Sewing a wheat bag tutorial

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Each Christmas I try to make gifts for friends and family which varies from year to year. Sewing has become a staple part of that which has forced me to try new things and get creative. For the Christmas just passed I struggled for ages trying to think up something I could make that would be both relatively possible to make and that would be a useful gift for someone to receive. It was C who suggested a wheat bag. I was dubious but as I had nothing else to weigh it up against I thought it would be the best option. As usual I tried to find a really good tutorial online but nothing really struck me as helpful or useful so I decided to maverick my own version. There were several factors to consider. The wheat, the 'flavour' and the fabric. 
Wheat turned out to be more bother that I expected; with health food shops being astonishingly expensive, online deliveries too. So a little lateral thinking later and a trip to Mole Country Stores for some pure wheat (chicken feed). Sadly there was none in stock so I ordered some in for the next week - the chap looked a little concerned at my attitude and in order to stop casting shade on possible animal husbandry skills I felt obliged to reveal it wasn't for feeding any (starving) animals. 
The large sack was infinitely cheaper than even a couple of small bags I'd seen before. 

Dried lavender is the usual suspect for a wheat bag flavouring and although it has grown on me significantly since my grandmothers died, I didn't fancy pure lavender so when I found a lavender and chamomile mix that sounded more of a middle ground. 

The fabric turned out to be the easiest of them all. C thoughtfully pointed out a double thickness of fabric might be better in case of any leakage. As the bags are put in the microwave a pure cotton rather than anything synthetic was required. From other projects there were varying quantities of thick cotton reams which meant I could not only make new pieces without buying anything new but also use leftovers which may have otherwise never been 'used up'. Very green. 
I made a trial one to start with, then a couple more. For the men I left out the dried flowers as C turned his nose up, which I assumed would be the case for the other men too.

The feedback was unexpectedly positive - it appears that all bags either had been put to use or would be called into action for recurring aches. As someone who doesn't have an ache, I found this surprising but once again shows how I need to think beyond my own requirements when choosing gifts for others.

I was asked whether I could make another few. As I'm now an experienced maker of wheat bags this was no problem and I made them in no time at all compared to my initial faffing. There is no fixed dimensions for these, however you please really. The first few were squarer (as I'd seen those before) but C explained he would like his for round his neck/shoulders it would need to be more of a stretched rectangle. I made them all like that from then on. The inside cotton lining didn't get an iron but I did carefully press the outer. The inner measured a little less but not much. I cut out all pieces in one go to save time. It's always the measuring and cutting which takes forever and drags things out.
Turning over the lining in half and sewing one long side and one short. All seams were sewn twice for strength. Then turning the piece right way round, filling with the wheat and flower mix. I filled a maximum of 2/3 full as you need a certain level of floppability. Funnelling the mix was a fall and I spilled loads on the floor. Then carefully taking the filled bag to the machine and sewing it shut. Then just checking the outer for size to ensure it's not sew too tight (the inner will need to be slid inside it).
 Pin right sides together, sew two sides twice and again turn right way out.
Oh look, here's the wheat and lovely dried flowers. Apparently you can use oils as well but I didn't want to introduce any moisture

Your outer should be a little bigger than inner so that they can fit together.
Don't forget to poke your corners out as much as you can for a nice finish.
 Slide the inner inside the outer sleeve, gravity helps. Then poke the inside down a bit further so it won't be caught when you sew up the last seam.
Here's where I play the 'oh but I'm just an amateur so you'll have to forgive the asymmetry in ends' card. I turned in the ends
 Pinned acrossed
 And shamelessly stitched across (twice). Shocking lack of finesse.

 Shuffle it about a bit.
I used up several pieces of material.
In the hubbub of all the sewing I also sewed a taggie which worked very well aside from one wonky tag I somehow messed up. Fingers crossed it's recipient hasn't judged me too harshly for the error.
For previous years I wrote about sewing tote bags and made a peg bag tutorial. Trust me, if I can make all these then you can do it too!

Take care,

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Sometimes I am sent items to feature as part of a post and these will be clearly mentioned as part of each post.Everything else is bought by myself. Any sponsored or collaboration posts will be clearly marked. Each post is my own content and all opinions are honest.