I am trying to do handmade items for some of my gift giving this year, although I got a late start on it so certainly the majority of it will not be handmade.
Last night I whipped out 5 lavender eye pillows, which I turned out better than I anticipated. I got the pattern from Amy Butler's website for free (OF COURSE!). I did not make the carrying case for the eye pillow b/c I thought that was a little strange.
Basically, you make a pillow, fill it with rice, dried lavender flowers and dried beans, and sew it shut. I made the pillow part out of muslin given that one is never going to really see the pillow.
Then you make a removable slipcover for the pillow. At first I was thinking, "Why do you need a slipcover for the pillow?!" But Ms. Butler makes a good point - one may want to WASH the part that touches the face. So here are my lavender eye pillows in their removable slipcovers:
I am really happy with how they turned out and it was a great project for me to practice straight sewing without having visible stitches. My next thought was, "Who is really going to use a lavender eye pillow??" So I laid on the couch and tried one out...I must admit I thought it was relaxing! But I made Nate try one for a second opinion - he wasn't that gung ho about them, but did say that they "smelled really good". At the very least, people can use it for a drawer sachet or something. Dried lavender is supposedly a natural moth repellent!