So I’ve been staring at the smiling Hershey Kiss on this garage sale travel mug for at least two years. I’ve never liked it, and I often think about scribbling over it with a Sharpie.
Today I decided to take action in a much more attractive way. If you have your own straight-sided, handled cup that needs covering up, read on, and I’ll show you how to sew a cozy that is perfectly-fit for your very cup.
- a mug you want to cover
- a pretty cotton main fabric
- a solid color linen/cotton accent fabric
- a focal button
- a hair elastic
- measuring tape
- straight-edge ruler
- card stock
- scissors for paper
- scissors for fabric
- spool of thread
- sewing machine
- fabric pencil
- needle and thread
Making the Pattern
In order to draft a pattern, you need four measurements from your mug. Wrap your measuring tape around the mug, starting right next to the handle. Determine how much you overlap you would like for the two sides of your cozy, and make a note of that number, calling it “A.” For me, I’d like an inch of overlap, so my A=12.
Without moving the measuring tape, flip over the mug and make a note of the measurement just before the handle, calling it “B.” For me, B=10.
“C” will be the amount of usable space between the top and bottom parts of the handle. My C=1.25.
“D” will be how tall you want the cozy to be. I used 2.5 for D. I could have gone to 3, but I have to take into account the fact that there needs to be space at the top of the mug for my lips while I’m drinking. This also means that the offending logo won’t be completely covered, but I am ok with a tiny portion of it peeking out.
Tape together two pieces of card stock and draw a pattern as shown above, noting A, B, C, and D, which refer to the solid inner lines. Measure and mark 1/2-inch from all of the solid edges (for a seam allowance), and cut along those outer lines. Draw a lighter line, about 1/4 of the way from the left, to indicate where the solid linen fabric and the main patterned fabric will come together.
You can click on the above photo to enlarge it, and see more pattern detail, if you need to.
Making the Cozy
Using the pattern you just made, cut one piece of batting, and one backing piece.
Cut one piece of the main fabric, but don’t go the whole length of the pattern. Instead, start from the right, and go only to 1/2-inch beyond the light vertical line. Do the same for the solid linen fabric, but start from the left of the pattern and go only to 1/2-inch beyond the light vertical line.
Place the linen and the main fabric on top of each other at the short ends, right sides together, and stitch along the short end. Press open the seam.
You should now have three cozy components the same size and shape. If you have a label, now would be a good time to stitch it onto the backing piece.
Pinch the hair elastic together in the center like a figure eight, and sew the pinched part down using a zig-zag stitch, 1/4-inch from the right edge of the main fabric. Sew over it several times to secure it.
Make a sandwich: batting on the bottom, patchworked main fabric rightside up in the middle, backing upside down on top.
Stitch all around the sandwich with a 1/2-inch seam allowance, leaving a 3-inch opening for turning. Trim excess seam allowance, leaving about 1/4 inch around the edges, except for the area around the opening.
Turn rightside out, being careful to keep the corners as square as possible. Press.
Sew around the cozy, about 1/8-inch from the edge, and make sure to catch the section that had been left open for turning.
Wrap the cozy around the mug the way that you’d like it to fit, and mark with the fabric pencil the ideal spot for the button.
Hand sew the button on.
And there you have it!
Goodbye childlike cartoon, hello artsy grown-up coffee experience
If you have a mug with a tall handle, or you like a skinny cozy, you can skip all of the fancy footwork involved in measuring two widths, and just make the pattern a plain rectangle. I’m considering doing this for my coffee press. (Not that it needs a cozy, strictly speaking, but I appear to be unstoppable with this stuff right now…)
If you still need it narrow at one end and wide at the other, but prefer not to have it be too boxy, you could choose to make your pattern almost triangular in nature, and taper it from the large end to the small end, rather than abruptly changing the width as I did.
If you are using a solid-color button, you can eliminate the steps involved in adding the linen patch, and just use the main fabric for the entire length of the cozy. The linen is there to help a fancy button “pop” but can be omitted if your button already stands out nicely against its background.
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MOTIVATED BEGINNER level, sewing pattern.