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Insulated Baby Bottle Sleeve

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Babies and their entourages (sometimes referred to as parents) are always on the go: to the store, the park, the playgroup, the zoo, anywhere and everywhere. When they're out and about, they like to have their favorite drink nearby. Mom gets her 'Bucks venti half white mocha, half cafe vanilla, ez ice, 2 shots pour appigato style with whip and caramel drizzle frappachino (actual order overheard at one of our local Starbucks®)... baby gets his/her bottle - nicely warmed or chilled, thank you very much. It's an easy request to fill thanks to our baby-on-the-go thermal baby bottle carrier. There's a water resistant PUL lining, a layer of insulating batting, and a super trendy fabric exterior with a handy Velcro® strap.

Our Bottle Carrier sample got rave reviews from everyone here in the studio. Those who don't need a baby bottle version were already scheming on up-sized versions as a thermos carrier or a wine bottle carrier/gift bag. We did our own Re-imagine & Renovate version as a water bottle pod for the gym: the Weekend Wonders Water Bottle Sling

We originally used two fabrics from the Oh Deer! collection by MoMo for Moda Fabrics. This in an older collection that is no longer readily available. As an alternative, we found these cute options at Fat Quarter Shop:

These two selections are from the Modern Tyke collection by Kim Diehl and Molly Diehl for Henry Glass Fabrics. 


And these two options are from the Grand Canal collection by Kate Spain for Moda Fabrics.


The carrier is sized for a standard baby bottle and finishes at approximately 9" tall with a 3" diameter base, for which a pattern is offered below.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

NOTE: All our pieces were fussy cut for a vertical reveal. If your motif is very distinct, you may want to up your yardage by ⅛ to ¼ yard in order to give yourself a little extra with which to work. 

  • ¼ yard of 44"+ fabric for the top and facing; the Bird in our sample
  • ¼ yard of 44"+ fabric for the bottom, base, and strap; the Dot in our sample
  • ⅓ yard of 60" wide of Polyurethane Laminate (PUL) for the lining; we used 1 ml PUL in White
  • ½ yard of medium weight fusible interfacing, we used Heat 'n' Bond fusible
  • ⅓ yard of thermal batting; we used Insul-Bright Mylar/Poly batting
  • Scrap of ½" wide sew-in Velcro®; you only need about 2", we used black
  • All-purpose sewing thread to match fabric
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • See-through ruler
  • Straight pins 
  • Clips for PUL; we like Wonder Clips
  • Seam gauge 
  • Seam ripper
  • Iron and ironing board

Getting Started

  1. Download and print the Bottle Carrier Base pattern.
    IMPORTANT: This pattern download consists of ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print this PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guideline on the page to confirm your printout is to scale.
  2. Cut out the pattern along the solid line.
  3. From the fabric for the carrier top and facing (the Bird in our sample), fussy cut ONE 5" high x 10½" wide rectangle.
  4. From the fabric for the carrier bottom, base, and strap (the Dot in our sample), fussy cut the following:
    ONE 7½" high x 10½" wide rectangle
    ONE 3" x 13" strip
    Using the pattern, cut ONE base circle
  5. From the PUL cut the following:
    ONE 9½" x 10½" rectangle
    Using the pattern, cut ONE base circle
  6. From the fusible interfacing, cut the following:
    ONE 9½" x 10½" rectangle
    ONE 3" x 13" strip
    Using the pattern, cut ONE base circle
  7. From the insulated batting, cut the following:
    ONE 9" high x 9½" wide rectangle
    Trim away the seam allowance from the base pattern (trim along the dotted line). Using this smaller pattern, cut one base circle.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Main exterior panel

  1. Find the bottom exterior rectangle (the Dot in our sample) and the top exterior rectangle (the Bird in our sample). Align the top raw edge of the bottom section and the bottom raw edge of the top section (whoa... ya gotta think about that one!). Pin in place.

    NOTE: If you are using a directional motif, like our pretty sparrows, double check to make sure they will be facing (or in our case, flying) in the right direction once the seam is sewn.
  2. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the two pieces together. Press the seam allowance toward the top.
  3. Flip this exterior panel over and edgestitch along the seam within the top fabric. 
  4. Find the 9½" x 10½ rectangle of interfacing. Place the interfacing on the wrong side of the sewn exterior panel you just finished, matching the bottom edges and the sides. There should be 1½" of fabric extending beyond the interfacing along the upper edge. 
  5. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing in place. 
  6. Fold down ½" along the top raw edge and press. Fold down an additional 1"  and press again to create a finished 1" hem. Press in place only; the stitching will be done in a later step.

