Fabric bowl covers help keep pesky bugs and debris off of your food. An easy sewing project that makes it easy to get to the delicious food, but also makes it easy to cover it back up again, without using disposable film wrap or foil – and they look pretty on your table! I went in search of how to make fabric bowl covers and found several methods. I tried four ways to make a fabric bowl cover and two were more successful than the others. I’m sharing all four with you in this article so you can see which one(s) you want to try – or just take our recommendation!
DIY Fabric Bowl Cover with elastic sewn directly on the fabric
My second most preferred method to make a diy fabric bowl cover is to finish the edge of the circle and then apply the elastic with a zigzag stitch.
Start by marking the circumference of your bowl. This time I did use the Frixion pen, which comes out with the heat of your iron. Always test on a scrap of fabric first!
Add 1-1/2 inches to the outside line of the top of your bowl.
Finish the edge of your circle. I used my serger to finish the edge of the fabric, but you can just use a zigzag stitch.
Turn the edge to the wrong side about 1/4-inch and topstitch. This gives a nice finished edge to the right side.
Measure and cut your elastic to be 2-inch smaller than the circumference of the top of your bowl.
Set the zigzag stitch width on your sewing machine to be a bit narrower than the elastic. This way, when you stitch, it will hold down the elastic. Test different mahine settings with scraps of fabric and elastic to determine what’s right for your project.
Pin your elastic at four points on your circle. I divided the circle into quarters and elastic into quarters and secured with pins.
Begin stitching where the ends of the elastic overlap. Gently pull the elastic so that it will lay flat on the fabric as you sew.
Here I am almost to the end. You can see how the zigzag holds the elastic down well and by gently pulling on the elastic while you sew makes a nice even application.
Here is the finished fabric bowl cover where the elastic is sewn directly onto the fabric.
Fabric Bowl Cover with Turned In Edge
Here is a method where you cut the fabric even larger and then turn in the edges to make a self casing. Because the outside edge is larger, it is difficult to get the fabric to lie flat when you turn it in, and it causes puckers and folds on the inside. (Not that anyone would notice! But you do!)
Start the same way and mark the circumference of the bowl. With this method, measure 2-inches greater than the top of the bowl to cut your circle. This allows for a 1/2-inch self casing.
Finish the edge of the circle. I used my serger, but you can zigzag if you don’t have a serger.
Turn the edge 1/2-inch to the inside of the circle and pin. You can already see that there is no way I’m going to get all of those little folds to lie flat. 🙂
Using your topstitch foot, move your needle to the right and sew along the finished edge, trying to keep the fabric flat. Make sure to leave an opening about 2-3 inches so that you can insert the elastic into the casing.
Here is reality – and I am usually really, really good at easing fabric. Lots of little tucks and folds. Remember to leave an opening to put in the elastic!
Measure the top of the bowl for your elastic. Cut elastic 2-inches smaller than the circumference of your bowl.
Use your bodkin or a safety pin to insert the elastic into the casing.
Here is the elastic in the bowl cover with both ends out, ready to be sewn together.
Sew the ends of the elastic together. Overlap them about 1-inch and sew over the overlap several times.
Here is the sewn elastic.
Pull on the casing so that the elastic is well distributed. Topstitch the opening closed.
And, another finished fabric bowl cover!
Fabric Bowl Cover with inside bias tape
This method of making a fabric bowl cover was probably the most difficult and least successful. Basically, you use 1/2-inch bias tape and sew to the edge. Turn the bias tape to the inside to make a casing.
Same directions, start by marking the bowl circumference on your fabric. I used a Frixion pen.
Mark 1-1/2 inches from the circle.
Cut out your circle and get your 1/2-inch bias tape (or make some!).
On the right side of your fabric, sew the right side of your bias tape along the edge of the circle. When you start, fold in the edge of the bias tape about 1/4-inch.
Sew all around the circle, overlapping the end of the bias tape about 1/2-inch.
Here is the bias tape sewn on. I used a homemade bias strip of fabric.
Turn the bias tape to the wrong side of the fabric and pin. If you are using a homemade strip of bias fabric, make sure to turn in the edge about 1/4-inch. (I should have pressed this first. Sigh.)
Using your topstitch foot for your sewing machine, stitch along the inside folded edge. Leave about a 2-inch opening to put the elastic in the casing.
Here is the opening to put in the elastic.
Measure the top circumference of the bowl and cut 1/4-inch elastic about 2-inches smaller than this measurement.
Using a bodkin or a safety pin, insert the elastic into the casing as shown above.
Stitch the opening closed in your casing and your fabric bowl cover with inside bias casing is complete! This method is similar to my preferred method using the extra wide double fold bias tape. Turning the bias tape to the inside was difficult, as it was too large and there were pleats and tucks, making it challenging to get a nice looking finish.
Can I store food with fabric bowl covers?
Fabric bowl covers are not air tight. They are intended to cover the food so that pests and debris don’t get into your food. If you store food in your refrigerator with a fabric bowl cover, it may dry out.
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