Monday, 31 March 2014

Cosy Up To This!

I survived a self-inflicted, gruelling sewing bonanza to get this finished in time for my sister-in-law's birthday.  So, here is my first-ever cafetiere cosy!

I reviewed several cafetiere cosy design ideas; but, none of them seemed versatile enough for what I had in mind.

Y'see, this household has three cafetieres of various sizes... and, a motley collection of teapots.

To adopt the popular wrap-around cosy design would have meant making a separate cosy for each cafetiere.  Plus, I'd feel compelled to, also, make a separate teapot cosy... Well, I had neither the material, nor time, for such a project.

Hmmm... What if I make a "one-size-fits-all" cosy?

It had to be a simple pattern - I am fairly new to sewing, and have never quilted before.

I got out my tape measure, a sheet of paper, and a pencil.  I sketched my idea, and measured the largest of the cafetieres [Bodum Chambord].  I noted the measurements, where applicable, on the sketched-out design, including a half-inch seam allowance on all sides.  It looked both promising, and do-able.

I proceeded to cut out my three pattern pieces from a cardboard box.  On each piece, I  noted how many I would need, [as shown below].

  • (1x) 5-inch by 9-inch top panel
  • (2x) 9-inch x 11-inch front and back panels
  • (2x) 5-inch x 11-inch side panels

With my pattern pieces made, I used them to cut my fabric to size for each 3-layered panel

The fabric for the top panel had to be spliced, horizontally, in half.  The two halves were then rearranged; so that the pattern direction on the top would correspond with the direction of the pattern on the front and back panels: the resulting seam is hidden by the handle [detailed with photo below].  I lined up each of the 5-inch x 9-inch fabric pieces, and pinned them in place.

[NOTE: For the insulating material between the fabric layers, I used non-woven polypropylene - my brother was able to obtain a small amount for me from work.]

I layered and pinned each piece of the pattern just like below.  On the side panels, however, I chose to use lavender sueded-velvet on the top/outside layer, and chocolate brown cotton flannel for the bottom layer/inside lining.
  • Top/Outside Layer: Printed Flannel
  • Middle (Heat-Absorbent) Layer: Non-Woven Polypropylene
  • Bottom/Inside Lining Layer: Lavender Sueded-Velvet
Once all the pattern pieces were pinned, I sewed around the edges of each piece, making sure all layers were sewn.  Then, I quilted each piece using vertical lines.

[I have read that it is not a good idea to "over-quilt", or to space the quilted lines too closely together, because it will greatly reduce the effectiveness of the insulation material.]

Before any serious construction began, I added the handle to the top panel, so that the ends would be secure and hidden.  I used red webbing, brown grosgrain ribbon with ivory stitching detail down both sides; and, finally, buttons chosen to accentuate the colours in the charming coffee and cake-themed soft cotton flannel.

Using a zigzag stitch, I sewed red, satiny bias binding around the bottom edge of each piece, as well as, around the edges of the front and back panel pieces, for bright and cheerful coordinating contrast.  This bit was really challenging in places.  I had to stop, drink a large mocha, and watch a bit of "Location! Location! Location!" to calm myself down.  Really!

Next came one of the sweariest bits: piecing the individual quilted bits together, carefully pinning them in place, then cohesively stitching the parts together.  It was easy enough to start; but, as the panels were added, it became much more difficult to stitch up in the corners - I had to hand-sew some of those bits, because my sewing machine just wasn't having any of it.

ANOTHER mocha, and an episode of "Home Or Away?" on the telly later...I gathered up my tattered patience, and continued...

I sewed well into the wee hours of the morning, determined to finish my self-designed cafetiere cosy project.

I "test-drove" it this morning: I made my much-craved, "knock yer socks orf" blend of dark roast coffee in my Bodum Chambord cafetiere...Over an hour later, I came back downstairs for a second cup.  Guess what???

My coffee was still steaming hot as if I had just made it! Score!

It works! It works! It works! 

Now that it's done, you can put away that "wannabe-cafetiere-cosy" teatowel, sista! THIS design solves all of those pesky cosy issues, because it fits all your cafetieres, and teapots! It's safe to say, then, that you can...

Cosy Up To This!