About 18 years ago and after 99 years of life she passed away but my mom still talks about watching her grandmother sew and cook - always using that flour sack potholder. My mom has several brothers and sisters so when her grandmother passed away there was a large family auction. No family members were allowed to go through any boxes and were only able to see what was visible on the very top. My mom bid on a box with a handmade tablecloth she knew she wanted and much to her delightment and surprise was that very potholder at the bottom of the box.
She has clung to that potholder and used it everyday since thinking of her grandmother whom she absolutely adored. Well, it was wearing so thin that she burned herself a few times but couldn't bring herself to stop using it so I knew exactly what I needed to make for my mom's next birthday.
I didn't have a pattern of course but could see some of the remaining stitching. I had to guess at how she constructed it but I managed to find similar material and make a replica. Not out of flour sacks but it turned out nicely anyway. Now my mom has the original one tucked away in a safe place and doesn't have to worry about burning her fingers anymore!
Here is a written version of how I made this:
1. First I traced the old potholder onto paper and cut out the outer pieces and numbered them since the pieces aren't all exactly the same.
2. Then I cut out one solid white piece for the back and one solid flannel piece for the middle (I wanted to keep it exactly the same even though flannel doesn't seem like it would insulate enough)
3. Next I cut out two circles for the middle part and using a sewing machine I sewed the two circles together inside out, then cut a slit in one side and turned it rightside out.
4. Then using the sewing machine again I sewed all the pieces together - first layer only. Then layered it with the two back pieces, flannel in the middle and sewed inside out leaving a small gap so I could turn it rightside out again.
5. I hand stitched the small gap with white thread.
6. Next using black embroidery thread I hand stitched using a whip stitched all the lines and around the face.
7. Finally I stitched a butcher stitch all along the outer edge and embroidered the face for the finishing touch.
I hope this helps since I didn't have a pattern or any step-by-step photos!!