Sunday, November 18, 2012

It's Hard to Find a Decent Gothic Potholder These Days ...

Welcome to another edition of Crafting with the Insomniac - this week's post a result of the difficulties one has experienced in the past trying to find appealing kitchen linens for everyday use. Although such items can often be found during the Hallowe'en shopping season, they are generally of poor quality and sometimes border on the tasteless, as if that's ever been a deterrent. But as the current pair of damask oven mitts are ready for the bin, one thought to share a short tutorial this week on making your own - the hardest part of this project will be choosing the fabric.

The insomniac  opted for this one, which was brought to the attention of the “Ladies in Black” by Laura of Roses and Vellum. Which was very unselfish of her, because had the insomniac  been the one to discover it, she most likely would have kept that information to herself. A collage of skulls, ravens, toads, owls, bats and damask patterns, it has a little bit of everything the insomniac  loves. The fabric speaks to her, and what it appears to be saying is, “Five yards is not enough. Why did you only purchase five yards? What were you thinking?” Something along those lines, anyway.

Michael Miller - Nevermore Collection

Your first order of business will be to find some insulated material. Unfortunately, you're on your own here, as one has absolutely no idea what this stuff is actually called. It is a quilted fabric with a silvery metallic heat-resistant outside and a cotton muslin inside.

L-R:
Heat Resistant Side of Fabric
Cotton Muslin Side of Fabric

Now, while you might be the kind of person who can pull things out of the oven with just one potholder, a dish towel, your shirt or whatever else is at hand, the insomniac  is not such a person. She requires two large oven mitts that go halfway up her forearm, so as to avoid the risk of charred flesh and possible damage to the tattoos. Should you also be such a person, please repeat the next three steps twice - once for each oven mitt. And if you're planning on making a simple round potholder, you probably don't need a tutorial and might want to skip ahead.

Cut out front and back of oven mitt
from the insulated material,
using this pattern.

Cut out front and back of oven mitt
from the fabric.

Baste fabric to insulated material, with
cotton muslin side of insulated material
on the inside of the oven mitt.

Rather than use a purchased bias tape to enclose the seams, today we'll be making our own using a handy little tool called, unsurprisingly, a Bias Tape Maker. Select a complementary fabric, perhaps something left over from a past project that isn't large enough to do much else with. One has chosen to make a one-inch bias tape to fit around the thickness of the oven mitt. The following instructions are very brief as, should you decide to purchase a Bias Tape Maker, much clearer instructions than the insomniac  could ever hope to provide will be included in the package.

Create the first 45° line.

Cut 2" wide strips.

Sew all the strips together.

Run fabric through the Bias Tape Maker.

Now you have, literally, miles
of bias tape for future projects.

Bias tape sewn onto the top of oven mitts.

Normally at this point, the oven mitts would be sewn wrong sides together and the exposed seams enclosed in more bias tape. But apparently a little bit of stripey accent goes a long way and adding even more stripey accents made it a bit too busy, even for the insomniac's  tastes. Which was odd, considering her “tastes” are best described as completely over the top, bordering on the garish.

The mitts were sewn right sides together. While one had planned on neatly finishing the seams with the serger, it was protesting quite vocally about the two layers of  insulated material, so a simple straight seam with a zigzag stitch to finish off the edges was used instead. The second hardest part of the project was turning the oven mitt right side out - the handle of a wooden spoon helped push the thumb out quite nicely.

Messy inside sewing.

But as a wise woman once said,
“Ah well, that will just have to do.”

The last remaining pieces of the insulated material were used to create hot mats for the Dining Room Table. They, plus the new oven mitts, have been safely put away until the night before the Annual Christmas Potluck so as to remain in pristine condition until then.

Four hot mats are not enough. Why did you only make four hot mats?

Add bias tape loops if you like to hang your oven mitts.

Come the New Year, one already has plans for matching placemats, an apron and a tea cozy because (as you probably already guessed) an additional six yards of fabric have been purchased. Which is the only reason the insomniac  has shared the fabric source, in a completely selfless manner just like Laura, because eleven yards just might be enough. But if not, the Michael Miller rep was contacted this week ... is a $1000 minimum order a tad too much fabric, do you think? Quoth the raven, “Never! More!!”

Until next time, the insomniac  wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams. Goodnight, my pretties.

IA


PostScript: The insomniac  was delighted at having made it through yet another year, celebrating her Fifty-Seventh birthday this week. Only three more years and she'll qualify for Senior Citizen Status; apparently she has already achieved Crone Status. Which evidently is not as insulting a comment as was first thought, when she was referred to as such recently ...

