Rustybobn Sews Tea Cozies
Rustybobn drinks large quantites of tea. So does Rustybobn's Mom. Rustybobn's sister hosts tea parties. Between the three of us, we must own about 500 teapots. I see gift opportunities! Since I own an embroidery machine (Simplicity SE3), I've taken the opportunity to embellish mine, but that is completely unnecessary!
Assemble your materials:
- Tightly woven fabric for lining and outside. We'll be measuring our teapot to determine how much we need.
- Batting or some sort of filler to hold in the heat (Jules suggests Radiantex to really keep the heat in) I've never actually seen Radiantex, so I can't say exactly what it is. I think that Insul-Bright might be a good insulator for this, too.
- Piping, if desired. If you choose to make piping, you'll need filler--string, yarn, braid, etc.
- Sewing machine, iron, ironing board, and regular sewing accouterments (scissors, pins, thread, measuring devices...)
Step 1: Measure your teapot
Measure your teapot's girth. The circumference is important, because your tea cozy must be much bigger around than a flat measurement might indicate. Divide the circumference by 2 and add 2 inches. This gives you some ease plus seam allowances. This is your fabric width, write that number down.
Example: My circumference is 15. Take 15, divide by two and get 7.5. Add 2 inches for 9.5. Pattern width is 9.5 inches.
Measure over your teapot. Start at the table on the front, over the lid and down to the table on the back side. Divide measurement by 2 and add 3 inches. That's the height for all pieces, write it down!
Example: My "over" measurement is 10. Divide by two for 5. Add 3 for 8. Pattern height is 8 inches.
Step 2: Make a pattern.
I enjoy drawing directly onto my fabric, since most every cozy will be custom made for its pot. If you prefer, draw your pattern on paper first.
For my patterns, I just drew a rounded shape with a flat bottom.
DON'T CUT YET!
Step 3: Embellish your fabric as desired.
Embellish prior to cutting your fabric, to make it easier to hoop and center the design. I downloaded my design from Tea 4 2 Catherine's Stitch N Thyme
If you choose to embroider, you might want to layer your batting underneath your fabric and embroider that along with the fabric. Use your own best judgement--I'm new at embroidery!
Step 4: Cut your pieces
If you made a paper pattern, use it to cut
2 pieces from fabric
2 pieces from lining
2 pieces from batting or filler
Step 5: Make piping, if desired.
For Mom's tea cozy, I made piping. Cut 1.25" bias strips and join them until they are long enough to go around the outer edge of your pattern piece.
Place the filler inside the strip and sew close to it with your zipper foot. (Don't be tempted to skip this step!)
Step 6:Attach Piping
If using piping, attach piping to outer edge of cozy, raw edges outward. Stitch in place with zipper foot.
I stitched my piping to the front piece of the cozy through the batting.
Step 7: Make a handle for the top of the cozy.
Cut a three in square of fabric. Fold it into a triangle, then fold each "wing" of the triangle down to make a square. Press, then stitch the ends down to hold it in place.
Step 8: Attach handle.
Baste or pin the handle in place at the top of the cozy. Pin to the back piece.
Basting is safer. I had to redo this one because it shifted when I sewed it down!
Step 9: Layer front and back pieces and pin.
Looking down on this, I've got batting, fabric (with piping and handle in place) fabric, then batting again.
Step 10: Stitch.
With front side up, use the piping seam as a guide for stitching a 1/2" seam. After you sew, turn the cozy right side out and press lightly.
Step 11: Sew Lining
Sew your lining pieces together around the curved edge. Leave a 3- or 4-inch opening at top for turning later.
Step 12: Install Lining
Pin the lining to the cozy, right sides together. Stitch the lower edge in a 1/2" seam.
Step 13: Turn
Pull the cozy out through the opening in the lining.
Step 14: Press
Fold the lining to the inside and press.
Step 15: Finishing
Slipstitch the lining opening closed.
Step 16: Enjoy your custom tea cozy
(or give it to your Mom for her birthday)!
Here's a second tea cozy that I made for my office teapot.
Christina very kindly allowed me to post a photo of her finished tea cozy and hot pad set. I just love the little kettle that decorates handle.