You can sew the easiest casserole dish carrier pattern on the web – and it’s free! This simple sewing tutorial uses cotton fabric and insulated batting to make a casserole carrier that you will love to use or give as a gift. The fold-over flaps help keep your food warm while you take it to your holiday potluck or family gathering.
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This free casserole carrier pattern makes a tote that is approximately 17” x 13”. The opening has flaps that overlap. An optional snap or hook and loop tape (velcro) could be added to the flaps, if desired.
It easily holds a dish up to 9” x 13.” The larger dish in my photos is 10” x 14” and it is a very snug fit!
By the way, I’ve added this free tutorial to my list of 10+ Cute things to Sew for Your Kitchen.
Casserole Dish Carrier Details
The 1 1/4” wide straps wrap all the way around the carrier to make it sturdier and prevent them from coming off even after lots of use!
I’ll show you where to sew bar tacks so the sides will be sewn together securely too.
Besides a sewing machine and cutting tools, the only materials you’ll need for this simple sewing project is fabric and insulated batting (the same batting that is used for potholders).
Will you sew my casserole carrier to take to your next picnic or to give as a hostess gift? Either way, let’s get sewing!
DIY Casserole Carrier Sewing Pattern
To make this project, you will need:
- 1/2 yard of cotton fabric for the exterior
- 1/2 yard of cotton fabric for the lining
- 1/3 yard cotton fabric for the straps
- 1/2 yard of insulated batting (I used Insul-bright batting)
- 1/4” wide Steam-a-Seam fusible tape for closing the opening (optional)
- a fabric marker or tailor’s chalk for marking lines on the carrier
- a walking foot (or dual feed foot) for your sewing machine – optional but highly recommended
- an acrylic ruler, rotary cutter and cutting mat, pins, and coordinating thread
From the cotton fabric for the exterior, cut:
- 1 rectangle 18” x 30”
From the cotton fabric for the lining, cut:
- 1 rectangle 18” x 30”
From the insulated batting, cut:
- 1 rectangle 18” x 30”
From the cotton fabric for the straps, cut:
- 2 strips 5” x 40”
Sew the Main Piece
1. Place the two 18” x 30” pieces of fabric on your workspace right sides together. Then lay the 18” x 30” piece of insulated batting on top.
Place lots of pins all the way around to hold the three layers together.
2. Using a 3/8” seam allowance, sew all the way around the rectangle, leaving a 6” opening near the middle of one of the long edges. This is for turning the main part of the carrier right side out.
I found it very helpful to use my walking foot to sew these 3 layers together. It prevented a lot of slipping.
3. Trim away the extra fabric and batting at the corners, without cutting the stitching.
Tip: Before turning the rectangle right side out, press the edges at the opening back. Do this on both sides.
4. Turn the rectangle right side out through the opening.
Carefully press the carrier body, pushing out the corners with a point turner. Press the raw edges at the opening to the inside. If you already pressed the raw edges before turning, it will be easy to make them look neat now.
5. Use Steam-a-Seam fusible tape to fuse the opening closed, or hand sew the opening closed with a needle and thread.
Draw Markings on the Carrier with a Fabric Pen or Tailor’s Chalk
1. Place the rectangle on your workspace with the exterior side up.
Use the fabric marker or tailor’s chalk to mark the following lines:
- Draw 2 vertical lines that are 3” away from each side edge.
- Draw 2 horizontal lines to connect the vertical lines. The horizontal lines should be 5” away from the long top and bottom edges.
- Make small tick marks at the center of each horizontal line.
2. Set the main rectangle aside while you sew the handles.
Sew the Casserole Carrier Handles
1. Place the two 5” x 40” strap rectangles right sides together. At one end, sew the short ends together with a 1/4” seam allowance.
Press the seam open. You should have a long 5” x 79 1/2” strip.
2. Fold the strip in half lengthwise and press. Open and press the long raw edges to the center. Fold the strip in half again and press.
You should have a long strip that is approximately 1 1/4” x 79 1/2”.
3. Unfold the strip at the short ends and pin the raw edges right sides together to make a very long loop. Make sure that there are no twists in the loop.
Sew the ends together with a 1/4” seam allowance.
Finger press the seam open and refold the strap as before.
4. Topstitch along both long edges of the long loop about 1/8” away from the edges.
Attach the Handles to the Main Piece
1. Lay the main piece on your workspace with the exterior side up.
Put the handle loop on top flat, so that there are no twists or folds.
Place the strap loop inside the two horizontal lines, with the outside edges of the strap against the inner side of the lines.
Line up the two seams on the strap loop with the tick marks at the center of each horizontal line. Pin.
Pin the strap along both horizontal lines (just inside the lines) in between the vertical lines.
You don’t have to place pins past the vertical lines because that is where you will sew across the strap and back the other way.
2. Begin sewing in the center of one of the straps (where the seam is). Sew right on top of the previous topstitching toward one of the shorter ends.
When you come to the vertical line that is 3” away from the end, pivot and sew across the strap. Then start sewing the other way.
Sew a 1” square with an ‘X’ in the center. Then sew back toward the center of the carrier along the other side of the strap.
3. Repeat to attach the other side of the strap the same way. Sew a square with an ‘X’ in the center of it at each side of the handles. This is to ensure that the stitching near the handles is secure and won’t break away.
Fold and Stitch the Sides of the Casserole Carrier
1. Place the casserole carrier on your workspace with the inside facing up.
Fold one of the short sides over to the front so that the handle is up.
2. Then fold the other short side over and make the ends overlap by 3” (or so that the flap on top is right against the handle on the other side.
Pin the overlapping flaps together at the top and bottom to hold them together for the next step. Pin just the 2 flaps – not the bottom side of the carrier.
3. Arrange the carrier so that the 3” center area (where the flaps overlap) is in the center.
There should be approximately 5” on either side between the vertical line and the folded side of the carrier.
4. Pin the bottom edges on one side and then the other (on either side of the flaps).
You will need to un pin the center of the flaps in order to pin all the way from the fold to the vertical line on either side.
Repeat to pin both the top and the bottom (4 separate pinned areas).
5. Sew each pinned area. You will either sew from the marked line to the corner of the fold, or from the corner of the fold to the marked line.
Try to keep the edges lined up as neatly as possible and sew 1/8” away from the edge.
Repeat for all 4 pinned areas.
Sew bar tacks to reinforce the seams.
A bar tack is a short line of dense zig zag stitching that is used to reinforce areas of stress on bags and garments. You can sew your own bar tack by using a zig zag stitch with a width of 1-2mm and a stitch length of .5-1.
Most sewing machines have a programmed bar tack stitch, which is fun to use!
Sew a bar tack at each side of the casserole carrier opening where the stitching ends.
Then remove the marked lines on your casserole cover as directed by the manufacturer of the fabric marking pen. I used tailor’s chalk so I used a damp washcloth to rub away the remaining chalk marks.
And now your DIY casserole carrier is done!
Just a word about snap placement…
If you decide you want to add an optional snap to the flaps, place a snap part at the center about 1” away from the edge of the flap.
This will mean that the snap does not close properly when the carrier is empty, but when it has a covered dish inside the snap pieces will line up.
Did you know that Insul-bright insulated batting can keep food items cold too? Just place a cold pack under the dish to help is stay chilled.
I would love to see the cute casserole totes you make with my free casserole carrier pattern! Please post a photo to instagram and tag me @sewcanshe so I can take a look!
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