Facebook Twitter Sew4Home RSS Feed Follow Me on Pinterest Instagram


Fast Fridays: Soup Bowl Cozy

Printer-friendly versionPDF version

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. 

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. 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.

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 some of the other photos, 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
  • 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 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 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. 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 to create a standard folded dart, you simply align the raw edges of each cutout 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 layers, your cozy has already begun to form its final boxy shape.
  12. Place the front and back layers right sides together. The outer edges of the the layers should be flush all around.
  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 sides 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 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 (43)

retraite said:

super patron très contente simple a faire et efficace bravo et merci je suis fan de votre site

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

@retraite - Thank you so much. We're lucky to have you as a fan!

MzLollie said:
MzLollie's picture

I don't understand how you can get more than one cut from a fat quarter.  Since they are now on sale today, I sure would prefer to use them, but even on sale one pc per fat quarter makes it pricier than by the yard

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

@MzLollie - As mentioned in the Supplies list, we do recommend two fat quarters not one. The note simply refers to the fact that you can use two different fabric motifs as we did for the inner and outer layers (two different fat quarters) or you could use the same fabric for both sides (two of the same fat quarters). Using one fat quarter per side makes cutting the easiest, giving you the opportunity to fussy cut. That said, the pattern assembles into an approximate 10" square, and since a fat quarter is 18 x 22", if you are very careful with your cutting you could stack one on top of the other, taking up nearly the full height of the fat quarter. 

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

@Monette - Thank you. It's a super fun and easy project!

Beechbaby said:
Beechbaby's picture

We love these and use them all the time! I also made a set for a friend of mine as part of a "dinner gift" basket and they use them all the time for everything from soup to ice cream.

Simple pattern to sew, quick to come together and makes a great gift.

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

@Beechbaby - Yay! We're happy to hear the cozies are working out so well for both you and your friends. And, we'd have to agree that our pattern is simple, quick, and makes a great gift! 

Karen C. said:
Karen C.'s picture

I like your tutorial & pattern so much better than the one I had been using.  (1) you don’t have to make your own pattern and (2) fewer markings.  In two words, less complicated.  I incorporated a little loop like a potholder has so I can hang on the fridge.  And, one question.  I have a few all cotton towels that are still pretty tick even though they have been washed a million times, do you think that these would work as a substitute for batting?  It would certainly be less expensive.  I’m making a couple to send tp my son & granddaughter that live out of state for Valentines Day (Valentine fabric that I already have).  I think more meaningful than a card and definitely less expensive.  Thanks for sharing.

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

@Karen - We haven't tested the pattern with a recycled towel substituting for the batting, but in theory, it seems like it could be an alternative. The batting is probably the least expensive element of this construction, and the good thing is that with just a smallish cut, you can get several cozies. I'm sure your family will love whatever you make.

Jeanne F. said:
Jeanne F.'s picture

Thanks for the pattern and excellent instructions.  I can't wait to pull out some fabric and make a few for myself and my family.  They will love them!

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

@Jeanne - Thank you! These have been SO popular; we're sure your folks will love them as well. Have fun - and let us know how yours turn out. We always love it when our fans post pix on Social Media. We are sew4home on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, and sew4home_diy on Instagram. 

Debbie Thornton said:
Debbie Thornton's picture

I can see the instructions but where is the pattern?


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

@Debbie - in the Getting Started + Pattern Downloads section you'll find the link to the pattern. 

juju333 said:
juju333's picture

I've had trouble with other patterns - the wings are too "high" and the bowl won't fit in the cozy.  They were made with 10" squares, with 1" by 2.5" darts. Does this pattern have less "contrast" between the wings and the low points created by the darts?  In other words, more rounded and less star-like?

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

@juju333 - I can't really compare ours to others you've worked with since I haven't seen them. What might be a good idea is to print out and assemble our pattern and fold it into a paper prototype -- taping the "darts" in place. That will give you a pretty good representation of the finished shape and you can test it on your bowl(s).

Dorothy S. said:
Dorothy S.'s picture

I made some of these from directions I received at a craft fair. I also purchased 2 in different sizes. Tried them out at home and then made a large stack of each size for a Money Making event at a local charity. They went over very well. The only difference was the depth of the cutout. Mine had a shallow depth for plates, etc. Cotton was the only thing to use, easy to wash and looks great. Besides, look at all the patterns available at your local quilt store. I pulled most of mine out of my stash. They are very easy to make and so appreciated.

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

@Dorothy - Thanks for the seal of approval - they do seem to be a very popular accessory.

Susan Standing said:
Susan Standing's picture

Just bought all fabric and batting going to make two tomorrow, thank you for the pattern.

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

@Susan - excellent - we'd love to see -- if you follow us on social media, post a pic so we can all be inspired. We're sew4home on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter and sew4home_diy on Instagram.

Judith said:
Judith 's picture

I cannot access the pattern. I have clicked on the name of the pattern and on download with no success.

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

@Judith - So sorry you're having trouble. The pattern link is working great. This particular pattern has been successfully downloaded 100s of times since Friday, so I fear it may be something with your particular computer set up. Please email us at info@sew4home.com with a few details about your computer and browser and we can try to help a bit more. 

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

@realgrand - Rayon is not your best choice, it tends to be quite "melty" - as we list above, an all-pupose polyester thread is fine for the vast majority of uses - 100% cotton is another choice. This item is not meant to go into an oven, just a microwave for stanard heating or re-heating or can be used as a wrap for an already hot bowl of soup, or as mentioned, a cold bowl of ice cream. 

Theresa M. said:
Theresa M.'s picture

I would stick with just the 100% cotton thread. A friend made a bowl cozy and used some guttermans all-purpose ployester thread and it burned in the microwave. Better to be safe than to have a fire.

Melanie Lashua said:
Melanie Lashua's picture

I almost bought this at a craft fair just for the pattern. Thank you

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

@Melanie - You're welcome - can't wait to hear how you like it!

Sue Johnson said:
Sue Johnson's picture

I LOVE this pattern, but have what might seem like a stupid question. In step 5, it says to cut two panels of batting, but the photo shows the pattern pieces already taped together. Does this mean you cut one layer of batting or two? Common sense tells me that you only need one, but I wanted to be sure. Thanks.

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

@Sue - If you read through, I think you'll see that each fabric layer has its own layer of batting, so you you do need the two layers of batting. 

KarenN said:
KarenN's picture

This is a great idea! I frequently make a large batch of steel cuts oats and microwave individual portions over several days and my bowl is always so hot. Thanks!

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

@KarenN - Thanks! Let us know how yours turns out. 

Paula S said:
Paula S's picture

Do you have a suggestion for name-brand of the batting?  Is warm and plush okay for microwave? 


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

@Paula - Warm and Plush would be okay - the main consideration is that is be 100% natural cotton without any fusing. 

Piz16zolo said:
Piz16zolo's picture

Would it be best to use all cotton thread for the microwave? And what about the special "microwave safe" cotton batting that's out there?

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

@Piz16zolo - As mentioned in our ingredients list above, we do recommend either all-purpose or cotton. If you plan on extended high-output microwaving, you could certainly opt for the 100% cotton - if using for re-heating or simply as a proctective pad, either thread would be great. Also above, we recommend a 100% cotton, non-fusible batting, which is essentially what the microwave safe products are.

Linda Southworth said:
Linda Southworth's picture

Perfect timing for this tute.  This would make great gifts for neighbors, co-workers, family!  I have already juggled a hot bowl this week from the microwave so maybe one for me too!

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

@Linda - Thanks! They are super fast and easy so you certainly should make one for you first... then one for all your pals.