Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sewing Success - Rice Heating Bag

Today, I was nearly whipped by my great grandmother's sewing machine.
I'm borrowing it from my mom. Super exciting because I've had several sewing projects waiting in the wings for weeks now. My first project had to be simple as I was reminding myself how to work the sewing machine. Since my parents were here this past weekend, my mom was able to set up the thread for me and remind me how to use her vintage Singer. But of course, it didn't end up quite that easy...

I began with these fabrics...the yellow gingham for the actual pouch and the dark teal fabric for a slip cover. (yes. I do realize that these two fabrics do not match. At all. But they didn't have to. Just wait and see.)
My sewing trouble began when I used a small scrap of fabric to test the stitches. 
See that big knot of lavender thread? That's what happened.
I don't know how. But it did.
Of course, this led to the bobbin needing to be re-threaded and pulled up by the needle. Simple enough, right? Unfortunately not. 
I spent over an hour trying to figure out how to make the needle pick up the bobbin thread and pull it up. I read online manuals. I watched videos on youtube. I was convinced that it was impossible. Until I finally tried turning the manual stitch knob the opposite way from which I had been turning it. And voila! It worked.

I finally got this little pouch sewn and filled with rice. I should have taken a picture of the rice that spilled all over the counter. But my camera battery died mid-project. It was exciting though. I do not have a funnel. So I used a newspaper rolled into a cone. It worked. Except for the rice spill. I'll be investing in a funnel in the future! : )

I decided to make a slipcover for my heating bag instead of just using two layers of fabric after reading the benefits of being able to wash the slipcover. I researched how to make a slipcover for a pillow and followed the same guidelines. Did I mention that it was incredible easy?! Make seams on each end that will be your flaps where you insert the heating bag. Then, fold it inside out, making sure your bag will fit inside. And sew the ends.

The two flaps overlap to form the back of the slipcover where you will insert the heating bag.

All I had to do was turn the slipcover right-side out....

And insert the rice heating bag.

The pouch was then complete and ready to be tried out!

Heat for 30-60 seconds. Remove carefully and shake a bit to distribute the heat.

I have an electric heating pad. But I like the Rice heating bag for several reasons. Not only will it easily conform to a muscle ache, whether its an ankle, back, or tummy... I could also put it at the end of the bed to keep my tootsies warm this winter as I am falling asleep! I think it'll be well worth it!
In the end, the project was quite simple, minus the long delay at the beginning! How rewarding to finally get the first of several sewing projects complete!!!


  1. very proud! How exciting to finally have time for these fun (and very practical) projects :)

  2. welcome to the blogging world!! cute rice bag! and for the record, all of my sewing projects start that way - all because of the silly bobbin!

  3. Love it! So glad you got the machine figured out. I have my mom/grandma's old black Singer machine here now! Can't wait to give her a whirl...

  4. Having trouble isn't just for older machines...just last week I had issues with my newer machine and because of tension and the bobbin. Your new rice bag is super cute and I love the teal fabric :)