Hot water bottle cover how to…

We aren’t on a Christmas theme today. More snuggly winter, I suppose.

Anyhow. Little fella’s room has been chilly some nights, even if the heating is turned up.

I thought of a very English, winter thing to do would be use a hot water bottle.

Off to the shop to find one. All of them had covers with ladies frilly things on them-not what we want at all! We visited the charity shop which was having a sale on a few things. For 50p I bought this bed jacket (well that’s what I think it is).

old bed jacket/hot water bottle cover

Let’s design our own cover then…here’s how we did it…

Take one small eager pair of hands, pen and paper. Have your little one dream up some kind of design whilst you cut away at all the seams to make the fabric lie flat…

Ok, children still drawing? Good….Tape a couple of pieces of paper together.

Then draw around the bottle, adding about 1cm all the way around. You will want to leave a little more than that around the neck as it is a bit chunkier. Perhaps 1.5cm. Add a flap at the top for tucking in or buttoning closed later.

hot water bottle cover

You will want to fold the paper pattern in half just to make sure both sides are the same.

hot water bottle cover here you can see the line of the bottle, the extra bit that I added to allow for the neck, then the seam allowance. 

hot water bottle cover

Cut out that shape from fabric now so that your little person can draw whatever they want their design to look like, on it. When they know exactly what it is they want to draw, let them at it with the soluble pen, this will be the front.

hot water bottle cover (Oh yes, far more important things to do than to get dressed! We are on a bedtime theme you know;-) )

You can cut out the other pieces now;-) This is where I forgot to take a picture as we were talking too much!

Draw a line across about 10cm down from the shoulder, or you can just fold it. Lay it on your fabric then cut out the shape from the bottom to that line. You can see by the dotted lines in the  photo where ours were. Click flickr for a close up.

hot tottie 003

Fold again about 2.5cm below that line. Now draw out the top of the bottle shape (without the flap) down to the second line. Put them together against the pattern and they should overlap.

hot tottie 001

By now you should be clearing away all the bits and pieces until later. Your little one will be about finished with the drawing and you can let them watch whilst you sew the shapes on the machine. Zig zag or straight, whatever you and your little one want. Play with the machine’s patterns if it pleases you both.

My little man likes to sit on my knee when i’m doing a project like this. There is one golden rule though. He puts his hands under the table on his knee and doesn’t move them! Some children may do this, to others it will be plain dangerous. You decide. You could sit them on a chair next to you or just leave it until they are away from the machine. My little man takes part in many of my projects but I do choose when he can do this by the mood he is in on that particular day.

Now you can see that I have used safety pins to keep my fabric together. I have used two layers to keep the bottle warmer. You could either use one layer or two. Then again you could quilt it or use felt. The object of your desire…or whatever you have in your stash!

hot water bottle coverdrawn on…
hot water bottle cover sewn on…

So…I dropped the feed dogs and used an embroidery foot for most of ours. You don’t have to if you don’t want to. Don’t be too tidy, remember it’s a child’s drawing. Keep to their lines as much as possible. It doesn’t matter if it looks a bit sketchy.

You can see we have a rather nice little train going on.  Don’t forget to damp the fabric to get rid of the soluble pen lines when you are done. Clip and tidy. You are ready to assemble!

For the top bottle piece, attach a piece of bias tape to the top. Let it overhang at the sides, you will trim this later. You can do the same at the bottom. I used a double layer of the fabric and laid it on a fold so that all I had to do was to run a row of stitches along the edge. You can also do this on the bottom one as I have or just bias tape the edge again.

Put your nicely patterned front, face down on the table and your bottom piece, face up. Place the bottle top piece on, again face up. Pin. You should have a flap where the bottle will go inside. Open up the bias tape then pin all the way around. Raw edge to raw edge. Sew. Trim to tidy up the edges. You could use google to search for bias tutorials if you aren’t sure. If you are using felt you don’t need to of course, you can just sew it.

Fold the bias tape over then hand-sew to the other side. If you are clever you will use the machine but I think it always looks nicer if you take that extra bit of time to handsew it(because mine always turns out untidy!). You will want to add a snap fastener or maybe a button. This one is just a flap to tuck in. You decide, it’s your design!

hot water bottle cover
hot water bottle cover

Slip the bottle inside and there you have it! One warm bottle and a happy snuggly child!

If you got this far and understood what I was talking about, that’s great! If not please let me know how I could make this easier to understand.

I’d love to see any pictures of the ones that you have made.


2 Responses

  1. Very good article. I’ve found your blog via Google and I’m really happy about the information you provide in your posts. Btw your sites layout is really messed up on the Chrome browser. Would be really great if you could fix that. Anyhow keep up the good work!

  2. Thanks Gary, glad you liked the posts.

    I will look into the mess up with chrome, cheers for letting me know 😉

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