Our beloved Dame Agatha Christie turns 120 this month, and to celebrate the occasion, I've joined in with other mystery afficiandos on the Agatha Christie Blog Tour. As you may be feeling a bit peckish from your long journeys around the internet, I should offer some refreshments... perhaps a perfectly British, tea inspired craft project? As an homage to Aunt Jane and Agatha and because I like my tea like my men, piping hot, I decided to whip up the Miss Marple Tea Cozy. I was inspired by an absolutely stunning tutorial on the blog, Acorn Pies. If you want to make the cozy using a sewing machine or make one with a liner, head over to her site ASAP!
The Miss Marple cozy is sewn by hand and should be easy for even novice crafty types. I used felt sheets from the craft store and a crystal gem from the old chandelier that fell from our dining room ceiling (another story for another time!). Total cost for the cozy was under a dollar including the embroidery floss.
Since every tea pot is different you'll want to take measurements of your faithful vessel and adjust the pattern to fit your needs.
Plot out measurements of the height of your pot, furthest handle and spout distances, height from top of spout to top of lid, and lid width.
On a large piece of paper, draw an arch from the top of spout to the top of the lid and from the top of the handle to the top of the lid. Add a half an inch to the outside of your pattern all the way around to allow for stitching. Cut out template. You may want to actually make an extra template. I made two, taped them together and fit them over my teapot to check the sizing.
Pin the pattern to your felt and cut front and back pieces.
For the cameo, I've included an Aunt Jane silhouette, you can import this photo into your favorite program and adjust the size to best fit your pot.
Print design and cut from paper
Pin template to felt and carefully cut fabric
Using a running stitch, sew cameo to front of cozy
With a blanket stitch, attach front and back pieces together all the way around at side and top seams. Blanket stitches are one of my favorite functional/decoration stitches. Basically your needle moves from the back of your work through the fabric, you pass your needle back through the loop you've just made before pulling the stitch tight and insert next stitch again from the back.
It's a fun stitch to make and goes very quickly- There are some excellent videos on YouTube of making blanket stitches if you need more visuals.
Cozies need a bobble on top and Miss Marple truly deserves some extra bling, something like the much prized diamond from "The Secret of Chimneys" Sew your own diadem on tight and your cozy is ready for service. Now Polly put the kettle on and enjoy your tea, and if you should wiff the slightest hint of bitter almonds in your cup... well, you might want to switch over to whiskey instead.