The teacup, saucer and matching plate
While we were back in the big smoke we visited a friend of mine. We met Annette and Trevor when our boys played basketball together. That was over 10yrs ago now and we have all remained friends long after the glory days of basketball. While we were there we got chatting about her tea set. She showed me a gorgeous little teapot with red and white roses. The teacup that matches has a lovely shade of yellow inside, which makes it look like it is aglow with sunshine. Anyway in the course of the conversation I mentioned that I had been making tea cosies and would she like one? So here I go again, (as John English once sang..). I took a photo of the little teapot and set, as I wanted to match the red colour on the lid. There are many shades of red so, fingers crossed, I have managed to get a colour that compliments, rather than clashes. The proof will be in the pudding.
Three pieces of material soon to be a teacosy
After washing and ironing the materials it was time to fish out my trusty Simplicity pattern. This has a variety of kitcheny type products you can sew to spruce up your home.
I cut out the pieces using the pattern. The fiddly bit is pencilling in the lines and dots, but makes it easier once you begin to sew. You have to add buttonholes to thread through the ribbon and leave a channel for the elastic so it pays to mark these out clearly.
I added a splash of yellow to match in with the teacup and saucer. In the above photo you can see the main material with the band material on. To the right is the inside material which has had the padding added and quilted. I like to use wool wadding as it keeps the teapot toasty warm and is easy to sew on, but any padding would do. The inside material is sewn to the yellow band and, once sewn down the sides and turned through, allows some of the inside material to show at the top of the tea cosy.
Two halves ready to be joined by elastic and ribbon to make a tea cosy
One of the “tricky” parts to the tea cosy is sewing in the buttonholes on both sides of the cosy. I used the buttonhole function on my machine, doing a practise one first. They turned out great, the more I do the better it gets 🙂 (Don’t look too closely at yours Fran..)
Once you have the halves together you stitch in the channel for the elastic and a channel for the ribbon. Then you are ready to put the elastic through. I used a safety pin to thread it through, pinning the end of the elastic in place so as not to lose it when it’s pulled through.
Elastic being threaded through the bottom
Once both sides of the teacosy are threaded with the elastic you sew the ends together, another tricky bit. Trying to keep the tiny ends together while sewing on the machine was a bit of a trial, in hindsight I could have handsewn them with less fiddling about. Once they were sewn you conveniently hide the sewn together ends in the channel.Thank goodness because mine looked woeful!
I was now ready to thread some ribbon through the top but only problem is I forgot to buy some while near some shops. Nothing here so I had to think of something alternative…. I remembered I had bought a lovely book from BH&G which had knitting and crochet patterns in. Plus the bonus was you also got a set of knitting needles, 2 crochet hooks and a large needle for threading wool, all for $12.95 delivered to your door. Bargain! So I fished out some red wool I had and crocheted a “ribbon”. It has been many years since I have crocheted so it was good to have the book to remind me of the stitches.
So I chained a length that I thought would be long enough to fit through and be tied, then did a simple double crochet to make the “ribbon.” I toyed with putting tassels on the end but decided against it. Instead I curled the ends up to form a sort of flowery ball thing… Anyway I was happy with the results and hope my friend is too. She can always replace it with some pretty ribbon if she’d rather that look. Now I just hope it will look okay with the little teapot.
The finished tea cosy