Friday, May 29, 2009

simple therapeutic neck wrap

okay, so it's been an eon since any of us posted on here! i'm planning a little tutorial of the lampshade skirt i helped jennifer with (and maybe a drawstring skirt too, i promise the construction is the same!) but until then, here's a little something to make the blog less...quiet. it could also be a little test to see if anyone out there is still paying attention to it! ;)

we haven't posted any sewing stuff here, but a few of us do sew, so i thought it was still appropriate. for me, most of my sewing comes in the form of sweet little clothes for my monster girl, which makes sense since i took up sewing to make things for her after seeing how much i could spend on pretty clothes! but i have recently completed a few projects that aren't clothing, and since they were super easy (just a bunch of straight seams, can't beat that!), i thought i'd post one of them here.

seriously, if you have access to a sewing machine and you can drive a straight line, you can make these. and people will think you're so fancy!

so here we go, therapeutic neck wraps. i made these for preschool teacher gifts, since over the course of the year, faith had four teachers (she had three at the start of the year, then one had a baby so she got a new one!) i came across a tutorial for a spa set, changed it up a little bit, and filled them with a combination of rice and flaxseed for good cold and heat therapy uses.

promise, super easy, i managed to get them all finished over the course of a nap with time to spare! the fiddleiest part was the encased seam edges, they were pretty thick at the corners which was a little difficult to navigate, but not too bad.

bear with me, i've never written a tutorial before! :)

piece of quilting cotton fabric, 12" x 22" (this is the length of a fat quarter, which you can get inexpensively at fabric stores, joann's often has them on sale for $.99)
flaxseed and rice for filler (you can use one or the other, a combination, or another filler like buckwheat or feed corn)
essential oil (optional)

step 1:
fold fabric lengthwise, wrong sides together and press

step 2:
stitch around the edge of the long side and one short side, using a 1/4 in. seam allowance

step 3:
fold edge over at stitch line, press, fold over again, and press. stitch along the folded seam, close to the inner edge. this makes an encased seam that helps keep all of the filling inside where it belongs!

step 4:
fold tube in half (taking the other end seam allowance into consideration), press, then fold each half in half again, pressing again. this provides guidelines for sewing the compartments that help keep the filling evenly distributed.

step 5:
fill 'er up! use approximately 1/2-1 c. of filler material per section (depending on how full you want it--just be sure to leave room to stitch the closing seam.), whatever you decide to use. you can also add a drop or so of essential oil to the filler for additional therapeutic qualities, if you like that sort of thing. most often people use lavender or peppermint, but since i didn't know if any of the teachers had allergies or sensitivities to fragrance, i left it out.

step 6:
making sure the filler is out of the way of the pressed guideline, stitch across the body of the tube, making sure to backstitch at each end. it's important to keep the filler out from under the stitch line, otherwise your needle will break. don't ask how i know that! :)

step 7:
repeat two more times, creating an encased seam at the end like we did for the first to seams.

and that's it! you're done. you can use these for hot or cold therapy, just pop them in the microwave for a minute or so for an hour of heat or store them in the fridge to ease bumps, sprains, headaches, etc.

you can obviously make these in other shapes and sizes as well, i made a smaller one in fancy dora the explorer fabric to keep in a freezer bag in the freezer for when my monster girl runs into/falls off of/trips over something! and while the teacher gift ones were divided up into the 4 squares, the one i made for the tute had the longer middle section (i plan to use mine for migraines), but it's just a matter of preference!

hope that all made sense, and any feedback would be greatly appreciated! :)