I took down my post on how to make a wonderbag yesterday in response to a comment that it surely infringed intellectual property. I don’t know if it did or not. When I posted about this it was in response to a request by someone who wanted to make one of these for someone in difficult circumstances. There did not at that time appear to be worldwide selling of these by the company making them in South Africa, but yesterday, I looked again and I see that it grew. I checked Pinterest today, and found that lots of people pinned and repinned my photos and many people looked at the post here, presumably to get information about how to make one.
They’re available worldwide as a commercial item now for sure, though the price would put them outside the budget of families on benefits or other low income. The idea is as old as the hills – a heated pot will stay warm and continue cooking if placed in an insulated container – so, hole in the ground, box stuffed with hay, several blankets, bag or box filled with polystyrene is the modern incarnation. The commenter suggested I direct people to the company to buy one, but I’m not here to advertise stuff. Melissa pretty much summed up how I feel about home dec sewing, may I quote her latest post
“To me, home dec sewing is the worst – lots of boring rectangles and straight lines, measuring, unexciting fabrics, and then you don’t even get to wear it in the end!”
So, if you’re thinking of making one of these rather than buying one its probably not because of the thrill of sewing simple shapes and messing about filling them with polystyrene, and spending a few happy hours vacuuming the stuff out of every nook and cranny. (By the way, pick a fine day and do the filling in the garden, on the beach or in the local park.)
My home made one used the basic idea, but had removable bags of polystyrene beads to make it more laundry friendly in this part of the world. This also helped avoid polystyrene jamming itself in the feed dogs. My friend’s idea was for making the ties at the top easier for people with limited strength in their hands, so a separate piece added as a channel and four openings in it. Both of these adaptations are worth pondering over if you do plan to make your own. I made mine in some cheap cotton I had lying around and an old sheet, but anything cotton or linen or with a high content of these or similarly heat tolerant fibres will do for the inner, and anything for the outer – patched up of old scraps is fine for the budget version, as is scrap polystyrene as opposed to beads. The original is cut as a circle, as you can find out from the articles on it – you can change the size to suit your favourite pot of you make your own. I apologise to searchers arriving here and finding the instructions are no longer available from me.
You could make a pot container in a different way which would work just as well. For example cutting a circle for the bottom and adding straight panels for the sides, either filled with polystyrene beads or scrap polystyrene, and then having a separate circle for the top.
In case your wondering the jacket is limping along. Just shoulder pads and finishing stitching the lining in to do. Very busy with non sewing related tasks I’m afraid.