Monday, February 8, 2010

How to make sachet Valentines

I'm not sure what put this idea into my head (probably panic over having so much writing inspiration last week - how horrible if I were to put in a whole hour on my short stories) but I've been obsessed with sewing a lot of Valentines with leftovers from my Christmas felted wool sweater extravaganza.

On the weekend I decided to go for it.

Materials needed:
felted sweater scraps
loose-woven cotton
dried lavender
thread, scissors, pins, and an occasional chocolate

Step 1: make some patterns.

Actually I didn't do this first - I cut some rectangles and squares freehand right into the fabric. Then I thought some circles and hearts would be nice, forgetting how much harder it is to sew curves than straight lines, and made patterns with the top of a glass and typical fold-the-paper-in-two hearts. After that I got overconfident and cut some hearts freehand, too. After an hour or so I noticed I had the makings of 11 sachets and had to stop myself, it's that addictive.

Step 2: pin the patterns and cut them out.

I realize you don't need an illustration of this. This picture is here for me, so I can show off how nicely I matched up the pins. I might mention here though that the fact that you're cutting out hearts or sewing hearts onto whatever you did cut out means that red doesn't need to be involved. And size doesn't matter either. You can use pretty much any old scraps of felted wool and make somebody happy.

Step 3: cut out little squares from muslin in sizes a little smaller than the sachets they will fill.

I use the word muslin loosely: this is just some light cotton I got in a huge bolt from a discount bin at IKEA maybe 15 years ago and still haven't gotten to the end of. You could use any fabric loosely enough woven to let scent out, or you could just fill the felted wool pockets directly after stitching them most of the way shut. If you want to get fancy, you could cut the muslin shapes with the same patterns you used for the sachets, too! H'mmm, wish I'd thought of that yesterday.

Step 4: stitch any mini hearts you're using onto the larger sachets.

You have to peer at the back of this picture to see what I'm talking about; sorry - there's a better shot of what I mean a few steps down.

The ridiculously large heart in front is a slightly different design, destined to be a hanging sachet with the help of a strip cut from the cream sweater, folded into a loop, and stitched in later. If you're doing a really big one like that, you might want to add a little stuffing to the tops of the heart so the lavender pocket doesn't stick out like an entire chocolate Cupid eaten on an empty stomach.

Step 5: stitch up the muslin pockets and fill them with dried lavender.

You may notice that this sample was sewn on all four sides, with just a little opening left in the middle of one of them. This was a really bad idea. What you want to do is sew three sides, fill the thing, and then fold the open end inward so you can pin it and stitch it. That way, you won't have to cut a little trenchy spoon out of a straw to cram the lavender buds in there, three at a time. Ahem.

Step 6: pin the muslin shut as though you were sensible and sewed the thing up three sides in the first place, and sew it closed.

This is also the better shot of the heart applique. Adorable, yes? I think I need to make more of the red on grey ones.

Step 7: is really three steps: tuck in the pouch, pin the sachet, and topstitch it closed.

Yes, the stitching will show. But any mistakes just add to the homemade charm, don't you think?

1 comment:

Binnie Brennan said...

LOVE IT. And I don't even eat chocolate.