How to sew a tea cosy


A tea cosy is a fairly straightforward thing to sew and makes a great gift. Many of us use teabags – but instead of making tea in a mug, try using a teapot. You get more than one cup of tea for your effort. So, while tea cosies have been on the wane, I’d like to make an appeal for their revival.


You’ll need

  • Fabric for outside of tea cosy
  • Lining fabric
  • Batting or wadding
  • Pins, sewing machine, thread

1. Make a template and cut out the pieces

DSC01880 Get your tea pot and lie it on its side and allow about another inch or 5 cm on either side of the spout and handle for the length. Mine was 14 inches along the straight bottom line and 11 inches to the top of the ‘dome’.
To create the curve of the ‘dome’ you can use a bowl to draw around. You need to cut out 2 pieces of your tea cosy fabric, plus 2 pieces of lining fabric and 2 pieces of batting. I cut the batting about ½ inch inside the template – it needs to be smaller so it will fit inside between the outer fabric and the lining.

2. Make the handle

DSC01884Cut out another piece of fabric about 5inches by 2inches. This is to make a carry handle for the top of the cosy.
Fold in half an inch along the long side and press with an iron. Fold in the other side to meet in the middle and press again.
Using the sewing machine, sew along one side of the join very close to the edge. Repeat on the other side, again getting as close to the edge as possible.

3. Turn up a hem on the cosy  pieces

DSC01886Turn in a half inch hem on each long side of the outer pieces and the lining pieces. Press with an iron but don’t sew them.

4. Insert the handle and sew up the outer pieces

Take the two outer tea cosy pieces and place them right sides together. Fold the handle you have made in half and place it in between the two cosy pieces with the raw edge lined up with the top of the dome of the cosy.

5. Sew up the outer cover of the cosy

Pin the cosy together around the curved edges and using the sewing machine, sew it together, sewing through the handle as well within your seam.

6. Make the lining

DSC01887Pin the two lining pieces together and sew them together, leaving the straight edge open.

7. Insert the lining into the cosy cover

DSC01890Lay the sewn up lining on top of the sewn up cover. Take hold of the two pieces together and turn them the right way round so that the lining ends up inside the cover. Fiddle it into place so you have a good fit.

8. Insert the wadding into the cosy

DSC01891Take your wadding (batting) and ease it gently between the cover and the lining on each side. Trin off any excess. Fiddle it about to ensure a good fit and make sure you’ve pushed to through to the top of the ‘dome’.

9. Sew up the open seam

Make sure the wadding is all tucked inside. Match the folded edge of the cover with the folded edge of the lining. Pin in place. Using the sewing machine, sew a line all the way round the base of the tea cosy, sewing the top cover to the lining. That’s it! All ready for a good brew.


  1. ElenB says:

    I love the tea cosy and it’s quite easy to make, very good instructions and pictures. It would make a good present too! Thanks for sharing it.

  2. classybird says:

    Couldn’t agree with the teapot and cosy sentiment. I have a couple of ancient cosies that I’ve modified after suggestion from my mum. Leave the lining open at the top (inside the cosy) but hem the raw edges. I have a couple of rectangles of polyester wadding that slide into the pockets (turn the cosy inside out to do this) which gives the cosy additional heat retention and makes it easier to wash – just take out the wadding and chuck into the washing m/c. I then pop the wadding into the other cosy to use and have a spare that doesn’t take up much space.

  3. san says:

    My sister also makes a wadded square and attaches it to the outside of the cosy with velcro. You can use this if the teapot handle is too hot.

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