May 3, 2012

Drop Cloth Tea Cozy in 10 Steps

Tea time is one of my daily links to sanity. Tazo's Chai, Earl Grey, English or Irish Breakfast, and Calm are stocked in my cupboard. Add a splash of almond milk and some honey and you're in business.
   If  you want to share a spot of tea with your mom or grandma, tea cozies are quick and simple to make, and keep your cup warm for hours.
 I modified the top of the cozy in the photos and added a fabric strip to the bottom of the front. These directions, however, are for sewing a basic, semi-circle cozy, but there are lots of way to personalize it. Here's how to make one.

You need:
 2 fabric pieces for the outer fabric
 2 pieces of insulator (cotton batting or Insul-Brite)
 2 fabric pieces for the inner fabric
 1 small fabric strip for the top "handle"

1. Draft a pattern:

 a) Width- Measure the entire tea pot's circumference with a tape measure. Be sure to include the handle and spout. Divide this number by 2, and then add 3 in. for the seam allowance.

 b) Height- Starting at the table on one side, measure up over the top and down the other side. Divide this number by two, and add 3 in. for height.
 So, if the tea pot measures 16 in. wide by 12 in. tall, the pattern should be 11in. x 9in.

 c) To create a pattern piece, simply draw a rectangle on a paper bag or pattern paper according to the dimensions from the tea pot. Next, cut the rectangle out and fold it in half. Round out the top of the pattern to resemble a half circle, or any shape you desire.

2. Cut materials:

 a) Place the pattern onto the outer fabric and pin in place. Cut two of the outer fabric, two of the insulator, and two of the inner fabric.

b) Cut out a small rectangle from the outer or fabric measuring approx. 3" x 2". Fold the strip right sides together and sew along the open edge. Turn inside out, press, and sew along both sides.

3. Assemble pieces:

  Place the pieces on a tabletop in this order: Batting, outer front fabric right side up, handle folded in half with raw edges facing the cozy's top and loop tucked in, back outer fabric right side down, and batting.

4. Pin pieces together.

5. Stitch all pieces together around the sides and top. Leave the bottom edge for now.

6. Remove pins. Turn inside out.

7. Lay the inside lining fabric with right sides together. Mark the fabric at the top about 3 inches wide as a reminder to leave an opening. Pin the pieces together and sew along the top and sides. Remember not to stitch the 3 in. opening.

8. Place the lining over the cozy so the rights sides are together. Match up side seams and sew all around the bottom to attach.

9. Pull the cozy through the opening on the top created in step 7.

10. Tuck the edges of the opening in and sew it closed. Tuck inside the cozy and ....TA DA. Instant gratification.

Now you can go make a pot of tea and admire your work. Then make another cozy for your mom. You may want to keep this one.

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