Toasters are great and toast is even better (!), but toasters are rarely pretty…. so why not make a colourful cosy to disguise your functional appliance, as well as making you smile every time you enter the kitchen.
In this tutorial you will use calico to make a cosy before cutting out your pretty fabric. This allows you to make mistakes on the cheap calico fabric (!) and later on, the calico fabric will form the lining of your finished, pretty, toaster cosy.
You will need:
- Calico or similar substantial cotton fabric (curtain lining would do)
- Pretty fabric which you’d like to look at every time you enter the kitchen
- lace, fabric scraps, etc (if you want to adorn your creation)
- Tape measure
- Pencil and Paper (for making notes!)
- Scissors, pins, and other sewing paraphernalia
- Your sewing machine (of course!)
- A quiet couple of hours when you can concentrate…
You will need to measure your toaster (or other appliance) as follows –
- total circumference
- height from work surface (counter for US friends!)
So, I measured all the way round my toaster including various knobs and dials, and allowed about a centimetre extra so that the finished cosy wouldn’t be too tight.
Divide the circumference measurement (C) to find half of the circumference. Write this measurement down on the paper!
(eg. my toaster circumference = 110cm, half of this = 55cm see photo of my notepad below. 55cm plus 3cm seam allowance = 58cm to cut)
Then I measured the height from the work surface (H). That’s the height from counter top for US friends.
Then measured the depth of the toaster, ie. from front to back (D).
I divided the depth measurement in half and added this to the height measurement, as follows:
Height of my toaster : 23.5 cm
Depth of my toaster : 24.5 cm
Height plus half of depth: 23.5 + 12.4 = 36 cm.
Then remember to allow for seam allowance, in my case:
36cm + 3cm seam allowance = 39cm.
Write all the measurements down!
Now, if you are still with me at this point, be assured, that’s all the tricky measuring over and done with!
Now you have a piece of paper with your measurements written down.
Make sure you’ve added the seam allowance!
In my case I’ve added 3cm seam allowance which allows for a standard 1.5cm seam allowance at each cut edge.
For example, in the photo of my handwritten notes above my pieces have to be cut 58cm by 39cm.
Using the calico fabric, cut out TWO identical pieces which will measure as follows:
half of the circumference plus seam allowance by the height/depth measurement plus seam allowance.
Sew the two calico pieces together along both short sides and one long side, thereby creating a bag shape. Remember to use 1.5cm seam allowance!
Take your calico ‘bag’ to the toaster and keeping the bag inside-out, try it on your toaster.
Now using pins, turn up about 1.5 to 2cm hem all the way round the bottom.
Then match up the seam of one short side with the seam along the top to create a triangle as shown in the photo. Using pins, pin about 1.5cm above the top of the toaster. By pinning here rather than snug to the toaster, you will allow your cosy to fit ‘with ease’ rather than fitting tightly.
Repeat for the other short side.
Remove the calico from the toaster.
Measure from the point of the triangle to the middle pin.
Mark with a pencil.
Now, using a ruler, ensure an even distance from this mark to the corners of the triangle and draw a line with a pencil. See both photos below.
Sew along this pencil line.
Repeat for the triangle at the other end.
Provide a seam allowance and cut away the excess triangles of fabric. (As I’ve used an overlocker/serger, the excess has been cut away by the machine.)
Your calico should look like this:
Try the calico cosy on your toaster again to check the fit and adjust if necessary.
Your calico lining is finished, now let’s turn to the pretty top fabric….
You will need to cut your pretty top fabric to the same measurements as used for the calico in Step 3 above. I used two contrasting fabrics, so I needed to join them first to make one piece, and then cut out to match the size of the calico.
Top Tip: after sewing 2 contrasting fabrics together, press the seam allowance to one side. Then on the outside, top stitch through the fabric and the seam allowance. This will make the join of the two fabrics lie flat and neat.
If you want to adorn your pretty fabric with applique, lace, ribbon, ric rac, or any other bit of loveliness – it is best to decorate the fabric now before sewing. This makes life easier for you!
Having decorated your fabric, now follow Steps 4, 5 and 6 again with your pretty fabric.
With right sides facing, place the pretty top fabric cosy inside the calico cosy.
Pin them both together all the way round where you folded the hem allowance.
Pin them together in the corners where the triangles were in Step 6 above.
Make sure there is a good ‘marrying’ together (for size) of the calico and the pretty fabric.
Using a warm iron, press all the way round the folded hem allowance through the thickness of both fabrics. (You will use this pressed line to sew the hem in the next step…)
Place pins through both fabrics in the body of the cosy away from the hem allowance. This is to keep the two fabrics together whilst you sew the hem.
Now remove the pins from the hem allowance.
Open out the pressed hems and marry up the raw edges and iron pressed lines of both fabrics.
Sew along this iron pressed line almost all the way round the toaster cosy leaving a gap of about 10cms to allow for turning the cosy through.
Now turn the cosy through the 10cm gap so that the right sides of both fabrics are showing.
Push the calico lining inside the pretty outer fabric.
Manipulate the two fabrics so that the top corners of the cosy marry up and the seams marry up.
Use your iron to press the cosy inside to help match the corners of the two fabrics, and to neaten the lower edge of the cosy where you have just sewn the hem seam.
Use your sewing machine or hand sew the 10cm gap closed at the lower edge of the cosy.
Pop the cosy onto your toaster – stand back and admire!
IF YOU HAVE IDEAS OF OTHER SEWING TUTORIALS YOU’D LIKE TO SEE HERE ON MY WEBSITE, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT AND I’LL CREATE A TUTORIAL JUST FOR YOU!