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Fast Fridays: Soup Bowl Cozy for Hot & Cold

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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 or 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 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 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 ice cream, and absorb the moisture that accumlates 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.

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

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 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 22”+ 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 + Pattern Download

  1. 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.
  2. Cut out the two pattern pieces along their solid outer line.
  3. Using the arrows printed on the pattern, assemble the two sections to create the full pattern.
  4. From EACH fabric, use the pattern to fussy cut ONE front panel and ONE back panel.
  5. From the batting, use the pattern to cut TWO panels.
  6. Make sure you trim the side cutouts from all the layers.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. Lightly pin together the layers at the outside edges and along the drawn lines.
  4. Thread the machine with thread to best match the fabric. Slightly lengthen the stitch.
  5. Stitch along the drawn lines on one layered pair. First in one direction and then in the opposite direction, creating a large X.
  6. Repeat on the second layered pair. Take the time to re-thread with matching thread if need be.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Stitch together using a very narrow seam allowance: ⅛” - ¼”.
  10. Press open the tiny seam allowances.
  11. When all four cutouts are sewn on both the front and back panels, your cozy has already begun to form its final boxy shape.
  12. 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.
  13. Pin together, leaving an approximate 2” - 3” opening for turning.
  14. Re-set the stitch length to normal.
  15. 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.
  16. Trim back the batting close to the seam on both the panels to reduce bulk.
  17. Clip into base of each “dart” to allow it to ease and curve when turned right side out.
  18. Clip the corners and press open the seam allowance all around.
  19. 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.
  20. Press flat all around, making sure the perimeter seam runs straight along the edge.
  21. Press in the raw edges at the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam and pin closed.
  22. 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.
  23. Edgestitch around the entire perimeter. This stabilizes the edge and closes up the opening used for turning.


Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild


Comments (7)

minion89 said:
minion89's picture

Cozies you are very beautiful and many uses. I appreciate your idea of this.

drlgeiger said:
drlgeiger's picture

I was surprised you didn't discuss the batting more.  Needs to be 100% cotton, such as wrap and zap, no polyester or anything like insul brite which is great but not microwavable....



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

@Laura - We did mention it in the intro: Use a low loft cotton batting, not a metalicized thermal batting, so you can pop both the bowl and its cozy into the microwave." and it's also in the supply list itself as "all cotton." But, yes, it is important to remember. Thanks for that.

cweinkam said:
cweinkam's picture

I made a slightly smaller version of this (6" square) for my daughter to use for microwaving her lunches. Since she has the use of only one hand I added handles.

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

@cweinkam - So sorry, our comments software doesn't allow photos, but it sounds super cool and we'd love to see a picture so we can all be inspired by the adaptations you made. If you follow us on social media, that's a great place to share. We're sew4home on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook and sew4home_diy on Instagram. 

BQuinn1234 said:
BQuinn1234's picture

I have made these in the past & was very pleased with them, but in my moving everything has gotten misplaced. So I will have to start over & make some more

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

@BQuinn1234 - Sounds like an excellent reason to make more!