Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tutorial: French Press Cozy

Hello there!

The second project I finished for Feather Your Nest (after my His and Hers Bulletin Boards) was a cozy for our French press. It was such a quick project and turned out so well I thought I would share a tutorial!

French Press Cozy Tutorial 2

This is a tutorial for an insulated AND washable French press cozy. If you depend on the French press as much as I do (2 words for you: teething toddler *YAWN*), you know those two elements are nearly indispensable in a cozy. I like my coffee HOT and this definitely helps! I also regularly squirt coffee all over the place when pressing, so the washable aspect is awesome.

The idea to use scraps came from my friend Blair who shared with me her vision for making her own scrappy French press cozy. Thanks Blair!

It just occurred to me that you could also follow the steps below to make a mug cozy! The measurements would be a bit smaller, but it is the exact same process. Hmmm. I might have to whip one up now!

French Press Cozy Tutorial


Since French presses come in different shapes and sizes, we need to determine the size of your pattern pieces.

This cozy is made with 2 rectangles: a Large one that wraps around the press, and a Small one that goes through the handle and fastens the cozy. Grab your French press (or mug!), a measuring tape and a piece of paper and pencil.

Here's a fancy hand-drawn diagram to help (click to see larger):

Tutorial: French Press Cozy

Large Rectangle:
A is the height of your French press (what you want the cozy to cover). Add 1 inch to A --> that is the width of your Large Rectangle.
B is the circumference of your press, going through the handle. Remove 1 inch from B --> that is the length of your Large Rectangle.

Small Rectangle:
C is the opening of the handle. Add 0.5 inch to C --> that is the width of your Small Rectangle.
The length of your Small Rectangle will be a standard 5 inches (probably 4 inches for a mug cozy).

Jot down these measurements and keep them conveniently close.

Materials needed:

- Pattern measurements (see above)
- Scraps of fabric, longer than the width of your Large Rectangle
- One piece of coordinating scrap fabric (cut one Small Rectangle)
- One fat-eighth of fabric for lining (cut one Large Rectangle and one Small Rectangle)
- Quilt batting, insulated if that is your preference (cut one Large Rectangle and one Small Rectangle, slightly larger than pattern measurements)
- Velcro, 3/4 inch wide, about 3 inches long
- Sewing machine, scissors, thread, etc


Seam allowance: 1/2 inch, unless otherwise indicated.

1. Cut your fabric to size.

Begin by cutting the Large and Small Rectangle pieces from the lining fabric and from the batting (cut batting slightly larger), and the Small Rectangle for the front.

Tutorial: French Press Cozy

2. Assemble your scraps for the exterior of the cozy.

I work with linen a lot, so I had plenty of linen scraps. I decided to alternate them with various colorful prints. I chose a "dot" theme and fished all the dotted fabrics out of my scrap box!

Tutorial: French Press Cozy

Press all your scraps. Then begin sewing them together with a 1/4 inch allowance, in an order that is pleasing to your eyes. You can sew them straight together, or go wonky. Just make sure, as you keep adding length to your rectangle with every scrap, that the width remains correct. (In other words, watch out for wonky seams making your rectangle narrower than it should be! )

Tutorial: French Press Cozy

Press all your seams open.

3. Time to quilt!

Layer your scrappy patchwork right side up onto the large rectangle of batting. (Note: if using insulated batting, you will want the "shiny" side to face down, or away from the scrappy fabric.)

Baste with safety pins, or pin layers together, or just wing it like I did. Stitch 1/8 inch on either side of each seam. If your layers are not pinned together, smooth them out after each length of stitching. Keep going with this quilting process until you've stitched along every seam.

Tutorial: French Press Cozy

Trim your rectangle to the size of your Large Rectangle measurements.

Tutorial: French Press Cozy

4. It's time to add Velcro.

You'll want the "scratchy" side to go on one edge of your scrappy Large Rectangle. Center it at least 3/4 inch from the edge, pin it in place and stitch it on securely.

Tutorial: French Press Cozy

Then grab your Small Rectangle of lining fabric, as well as the Small Rectangle of batting. Layer these 2 pieces together with the lining fabric right side up. (Note: if using insulated batting, the "shiny" side should face toward your lining fabric.)

Position 2 pieces of "soft" Velcro a couple of inches from each other, at least 3/4 inch from the short edge of your rectangle. Pin in place and stitch securely.

(Note: you can opt to stitch just 1 piece of Velcro mirroring the one on the scrappy rectangle. I find the option with 2 width-wise pieces to be more forgiving when closing your cozy if you've sewn things a bit too tight, or if you are extra-sleepy when making coffee.)

Tutorial: French Press Cozy

Tutorial: French Press Cozy

5. Let's assemble the front and back of your cozy.

We'll start with the Small Rectangles.

Lay the Small Rectangles right sides together. (One side will be the piece with the batting and the Velcro, the other side will be the scrap piece of fabric cut to size. I chose linen to match the rest of my cozy.) Pin and stitch around. Then cut excess fabric at the corners carefully and trim all edges. (I forgot to use my pinking shears here!)

Tutorial: French Press Cozy

Turn inside out, poking the corners out carefully with a chopstick or similar pointed instrument. Press and top-stitch 1/8 from the edge. Set this piece aside.

Tutorial: French Press Cozy

6. It's the Large Rectangles' turn!

Lay your Large Rectangles right sides together. (One side will be the scrappy patchwork quilted with batting, the other side will be your lining fabric.)

Pin and sew all around, leaving a gap *on the side WITHOUT Velcro*. The gap should be large enough for turning AND fitting the width of your Small Rectangle. See high-tech diagram below.

(Note: I recommend laying your assembled Small Rectangle on top of your Large Rectangle and marking start and end points for your stitching with pins.)

Tutorial: French Press Cozy

Tutorial: French Press Cozy

Cut extra fabric at corners carefully and trim all edges. Turn inside out, poke your corners out and press.

Tutorial: French Press Cozy

7. Put your Large and Small Rectangles together.

Fit your Small Rectangle into the gap of the Large Rectangle, tucking about 1/2 inch into the gap. The Velcro on the Small Rectangle should be side down, the Velcro on the Large Rectangle should be side up. Make sure everything is straight and centered, then pin into place.

Tutorial: French Press Cozy

Top-stitch 1/8 from the edge of the Large Rectangle, all around, thereby attaching the Small Rectangle. I went over the spot where the Small and Large Rectangles meet a second time, for sturdiness' sake.

Tutorial: French Press Cozy

And you're done!

Tutorial: French Press Cozy

Tutorial: French Press Cozy

Tutorial: French Press Cozy

Tutorial: French Press Cozy

We've been using this cozy daily since I made it and it is FAB! I'm so happy with it. It keeps my coffee warm all morning and it looks super cute. I've already washed it once (making sure to fasten the Velcro prior to throwing it in the wash) and it came out in perfect shape.

Please let me know in the comments what you think of this tutorial, and if you have any questions or suggestions. If you make this project, I would love to see your interpretation! Please post photos in our Friends of Stumbles & Stitches Flickr pool, or email me at Happy stitching!


  1. Jenny, I love this! I have to make one of these, soon......

  2. Thank you so much for posting this. Your photos and hand drawings are very clear and helpful!

  3. Just made one, but just used one print for the front. Thanks for the clear explanation. Only one thing, different cafetieres also have the handle at different heights. So for instance, I had to take into account for mine that there was more space at the bottom of the handle than the top when deciding where to place the smaller tab.


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