When I posted last week on Restorative Yoga for Children, many of you asked if I had sewn the rice pack and eye pillow that were featured, and if so, would I post a tutorial.
The pack that was in the post was actually made by Bernadette about five years ago, for one of our doula clients (the eye pillow was purchased). When Bernadette and I first began working together, she had the wonderful idea to sew herbal rice packs for each of our birthing mamas to use during their labor. We each made a bunch, and it was a great piece of our selves to leave behind once our job was over.
If you have a fat quarter of flannel, and a fat quarter of either muslin of cotton, than you can quickly and easily make a rice pack, as well as a matching eye pillow, in under an hour.
I used an 8.5×12″ ruler to cut two pieces of my outer flannel fabric. For the inner lining, I trimmed 1.5″ from the length, and 1″ from the width, to cut two 7.5×10.5″ pieces. For either of these, if you are using a piece of fabric larger than a fat quarter, you can cut your fabric on the fold, and save a few minutes seaming the bag together.
Using a 1/2″ seam allowance, and wrong sides together, pin and sew three sides of your outer fabric. Cut your corners, and trim any excess fabric. Turn your top hem down 1/4″, and then again 1/2″, and top stitch. Turn your outer fabric right side out, and using a knitting needle or chop stick, push your corners out. Iron, and set aside.
Beginning two inches in on the top of your muslin lining, and using a 1/2″ seam allowance, stitch all the way around, until you are left with a 2″ opening on the top of the bag. Trim your corners. Using a funnel, fill you lining with rice and herbs of your choice (I used a mixture of lavender and chamomile. If using for headaches, you can also add a small amount of dried mint). Sew your seam closed, either by hand, or by machine.
Before filling your lining, consider what you are planning on using the pack for. A heavily filled bag is perfect for yoga, and as a way to ground yourself or your child during restless moments. A less filled bag is great for either hot or cold use in sore areas, or upset tummies.
To make your matching eye pillow, use the remaining scrap of your fat quarter, and cut two 9×5″ rectangles. With your remaining scrap of lining fabric, cut two pieces 7.5×4″. Stitch the exact same way that you did above.
Many people choose to use silk for their eye pillow case, but it is a really hard fabric for little children to handle. The flannel will stay on their face a lot easier, and it is a much more snugly fabric as well.