Friday, May 22, 2015

First solo sewing project: lavender sachets

For Christmas my parents gave me a sewing machine, which was quite a surprise. I'd been thinking about getting one for a few years but never really got any farther than just the thinking. I did some practice stitching to try out the different features on the machine, and several weeks later I took a field trip to the fabric store. With all the new crafting possibilities swirling around in my imagination, I bought a little sewing box, an easy pattern for making pajama pants, some pretty fabric to make said pants, and a few other necessities. But I had to put that project aside because I always seemed to be in the middle of some kind of card-making endeavor.

Fast forward to April, and my sister and I went to the Minnesota Textile Center's textile garage sale. It's an event geared toward reuse and recycling: Community members donate items to be sold -- anything and everything related to sewing, including patterns, thread, notions, fabric, even partially completed projects -- and proceeds benefit the Textile Center, with surplus materials donated to schools and other nonprofit organizations. I bought a grab bag of different trims, odds and ends of fabric, some patterns and books, and even a partially finished purse (all the extra fabric was included, so even if I decide not to finish the purse, it was a great deal for the fabric alone). It was a crazy experience, but it got me excited about sewing again.

I knew I couldn't start with the pajama pants, though. I needed something much easier first, so I decided to make sachets. I ordered some dried lavender and washed one of the fabric pieces I picked up at the textile sale. And then everything sat again while I made other gifts and worked on the garden with my sister. Sigh. I had actually wanted to make the sachets to give to my aunts, grandma, and mom on Mother's Day, but it just didn't happen.

Simple lavender sachets made with fabric and a ribbon loop for hanging.
Finally this week I got out the sewing machine and made eleven lavender sachets. I think they look pretty good, and they smell wonderful!

For a pattern I cut a piece of chipboard into a 4" square. I used a pencil to trace the square on the back of the fabric and then cut out the fabric (two layers at a time), leaving about 1/4" of fabric around the pencil line.This way I could sew right along the line and didn't have to worry about a seam allowance.

I decided to add a ribbon loop on one side of the sachets so they can be hung on a hook or a hanger. I chose a couple of 1-1/4" wide ribbons from Stampin' Up! -- Old Olive striped grosgrain and Pink Pirouette two-toned ribbon -- that coordinated with the fabric. I used about 4" or 5" of ribbon for each sachet (I never measured them, just snipped off a piece), folded it in half, and pinned it with the folded part between the layers of fabric (front sides of the fabric facing each other). Then I turned on the sewing machine and sewed everything together, leaving an opening about 1" wide on one of the sides.

Simple lavender sachets made with fabric and a ribbon loop for hanging.
I pulled the fabric and ribbon through the opening so the sachet was right-side out, then I carefully spooned the dried lavender in the opening until the sachets felt reasonably full. Again, I didn't use any precise measurements, but I had a 1/2 pound bag of lavender (which is a really good-sized bag), and that was enough for all eleven sachets with maybe a third of the bag still left. Then I hand-stitched the opening closed, and that's it!

I finished all of the sachets in one day, so it was a quick and easy endeavor. And now that I've got one sewing project under my belt, I think I might tackle those pajama pants. Thanks for stopping by!

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