Because life’s celebrations shouldn’t cost the Earth

Friday, 13 December 2013

Upcycled Cafetiere Wraps - Sew Cosy!

 Recycled Wool Sweaters

Last winter I made these cafetiere cosies and lots of people mentioned how much they liked them, so this week I finally got around to making a couple more.

I purchased some Starbucks' themed 'French Press' sets and got to work.  The first thing to do was discard the flimsy red wraps they came with, (I'm thinking I might turn these into hanging 'wool' hearts for the tree) as they were made from a synthetic yarn and were way too thin to offer any insulating properties at all.

I dug out my stash of felted wool jumpers and scarves to find a far more suitable wrap.  If you want to produce your own pure wool felt, just throw some old knitwear into the washing machine on a boil wash, it's that easy!  One quick point to note though, is that if you wash a load with mixed colours, then the fibres tend to transfer to each other.  You can see evidence of this on the dark brown sweater below.  I actually quite like this effect as it gives the final wool fabric a nice artisan appearance! 

This method creates the most gorgeous tactile material which any member of the family would be happy to snuggle into.

Once I had wrestled my choice out from beneath bad kitty, I got cutting and stitching and this is what I came up with........

French Press Cozies for two of George's teachers.  

We decided they deserved a little Christmas present as they write and produce the annual 'Panto' at school.  For non UK readers, Wikipedia describes this typically British Christmas tradition thus;

"Pantomime includes songs, slapstick comedy and dancing, employs gender-crossing actors, and combines topical humour with a story loosely based on a well-known fairy tale.  It is a participatory form of theatre, in which the audience is expected to sing along with certain parts of the music and shout out phrases to the performers." 

"So now you know...........oh no you don't.........oh yes you do.........etc........etc.......!" 

The writing of a production containing 'topical humour' must take hours and this, along with numerous rehearsals, on top of their normal teaching week, represents a very impressive commitment. They take their production out, for free, to the local community and lots of primary school children and old folk get to share in this lovely tradition.

We chose a computer themed motif for the second cosy as the teacher for whom it is destined is an ICT teacher.  The other is for an Religious Studies teacher which as a subject didn't readily lend itself to a suitable design, so instead I came up with a cute coffee cup and spoon.

In homage to the traditionally British Panto I then added appliqued English biscuits to the design.  These are very different to the more American cookies and perhaps an acquired taste.  Pink wafers are a real blast from the past for me, although I'm not sure I would want to eat too many of them as an adult!

I was particularly pleased with how the "Jammie Dodger" turned out. They've been an iconic British biscuit for over fifty years, and were originally named after Roger the Dodger from The Beano.

Other classics featured are a 'Nice' biscuit, a coconut flavoured delicacy which was first mentioned in an 'Army and Navy Co-operative' price list in 1895.  A 'Bourbon Cream' introduced to the world in 1910 by 'Peek Freans' and finally the baby of the group a 'Fox's Party Ring'  created a mere 30 years ago in 1983.

I managed to rip one of the bags of coffee as I 'carefully' opened the original packaging and so I toddled off to the local supermarket to buy a couple more packs of Starbucks' grounds but as they weren't Fairtrade I refused to buy them.  So if you're reading this Mr or Mrs Starbucks I want my coffee to be Rainforest Certified and Fairtrade please!

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