There are certain indispensable items that a home wouldn’t be complete without, and the humble tea towel is definitely one of them. This partner-in-cleaning is always on hand to assist with everyday tasks, from mopping up spills to making the dreaded drying-up more bearable. But, as Amanda Walker has demonstrated with her fabulous tea towel projects, there’s much more to these unassuming cloths than just household chores.
- Fabric, white cotton
- Tea towels
- White bias binding, 2.5cm wide
- Cushion pad, 35cm square
- Fibreglass rods
- Roman blind cord
- Plastic rings
- Wooden batten l Eye screws
- Metal pull and cleat
- Hook and loop Velcro
Sew a Roman blind
Deduct 4cm from the length of the tea towel. Divide this figure by an odd number; the higher the number, the more folds will be formed. This figure is now the measurement for a half pleat, which forms the first fold of the blind at the bottom. The next two full pleats will be double this measurement. Add the original 4cm that was taken off at the beginning back into the measurement for the top pleat. Use a pencil to draw on the wrong side of the towel to mark these positions.
Cut three lengths of bias binding to the same width as the tea towel, fold in each end, then press it in half lengthways. Stitch the folded binding to the first position marked on the towel. This will create the first pocket to thread the rod through. Repeat the process at the two remaining marked points. Measure in approximately 8cm from each side of the blind and mark this point, then sew a ring to the fold at the edge of each binding rod pocket.
Position and pin the soft side of Velcro to the top of the towel and stitch in place. Cut the fibreglass rods to the length of the binding. Insert the rods and hand-stitch across the sides to secure them in place. Unpick the ends of the towel hem and insert a rod into it, sewing in place.
Snip the batten for the top of the blind 1cm shorter than the width of the towel. Cover the batten with a scrap of white fabric and staple to secure. Fix the hook side of the Velcro to the top of the batten. Mark 8cm (or the measurement of the outside rings on the blind) in from each end of the underside of the batten and place screw eyes at these points. Attach an extra screw eye to the side that the blind will be pulled from. Mount the batten onto the wall or window frame.
Fix a length of blind cord to the bottom pleat rings and thread up through the other rings. Mount the blind onto the top of the batten by joining the Velcro. Pass the blind cords through the screw eyes, ensuring the left side cord runs through the right side screw eye. Pull to raise the blind and form folds. Push the cord ends through and knot. Screw a cleat to the wall and wind cords around it to secure the blind.
Make a teapot cosy
Cut the tea towel down the centre, widthways. Keep the other half for another project. Fold the piece in half, this time lengthways, matching the stripes and the hems together. Slice down the fold to separate the pieces, then round the corners of this raw edge.
Pin together with right sides facing, taking care to match up the stripe in the towel. Unpick a small amount of the remaining hem on the finished edge and sew the two panels together with a 5mm seam allowance. Neaten with an overlocker or a zig zag stitch. Re-hem the existing hem at the side seams. Turn to the right side and press.
The teapot cosy consists of this cover and a wadded inner lining, so with this in mind, use the finished cover as a pattern to cut out two pieces in wadding and two in white cotton lining fabric. But before you do, add 3cm to the depth of the cotton lining in order to turn up a hem for the base of the inner.
Sandwich the two lining panels between the two pieces of wadding and stitch around the outside edges. Fold and press up 1.5cm at the base, then turn the same amount again onto the wadding, pin in place and edgestitch to form a hem. Place the tea towel cover over the wadding inner.