After a few months of living in our new place, we can definitely say that warmth is a slight issue. Being ground floor, with huge single-glazed windows, draughty doors and little else in the way of reasonable insulation, makes for a chilly environment. On the up-side, we have been embracing nostalgia and getting back into good old hot water bottles. According to a reliable source, usage in general is on the increase in Britain, with subsequent escalation of scalding incidents. However, apparently hot water bottles are still not very ‘fashionable’.
But someone at the Guardian makes an excellent case for the bottle: “With an adequate cover (and would you seriously consider a naked rubber bottle?), it keeps you warm into the small hours. And then there is the attendant ritual of decanting a boiled kettle; lightly burping the bottle, and screwing the cap reassuringly tight. To do this is to feel somehow parental, wise – as if providing for your inner child.”
In other trivia news, we once had a guest staying at Hailes Street who was in great need of a bottie. After an earnest moonlight search, she came across my expanded collection of antique ceramic ones and subsequently used one in her bed. I think it was an anguished night’s sleep, in fear of a sudden cracking or leakage drama. As i recall, none such event occurred, and many thanks to Bre for testing it out. I had always wondered…..
My sister-in-law Helen is a knitting extraordinaire, and made me this lovely cosy cover last year over the christmas holidays.
Meanwhile poor Malkie was having to make do with an inglorious naked bottle for the first few weeks of our hottie revival between the sheets. So i set about designing and making a suitably masculine cover.
The material was originally the reclaimed lining from a very ugly coat. This meant that supply was limited which i have decided was mostly to blame for the phase one error in production which resulted in the top section being too narrow to fit the ‘spout’ of the bottle. As stated before, sewing projects are generally made up as i go along, but this method can have it’s advantages, namely the opportunity for unexpected product improvement. (If you are not into this kind of ad-hoc seamstressing, LIsa Stickley does a nice tutorial here.)
I cut the initial faulty top section off and made a new wider piece complete with lid and fastener. I changed the alignment of the fabric and was able to sew on more binding (which i couldn’t do as planned around the main body edges as it was already a bit too neat-fitting).
I quilted along the lines of the fabric in the main body, and used leftover wadding from some recent patch-working to insulate. The toggle was also salvaged from the original coat, and definitively sets the cover apart as a Malkie item. (Loves a good toggle button, he does.)
So without any particular planning, this project, made entirely from salvaged or left-over materials, turns out to be of practical design, boyish, and surprisingly fit for purpose. Unlike most of my other sewing projects on all 3 counts….