Wednesday, February 26, 2014

flax for a friend

A friend of mine recently polled her facebook friends, looking for seamstresses who would be willing to sew up some flax packs for her new massage business. Eager to help out (I'm still grateful that she's letting me paint her - you'll see her here in the next month or so!), I volunteered, and was asked to produce two 6" X 16" packs for wrapping things and one 12" X 16" pack for backs.

It's a very simple construction, basically a pillow that is filled about halfway with flax seeds, and sewn shut. So, with the two rectangles right-side-together, I sewed three sides of each rectangle with a 1/2" seam. I turned them right side out, and pressed the unsewn edges under (to the inside of the pack). Then I topstitched around the three sides I'd already sewn at about 1/4" from the edge, for added reinforcement (flax seeds are small; you don't want them slipping out between your stitches!).

The image my friend shared as a sample showed channels, so I followed suit and made 2" channels, sewing from my topstitching line at the base to within 1/4" of the open side. I think the channels help to distribute the weight and warmth of the flax evenly across the pack, and prevents overstuffing, so that the pack is flexible.

Then I used a funnel to fill the packs, one channel at a time. I only filled each channel approximately half-full, so that the pack would be flexible. I pinned the top of each channel shut right above the seeds. When I had filled a full pack, I took it to my machine and stitched the open side closed, stitching 1/4" from the edge so that it would match my other topstitched edges.

These are made with almost the last of one of my favorite fabrics, a toile-print cotton canvas (I read that tightly-woven fabrics like canvas were preferred for these). I guess you just warm them up in the microwave and they hold their heat for hours. All in all, the cost to me was about $4 for a big bag of flax (I didn't quite use it all), and I suppose I'll wind up paying $5 or $7 for priority shipping - and I used up more of my stash of leftover fabric scraps.

My friend asked how she could repay me and I requested a surprise in the mail. I am excited for this exchange! I love barters, trades, and sending delightful little gifts in the post -and who doesn't love to get a package? It's always like Christmas, when that happens!

1 comment:

SewTypical said...

oh, cool...!
This reminded me to make a tubular neck pillow filled with flax, like I've been meaning to make for a long time...