Hi there, friends at Maiden Jane!
I’m Suzannah and I run the blog Adventures in Dressmaking, where I share my sewing, crafty and home decor projects.  I am fairly new to blogging but I have so much fun posting about my projects and learning about everyone else’s in the blogosphere.
Anyway, I have been wanting to share this tutorial for a great hot rice bag that I’ve made many times.  I get sore shoulders and low back pretty often and this is the perfect thing to microwave and wear around the house.  It’s heavy enough to stay in place and doesn’t require an electric cord, of course!  They also heat up the foot of the bed in the winter 🙂
So, here’s my rice bag/pillowcase tutorial:

  • Start with 1/4 yard sturdy canvas or tightly woven fabric, any color–I’m using a scrap in a neutral color.  You’ll also need some bias binding–I didn’t have any in the right size (about 1/2″ inch), so I used this vintage hem binding, folded in half.  And 1/4 yard of a cute flannel print for the pillowcase, of course!
  • If both your fabrics are 45″ wide, you will use the whole 1/4 yard of the pillowcase fabric and only 35-40″ of the sturdy plain fabric.  (You can make this thing any size you want, but the point is: make the rice bag a little smaller than the pillowcase.)

  • Press your fabrics, get them ready.  Let’s make the rice bag part first.  Using the 1/4″ of a yard of plain fabric, cut about 6″ off the width of the fabric.  Fold it in half and sew along the selvedge and long end:
  • Clip the corners, and then turn it inside out.  Press.
  • Mark the center of the bag with a pin, then mark each 1/4 of it.  Put three seams down the 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 marks.
  • Fill each chamber about 3/4 full with rice, and pin thoroughly at the top.
  • Now, you’ll sew the top closed with the bias binding.  Neaten up the ends and sew the whole thing, taking out pins as you go.
  • I sewed two parallel seams on my (excessively wide) hot pink bias binding for extra strength and to use up some of the room.  Ideally you would use double fold white bias, but oh, well.  Press.
  • Now, make the cute pillowcase!  Fold the 1/4 yard in half, selvage to selvage, and along both long sides.
  • Serge or zig zag finish the edges.
  • Press under 1/2″ and then a few inches for the hem.  Sew.
  •  Trim the corners, turn right side out, and press.
  • Put the rice bag inside the little pillowcase, microwave for 2-3 minutes depending on your microwave, and enjoy!!

I wear mine around the house when my neck and shoulders are sore.  Mmmmm… warm.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed my tutorial and please stop by my blog, Adventures in Dressmaking, to see more sewing, crafting, painting, decorating, and design!!  Have a great weekend!