I was rummaging through my boxes of linens in storage, and found an old, stained tea-cozy that I’d made back in the 90’s — which inspired me to make a new one, seen below.

Fancy a cuppa?

The fabric, lining, batt, ribbon, and elastic are all out of my stash. The fabric’s a pretty Japanese block print cotton I think was brought back to me from Tokyo by a friend. I meant for all the fish to swim the way fish usually do, but I was distracted while cutting it out by the antics of Mr. Dog Breath, and ended up with them all going vertically, instead. (Note: When cutting irreplaceable fabric with a sharp rotary cutter, just put the puppy in his crate.) Luckily, I had a brain storm, and did a little cutting and seaming so that the only fish going vertically are in the ruffled bit. “Make it a feature,” as we used to say in the marketing department.

I’d made dozens of these for craft sales in the past, but it was a long time ago and it took me a while, a bit of cursing, and a lot of seam-ripper action to remember how it went together. As I puzzled it out, I thought back on the origin of this handy little beast. On a visit to Leesburg, VA, my friend and crafting conspiritor, Miss Pam’la, and I went to tea at a local teashop. The pot was wrapped in a cozy just like this — and there was a basket full of them for sale. But they were asking $25 each, and as Miss Pam’la pointed out, there wasn’t even a fat quarter of fabric in them, or more than about 30 minutes of cutting and sewing. So I brought one over to our table, and using her thumb to measure (she’s a forensic pathologist by training, and good at eyeballing the size of things), we drafted a pattern and instructions right then and there!

It’s a genius design, as the handle and spout are uncovered, keeping the tea hot and pourable. It’s also fairly forgiving, size-wise. The model in the photo is adorning Mama Rubi’s relatively petite 6-cup pot, but this will also comfortably cover a zaftig Rockingham Brown Betty. Of course, since I hadn’t planned to make this, I have no idea of how big around my teapot in Madrid is, but I’m sure it’s on the scale somewhere.

Let me know in the comments if you’re interested in making one, and I’ll write the “recipe” down for you.