If you drink a lot of tea or enjoy hosting tea parties, you likely own a teapot, If you want to keep your tea warm while it is in the pot, a tea cozy is the solution. While many tea cozies are knit or crocheted, it is easiest to sew a tea cozy since even inexperienced or beginning sewers can complete this project.
The point of a tea cozy is to keep tea warm, so you will need to choose an outside fabric, a lining fabric and some sort of insulation. For the outside fabric and the lining, cottons or poly/cotton blends are best. You can use the same fabric for the outside and lining or choose two complimenting or contrasting fabrics for a reversible tea cozy.
When choosing insulation, there are a number of options. Plain cotton batting is appropriate, although there are newer fabrics like Radiantex and Insul-Bright that are specially designed to insulate and may do a better job of holding the heat in.
Instead of choosing custom materials and batting, you could start with two pre-made quilted place mats, although you may have to do some cutting and hemming of the pieces to make them fit your pattern.
Styles & Patterns
The most popular style of tea cozy is the dome that sits over the teapot and completely covers it, although some prefer a tea cozy that ties around the teapot, leaving the handle, spout, and lid free. The dome-style tea cozy is the easiest to make and, based on its popularity, seems to be the best at keeping tea warm. To make a dome-style tea cozy you simply measure your teapot and cut two pieces each of your fabric, lining and batting to the same sizes. Hem the bottoms of the outer fabric and lining pieces, and then sew all three layers together as outer fabric/batting/lining. Complete the tea cozy by sewing the two pieces of the dome together.
The open tea cozy pattern requires more sewing experience since you must create casings and gatherings, but it does stay on the teapot while you are pouring tea.
Measuring Your Teapot
To get the best fit for your tea cozy, thus ensuring proper insulating, measure your teapot before designing your tea cozy. First, measure the girth or circumference of the teapot by wrapping a tape measure around the entire teapot—handle and spout included. Divide this number by 2 to determine the width of your flat pieces, and then add 2 inches for ease and seam allowances.
For example, if the circumference of the teapot is 20 inches, divide by 2 to get 10 and then add 2 to equal 12. Thus, the width of my tea cozy will be 12 inches.
Next, measure over the top of your teapot. Start at the table on one side of the teapot, pulling the tape measure up over the lid and down to the table on the other side. Again, divide this number by 2, but add 3 inches this time. This will be the height of your tea cozy.
For example, if I measure over my teapot and get 16 inches, I divide by 2 to get 8 inches and then add 3 to equal 11 inches. The height of my tea cozy will be 11 inches.
Using both of the above examples, I will create a paper pattern or draw directly onto my fabric to create a half-circle that is 12 inches wide and 11 inches tall. Remember, though, that because you've allowed extra room for ease and 1/2 inch seam allowances, this doesn't have to be perfect.