The Fat Quarter Club - December - By Emma Rodgers

The Fat Quarter Club - December - By Emma Rodgers

Fat Quarter Club Subscription: Bowl and Mug Cosy

December 2022

As the wintery months of January and February start to draw in, things certainly start feeling much colder. But fear not because your morning brew and porridge will stay that bit warmer with this month’s My Guilty Pleasure Fat Quarter Club make. The kit contains everything you need to make a bowl and mug cosy, or you can use the bowl cosy on its own to hold things (like those leftover festive chocolates).

Bowled over

I’ve made a mug cosy before but a bowl cosy was new to me,  so I was delighted to see the pattern in this month’s subscription box. When scanning through the instructions sheet, I did have a mild panic at the word ‘darts,’ but I’m now a convert because of the clear guidance included in the kit.

The box contained the following items:

  • 3x fat quarters from the ‘Puffin Bay’ collection by Lewis and Irene
  • Bowl and mug cosy pattern sheet and instructions exclusively designed for Little Miss Sew ‘n’ Sew by Sew Cosy Patterns
  • Cotton wadding (the cosiest I’ve ever felt!)
  • Thin piece of elastic
  • 1x button
  • A sweet treat

There’s enough wadding included to make one bowl cosy and one mug cosy, but enough fabric to make several more of each item. If you want to make a few you’ll want to purchase some extra wadding if you don’t have any in your stash – same applies to the buttons.


Off to a tea-riffic start

There’s a fair bit of prep work to do before you put your foot on the pedal, so here’s a list of tools you’ll want in your craft box so you get you off to a good start:

  • Complementing cotton thread – there’s quite a bit of visible top stitching on the bowl cosy in particular so you’ll ideally want to use a colour which will blend in, especially if you’re not the neatest.
  • Fabric scissors and general scissors – one set for cutting your paper pattern and another for cutting your fabric. It is, after all, a cardinal sin to use your fabric scissors for cutting through paper.
  • Tracing or pattern paper– explained below!
  • Tailor’s chalk or disappearing fabric pen – you’ll want a colour that will stand out against the busy fabric.
  • Pen – the above tools won’t necessarily work well on the wadding, so go for a pen as you won’t see the markings you make when the wadding is sat cosily inside.
  • Pins – use to attach your pattern pieces to your fabric before you cut, to secure your fabric and wadding, AND to mark the gap you’ll need to leave so you can pull your work through.
  • Heavy sewing machine needle – the bowl cosy can be bulky in places once you’ve turned your work out, so you’ll want a sturdy needle when topstitching around the edges.
  • Ruler – you’ll be marking up the fabric and wadding for your bowl cosy.
  • Knitting needle or corner shaper – for pushing out those corners, but go gentle to avoid pushing straight through the fabric and making a hole.

Optional: Pattern screw hole punch – if you have one to hand, you’ll find this super helpful. Simply use the tool to punch a hole in the point and bottom corners of the darts, as well as the middle point, start and end point of the x on the paper pattern (do this on a cutting mat, not on the fabric). Then place the paper pattern piece over the fabric, mark the points with chalk through the holes and user a ruler to join the marks with lines on the fabric.

Alternatively, you can use pins. Simply insert a pin at the point and bottom corners of the darts etc, and as you pull the paper pattern away from the fabric you can mark the fabric with chalk before you pull the pins fully out (see pictures).


Keep calm and … cosy on

One of the things I enjoy most about the Fat Quarter Club subscription is the time I can take to create these little makes. They’re relatively quick and easy to do, which means you get the satisfaction without several days of being tied to your sewing machine. Because I get to take my time with these, I often spot things along the way which can save me time in the future, ensures I get the finish I want, or saves my sewing machine from a broken needle. Read on for some tips and tricks you might find helpful too:

  • One lump or two? – the bowl cosy requires some topstitching around the edges to finish it off and it’s definitely not a step you’ll want to skip as this helps to define the shape of the finished make. The inner corners of the bowl can be quite bulky once you’ve turned your work out and my needle was struggling to sew through this. To save myself a broken needle (which tends to be my signature move), I stopped stitching before I got to the bulky bit, reverse stitch ed to secure what I’d just done, lifted the foot to move my work past the bulk, and carried on stitching up the other side. You’ll still get the desired shape for the corners of your cosy. You may find that the corners of your mug cosy are also bulky. Snip the excess seam allowance on the corners at an angle to help reduce this.

  • A bit of bird watching – I used the puffin print fabric for the cup cosy as I loved this fabric the most. I was keen not to decapitate any puffins when cutting the fabric around the paper pattern piece, so to avoid this I traced the pattern template on some pattern paper and used this to cut my fabric out. The cup cosy has a 1cm seam allowance, so if you want to be extra sure you won’t end up with any headless puffins, simply measure 1cm from the edge of your paper pattern piece to check where the print of the fabric will sit on your finished make.

A hug in a mug (and bowl)

I fully expected to like the mug cosy more than the bowl cosy (because I felt it was something I would use more), but I love the shape of the bowl cosy in particular. The darts give it an undeniable bowl shape and it’s such a clever and effective little make. I can imagine using it to store my sewing bobbins and tools in. Both makes from this month’s Fat Quarter Club would make lovely gifts for people. You could personalise the mug cosy for a friend and the bowl could be used on a dressing table for jewellery. Another pattern for my stash (as well as plenty of left-over fabric) that I’m sure to return to again.

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