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Upcycle Project: French Press Cozy


So many things to say about this modest project! The best of which is, I had an excuse to brew up some late-afternoon iced coffee… but also:

1. I finally got some creativity thawed out during this heat wave we’re having!  

2. Upcycle for the win! This used to be a cute but cheap, thin dishtowel.

3. I can’t get seasonal projects done during the season, so here I am in June ready for chilly fall weather with this French Press coffee maker cozy! Yay! 


A few years ago when I decided to do my kitchen up in a coffee theme, I bought every dishtowel I could find that was printed with any coffee theme whatsoever. So much fun! Some of those purchases, like this particular one, weren’t really a good value. I am not sure what I actually paid for this dishtowel, but it wasn’t worth it! So thin, can’t really absorb much moisture, very snaggy… but I really like the print so it’s hung around. 


Today I took another good look at this towel and thought about discarding it or relegating it to the rags, but then finally I realized what I do actually use it for: I always dig this particular towel out of the stack and wrap it around my French Press coffee maker when I am brewing some hot coffee, folding and tucking it just so, so that it stays in place to keep the contents hotter. In the winter, our house is cool enough that the coffee doesn’t really stay hot enough to drink by the time the brewing is done. 

*click* Why not actually get around to sewing it up into an easy-to-use cozy now, so it’s all ready when it gets cool in the fall? 

And wait — who am I kidding? There are plenty of summer mornings that are under 70 degrees! There are actually plenty of summer DAYS that barely, if ever, reach 70 degrees here in western Washington state. I can use my French Press cozy year ’round! 


What I did: no measuring tape, no iron, no fabric marking pens or pencils, just me and my rotary cutter, cutting mat, a few pins, and the sewing machine. 

I cut a piece of Pellon fleece or Thermolam (not sure which!) to the width that would fit through the handle, measured on the cutting mat, and a bit longer than the whole dishtowel. I placed the fleece over my favorite view of the dishtowel and pinned it. After wrapping the towel around the fleece, I determined where to cut then sew the towel into a tube that would fit around the strip of fleece. So I did that. 


Then I did some wonky quilting lines to hold all the layers together. No measuring or marking, just all crazy sewing! 

When it came time to do something to the ends, I dug through my big pile of coffee fabric. Here’s the lesson that proved true today: if you buy #allthefabric you will always have just the right piece to use without having to leave the house and disrupt the creative mojo :D Muted blue and lime mugs for the win!

I decided not to shorten the cozy from the original length of the towel, just to trim off its hemmed ends and let it overlap as much as it would. It wraps around about one and a half times. 

I bound one end with a straight strip — that is the end that will be underneath. For the other end, I created a triangular piece and eventually finagled it onto the cozy. Add some elastic cord (note: try to remember to sew this into the layers of fabric before attaching it to the cozy, but this way works, too.) Add a button at just the right place… 


… and, Ta-Daaa! One upcycled terrycloth dishtowel made into a cozy for my French Press coffee maker! 


I had to celebrate by brewing some Kona Cinnamon Hazelnut coffee. Then since it was near 90 degrees, I poured it over ice! Yum! 

Happy upcycling! 



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