Today I made a neck and lap warmer for my friend’s birthday. This was my first time making these rice filled warmers. This is the website I was using as a pattern Microwaveable Rice Heating Pads. I had found another pattern awhile back, but I wasn’t able to find it again (lesson learned, Pinterest).
Originally it was supposed to be just a neck warmer at her request, but after finding this site, I figured I’d go all out and build a lap warmer as well. She is my friend, right?!?
Constructing the “large pocket” wasn’t an issue. That is standard work. However, once rice got introduced to the project, all hell broke lose. Filling the rice, easy. Getting the rice to stay in its section, not easy. Sewing a straight line to close the section, complete opposite of easy. My first result was not gift worthy.
Good news is the site listed 1/2 yard of fabric for the lap piece, which, as it turns out, can make three lap pieces. So, realizing I had enough extra to create another one without having to buy more fabric, I ditched the website and created something on my own.
I decided I was tired of turning fabric, so I top stitched 3 of the 4 sides “shut”. Then, I sewed some ric rac down the short length to create four sections prior to filling with rice. Once those were created, I filled with rice. Now, since I ditched the website instructions, I put about 2.5 – 3 cups of rice per section. **Note to self: that is too much rice and creates a very heavy lap pad.** As I filled each section I top stitched the section closed to contain the rice. When I was done, there was a top stitched line at each side creating an enclosed, pocketed, rice lap warmer. I used pinking shears on the exposed edges to help prevent fraying (don’t think it will be that handy if this actually gets used).
This method of creating the sections prior to filling with rice is a much easier, and cleaner, method for creating rice filled pouches.
For the neck warmer, I had already created the “pocket” as instructed by the website, but I knew that is where following the instructions stopped. I didn’t have any ric rac on hand to create the sections, so I just topstitched lines to create the sections. Also, since 3 of the 4 sides were “finished” I had to figure out what to do with the open side. It turns out I had bought some bias tape (on a whim) and realized I could use that to “finish” the final edge that was open to fill.
It worked pretty well!
I also realize that I keep to my colors that I like, and so the random notions and fabrics can be used between projects since they match unintentionally. Not too shabby.