...Celebrations, General ramblings

Christmas Makes-Lavender Heat Bags

This is the second Christmas make I am going to share with you.

I should say, friends and family should look away now if they want any kind of surprises this Christmas!

Just in case they are still looking, I am not going to say who the gifts are for (that will obviously confuse them…)

Anyway, I have made some Lavender heat bags for a certain someone who has a bad back!

They are basically the same principle as the beanbags I have made before (see tutorial here ) but bigger, and with lavender, and in a cushion cover type thing.

Here is a brief how-to. Sorry for the lack of pictures!

  • Decide how big you want your bags to be. I made two-one was about 25cmx38cm, and the other was 17cmx30cm (finished size). I will just explain how I made the smaller one, otherwise I will bore even myself.
  • I cut some old lining fabric/sheet leaving a 1-2cm seam allowance-so I cut 2 rectangles 20cmx33cm.
  • Then I pinned them right sides together (although it doesn’t really matter as this will be hidden) and sewed around the edge leaving about a 10cm gap along one short side. If you remember, then try and leave the gap in the middle of the side, as this makes sewing it up easier.
  • Then turn it inside out, (so that it’s the right way round) and press the seams, including the gap.

  • Fill the bag with rice or dried beans or wheat (could you use oats? I’m not sure, someone else cleverer than me may be able to let me know!) and some dried lavender. I put about 3 tbsps into this size bag and probably about 750-1000g rice (can’t remember exactly, sorry!) Don’t fill it really full, as it will be a) hard to sew up; b) too heavy to lift.
  • Pin the gap and then oversew along the edge where the gap is.
  • You could just make them like this if you use some pretty material. I decided I wanted to make some removable covers (not sure why now, seemed like a good idea at the time though).
  • To make a cover, cut out one rectangle to the same dimensions as your lining bag, and then one that is about 3/4 of the length, and one that is about 1/2 of the length. So for my bag, I cut 1 rectangle 20-33cm, 1 rectangle 20x25cm, and 1 rectangle 20x16cm.
  • If you want to decorate your bag at all, do it now, as it will be easier! I found some funky old curtains, and cut out some of the shapes, ironed on some bondaweb, and then ironed them onto the right side of my big piece. Then I zig-zag stitched around the edge in a matching colour.

  • Then take your 2 smaller rectangles, and with each one, fold down one short edge (towards the wrong side) by about 0.5cm, press (iron) and then fold another 0.5-1cm, pin and press. Then sew along this edge to make a nice neat hem on each smaller rectangle.
  • Place your big piece right side up, then line the other two pieces, with one short unhemmed edge aligned with the top short edge of your big piece, and other unhemmed short edge of the other piece lined up with the bottom edge of your big piece (does that make any sense at all. Really should have taken some pics, so sorry!)
  • Pin all the way around, then sew with a straight stitch all the way around the edge with a 1.5cm seam allowance (don’t forget to go forwards and backwards at the beginning and end).
  • Cut the edges off the corners to make it easier to turn it out neatly, press the seams open, and then turn it inside out through the opening. Press again. I hate ironing. The only time the iron comes out is when I am sewing. But I did read somewhere that pressing your sewing makes it look MUCH more professional, so I go with that and hope it makes up for a multitude of sins…)
  • Et voila!
  • Insert your rice bag into your cover, and marvel at your work!

My big bag is really quite big. Probably too big. To the extent that it took about 1-5-2kg of rice, and I am slightly worried it may exacerbate rather than help the back problems…

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  • Reply Make It Christmas! | My Make Do and Mend Year December 2, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    […] Add some drops of essential oil and then they can heat up in microwave to use-I did a similar thing for my mum last year, but I love the idea of using an old jumper-would probably be best to put a liner in though in case […]

  • Reply Sew Scrumptious November 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Just read Nais comment. I made mine with columns and its brilliant! Really helps keep all the rice evenly spread which is great if you are using it on your neck/ There is a great tutorial here http://morepjs.blogspot.co.uk/2008/02/heat-bag-tutorial.html

    • Reply Jen November 27, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      Will definitely do this next time! Great tutorial-thanks Louise. x

  • Reply Sew Scrumptious November 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Love them! Really pretty with the applique. Don’t microwave them for too long. I made my mum one last year which she loved. I borrowed it when I had a bad neck and put it in the microwave for far too long and it scorched all the fabric on the outside. Not good!!

    • Reply Jen November 27, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      Thanks for the warning Louise!

  • Reply nais November 27, 2012 at 9:02 am

    I was thinking I dismantling the heat pads I already have and sewing in columns so that the beans dont move as much as mine are too big and tend to go down one end.
    Also a shaped one with ribbon ties to wear on the shoulders! Haven’t got round to it yet as have too many other projects!

    • Reply Jen November 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      Great ideas! Wish I had thought about sewing in some lines to stop all the rice moving down to one end. 🙂

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