I didn’t think I’d have anything to show for Finish It Up Friday, but at the last minute I’ve pulled it out of the hat. Or perhaps, the tea box? 🙂
Here are some lovely tea bags, destined to be gifts for my daughter (the pink ones) and my youngest niece (the purple). How sweet are these?
I was inspired by some fantastic felt food I saw last Friday, and I did some more “research” on Pinterest and Google during the week. Wow, there are a lot of felt food ideas! I wanted to concentrate on tea bags first, however, so after a brief foray into some awesome sliceable cakes, I firmly set myself the task of making a prototype.
That was last night, and I was a little disheartened. At this point my very helpful and understanding husband discovered these awesome tea bags, and I was ready to try again. What a completely excellent idea to use a real tea bag as a pattern! I wish I’d thought of it. Here I was French seaming and messing about when it turns out the “real” tea bag is the simplest trick of all.
How to do it
Take one scrap of fabric (colourful, or plain muslin) that measure 6″ x 3 1/2″. Sew the long edges together with a 1/4″ seam, and press open.
Turn the tube inside out, and press again. Then fold the flat piece in half (so the seam is showing). Press this firmly and let it cool.
Now you fold the tube back on itself so that you have about 1 cm (or a fingernail width) of pleat. Do this to both sides so that the seam is now on the inside of the tea bag, and you have a little fold at the bottom that you can use to stand the tea bag up:
Looking pretty good! It would look even better with some fake tea, though! I cut up a bit of dark green felt (I didn’t have any brown) and poked it through a funnel right into the bottom of each pocket. It was a right pain to do this without the funnel, as the felt just sticks to the first fabric it touches.
I figured that if the tea bag gets wet (and with Evie, this is almost a certainty) that acrylic felt would dry out quickly enough. And although it may bleed green colour into the cup, that would just add to the whole tea bag experience, am I right? 🙂
Next up is the slightly fiddly bit: closing up the bag. Clasp both tea bag pockets together, trim one side by 1/4 ” (just to remove some bulk) and then fold the corners of the longer edge over, and in towards the centre (purple now!):
My real model tea bag (Twinings) is paper and doesn’t take much wear and tear, so it just does one more fold and calls it done. But the toy one will certainly be pulled and jiggled until it falls apart, so I made sure to fold that top edge over twice to hide the raw edges, and to catch a jiggler string at the same time.
So, the first top fold:
Lay a piece of string on top of the fold, and stitch it down with a wide zig-zag stitch:
Now fold again, making sure the thread is tucked into position over the top of the tea bag and down the other side. I stitched on the “good side” of the tea bag (where the string was hanging down) to make sure I caught the string properly.
To make the jiggler I just used a piece of felt, folded in half and edge-stitched to enclose the knotted string. I like this jiggler so much better than my first attempt! Wrestling with the folded fabric, and the iron, took waaaay longer than I needed to be spending. The felt jigglers, on the other hand, were quick to sew because there were no raw edges to fold away! Win.
I’m sure my daughter and niece will enjoy taking tea with these little tea bags. Now I need to make some felt cookies to go with them! 🙂