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On the 3rd Day of Stitchmas: A Mug Cozy Tutorial

Hartford Stitch Sewing Studio 12 Days of Stitchmas Mug Cozy tutorial

Handmade gifts are some of the best gifts, but that doesn't mean you have time (or desire) to spend your entire holiday season making all of your friends personalized goodies. This little project whips up super quickly, especially after you make the first one. Throw in a couple more tasty treats and you have a perfect, and easy, gift (see below for some of our add-in ideas or how to turn this project into a party!!).


- Front: Various scraps of quilting cotton, at least 4"H by 1" - 3"W

- Backing: Quilting cotton, 9"W x 3.5"H

- Cotton batting or fusible fleece interfacing, 9"W x 3.5"H

- 6" Elastic (I prefer Double Fold Elastic)

- Button

- Coordinating thread

-Optional: Mug (I like the "Aspen" mug from Crate and Barrel) and lots of other filler goodies!

1. Trim the scraps so that the two long sides are parallel, keeping the strips at least 1" wide. Plan out your by laying the strips on the batting, overlapping the edges by at least 1/4" to account for the seam allowance.

2. Starting on the left side of the batting, place the first two pieces right side (RS) together, aligning the right hand sides of the pieces.

3. Sew along the right hand side with a quarter inch seam allowance. If you don't have a quarter inch foot, or didn't get around to putting one on (ahem), then keep your seam allowance narrow and even and you'll be good to go!

4. Finger press the seam open. You can press it with a iron for a crisp press as long as you didn't use the fusible fleece interfacing!

5. Repeat this process with the remaining pieces. Place, sew, press and repeat!

6. So... even if you think you've measured perfectly you just may misjudge and find that you come up a little short. Oops. Have some extra scraps on hand to fill out the batting!

7. Ok much better. Back on track...

8. Turn the piece over and trim off the extra fabric so that everything is even with the batting.

9. Take your elastic piece and align the raw edges to form a loop. Place the loop "Right side" down on the fabric, centered along one edge. Which side is the "Right Side" of the elastic is up to you. I like the shiny side to be on the outside when the product is finished. Make your choice and baste the elastic down.

10. Place the backing and front piece RS together, make sure the loop is tucked in between the two pieces.

11. Pin the backing and front together, leaving a gap to turn the cozy RS out. I used to mark the gap with extra pins but in my excitement to finish it nearly always sewed right through it. When I started teaching kids I would draw a squiggle where the gap needed to be. It almost always works and I've adopted it for my own projects. Draw a squiggle (or your preferred method of marking!) on one long side and don't sew through it. Sew around the piece with a quarter inch seam allowance.

12. Trim off all 4 corners, close to but not through, the line of stitching.

12. Turn the project RS out through the gap. It's bumpy and lumpy but poke out the corners carefully and give it a press and it will look nice and flat!

13. Topstitch around the cozy. I like to put the needle in the Right position (if your machine allows that) to achieve a narrow seam allowance. As you sew around the project you'll sew the gap closed.

You're nearly there! Read below to see how to finish up with a perfectly sewn button


How to Sew on a Shank Button

The key to finishing up this project is to sew on the button so the thread ends aren't visible. Nothing like spending all this time sewing a cozy to have little threads sticking out of the back.

Public Service Announcement...

If you're looking for an awesome selection of buttons, check out The Connecticut Store, a Waterbury based company where you can buy metal buttons BY THE POUND! For $10!!!

15. On the cozy end opposite the elastic, find the center of the piece and measure in 1.25" from the edge. Mark with a disappearing marker.

16. Thread your needle with a doubled strand of thread and knot the bottom. Slip the needle under the mark you made in the step above. Pull the needle through until the knot is tight against the fabric.

17. Pass the needle through the shank of the button and through the mark to the back side of the cozy.

18. Return the needle to the front, keeping the stitch on top of first stitch. Keep repeating this for 3 or 4 passes or until you feel the button is secure.

19. To finish up, on the front side of the cozy pass the needle through the bunch of threads on one side and tie a knot. Clip the ends close to your knot.

20. Look at that! Clean on the front and on the back! Now go make 4 or 5 more!


(Can you tell I lost all the sunlight?)

Give that gift a boost!

You can keep it simple and just give the cozy with a mug. As I mentioned before I like the clean sleek look of the Aspen mug from Crate and Barrel. Or you can add some other treats...

- A pound of your favorite coffee.

- Tea bags (or loose tea and an awesome tea steeper thing) with some local honey.

- Hot chocolate mix with or without some small bottles of Godiva liqueur OR handmade marshmallows. My favorite are made from this Martha Stewart recipe. They are a total game changer, just don't waste your time making the red swirls!

- A loaf of this delicious cranberry orange bread from Two Peas and Their Pod. (I made a loaf last Friday and it was gone within 15 minutes.)

Or you can make the sewing experience the gift!

This project makes for a very fun Girls Night, especially in the doldrums of winter! Give your ladies a fun night out. Join us at the studio and we'll provide all the tools and materials and take you step-by-step through the project. You provide the bubbly! Most guests complete at least 2 cozies. Contact us today for more information or to book your party!


Merry Making and Happy Stitching!



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