24 comments:

  1. LOVE them, I love those oven mitts! Such great fabric. I have two "gothic" potholders my best friend made for me years ago, with black cats. But they are also falling to pieces :(

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    1. They lasted you years? Very Impressive! It seems as though every year around this time, the insomniac  is forced to make another pair because the old ones are burnt to a crisp ... :P

      They are seriously easy to make, Ms. Misantropia - you really must give it a try! Or maybe you could just purchase some of the fabric and give it to your friend along with the pattern. That's a fairly subtle hint, isn't it? ;o)

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  2. I really love the patterns and designs on your pot holders and hot mats. I've been thinking...perhaps we should move the Insomniac and her Gothic Mansion down here. We could really benefit from her craftiness.

    Congratulations on getting through another year. It's nice to know that there are at least a few older Gothic folks around. Hmm...Come to think of it, that's even more reason to magically transport the Insomniac and her entire estate to this WARMER location.

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    1. Thank you, Nightwind! A fabric worthy of stockpiling, indeed! But surely there must be a few crafty elderly Goths down in the Ozarks, though? ;o)

      And yes, the thought of how appealing it would be to head south for the winter has already crossed one's mind - usually in January. Amazingly, one has come to the rather ridiculous conclusion she might actually miss the winter!?!! Although that could change ...

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  3. That's sooooooo fantastic... the fabric is soooo fabulous... and the things you've made... so cool!!!

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    1. The fabric is fabulous ... and thank you, Madame Kismet! :D

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  4. Ohh that fabric!! ♥__♥ So pretty! And bravo to you for making such lovely oven gloves, I bet you'll be so proud when you pull them out and get loads of compliments on them! Also Happy Birthday!! Hope you had a wonderful day! ♥

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    1. Well, knowing the neighbours who will be attending the Annual Christmas Potluck Aoife, one highly doubts anyone will be complimenting the oven mitts and hot mats! Completely different tastes - you understand ... ;o)

      And thank you, yes - it was a wonderful day!

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  5. They are absolutely gorgeous! I'm quite envious, but who wouldn't want such lovely pot holders and hot mats for their very own? Also, thank you for sharing such wonderful fabric with us! :)

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    1. Thank you, Lady Levana. But one can't take too much credit for the items as it's really the fabric that shines and not so much the sewing skills.

      And you're welcome! Maybe you'd be so kind as to leave a couple of yards after your purchase ... in case the insomniac  requires just a little bit more? ;o)

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  6. Could they be more perfect? LOVE the striped bias binding, it is genius!

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    1. Thank you, Mme. Polaire! The striped binding was a complete fluke - it was discovered while digging through the Unfinished Projects box, and the colours went perfectly! Gotta love it when that happens ... :D

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  7. That fabric is so beautiful! You have used the pattern patches very nicely. I have to look for it myself. Maybe sewing another tie for Johan. :-)

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    1. A tie is an excellent idea - Johan would probably love that! Be sure to buy enough that you have some left over for potholders! :D

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  8. That fabric is GORGEOUS! Also, thank you for posting the tutorial, as I was *JUST* poking about the kitchen cupboards wondering if the dryer's Sock Monster had an upstairs cupboard dwelling cousin. Simply inspiring!

    Also, I have never considered MAKING bias tape. It has simply never occurred to me. I must investigate.

    Also, Happy Birthday! I hope it is simply excellent and, though I personally would hold off on describing someone of just 57 a Crone, I do not see it as any sort of an insult ever. Crone's are ever so handy to know and have in your corner. They know so much and are much less likely to deal with the random bull of others.

    ~Morgaine~

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    1. Seriously, the more people who comment on how GORGEOUS the fabric is, the more one is feeling a desperate need to go purchase another 20 yards before IT'S ALL GONE! :P

      Once you make bias tape, you will never go back to the pre-purchased stuff. It just seems to add that little extra zing to a project that never seems possible with the plain tapes available in stores.

      Thank you, Morgaine - it was excellent! And aren't you a dear ... JUST 57!

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  9. Oh this is a great idea- my potholders are old ones my mother gave me that are falling apart. I will have to find some cool fabric now :)

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    1. Good luck in your quest for a cool fabric - although there are so many out there, the real difficulty really will be narrowing it down to just one. You might need to make a different set of potholders for each day of the week!! :D

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  10. Hey! Happy Birthday! You did an incredible job on these projects. I'd been surprised when you first told me you were sewing your own oven mitts. Now I can see why you did! These are lot classier than any spooky oven mitts I've seen for sale. I really like the crow on that one. I love crows as you know. :)

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    1. Hey, thanks! And thanks again!

      It does sound ridiculous when you say you're sewing your own oven mitts, doesn't it? But this way you get to choose exactly what you want, and they'll probably last just as long as store-bought mitts - if not longer!

      It appears as though we both like crows - A LOT! And owls. Always been quite fond of owls, as well ... ;o)

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  11. Wow! You did a brilliant job! I can see some oven mitt making in my future. Gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you, Little Gothic Horrors! The insomniac  hopes you'll share a picture of them with her once they're completed!! :D

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  12. Great idea :D looks very nice! I should make some myself, the ones I have are so ugly.

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    1. You should, Lesthi - you absolutely should! They would be especially useful for someone who enjoys baking, as you do! :D

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