Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tempest in a Tea Cozy

Sit, good people.  Have a nice hot cuppa tea. 

I confess I am not a big tea-drinker - I have a preference for fruit teas, rather than the traditional - and oh so British - black teas (and green tea tastes like I'm drinking the mowings from someone's lawn).  However, I am learning, slowly, to appreciate a good tea, heavily honeyed and with some lemon.  

My love of fruit teas at work, however, has often ended up with me in possession of a half-pot of cold tea.  NOT satisfactory.  So, I decided to make a tea cozy.  A steampunk-ish tea cozy.  Having never owned one, I went to Google as my online resource, and found Rusty Bobbin's simple and easy tea cozy tutorial, here.  Thanks Rusty Bobbin!

I selected a scrap of brown and black herringbone wool I had kicking around (from something I made about 16+ years ago, which I don't even recall!).  I purchased a roll of batting, though I was unable to find the insulating batting which apparently exists for such things.

As per the tutorial, I measured my wee teapot and drew up the pattern based on them.  Since I had enough fabric, I decided to line the cozy with the same wool as the outside, and figured, with the batting, this should keep tea nice and warm even without the fancy insulating stuff.
Now, of course, I needed trim.  I had some lime green velvet ribbon lying about, and opted for it, as a bright contrast to the dull wool.  I barely had enough to trim the base of both sides of the cozy (and only once the seam allowance was taken into consideration).
I also had some brown grosgrain-styled trim, with mock lime-green stitching along it, which I decided would be the perfect thing to compliment the green velvet and the brown & black wool.
I stitched the velvet down on the wool, leaving a margin at the bottom, so the ribbon would be above the base of the finished cozy.  I then centred and sewed the brown trim on top of that.

Trim added, I sewed the outside trimmed pieces, batting, and lining together as per the above tutorial, turned it rightside out as instructed, and stitched the turning opening shut.  Well, not quite so simple.  I'm not familiar with sewing and turning lined things rightside out, and, well, I ended up sewing it wrong way around, and had to undo all my stitches the first time.  Whoops.

A rusted-effect 4-hole metal button, picked up at an an evil little button store in Vancouver called Button Button, proved the perfect addition to the trim, and I sewed on a very 3-dimensional brass button to the centre top, to use as a handle (in lieu of the tutorial's little fabric handle).
Finished tea cozy, lying flat.  Note button handle and decoration.

Here are the button details - trim and handle.
Completed cozy & my wee teapot (which it towers over) - does an excellent job of keeping my tea warm.
I'm not sure if everyone will consider this a steampunk tea cozy - I'm not sure what the qualifying details would be - but in my humble opinion it is.  Thoughts?  Arguments?  

In closing, I fully acknowledge the fallacy of my title for this post -- there was no tempest (other than the part where I sewed it wrong way around the first time and had to unstitch it all, which resulted in a brief blue verbal tempest).