Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Thursday, February 2, 2017

thursday's crafting ~ warm those Tootsies

The only  body area that gets really cold seems to be my “toes” yep, the Tootsies. The tootsies do not like this Colorado Winter Weather... ha! 

Just after coming to the ranch and the winter began to hit I made some Rice/flax warming packs. They work great. Have one can use just for a wrap, one that I folded and make into a old-fashioned muff.  the other I made was like two put together so I could fold over my feet to warm them. It works great, many times I stick it under the covers when I go to bed to warm up the area for my feet.

It is, however, very heavy and a bit hard to get heated...without cooking the rice/flax mix. So, I put on my ‘creative thinking cap’ and decided to make special little toe warmers just for my feet.

first: here is a link to my first posting about making these Warmers- there I discuss what type of fillings to use and other basic information.

Now, my creation for the  the Toot-Toot-Tootsie Warmer....

Using my ‘channel’ design for these warming devices choose a 100% cotton fabric whenever possible. Polyester blend does work, however, it does not feel as nice against your skin as does cotton. 

supplies you’ll need:
fabric- 1/4 yard
elastic 1/2”
rice- 4 1/2 cups - cheap long grain works well.

One thing I really like about this day and age is some of the new thing we have that make sewing and creating fabric arts better and easier saving time for one to be more creative.  One of these is the 'rotary cutter.' Wow, took me a while to learn how to use it properly but it really is nice! (hum, nice idea for a post-new things, or new to me, in the sewing realm)

As stated, I like the channel design, it allows less rice use that is just as effective and with that it also make for the Warmer to be a whole lot lighter. Sometimes, heavy is nice, but sometimes you just want warmth and not the weight. With that, thought I have found that 1 1/2 inch channels are the best size.

Feet are about 5 to 6 channels wide, and then you need to measure the length- from the toes to your heal. we are not making full booties, so don't include your heal. Allow for a 1/2" seam. 

Mine is 15" wide by 8" length, the warmer is on folded at the top - making my finished cut pieces 16" x 18".  Fold the fabric in half length wise and mark your channel lines 1.5" apart, leaving a 1/2" on each side for your seam.  

Okay, you are ready to sew, start at the folded end and make sure to do a couple of back stitches to secure the channel end so no rice can sneak into the next. At the open ends just run the seam off the fabric. 

When finish with all channels you are ready to fill. 

I use a rice and flax seed mix- and a measuring cup so that I can get the same exact amount into each channel. The channels are best only filled to about 3/4 full- for sewing ease and it heats better with less.

Next... take a funnel and begin to fill your channels- the process is Fill, Fold, and Clip or pin. Do this until all your channels are filled. If you have a right side, fold toward wrong side.

Now the most difficult part is sewing the top and channels close. It can get difficult, one reason not to fill the channels to full. I sew once across, it will be done again when you fold and do not fold in half width wise yet. Just sew your top, I use a small zig-zag for stability. Now fold your piece in half 'width wise' with right sides together. And sew 1/2" seam across the top- do not do the sides, you'll need that open to turn the booties right side out.  When tops are sewn, turn right-side out and on to the next step-

Remember we left a 1/2" section of material on each side, use this to this close, which you'll need to hand sew this portion. So, get out those hand needles and thread. I use the "ladder stitch" it is quickest, and very secure. Tuck the material into the boot and stitch along the seam of your first channel.

Your finished "booties" yeah! ahhh, but you are necessarily not done yet....:)

You can end here, however I decided to put on a strap to keep the booties on while I sleep. I needed something that I could slip on and off with ease.  I did a lot of research about elastic and/or Velcro being microwaved. Guess what?! it can, both actually. And remember we are only heating these for less than 2 minutes. I microwaved both products for up to 4 minutes and both survived the heat. However, I can not say how long it will last after repeated heating. I felt that elastic would be the best for what I was attempting, I did worry about the elastic being too hot when against my heel,

That brings us to the next step: making the straps. I used 1/2" elastic. slip on your booties and measure from one side around the back of the heel to the other side. I made the elastic 1" shorter, you don't want it too tight, just enough to keep booties in place. Next made a sheath to cover the elastic and then again you will need to hand sew your straps to the sides of the booties

microwave for 'no more' than 2 minutes and enjoy

This is the first pair and 'prototype' and, with that thought, I am working on tweaking the design, making them less "flipper" looking and more boot or sock.
One really nice thing about these is that you actually CAN walk around them a little. So, a dash to the bathroom or kitchen is possible. With the boots you purchase on the cannot do that, they are too bulky. 

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