foot or similar.
- Run two lines of parallel stitching vertically through each layered sandwich.
- Each line of stitching is 1” in from the vertical raw edge of the layered sandwich.
Add the top and side binding
- Find the two 3” lengths of binding.
- Open up the binding and place a length right sides together, with raw edges aligned, along the 3” top straight edge of each layered sandwich. Pin in place.
- Re-set the stitch length to normal. The stitching itself will be hidden, so it is not necessary to re-thread.
- Stitch in the fold of the open binding across the top 3” straight edge of each layered sandwich.
- Stitch edge to edge, locking the seam at the start and finish.
- With the bottom edge of the binding still folded, wrap it around to the back (the lining side of the layered sandwich).
- The folded edge of the binding should just cover the previous stitching line. Pin in place.
- Thread the hand sewing needle with thread to best match the binding and hand stitch the binding in place along the lining side.
- Repeat to add the top binding to the remaining layered sandwich.
- Place the two layered sandwiches lining sides together. The raw edges and the bound edges should all be flush.
- Pin or clip the layers together along the top bound edge. We prefer clips for thicker layers like these.
- Find the 18” length of binding.
- Clip the side binding in place, starting at one top corner. As above, the binding is open along one fold and the binding and fabric are right sides together. Trim as needed to leave approximately 1” of binding free and extending beyond the top bound edge. Clip the side binding in place.
- Bring that 1” free end around to the back of the sleeve and clip in place.
NOTE: The front and back of the sleeve are the same fabric. You choose which is your front and which is your back. It can be either side, just keep it consistent.
- Flip back over to the front of the sleeve and continue clipping the binding in place around the remainder of the sleeve.
- Wrap around to finish the opposite corner in the same manner as the initial corner, trimming away the excess binding as needed.
- As you did above with the top edge binding, stitch in the open fold around the entire outer perimeter.
- Start at the very top of one upper corner and stitch all the way up into the opposite top corner.
- Also as you did above, once the stitching is complete, wrap the folded edge of the binding around to the back of the sleeve and clip in place; this wrap covers up that original fold-to-the-back at each upper corner.
- You may need to ease the binding slightly around the bottom curves.
- Re-thread the hand sewing needle with thread to best match the binding and hand stitch along the top corners of the binding.
- To finish, hand stitch the binding in place around the remaining of the perimeter. Use tiny stitches as you did above with the top edge binding.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild