… A pie carrier, cozy, that is. My dad has an antique pie carrier that he uses often for taking pies to parties. It holds two pies, stacked, and works great for transporting pies as well as saving space in the refrigerator when there are multiple pies needing to be kept chilled. I thought a cover to help keep the pies warm or cool during transport would be handy… and I had no idea my dad had lately thinking the same thing!
I’d come across multiple insulated/quilted pie and casserole carrier designs online that are designed for carrying a single dish, but none that would work with this pie carrier. Thanks to Karen for sending me measurements of both the pie carrier and Dad’s largest pie pan, and photographs of the carrier, I was able to design my own insulated cover for this pie rack.
Between the weight of the rack, two full pies, and glass pie pans, the carrier can get quite heavy, so I wanted to make sure to design something that would allow the metal carry handle of the rack to be used, rather than trying to sew handles on a fabric carrier that would be sturdy enough to support the weight. I did some playing around with designs, and figured that front-loading would be easier than top loading for use (if not for making the cozy!) as well as easier for accessing one of the pies without having to take the carrier all the way out of the cozy. The tricky part was designing something that would allow the handle to stick up through the top, but still have the cozy close securely around the carrier.
I found a cute red and white plaid for the outside of the cozy, and I used Insul-Bright batting and PUL for the lining. Insul-Bright batting is insulated, with a layer of metalic film to reflect heat or cold, and PUL is most often used in cloth diaper covers – because of it’s lovely water resistant properties. I chose PUL for the lining so that it would wipe clean easier, and spills would stay contained a little longer than otherwise. I did not waterproof the seams, though, so it won’t hold sloppy spills for too long.
After I figured out the basics of the design, I spent some more time trying to figure out the easiest order of assembly for the pieces involved. Luckily, I got that right! For the top and bottom pieces – 13 inch circles – I cut all three layers at once, and then quilted them, and zigzaged over the edges to hold everything securely while I worked. The purpose of the quilting was mainly to keep layers from sagging onto the top pie, but had the added bonus of helping to hold everything still while I worked, and giving it a more finished look. The walking presser foot that I have for my sewing machine did a great job of not letting the thick layers shift as I sewed them.
In order to have the handles work with the carrier, I had to make the front panel completely detach at the top before the handle, but be able to reattach to close – thank goodness for separating zippers! The zipper on the bottom of the front panel is not a separating zipper, since it is unnecessary and would just make a little more work to get it closed. The front panel zips on the top and bottom a full half way around the cozy, and then has a tab to Velcro shut, with a ribbon connecting the two zippers to close them both at the same time.
The layers ended up quite thick at the seams (which my 50 year old Singer handled like a champ), so to give it the more squared up look that I wanted, I had the seams facing outward rather than inward, and then covered them with bias tape. No exposed seams on this cozy!
Ta-Da! Action shots!
As you can see in the photo, the cozy is rather roomy for the pie carrier, but that’s because the rack is only about 10″ in diameter, but the biggest pie pan that Dad uses is actually 12″ across at the outside of the handles. I’m sure glad I thought to ask for that measurement!
I nearly had a stroke when my dad said at first that it didn’t fit, but after an adjustment so that only the handle and not the side bracket was trying to stick up through the side notches, it was a success!
This project is posted last as my “grand finale” because while it went together faster than some of my other projects, it was the most challenging to design since all I had to go on was a couple photos of the pie rack, and dimensions (thank you, Karen!). I had looked online for patterns, but wasn’t satisfied with what I found, so I had to go from scratch on the pattern. Because of the challenge of this project, I think it ties for my favorite project this winter with the doll I made for my niece – that one, for sheer adorableness.