Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How to Make a Tea Cozy

Here is how to make your own tea cozy. It would make a wonderful present for Christmas or a special birthday.

Gather your materials. You need:

paper for pattern, pencil, and ruler
felted woolen fabric
some calico for the lining
wool felt (I got my collection from Magic Cabin Catalog.)
matching and contrasting thread
buttons and beads

First make a pattern out of a brown paper bag or some tracing paper. You can probably find a plate which you can use to draw the curves or the corners. Try to make your pattern symmetrical, but it's fine if it isn't perfect. This size fits a large, fat teapot with extra room. Adjust to fit your own teapot.

Cut two thicknesses of the felted wool fabric, adding 5/8 of an inch all the way around the pattern, (or whatever seam width your sewing foot is set to....)

Now have some fun choosing some felt for the flower design on your tea cozy. I used a flowered calico for my lining, and decided to use felt which picked up the colors in it. It is not a practical choice. Brown is the ideal color for hiding tea stains on the lining. However, I didn't feel like being practical today.

To trace circles for the flowers, you could use a little demi-tasse or some other round form like this little matreshka doll to trace around. I don't really like to use perfect circles, though. I think oblongs have more personality. Cut out your main flowers.

Cut some flower centers out of a contrasting color, some stems of different lengths, (these stems are about as thick as a pencil,) and some raindrop-shaped leaves. I also cut out a couple of oblong pieces of ground.

I made three flowers and pinned and sewed them onto the right side of one of the pieces of tea cozy with my machine. Notice that I did not center the middles of the flowers. I feel it gives my design more movement. You could also hand stitch your flowers. I used red thread for a lively contrast.

Pin the right sides of the wool pieces together.

Sew with matching thread on the curve only. Do not sew the flat bottom edge of the tea cozy.

Notch the curve carefully.

Now cut two thicknesses of the calico, right on the edge of the pattern.

Pin and sew with the right sides together. Again, do not sew across the flat bottom edge.

Notch the curve carefully.

This is how the lining goes inside the wool.

But to sew it together, you have to put the right sides facing. The red wool is inside the calico in the picture below. Pin along the flat edge and sew, leaving an opening of about 4 or 5 inches, so that you can turn it inside out.

Now pull the wool out through the opening.

Sew the opening closed with little tiny stitches, and iron with the lining in position.

Pick out some buttons for decorating the flowers.

Sew the buttons through the lining layer, to hold the lining in place.

Choose a beautiful button or bead to sew on top for a handle, if you wish.

Sew the bead on through the lining layer.

Now put on the kettle. It's time for some hot tea! Would you join me for a cup?

If I am missing any details you need for making the tea cozy, please let me know!

Copyright 2009 Beth Curtin. I would love to see lots of people enjoy using my pattern to make special gifts, but help me protect my creations. Don't use my pattern for commercial purposes.


Mousy Brown said...

What a great idea! I love your tutorial it is realy clear - I am going to add you to my links for a great homemade Christmas - I hope thats ok? :)

Grace said...

Beth, That is precious. I may try to make one for my mom (not by Christmas but her bday in in March).

Pussnae said...


Appleshoe said...

Oh! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! My Mum has been asking me for years to make her a tea cozy! Thank you!!

5orangepotatoes said...

Beth, that is gorgeous!

Hip Mountain Mama said...

This is absolutly adorable! You are right, this would make a wonderful hand made holiday gift!

Tonya Gunn said...

What a simple yet lovely idea and it would make a great Christmas gift.
Warm wishes.

gardenmama said...

Dear Beth,
Why yes I would love to join you for a cup of tea! You boil the water and I will bring the tea : )
I love the things you create Beth!

Heather said...

Beth, this is so cute. I have never been one for tea cozies, but I really enjoy the look of yours, it is simple and beautiful. Thank you for sharing

Linda said...

Dear Beth,
What a beautiful tutorial! Thank you so much for sharing on Friendship Friday:) I am looking forward to more of your wonderful work:)

Kim van Waardenburg said...

wonderfull tutorial!!Thanks for sharing!!

Transit Antenna Home said...

Hi Beth, your blog is a great inspiration. The tea cozy is beautiful- giving me lots of ideas!

Heather Woollove said...

This is a terrific tutorial. The only 'detail' that I might change is to leave an opening in the (eventual) top of the lining fabric when sewing the two parts together. This way, the felt and fabric can be stitched together all around (no handsewing), and then pulled through to the 'right side' through the slit in the lining. This opening can be quickly sewn up by machine, since it will be hidden inside! Easy peasy!

Sew Hungryhippie said...

I just made a version of this for a dear friend, thank you so much for sharing. I know she will love it! I am an American living in England, so glad to see a fellow Patriot in Europe :) Cheers!