Anyone else out there in a gift-making frenzy? I've been putting together aromatherapy pillows for the midwives and staff at the birth center where we'll be having our daughter soon. They reccomended tube socks filled with rice then tied in a knot to use during labor. You can microwave or freeze them. They're used to drape across sore, contracting, achy parts. And to warm the baby up after she makes her entrance from cushy-toasty-warm uterus into the cold world of winter.
However, I thought a tube socks seemed a little.....well, manky. Obviously, it would be a new and clean tube sock, but a sock nonetheless. So, I thought I'd make us some nice, cozy velvet ones. And, while I was at it, I thought it would make an appropriate gift for the baby-delivering ladies. They measure about 18" x 6" inches.
I sewed the interior bags out of plain white cotton. I sewed a few channels into them to help distribute the rice more evenly, then sewed them up. I made a 'pillowcase' for the rice bags out of velvet, then added strips of velcro to keep the bags shut.
To make them extra fancy and pretty, I embossed designs onto the velvet. These have king and queen of hearts cards, and snowflakes. (Note to self and others attempting the same project...emboss the velvet BEFORE sewing the bags shut. It leaves you lots more room to manueuver.)
-Heat your iron to cotton setting if using cotton velvet, synthetic if using a polyester-based velvet.
-Decide where to place the design, then spray the right side of the velvet with water. I get it fairly wet, enough to get into the pile of the fabric, but not dripping.
-Place the rubber part of the stamp rubber-side up, then place the velvet on top of the stamp, with right side of velvet and rubber side of the stamp touching. You should now be looking at the backside of the velvet.
-Press the iron firmly over the stamp portion. Do not move the iron around. Just press it firmly and leave it in place. Check every 10 seconds or so to see if the water has evaporated. I usually found 15-30 seconds worked, depending on the fabric thickness.
- Remove the velvet from the stamp, and voila! Embossed designs! (Practice on a few scraps first, since you can't 'undo' embossing.) These can't be washed, as it would remove the embossing. That's why I made the rice bags as interior liners.
The top pillow has a mermaid and seahorse, the bottom has Victorian roses. I SWEAR these look 10 times prettier in person. Velvet is so hard to photograph. Tips, anyone?
These have Celtic knotwork designs. I promise you therey are crisp and handsome in person. I made a set of faux-mitter 'pocket warmers' to throw in your coat pockets for cold winter walks.
Ok, my photos are horrible. Here's a much better example from Wendy Stamps. Isn't this gorgeous? The more flat space on the stamp, the bolder (and I think better) the result of the design.
Another nice example from Daily D.I.Y.
An exquisite embossed Spanish-style tutu from The Costume Lady.