Kitchen appliances are not the most beautiful things in your house to look at. Unless you have a show on the Food Network, they rarely match (each other or the decor), they are excellent at collecting dust and other not-so-yummy grossness, and they’re just not all that pretty when they’re not full of delicious food. So most people want to cover them up with covers that will match the decor, keep the dust and grossness off, and look good at the same time! Unfortunately, since every appliance is different, I can’t really provide a pattern for this tutorial. What I will do, however, is show you how to take measurements of your appliances, turn that into your own unique pattern, and then make your own unique covers!
I will warn you – there will be some thinking involved in this process. So I don’t want anyone yelling at me because math was involved! But with some very basic drawing (I believe I’ve mentioned that I can barely draw a stick figure, so don’t worry, it’s not complicated!) and labeling, you should be able to tackle this problem without too much difficulty. I do, however, recommend keeping a calculator handy, just in case!
Radar’s mom asked me to make covers for her electric can opener, blender, and KitchenAid stand mixer, which conveniently all have different but typical shapes. There are three posts:
The easiest is by far the rectangular cover. We will start off by measuring, which will be the same for all three tutorials.
Take the following measurements:
- Maximum circumference: the longest length you can find around the outside of the appliance (keep parallel to the counter). This is the minimum size you need the circumference of the bottom of your cover to be in order to fit on.
- Height: again, go for the maximum – you don’t want it to be like pants that were hemmed too high, you want those “ankles” covered!
- Width and depth: to give you an idea of the shape. Does not have to be exact, just pretty close (the nice thing about fabric is it bends!)
- Any other measurements you think might be helpful: since this is just a general guideline, measure anything else you think may be useful
Now that you’re armed with your measurements, it’s time to do the math. Draw a general picture of what you want the cover to look like. In the case of the rectangular cover, I drew a box (very much NOT to scale!). In my case, the can opener measured 4.5″ wide, 4.25″ deep, and 8.5″ tall with a 23″ circumference (it actually sticks out a little at the back, but a rectangle will keep it covered nicely). Add about 1″ to your width measurement to get your cover width (1/2″ for seam allowance and 1/2″ for wiggle room getting the cover on and off). Add about 1″ to your depth measurement to get your cover depth (same principle). Only add 1/4″ to your height measurement – as we said before, we want it to perfectly meet the counter, not be too long or too short. The 1/4″ will cover the seam allowance at the top.
The cover will consist of 5 pieces:
- 1 top piece (width x height)
- 2 side pieces (depth x height)
- 2 front/back pieces (width x depth)
But it’s not just made from the fabric that matches your kitchen. You’ll want to add a layer of batting (I prefer fusible, and fuse it to the outer fabric for a clean finish) and a layer of lining to cover the batting. I used the same fabric for the lining as the outside, just didn’t pay as close attention to the direction.
Once your outer fabric, batting, and lining are all cut out (and the batting is attached to the outer pieces), you’ll want to “quilt” your fabric. If you know how to free-motion quilt, go for it! I do not, sadly (it’s on my to-do list to learn how), but the fabric that my mother-in-law chose was super easy – I just stitched lines between the rows of the chickens (aren’t they super cute and festive, by the way??).
Quilted pieces, ready to put together
Now it’s time to start sewing it together. I opted to use my serger because it makes a nice finished edge, but as usual, you can use a regular straight stitch on a sewing machine. Seam allowances should all be 1/4″.
Start by sewing the top to the sides – pay attention to which side is inside and which is outside! Place right sides together for this step. Then sew the front and back onto the top as well, creating a plus sign.
Left: Sides attached to top. Right: All parts attached to top.
The next step is to stitch the sides up – it’s not too hard. You may have to play with it a little to make everything line up, but if you measured your fabric right it shouldn’t be too bad.
Starting to look like an appliance cover; you can see I didn’t pay attention to how the fabric laid on the interior – because who cares??
Now it’s time to finish off the bottom. Turn the cover right side out and pin extra wide double-fold bias tape around the bottom, overlapping from the starting point and folding in the raw edge. A quick note here on the bias tape you buy at the store. It’s actually not folded in half – one edge is slightly wider than the other:
See how the bottom section sticks up above the top side?
Put the longer side on the inside of the cover so you can be sure to catch the back side of the tape when you’re stitching on the right side. Stitch all the way around and you’re finished with your cover!
Rectangular appliance cover complete!
Monster thought it was just HILARIOUS to wear it like a hat… it made Peach laugh too!
Use the links at the top to check out my other tutorials for different shapes of appliance covers!