Annette’s Tea Cosy

The teapot

The teapot

The teacup, saucer and matching plate

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

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.

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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.

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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 teacosy

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..)

The buttonholes

The buttonholes

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

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!

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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.

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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 teacosy

The finished tea cosy

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My Tea Cosy

 

 

 

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I have a little teapot that I use on a Sunday. I sit and read the paper on Sundays, so I have time for more than one cup of tea. I have been thinking it would be nice to have a tea cosy to cover it, keeping it hotter for longer.

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From left to right: wool wadding, lining material, main material

I had a look online for a tea cosy pattern, just to see what ideas were out there. I settled on one of the patterns and set about making the paper pattern via the instructions. I followed the instructions: measured my pot and divided measurements by 2 then added 1 and 1/2 inches, as instructed. I drew it up and felt it looked too big, so I got my husband to check my math, not my strong point but is his. I had followed the instructions correctly but… it was just was too big. I think it would have fitted my head in the end!

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Height

 

 So I decided to do my own pattern. I remeasured the width of my wee little pot, and the height. Then I added 1 and 1/2 inches for room to move and a 1/4 inch seam allowance. I marked the width of the pot on the edge of a piece of paper. I cut the paper to this width. Then I folded it in half and where the fold line was I marked the height of the pot. I then folded it in half again and drew an arc from the height mark to the edge of the width mark. When I was happy with the shape I used my paper scissors to cut it out. When I opened it up I put it behind my teapot just to see if it looked like the right shape and size.

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Widest part

Then I cut out my main material x 2 and the lining material x 2, using my paper template. I cut the wadding larger than the shape to allow for when I quilted the main material. I decided to have a heart shape at the top of the tea cosy so I drew a heart shape, hoping it was big enough when finished. I cut two heart shapes from the lining material and some wool wadding to give it some substance. You could also stuff it if you wanted it more 3D ish.

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This ended up about 2 inchs long when sewn

 

I sewed my heart first. With right sides together and the wadding on the bottom I slowly sewed around the edge of the heart. I left an inch on the side to turn it through but it was too small so had to unpick it to about an inch and a half size. Big enough to get your thumb in anyway. I trimmed the edge to within an 1/8th of an inch from the sewing line, except where the hole to turn was. Then I turned it through to the right sides. I pinned the hole edge and ironed it then sewed around the edge of the whole heart. This gives it a nice finish and closes the hole at the same time.

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Then I sewed the linings together, leaving the straight edge open. I used a 1/4 inch seam. Once that was sewn I again trimmed the edge and carefully clipped the curves. Oh and yes I forgot to leave a 3 inch gap in the top curve of the lining, so I unpicked the required length. This is for turning when you join it to the main piece of fabric.

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Make the batting/wadding larger

Okay so now I had the main material left to do. I placed one of the pieces ontop of one of the pieces of wadding, pinned them together and then quilted it. I decided on a very simple straight stitch with white cotton, about an inch apart. I was going to cross hatch but liked the effect of just one line so left it at that. Then I trimmed the wadding to the same size as the material.

 

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The main material cosy pinned inside the lining

Once both main pieces of material were quilted I pinned them together, making sure to line up the edges and sewn lines too. I also put the heart shape at the top of the curve, inside the two pieces of material, with just enough of the bottom of the heart poking out so the sewing would catch it in there. I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance around the curve, leaving the long straight side open. Again I trimmed the edges, but not the heart tip, and carefully clipped the curves.

 

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This is after the main material is turned through the hole in the lining. Then the hole in the lining is sewn up.

Okay so now I put the main material cosy inside the lining of the cosy. Do check that you have turned your main material to the right side, unlike my first attempt! I had to unpick it and I hate unpicking ahhh. Anyway so main material is right side out and tucks into the lining which is the wrong side out. The right sides of the main and the lining will be facing each other. The heart will be showing through the 3 inch hole in the lining. Pinned them together and sewed around the edge. I used a 1/4 inch seam.

 

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Sewing around the edge of the main material where it joins the lining.

 

I turned the tea cosy through the hole in the lining. Pinned the hole shut and ironed, then I sewed the hole shut. It is on the inside so I just sewed as close to the edge as I could. Once that was done I pushed the lining back up into the main material of the tea cosy. I gave it an iron. The lining ends up showing on the bottom of the tea cosy, a bit like piping, so I sewed around the edge of the tea cosy where the materials joined. It finishes it of nicely.

Ok so then it was the moment of truth, would it fit! Yes! It was a perfect fit, yay. The heart at the top probably could have been a little smaller but I am happy with the result. Now my tea will stay nice and hot.

 

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Not too bad for an afternoon

 

I can’t wait for next Sunday to use it 🙂