I really like drinking tea, and with the weather getting cold, it's a great time to brew a large pot. The main problem with making a whole pot of tea is that once I am ready for a refill, the contents have grown cold. Of course, you can keep the pot warm by setting it on a potholder and covering it with a dish towel, but this isn't the most attractive solution! I found a great online tutorial here and picked up some materials from my local fabric store to create my own tea cozy.
Sewing a tea cozy really wasn't that difficult, and by making your own you can not only choose a fabric you like, but you can tailor the size to match your teapot. I used a navy and white seersucker with white piping. It has a layer of batting inside to help insulate the pot. I used the same fabric for the lining of the cozy, but you could add a contrasting lining too. Here is the final result:
It fits snugly over my white teapot and coordinates with all the white and blue dishes I have. This is my favorite tea: Twinings Lady Grey; it's a very light tea, and you can get it in decaf for a late afternoon cup (yes, caffeine keeps me up at night!). Locally, it isn't available in most grocery stores, but you can find it at World Market stores.
Of course, you can also buy tea cozies (although maybe the demand isn't that high; when I told my mom I was making a tea cozy, she said, "A what?"). Here are a few cute options (click on the names for links to the websites where they are sold):
Union Jack tea cozy - $15
Toile tea cozy - $32-36
Retro apple print tea cozy - $30-33
Owl tea cozy - $26
Gingham and red trim tea cozy - $7