The best sewing pattern for beginners is usually simple and easy to read. This DIY heat pack pattern is exactly that! In this blog post, I’m walking you through each step with pictures so you know exactly what to do. Unlike many patterns, this one is easy to read for anyone.
This heat pack is full of rice which makes it easy to pop in the freezer for cold or microwave for hot. Anytime you have a stomach ache, cramps, or sprained ankle you have a natural way to heal it.
Best Sewing Machine for Beginners
When it comes to sewing machines, there are tons out there to choose from. My mother-in-law got me this beautiful Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine and it is perfect for learning to sew! It’s simple to understand, lightweight and has 27 stitch options. The best part about this sewing machine is the automatic needle threader and drop-in bobbin. It pushes the thread through the needle with a jam-resistant top bobbin. This eliminates the frustrations of manually threading the needle.
Choosing a Fabric
It probably looks a little funny having my husband’s underwear plastered all over this post haha! But I have a good reason, sorry honey (p.s. don’t worry I checked with him beforehand). This sewing pattern for beginners can be made out of almost any fabric. I personally love cotton, it’s soft against the skin when using the hot/cold pack for healing.
Rather than going to the store and spending money, I opted to repurpose an old pair of briefs that had no elastic. This saved money and reduced our waste: win-win! You can do the same by finding an old t-shirt, briefs/boxers, kitchen towel, etc. Or you can go to the store and grab a fabric you love.
Step 1: Cutting
The first steps are for those using an old piece of clothing. If you have fabric or are using a towel, skip to the next step. However, if you’re reusing something at home lay it out on the sewing mat or flat surface. Next decide where the largest part of the fabric is. For example on these briefs, I need to cut off the top band and the front center. This will allow me to open up the briefs and use a majority of the fabric. If you have a T-shirt, cut off the top hem/collar and the two sleeves. Then make a cut with your fabric cutter on the side to open up the shirt.
Step 2: Measuring Your Fabric
First, fold your fabric in half into a square or rectangle and lay it on your sewing mat. We want the final two squares to be 9 inches (tall) by 11 inches (wide). To do this lay your fabric folded in half at the base of your sewing mat. Then use your lip edge ruler to help you cut a straight line for the 9″x11″ measurements. You should now have 2 squares this size.
Step 3: Pinning your Fabric
Next lay your two squares evenly on top of one another. Then use your pins to make a 1/2-inch edge. Do this by folding the sides up and sliding in a pin about every inch. Only do this on three sides so you can later fill it with rice.
Step 4: Sew the 3 Pinned Sides
Next, you’ll be sewing the edges. Make sure your sewing machine is threaded with a coordinating color. Start at the top corner and work your way down and around. As you’re working your way around the three sides, carefully take the pins out one by one as you go. I always keep my box close to store them in after removal. If you’re still unsure how to use your sewing machine, head over to YouTube for a quick tutorial. There are tons of Brother brand videos to choose from.
Step 4: Pin and Sew Half of Side 4
Then you’re going to do the same 1/2 inch hem pinned only half the length of side 4. This allows us to fill with rice in the next step. When doing this make sure the corner is folded in for an even line (shown above in pictures).
Step 5: Turn Inside Out & Fill
Next, turn your pack inside out to hide the edges. This makes your heat pack look seamless. Then you’ll want to fill it with rice. You can use brown rice, white rice, or jasmine rice. It doesn’t matter what kind you choose, whatever you have in the pantry. I would stay away from instant rice just because I’m not sure how that will hold up over time. The amount you use can vary, I used 6 cups for a firm but moveable fill. If you want it to be more firm or less keep adding or take some out. The filling amount is totally up to you.
Optional: If you’d like a soothing scent, add 10 drops of lavender essential oil to your rice inside the bag. This will release when using.
Step 6 (Final Step) Hand Sew the Rest of Side 4
Finally, thread a needle with coordinating thread and hand sew the last half of side 4. Use your pins to make the 1/2 inch hem. You can try to sew this part on your sewing machine but it can get tricky. You don’t want your rice spilling everywhere. That’s it, you’ve finished your hot/cold pack! Give yourself a pat on the back, you did awesome!
This sewing pattern for beginners is perfect for anyone to try! It’s fun and useful for the whole family. If you enjoyed this DIY project let me know what you think in the comments, I can’t wait to hear from you!