A first teapot cosy and some grand plans

7 May

You know my hugely nebulous plans to start up a great fabric empire to rival Libertys?

Well, in an attempt to make them less nebulous and more concrete, I’ve given myself a deadline to have my Etsy shop up and running and actually stocked with things that I’ve made.

(Note the careful way I’m not sharing the actual date of this deadline with you, just in case I don’t make it…)

Quiled teapot cosy

Would you spend money on this?

The first product I want to have ready to sell is a teapot cosy made with my teapot fabric. (I know! These unexpected yet brilliant connections I make! Clearly the mind of a genius at work.)

Great plans, so far, aren’t they? But then, after a while of thinking what a great product I was going to make, it dawned on me that I haven’t got a clue how to make a teapot cosy.

I examined my Cath Kidston teapot cosy carefully and could see that it was quilted, which immediately struck me as frightening. It also had binding on it. Doubly terrifying. I didn’t really know how to attempt either of those things.

But then, while having a little ramble around Twitter, I came across Saturday Sewing Session (www.saturdaysewingsession.co.uk). They have London-based sewing classes and, oh, what’s that I see? A whole entire afternoon class on sewing teapot cosies, including learning to quilt and applique.

[Random interjection here: I don't quite feel like I've got the point of Twitter, yet. Am I the only one? I signed up a while ago, but haven't yet shaken off the feeling that I'm just shouting into a void whenever I post anything. Does anyone really care about my picture of some ferrets about to have a race at a county fair, or should I save such chat for Facebook? Answers on a postcard, please. Or a 140 character tweet...]

So last Saturday, I hit the well-heeled neighbourhood of Chelsea and sewed myself this little beauty.

Quilted floral cosy | Wolves in London

I hasten to point out, this is not my fabric. I am some years (maybe lifetimes) away from being able to design something as complicated as this. The sewing, though, all my own…

Speaking with absolutely no modesty at all, I say isn’t it quite the prettiest tea cosy you’ve ever seen?

First, we learnt how to quilt the outside covers. As is the way with most things in life, something I thought was going to be really complicated was extremely simple. In this case, it was just as straightforward as sewing a straight line.

Quilted teapot cosy | Wolves in London

Quilting! Me! Neatly!

The clever bit was in the use of a little sewing machine quilting bar, that meant you spaced all of your lines perfectly…

Quilted teapot cosy | Wolves in London

Another photo of the quilting, that’s how proud I am…

Then, we put the pieces together and I was slightly amused to realise that the construction was exactly the same as the method I’d used for my egg cosies at Easter. And there I was thinking I’d invented that all by myself! Okay, the red lining isn’t the perfect match for the gorgeous outside fabric, but it was the closest there.

Quilted teapot cosy | Wolves in London

And the lining…

We were meant to be appliqueing something onto the front of the cosy as well, but by the time I’d done my quilting, I knew that I didn’t want anything else going onto such an elegant fabric (does anyone recognise it, by the way? I absolutely adored it, but the person teaching my class wasn’t sure where they’d got it from…). So, I just tried out a bit of applique on a piece of calico instead.

Clearly, I was having a good sewing day, because this came out wonderfully as well:

Applique heart | Wolves in London

Awww, a floral heart

Actually, maybe it was something in the air of that studio, because I can never sew this neatly at home…

Applique detail

Neat stitching, perfectly in place. Quite impressive for me…

So, a very first teapot cosy. This won’t be sold, but used by me for all my teapot cosying needs. Actually, I think the shape of this one is a bit too tall and not wide enough, so I’ll make a new pattern when I make the ones for my shop.

So, what do you think? Would you part with your hard-earned cash for something like this?!

Related articles:

Linking up at Keeping it Simple Crafts, Lines Across, Sew Can Do and Serenity Now. Head over to see what others have been up to this week.

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6 Responses to “A first teapot cosy and some grand plans”

  1. Cheryl May 7, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    Congratulations on your adventure into sewing. As a per son who grew up with a mother who could sew ANYTHING, I was lucky to kind of learn by osmosis. As far as buying your item on Etsy I think it just takes time. I would not buy from the UK just because of shipping so this would limit your audience. Good luck and show us more.

    • Wolves in London May 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

      Hi Cheryl, yes, I think my Etsy shop will only likely be for UK people, because of the posting costs — but I’ll keep up the blogging as well, so there will be pictures at least!

      I think I’ll be incredibly excited if I even manage to produce enough things to open the shop at first, let alone sell anything…

  2. Abode Advice May 7, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    We disagree with Cheryl on it limiting your audience because we’re from the UK and we LOVE your tea cosy. In fact, we’d buy a few of them as gifts. The pattern is beautiful, the quilting is spot on and it would look great in many of our readers kitchens. Thanks for sharing this with us x

    • Wolves in London May 7, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

      That’s great to hear; thanks ever so much for such nice feedback!

  3. lovelucie1 May 7, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    Love your teapot cosy. Isn’t it satisfying to have achieved a pretty and useful item? I agree, though, it needs to be squatter to fit your average teapot. Quilting is on my list of things to do……

    • Wolves in London May 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

      So satisfying! Though, I have to admit, I have three tea cosies now, so I think I’ll need to start making up three separate teapots whenever we have people round, just so I can use them all…

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