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Take a little vacation after a long day of work with the Spa Day Comfort Pack. This sewing tutorial will show you how to make a DIY ice pack or DIY hot pack - it can be either one depending on your need! You can heat this comfort pack in the microwave for soothing a stiff neck and shoulders or you can put it in the freezer to take the edge off sore muscles. After you finish the fabric construction, you will fill the sewing pattern with rice in order to make it retain heat or cold. You can always add a dash of lavender essential oil to the rice for an even more relaxing effect.
Project TypeMake a Project
Time to CompleteWeekend project
- Fat Quarters from FreeSpirit Butterfly Garden by Dena Designs – 3 contrasting fabrics - FreeSpirit Butterfly Garden by Dena Designs: PWDF231.REDXX 1 1/2 yds. (1.37 m); Gray solid fabric (lining) 2/3 yd. (.61 m); Cotton or bamboo batting 1 yd. (.91 m) (DO NOT use any synthetic batting as it will melt in the microwave.)
- Coats Cotton All Purpose Thread
- Yard stick or long straight edge
- Narrow funnel
- Rice, approximately 3 lbs, (1 kg)
- Basic sewing supplies
Spa Day Comfort Pack
Preparation and Cutting
Print and assemble pattern by taping adjacent pieces together to form one large piece for the Shoulder section. The Collar section will be cut on the fabric fold.
From one fat quarter, cut: 1 Shoulder
From second fat quarter, cut: 1 Collar
From third fat quarter, cut: 1 Lower Band each for both left and right Shoulder using pattern cutting lines
From REDXX, cut:
4 bias strips, each 1 1/2" x 60" (3.81 cm x 52.4 cm)
3 straight-grain strips, each 1 1/2" x 17" (3.81 cm x 43.18 cm)
From lining fabric, cut:
From batting, cut:
Baste lower band of left and right shoulder pieces onto main fabric shoulder pieces close to the edges. Cut (2) 6” (15.24 cm) bias strips and press in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Match cut edges of bias tape to edges of top of the lower band with the fold of bias tape down toward bottom edge. Stitch 1/4” (.64 cm) away from cut edge and press up.
Baste batting layer to wrong side of all corresponding fabric pieces 1/4” (.64 cm) from the edge. Pin upper and lining shoulder pieces together matching batting wrong sides. Baste neck 1/4” (.64 cm) away from edge. Clip curve of neck edge to basting every inch. Edgestitch the bias binding between shoulder piece and bottom band through all thicknesses. Straight stitch the rest of the stitching lines for horizontal channels. Baste edges from dots on upper edge around to left side of shoulder piece 1/4” (.64 cm) away from edge and on bottom edges of left and right lower band.
Cut (2) 4 3/4” (12.07 cm) bias strips and press in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Fold one side to the center and press. Fold the other side in not quite to center, then press center again. Wrap bias binding strips around center front edges and edgestitch in place catching the wider side of the binding on the underside.
Baste collar and lining together matching batting wrong sides and stitch 1/4” (.64 cm) away from top edge, around right side at center front, and around the bottom edge leaving the left side center front open. Topstitch the collar center lengthwise as marked. Cut 31 3/4” (80.65 cm) of bias binding and press in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Fold one side over to meet the center and press. Fold the other side over not quite to the center. Leave enough bias binding loose to cover the left side center front and topstitch to the collar starting at dot of upper left edge of center front around the curve of the right side center front stopping at the bottom edge of right center front. The left center front edge is left open for now for the rice insertion into the collar channels.
Mark the center of the lower collar and the center of the shoulder neck edge. Matching centers, pin the collar onto the shoulder neck edge with shoulder piece lining facing the collar lining; baste 1/4” (.64 cm) away from the edge.
Cut a 39” (99.06 cm) bias strip and press in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Fold one side to meet the center and press. The other side should be 3/4” (1.91 cm) wide. Place this side of bias tape right sides together and cut edges matching with the collar at neck seam. Extend bias binding 17” (43.18 cm) off the right side of the neck edge for the tie. On this 17” (43.18 cm) section fold the other side of the bias to meet the center and fold down center lengthwise folding the tie end in 3/8” (.95 cm) to enclose; pin. The bias binding left end should extend 3/4” (1.91 cm) off the center front neck edge. Starting on the left side of center front, stitch binding onto neck edge using a 1/4" (.64 cm) seam, stopping where the tie starts. Trim seam close to stitching. Press the bias tape up toward the collar. Fold the binding left center front end around to the back side and enclose to make a clean finish while wrapping bias binding around neck seam so that 5/16” (.80 cm) of the binding shows. Edgestitch binding through all thicknesses of neck seam continuing off neck edge onto the tie.
Fill shoulder piece channels loosely with rice leaving a 3/4” (1.91 cm) wide space when top and lining are pinched together. Once each channel is filled, pin together 3/4” (1.91 cm) away from the edge. This will allow enough room for the presser foot to pass unobstructed and more surface area to touch the skin if the channels are not stuffed too tightly. Baste 1/4” (.64 cm) away from the outer edge of the shoulder piece.
Press a 60” (152.4 cm) bias binding strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Fold in one side to meet the center and press. Using the other bias 3/4“ (1.91 cm) side, match the cut edge with the shoulder outside edge, right side of binding to shoulder piece lining, extending each end 3/8” (34.30 cm). Trim off any extra bias length. Stitch binding onto outer edge of shoulder. Turn in ends 3/8” (34.30 cm) and wrap bias binding around outer edge onto the top. Edgestitch binding on top side so that the binding shows 5/16” (.80 cm) around the edge.
Fill the collar channels loosely with rice pinning 3/4” (1.91 cm) from edge of left center front. Stitch the extended bias tape on the left side of the collar in place, folding the end under 3/8” (34.30 cm) to meet the neck edge. Edgestitch the end.
Fold the 17” (43.18 cm) straight-grain strips in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press. Fold in the sides to meet in the center and press. Fold in the tie ends 3/8” (34.30 cm) to enclose. Stitch tie in place at shoulder piece center front mark. Stitch the other 2 ties in place at the collar center front marks.
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