Saturday, November 14, 2009

Toaster Cover Tutorial

Mmmmm...nice rainy Saturday. Perfect excuse to be a lazy bones.

I recalled that a million years ago my sister asked me to make her a cover for her toaster. I kept forgetting, and then when I remembered, I didn't have the meaurements. So finally today I am prepared. Of course, she has to be difficult and have a 4-slice toaster which makes life more difficult for me because I just can't box the corners, so I figured I'd post the process I used to make this little jobby. It's a very simple project, and you could buy something fancier--but if you don't care about fancy and just want something to keep you from staring into the top of your toaster then you might want to give this a try. Of course, depending on your fabric and your vision it can be whatever you want.

First, we'll need some measurements. I measured the top and the sides separately, without taking into account seam allowances and wiggle room (yet). Looking down on her toaster top it measures 11 inches wide and 11.5 inches deep. Looking the toaster full in the face it measures 11 inches wide by 7.5 inches high, and from the side it's 11.5 inches by 7.5 inches. You're going to need about a half yard of fabric for the outside and half for the inside. My two sides are exactly the same since I didn't have anything that matched well. I used double fold bias tape to finish off the bottom edge--the stuff that comes in the package. If I was going for flair I would make my own, but this will do just fine.

I am going to use 1/4 inch seam allowances, and I'd like an extra inch for ease, so I am adding 1.5 inches to my measurements above to cut my pieces. From both the outer and inner fabric you will need the following: one piece measuring 13 inches by 12.5 inches; 2 pieces measuring 12.5 inches by 9 inches, and 2 pieces measuring 13 inches by 9 inches.


Now we're ready to sew! We'll do the outside first. Take a front piece (12.5 x 9) and a side piece (13 x 9) and sew them with the right sides together along the 9 inch side. Do the same with the other side and front pieces.  Remember to use a 1/4 inch seam allowance!

 Then sew those together--you will have one long strip at this point. The order of your pieces should be front, side, front, side. Sew the two edges of that loooong strip, right sides together, and you will a very squirmy topless and bottomless box.

Press your seam allowances open nice and flat.

Now for the fiddly part I don't really care for.  Take your remaining piece of fabric (this is the top).  Pin it to your squirmy box, right sides facing each other.  It's easiest if you pin the corners first, and then pin the rest of the edges.  Make sure that you have the correct sides lined up or your cover will come out all twisty.


Once it's pinned all around pop that baby back in your machine and get ready to sew.  Using this method, the corners can get a little frustrating--I find it easier if I put the big square side (the top) face down, and leave the sides facing up.  I feel like I have more control over it that way.  I like to start in the middle of one of the sides; when you get about a quarter inch from the edge, lower your needle, raise your presser foot, pivot, lower your presser foot, and get moving again.  When I reach the corners I like to smoosh the fabric to one side, pivot, then smoosh it the other way.  Keep going until you sew your way around.

Unfortunately, you now have to go repeat this process with your lining. Just look at it as practice!

At this point, we should have two identical bottomless fabric boxes (or topless, you naughty thing, you).

Put one inside the other--make sure that the wrong sides are facing each other.  Pin all around the bottom, matching up your seam allowances.  This may seam obvious, but if your side and front measurements are different, make sure you're matching up the correct sides.  Not that I've ever sewn it incorrectly or anything....ahem.. Sew with a 1/4 inch allowance all the way around.  When you're finished, you should have a totally reversible cover.  All we have left to do now is finish that raggedy bottom edge.  Grab your double-fold bias tape and pin it to the bottom, nestling the edges against the fold.  Take your time and make sure you pin well so everything stays nice and neat.  I simply overlap the edges when I get back to the beginning.


When it's all pinned in place, sew it down, getting as close to the edge as you can. The tricky part here is making sure you get both sides tacked down. If you find that one side is a little wonky, grab your seam ripper, pick out that part, and restitch.

When you're finished inspect your work and make sure your tape is tacked down nice and secure.

And that's it!! Slip it on over the gaping maw of your toaster and make yourself some tea. You did it.

This isn't an exact fit as the measurements of the cover are different from the toaster it's pictured on.  Below is a picture of one made specifically for my toaster so the fit is much closer to what I'm aiming for when I finally give this to my sister.

Thanks for sticking around--hopefully my directions were clear enough to get you through to the end.  If you think something is unclear, please let me know!  Catch ya later, alligators!  (I know you're thinking it, but I'll tell you right now that I already know I'm a big geek).

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