Tools

Instructions for Making Fido, Pickl-It, and Le Parfait Jar Covers – DIY

Want to cover up your ferments with something other than a towel and a clip? I’ve been doing more fermenting this summer and experimenting with my new little Pickl-It jars. With all these jars out in my little kitchen, well things look more cluttered. And I’ve been concerned that my rather thin little towels just weren’t cutting it in the keeping the jars dark department. So I decided to try to reproduce something similar to a jar cover I remember from the Pickl-It site last year.

I’m using three different kinds of jars; Pickl-It, Le Parfait and Fido. I’m using the same pattern to cover all three. The only difference is that the Pickl-It covers have a little hole in the top for the airlock. I’ve been collecting Le Parfait and Fido jars for about 20 years so I have quite a collection. Last winter I decided to order a couple of the tiniest Pickl-Its to see what they were all about too.

[amz-box itemtype=’fido’]

I’ll save the detail on my fermenting education for a future post. Suffice to say that I was really encouraged by the results Lea at Nourishing Treasure was getting fermenting in Fido jars and have since shifted most of my ferments to Fido and Le Parfait. Previously, I had used simple mason jars for the few dairy ferments I had going. I was pretty thrilled to discover that the jars I’ve been using mostly for dry storage do a great job of anaerobic fermenting too! So I have quite a few good fermenting vessels without any additional expense :-D.

With Jar Choice Out of the Way …

So with the issue of which jars to use out of the way at last, I set about making it practical to have several ferments going at once. I have some non-fermentation fans around, and while some ferments are simply gorgeous, others are, well less appetizing to look at. On the counter they are exposed to the light, unless you drape something over them. Putting them in a dark cabinet doesn’t work too well for me if I have several going. Just not enough cabinet space. I love to sew and thought, hmmmm this seems like as good an excuse to sew as any 😉 … I’ll make a cover for them.

[amz-box itemtype=’organic’]

I’ve shared a simple description and a pic with the Facebook Anaerobic Fermentation group. I’ll share this post with the Fido Fermenting group too. I’ve endeavored to make this pattern as simple to make as possible. I’m using double-sided quilted fabric to give the covers body. Jill posted a picture of several Pickl-It covers made in this design with a few towels, a really frugal and practical way to make them!

[amz-box itemtype=’retro’]

Instructions to Make Your Own Covers

Top Size Estimate
Fabric Needed for the Top

Before we start determine what fabric you want to use. Quilted fabric is nice but it’s optional. You’ll need something heavy enough to keep out the light. Anything heavy enough for that should have enough body for this pattern. How much you’ll need varies by the size of your jar. Just wrap the fabric around the jar and make sure it extends 3-4 inches above and below. Then ensure that in addition to that you have enough to cut out a square the size of the base with at least a 1/2 inch overage. 1/2 inch works well if you want your cover snug, like mine. But it requires more care in stitching so you may want to opt for 1 to 1 1/2 inch for a looser fit.

Cutting the tube fabric – Measure the fabric needed using your jar as a guide. Simply lay the jar on it’s side on the fabric and wrap the fabric around it. Leave a 4 inch overlap on the width with 3-4 inches extending above both the top and bottom. This is a very conservative measurement leaving you with lots of play in case of errors while sewing. If you are short on fabric you can reduce it to about 2 inches top and bottom if you like. Leave the overlap though, you’ll need it for the french seam.

Cutting the Top
Rounding the Edges of the Top

Cutting the top fabric – Place the jar right side up on the fabric. Cut a square around the bottom with at least 1/2 inch extra on each side, as noted above. Then cut off the corners to make the top round. You can use a bowl or plate as a guide if you like.
Sewing the Top
Work VERY slowly here …

Sewing the sides onto the top – Place the top onto the tube fabric with the right sides facing each other about 2 inches below the corner. Begin sewing a 1/2 inch seam. Work very slowly, easing the edge of the circle into alignment with the top of the tube and under the presser foot. Stop when you about 1 inch from where you began.

