Monday, 25 February 2013

Make It! Hand-pieced Teacosy

Due to an unexpected exodus from my house of all distracting children, I may now have time to post up a quick "tutorial" of my now finished teacosy! Actually this is a 'method'  tutorial as you will need to switch over to a previous tutorial halfway through but I'm sure you'll manage brilliantly. This is the kind of patchwork that lends itself to a free form experience, I think! More on that later. 

The eventual teacosy will look something like this: 

Although you will need to use what ever scrap fabric you have around to achieve this look! Yours may well look more classy, if you use a more careful selection process!

You will need:

An A4 piece of paper with the top edges rounded off (this is your 'pattern' it fits most medium sized teapots but if yours is quite tall you may need to modify the 'pattern')
A hexagonal template (patchwork template or cut out of card). Mine is 3 inches at the widest point. A smaller hexagon would make a pleasing effect too.
At least 40 pieces of paper cut into hexagons using a template.
At least 40 pieces of scrap fabric slightly larger than your hexagonal template.

2 pieces A4 size fabric for the lining
2 pieces A4 size iron-on interfacing
2 pieces of A4 size wadding


1) First you need to make a load of hexagon pieces. Baste your fabric pieces onto the paper, turning the excess to the back.

 These ones are not very neat! I like to iron them and you could also trim them a little. Make lots - at least 40 if you're using a 3" hexagon. More if smaller.

2) Using a neat non-visible stitch like matress stitch sew together HALF the hexagon pieces. I like to use a stitch you can't see but my mum does it with a simple over stitch and it does look nice because she can do perfect tiny elf stitches. Construct one line of five then add another line above until you have a piece of work that is about four lines high. If you lay your pattern piece over it you will see where you need to add any to have the correct size. Make two of these patchwork sections.
3)Now you have to undo it all! At this point I would recommend pressing the fabric and maybe even using a little spray starch to keep it pristine. Using a pair of sharp scissors or stitch ripper, cut and pull out carefully all your basting threads. Then extract the paper pieces. I use a pin to pop them out. 
4)Cut out the pieces of interfacing to match your cosy pattern, then iron the  interfacing onto the wrong side of the patchwork making sure that there are no gaps. Trim the patchwork piece so that it is also the same size as the pattern.

To complete the cosy you need 6 pieces the same shape: 2 patchwork fused to the interfacing/2 wadding/2 fabric lining.

Construction of this beast is very simple, you simply need to sew the patchwork and lining at the bottom edge, make a wadding sandwich and then sew all around the outer edge. You're now thinking:  Arg, what?! Read this tutorial for making an egg cosy which uses exactly the same method. Read from Step 3 and bobs your uncle. I did write a tutorial for making a tea cosy which was in Creative Crafting Mag: it's remarkably similar (One Trick Pony, moi?).

Happy Making x

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