Carrying strap

  1. Find the 3" x 13" strip. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the 3" x 13" interfacing piece in place on the wrong side of the fabric strip.
  2. Press under ½" on both ends. 
  3. Fold the entire piece in half lengthwise to set a center crease. Unfold so this crease line is visible.
  4. Fold in each long side to meet the center crease line.  
  5. Fold again along the original center crease line, matching the folded edges. Pin in place. 
  6. Edgestitch around all four sides, pivoting at all the corners.  
  7. Find the 2" strip of Velcro®. Position the hook side (the rough side) at one end of the strap, just ⅛" in from the finished end. 
  8. Stitch the Velcro® to the strap with an "X Box" - around all four sides plus an X through the middle. We have a nice, step-by-step tutorial on this technique

    NOTE: This Velcro® needs to be able to take a lot of opening and closing, which is why we recommend the X stitch through the center.
  9. Place the exterior panel right side up on your work surface.
  10. Measure to find the center of the top edge. Mark the center with a pin. Measure 2⅜" to the right of center and mark with a pin. Measure 2⅜" to the left of center and mark with a pin.
  11. Unfold the top hem so the panel lays flat
  12. Find the loop side (the soft sife) of the 2" Velcro® strip. Center it over the leftmost pin mark. The bottom of the Velcro® should be ½" above the top/bottom horizontal seam. 
  13. Find the strap. Center the plain end (the end with no Velcro®) over the rightmost pin mark. The finished end of the strap should be ½" above the top/bottom horizontal seam. The strap should be right side facing up, which means the opposite end with the Velcro® is facing down.
  14. Stitch the strap in place with an approximate 2" X Box.
  15. Stitch the Velcro® in place, also with an approximate 2" X Box

Create the tube and insert the base

  1. Find the exterior base circle. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing circle in place on the wrong side of the fabric circle. Set aside.
  2. Stay stitch along the bottom of the exterior panel ½" from the raw edge. Clip approximately every ½", taking care to not cut through the stay stitching.

    NOTE: Stay stitching is a single line of stitching that simply helps stabilize the fabric to prevent stretching or distortion. In this project, it will also provide us with a seam line to follow later in the instructions.
  3. Fold the exterior panel in half, right sides together, to create the center back seam. Be careful to match the top horizontal seam line. Pin in place. Remember, the top hem is still unfolded.
  4. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch in place.
  5. On the fused base circle, place a pin at the exact center top, exact center bottom and the center points of each side. Think of it like a clock face with pin points at 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00. You can also fold the circle in half and then in half again, and place a pin at each fold.
  6. On the carrier tube, the corresponding 12:00 point will be the center of the center back seam. Keeping the seam in the exact center, flatten the tube to find the opposite 6:00 point. Then, flatten the tube in the opposite direction to find the 3:00 and 9:00 points. Place marking pins at all these points. 
  7. Place the base right sides together with bottom circular opening of the tube, aligning the "clock face" pin points. Easing the fabric, fill in the rest of the circle with pins. If you have done garment sewing, this is very similar to putting in a sleeve.
    NOTE: If you are new to this technique, we have a full, step-by-step tutorial on inserting a flat circle into a tube
  8. Stitch the layers together, following the original line of stay stitching. 
  9. Trim back the seam allowance to ¼".

PUL lining and thermal wrap

  1. Find the PUL rectangle and circle.
  2. Run a line of stay stitching along one 10½" edge of the rectangle. As above, clip approximately every ½", taking care to not cut through the stay stitching.
  3. Fold the rectangle right sides together, aligning the 9½" sides.
  4. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch in place.
  5. Following the same steps as above, insert the PUL base into the PUL tube and stitch in place, following the line of stay stitching. 
  6. Find the thermal batting rectangle and circle.
  7. Set up your sewing machine for a large zig zag stitch. We set our stitch at 5.0 mm wide and 1.5 mm long. 
  8. Fold the rectangle right sides together, aligning the 9" sides. Pin in place.
  9. Sew the edges together with a zigzag stitch. The needle should penetrate the fabric on the left swing, then go off the edge of the fabric on the right swing of the needle. Remember to lock your stitching at both the beginning and end.
  10. Gently tug the seam to flatten it. The edges of the fabric should butt together.
  11. Following the same steps as above, mark the thermal tube and base.
  12. Then insert the base into the tube and stitch in place, again using a zig zag stitch. 

Assemble all three layers

  1. With the thermal tube right side out and the PUL lining tube wrong side out, slip the lining tube inside the thermal tube. Align the seams and the upper edge. Pin or clip in place.
  2. With the exterior tube right side out, slip the two layer lining tube inside the exterior tube. Match the upper of edge of the PUL/thermal tube to the bottom crease line of the exterior tube's unfolded hem. 
  3. Fold the hem back into place along the original crease lines, first folding ½", then folding an additional 1". It should just cover the top raw edges of the interior tubes. Pin in place.
  4. Edgestitch the hem in place close to the inner fold all the way around through all the layers. Remember to pull the strap up and out of the way.


Project Design: Alicia Thommas 
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Michele Mishle


Comments (2)

Patty Jager said:
Patty Jager's picture

Thank you so much for this great gift pattern!  It seems like there are new moms popping up left and right at my church right now.  This is a perfect, thoughtful and very useful gift (and easy on my pocketbook). 

I am going to make one this week!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Patty - So glad to hear you love the pattern! Let us know how yours turns out. And if you're on social media, post a picture on Facebook (sew4home) or Instagram (sew4home_diy) so we can all be inspired 

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