Hot Dish Caddy Tutorial + Free Pattern

The Hot Dish Caddy is just the thing for taking hot dishes out to pot luck dinners or BBQ’s.  In New Zealand we would say ‘bring a plate’ which means a dish/plate of food to share, and has confused many visitors over the years who actually turn up with a plate to eat off.  I believe we even did that once when we first moved to NZ from The Netherlands!  With this tutorial and free printable pdf pattern you can make your own Hot Dish Caddy to easily carry your hot dish from the oven to wherever you are going.  Not to mention it will help keep it nice and warm in the process too!

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This pattern makes quite a large caddy (38cm or 15″ in diameter) that will fit various sized dishes, and is adjustable due to the drawstring.  These would make excellent handmade gifts and are great scrap busters too.  The pieces are small enough to be cut out of a fat quarter.  Along with some nice bright bias tape (binding) and you have a gorgeous handmade gift.

Materials for Hot Dish Caddy

  • Fabric Fat Quarters work well or regular off the bolt fabric is fine too.  Keep in mind that the dish going into this will be hot so steer clear of fabrics that can’t handle heat (think synthetic or wool).  You can always iron it to check how it holds up.  This is a great scrap buster project too!
    • You will need 4 circles of fabric, two outer and two lining.  I have used a thick cotton waffle knit for the lining.  If you don’t have a thick enough lining the heat will transfer too easily, but you can always just use an extra layer.  This would work well for fabrics like cotton flannelette.
  • Double Fold Bias Tape (binding) – 2m long x 1.3cm wide (79″ long x 1/2″ wide) there is not much room for waste in this measurement, so cut carefully!
  • Drawstring – 1m (39.5″) mine in the photos is much longer and actually a shoe lace!  Living in an isolated location means some items are hard to find and you get good at making do with what you have.
  • General Sewing Supplies – Thread, Scissors, Sewing Machine etc
  • Hot Dish Caddy Printable Pdf Pattern

Instructions for Hot Dish Caddy

Step 1 – Print Pdf Pattern

Print and cut out your pdf template (the last item on the materials list!).  Remember to print out in actual size or check the ‘no scaling’ box.  There is a test square you can measure on the pattern, and there is only one page to print woo hoo!

Step 2 – Cut your Fabric Pieces

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First you need to fold your fabric for cutting.  See the photo steps above.  Fold in half, then in half again and line up the pattern piece on the folded edges.  Cut around the curve of the pattern to make your circle.

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Repeat this step for all 4 (or 6) of your pattern pieces.

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For the top layers of your hot dish caddy, you will need to use the smaller template to make the opening.  Leave your circle folded and place the pattern piece on and cut in the same way as you did with the larger piece.  You will need to cut this opening in all the top layers, including the outer fabric and the lining, but not for the bottom pieces as you don’t want an opening in the underside too!

The last cut is along one of the folds to cut the circles into a ‘C’ shape, check out the photo below!

Step 3 –  Finish the cut edge using Bias Tape

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This is for the top layers only, the bottom layers should still be complete circles without an opening.  The large photo shows the finished bias tape.  The left photos are the steps to get there!  I have a whole tutorial on attaching bias with different options on how to do it.  Feel free to check out Struggling with the Bias Binding? for more information.  For this one I pinned the bias to the right side of the fabric and sewed in the crease closest to the raw edge.  Then folded the bias back over, pinned in place and again sewed on the right side to finish.

Note: The layers should be wrong sides facing each other (right sides facing out).  If you have more than two layers the center layers can face any way you like, as long as the two outside layers are up the right way!

Step 4 – Finish Smaller Circle Opening

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Pin all the layers together keeping the raw edges lined up.  Sew in place using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  This seam will be hidden under the bias tape later but skipping this step could mean that all the layers will not get caught evenly under the bias tape.

Pin on your bias tape and sew in the crease closest to the raw edge as before.  When you get to the ends see below!

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Here you can see how I have folded the edges in while still leaving an opening for the drawstring to be fed through.  The steps on the left and the finished top and bottom on the right.  Feed the drawstring in at the end otherwise you will risk getting it caught in the outside seam!

Update: New Post on how to Add Straps to your Hot Dish Caddy before heading to Step 5 below.

Step 5 – Joining Top and Bottom Pieces

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Pin all the layers together right the way around the circle.  Being careful that the raw edges line up fairly well.  You can always trim any long areas a little with scissors if they are not lining up well.

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Sew around the outside using a 1/4″ seam allowance as you did around the smaller opening circle.  If you look carefully at the photo above you can see that I have gone over the join in the opening in the top piece a few extra times for added strength.

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Attach your bias tape in the same way as before.  I have a cheats way I do the join, check out the steps below!  You can always join in the regular manner if you prefer.

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Fold over and pin the bias in place again the same as before.  You can use the seam on the bottom as a guide on how far over to pin your bias.

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As you can see I have lined mine to just cover the edge the seam from attaching the bias on the right side.  If you fold it too far it will fold up or not catch the folded layers of the bias and will come undone with use.  If you don’t fold it far enough it won’t catch the underside of the bias as you sew and you will have to start again.

Step 6 – Insert Drawstring

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My up-cycled shoe lace works perfectly!  I used a safety pin to feed it through the bias casing, don’t worry if yours isn’t this long it really doesn’t need to be!

And that’s all folks!  You have finished the Hot Dish Caddy tutorial!

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Hot Dish Caddy Tutorial and Free Pattern on Nina Makes

10 thoughts on “Hot Dish Caddy Tutorial + Free Pattern

  1. That made me laugh so much at the thought of you turning up with an empty plate! Your hosts must have thought you got peckish on the journey! We say bring a plate in the UK too. I love the design. It looks fantastic and really easy to use. Definitely the best way to hide bad cooking is by putting it in something super cute 😉haha

    1. Hi Pam, Thank you! I need to make a larger rectangle one too I think…had to tin foil and use a towel to wrap a rather large potato bake on the weekend 😉

  2. Oh that is funny, hiding food. I am sure it was not that bad that it needed to be hidden. Love the pattern. Thank you


    1. She definitely has a sense of humour that Linda! Grated cheese (and sometimes breadcrumbs) fixes most savoury dishes that need hiding. I may love cheese a little too much though…

  3. I love this idea! Definitely a fun and functional project that would make an excellent host/hostess gift. Don’t do the “pinning thing” but will definitely bookmark and refer back to in future.

    1. Thanks Rochelle 🙂 I will definitely making some as gifts this Christmas too! Between tweeting, blogging, sharing and submitting…I totally understand why you don’t do the ‘pinning thing’!

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