Bags of comfort

Use a few simple materials to craft this hot or cold aromatic neck bag and eye pillow.

Neck pillow

You will need:

For the inner bag 

  • Unbleached calico or other basic white fabric cut into a strip 28cm x 68cm.

For the washable outer bag

  • Your choice of fabric cut into 3 pieces: 74cm x 18cm, 35cm x 18cm and 64cm x 18cm. 
  • Iron 
  • Raw whole wheat grains or uncooked rice to use as filling — wheat is commonly used as chicken food so can be bought at hardware stores and some supermarkets.   
  • Sewing machine  
  • Matching cotton thread
  • Scissors 
  • Sewing pins 
  • Essential oil of lavender or eucalyptus

Step-by-step guide:

To make the inner bag

Step 1: Use unbleached calico or other basic white fabric. Cut a 28cm x 68cm strip (this can vary depending on the size of the bag you wish to make). 

Step 2: Fold over one of the shorter ends by 2cm and iron it flat. Laying the folded edges facing outwards, fold the rectangle of fabric together lengthwise. 

Step 3: Use an overlocking stitch or straight seam and zigzag to sew around three sides, leaving the end with the folded edges open. 

Step 4: Turn the bag the right way out and fill with wheat or rice grains. Pin the folded end closed. 

Step 5: Lay the bag flat and pin two seams to form three sections of bag. Check that each section of the bag is filled with the right amount of wheat or rice so that it rests comfortably on your shoulders. Adjust as necessary. Carefully sew along the pinned lines and trim any loose threads to complete. 

To make the washable outer bag 

Step 6: Cut the fabric into 3 strips: 74cm x 18cm, 35cm x 18cm and 64cm x 18cm.  

Step 7: Lay the longer piece out flat. Fold an end of each of the two shorter pieces with a generous fold of around 5cm and over again so that when you lay these two pieces out (overlapping at the folded end) they are the same length as the longer piece of fabric. Lay the two shorter pieces on top of the longer piece. Pin and then sew them together around the edges. 

Step 8: Use an overlocking stitch or straight seam and zigzag to sew around all sides. Trim any threads and turn the bag the right way around to complete. 

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