Side Seam
Sew the side seams together …

Sewing the side seam – The side seam is done as a french seam. This is optional. You could just sew a simple seam. I just wanted to give mine that little something extra ;-). Turn the tube right side out then pin the tube edges together with the rough edge facing out. You may need to trim the edges at this point if the overage is very large. Leave about 2 inches to pin together. Then sew the seam about a 1/2 inch from the edge. Trim the edge very close to the seam as in the picture. Then turn the tube inside out. Pin the seam together at the top of the tube taking care to ensure enough fabric to fill the gap in the top seam. If there isn’t enough the top will pucker. Then pin at that distance from the edge all the way down the tube, flattening the seam as you go. Then sew a seam where the pins are.

Trimming Seam
Trim excess very close to seam …
French Seam
Stitching the french seam …
Finish the top seam – Finish the last inch of the top seam and trim the edge of the top seam so it isn’t too bulky.
Sewing Bottom Seam
Finishing the bottom seam edge …

Sew the bottom – Put the cover on the jar. Lay it on it’s side first and then fold the fabric up. Place it upright and fold the fabric up. Adjust the bottom to where it’s nearly touching the table. Then place a pin right where you want the bottom to be. Take the cover off and trim the bottom to 1 1/2 inches below the pins. Next, sew a narrow hem with the rough edge on the wrong side. Put the cover back on the jar and turn the bottom edge up to where you like it. Pin the hem where you want it to be. Remove the cover and sew the bottom hem about 1 inch up from the bottom.

Bottom Hem
Finishing the bottom hem …

If you are making a Pickl-It Cover …

Pickl-It Hole
Hole in the top center …

You’ll need to cut a hole in the center of the top and give it an edge finish. I did a simple zig-zag finish … it worked out pretty well :-). The best time to do this is before you sew the top onto the tube.

That’s it!! Pretty simple, huh? Let me know in the comments below if I need to clarify anything. I’d love to see some pictures of your creations!

21 thoughts on “Instructions for Making Fido, Pickl-It, and Le Parfait Jar Covers – DIY

  1. Ha! You are so good. My ferment cabinet is going to have to be enough. I’m a crazy freak in the kitchen, but I doubt I want to go as far as make my own ferment covers. They look cute though. Wish I was handy that way.

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    1. Some like to sew and some don’t :-). I don’t know why but sewing always interested me even as a little kid. My mom and sister hated it but I was always fascinated when someone sat down at our sewing machine. I’ve never learned to sew really well though … takes more time than I have for it.

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  2. Wow, I’d never seen Lea’s posts and fermenting experiments. Love it! Thanks for posting a link, and your cover project looks like fun. Now I gotta go fabric AND fido jar shopping.

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    1. Lea’s experiment is really amazing … I think everyone who ferments should read all of it. Happy shopping :-)!

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  3. Forgot to say that my mom has that exact same sewing machine. She inherited it from her mom. That thing is indescructible! Goes through 8 layers of denim like a hot knife through butter.

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    1. It’s a Singer 401A. It is the BEST sewing machine I’ve ever owned … some say it’s the best one ever made and I don’t doubt it :-). Singer produced these from the late 50’s to the early 60’s. I bought it on eBay a few years back from a sewing machine repair shop. All fixed up and ready to go. The most affordable way to get a vintage machine quickly I think. Here it is in all it’s glory …

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      1. Hi there, saw you sewing machine and just had to write to you and let you know that I have a similar one. My mum bought it 1961 or 1962 and it is as you say, the best machine ever! Mine doesn’t look 100% like yours but not far off. Did you get a manual with it?

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      2. So cool Diana! Very similar indeed … I absolutely love mine. I’ve been doing quite of bit of sewing this year, household stuff and some clothes since the price of clothing just keeps going up. It is rock steady. I did get a manual though I bought it separately on eBay … it came with an accessory kit.

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    1. I’m so glad you did the series and that my Fido/Le Parfait collection did so well in the test! I had been wondering how it would stack up to the Pickl-It and your testing pretty much dispelled all my concerns about the wire bail jars. It must have taken a lot of your time, thank you!!!!

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