Today I made a Tea Cosy

At my father-in-laws behest I started making a Volkswagen tea cosy. I’ve made a tea cosy from a pattern in Everything Alice by Hannah Read-Baldrey, Christine Leech:


In the book they add rabbit ears to the top but I prefer it simple.
In the book they add rabbit ears to the top but I prefer it simple.

I think I may have gotten a little over confident because I made a pattern without looking at the measurements and ended up making it a touch too small. That caused a major anxiety and stress later on but let’s put that down to experience.

First thing I did was draw a simple Volkswagen on to paper then cut out four pieces of plain cotton using this pattern.

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Next I cut out all the little bits from the pattern and pinned them to my pieces of fabric.

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Cut these pieces out. If you want a neat look you can press down the edges of the shapes, but if not just pin the pieces with raw edges to one of the main pieces of fabric.

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Most sewing machines have various fancy top stitching, it’s fun to experiment with those. If you don’t have a sewing machine it’s fine just to hand sew.

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I ended up using the sewing machine for the little VW sign, it might have looked better hand sewn.

Add lace or something else pretty to the top of the windows:

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Next cut out another piece of material, the same hight as the curves of at the front and width of the plain material. Sew this to another piece of the plain fabric.

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As you can see you don’t have to be too neat with it. Any things that look rough you can explain away by looking saying it looks ‘handmade’.

Place the front decorated side of the tea cosy to one of the remaining plain pieces. Do the same with the back piece. Sew together good side to good side along the curve, leave 2-3 cm on each corner loose and the  straight lower edge open.

Cut out wadding the same size as the tea cosy but 2 -3 cm shorter. stuff the pockets with wadding. Turn over the inner lining  hem over the outer hem

Turn right side out. Double hem the inner lining and pin it into place, folded over the patterned material. Stitch the fold into place.

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It was at this point I realised I’d managed to make the two pieces different sizes! There is no picture of my too small misshaped tea cosy as it was at this point were I’d worked well past lunch time. The cosy was so small it barely looked like it could cover a mug. I can’t be sure my view of it was objective, My husband  told me it was fine, in fact he told me it was good, great even but I did not believe him. When he suggested I take a break i could feel my skin prickling. I was not about to stop. I unpicked the mess and by this point my hands were shaking and I couldn’t tell whether it was from hunger or from frustration. Once i had unpicked it all I reluctantly left my work to eat some food. Once I’d eaten I began to calm down and gave up on the mission for the day.

The next day I set up my machine, painstakingly slowly sewed the two pieces together as close to the edge as I could, when I turned it over it wasn’t perfect but it was okay. I am trying my hardest to learn that everything does not have to be perfect.

Here’s the finished product it fitted perfectly and my father in law is very happy with it.


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