This project was contributed by Claire Mackaness who runs Beautiful Things Craft and sewing classes in Brentwood, Essex. Find out more about her workshops by visiting http://www.clairemackaness.com/
Tea Bag Holder Project
The teabag holder is one of the best things I have ever made and used. I started making these back in 2005 when I began selling handmade products at craft fairs and they have always been my most popular item. Even today when I mainly teach classes I still have a basket of them on my counter to entice tea drinking customers.
Perfect to pop in your handbag if you are a herbal tea drinker or perhaps you can only have decaf?
No more old sandwich bags sculling about at the bottom of your bag, you can now have somewhere to store your bags in style.
They also make great gifts for tea lovers in your family or at work.
You will need
A hair bobble or thin piece of elastic,
A fat quarter of funky fabric (I used Violetta by Amy Butler from Coats Crafts)
A fat quarter of plain coloured cotton
Rotary cutter or scissors, ruler, pins and thread.
Cut out 2 rectangles of fabric from both your patterned and your plain fabric measuring 7.5” x 5”
Fold your plain rectangles in half lengthways so that the thickness is doubled as per the image above right.
Top stitch along the folded edge of each plain rectangle. This is a nice neat finishing effect and gives the fabric pockets stability to store the teabags.
Pin one of your plain topstitched rectangles to one side only of your patterned fabric approx. 1” from the bottom of the fabric as shown. The raw edge should be facing the bottom of the fabric and the top stitched end towards the top.
Stitch along the bottom of the plain rectangle approx. ¼ inch away from the bottom edge securing it to the patterned fabric.
Pin the 2nd rectangle on top and line up the two bottom edges. Stitch in place just a little bit under ¼” from the edge so that the stitches will not show when the final item is put together using a ¼” seam allowance
Fold your teabag holder in half and press so that you can find the centre line. Stitch down it from the top of the plain rectangles to the bottom remembering to put a back tack in to start so that it does not unravel.
Position your elastic hair bobble folded in half or a piece of elastic on the edge of your pouch and baste in place within the ¼” seam allowance. I find the easiest way to do this is to put my needle down into 1 side of the elastic and push the other side up flush with the point of my needlework scissors once my presser foot is down. I then manually turn my handwheel a couple of stitches over it and then go back and forward a few times.
Lay your other piece of patterned fabric down on top right sides together and pin in place.
Stitch round using a ¼” seam allowance and pivoting on the corners. Leave a 2” gap to turn (you can see mine in the bottom right of this image). Remove the bulk from the corners by cutting away the excess fabric, being careful not to snip the stitches.
Turn in the right way and press carefully.
Top stitch the edges at a ¼” for neatness and to close your turning hole. Stitch a button on to finish and then your tea bag travel case is ready to use. Fill it up and pop it in your hand bag.
For craft and sewing classes in Essex do visit http://www.clairemackaness.com/