Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ready to Sachet? The Tutorial!

Materials:

Start with a piece of linen stretched on an embroidery hoop (note that I use plastic when I'm not planning to frame the piece in the hoop). This hoop is 7 inches, and the fabric, obviously, needs to overhang a bit. You'll also need some felt-scrap circles in different sizes, from a bit smaller than a dime to a bit larger than a quarter. I keep a big heap of these around, but for one sachet, you need 3-5 of the larger circles and the same number of smaller circles. Cut three or four green leaf shapes, too. (The template from the Sew, Mama, Sew tut includes these shapes, or you can freehand them.) You'll also need a bit of coordinating cotton for the back of the sachet, along with a couple of straight pins.

Applique:

I like to begin by creating my arrangement--experimenting with colors and the placement of felt pieces until I get the look I want. (Sometimes I make three flowers, sometimes as many as five.)

Next, use a small, neat running stitch to attach the "petals" circles to the linen.

Then, using a small, neat whip stitch, attach the "centers" circles, yup, you guessed it, in the center of the "petals" circles.

Attach the leaves using a running stitch that goes from one leaf point to the other.

Construction:

Once you've completed the applique, it's time to build your sachet. I use a mat and rotary cutter to cut the linen down to a 6"X6" square. Scissors and a ruler will work, too. As you cut, you can position the applique anywhere you like inside the square. (I've made this one a little off center--on purpose, folks!) At this point, you will also want to cut your printed cotton to a 6"X6" square.
Pin the pieces right sides together.
Using a fairly tight stitch (to avoid lavender leakage), sew from approximately 1/3 from the edge of one side, all the way around the square, ending approximately 1/3 from the other edge of the starting side. This will leave an opening of about 2 inches in one side of your sachet. In terms of seam allowance, I'm just using the edge of the presser foot as a guide--clearly I'm not a sewing machine genius. ;-)
Trim excess fabric and miter the corners before turning your square right side out. (I use a chopstick to facilitate turning.)
Now it's time to create the decorative edge. I'm using this "H" setting on my Janome--it's sort of a scallop, and I have the settings at 5 for width and 1 and 1/2 for length. If you don't have a similar stitch, even a simple zigzag would work just fine.
Use the scallop or zigzag to edge stitch around the sachet, leaving the 2" opening you created when straight stitching.
Filling:

It's time to make this puppy smell good. I am filling my sachets with french lavender buds, which I have purchased from Glass House Supplies. If you search etsy supplies for "lavender," you'll find multiple sources, and I'm sure there are brick and mortar shops in some towns that sell this stuff, too. (Whole Foods has it here in Portland, but it's organic and costs a small fortune.) Clearly, you can use whatever material you like--other scented buds or herbs, balsam tips, etc.

I use a small spoon to fill the sachet through the little hole, making sure it gets down into the corners. I fill the sachet almost to the top, but you don't want a super-tight stuff. You need to be able to sew the hole closed, which is difficult if you can't close the fabric easily.
When the sachet is filled, fold in the "loose lips" of fabric at the hole and pull it taut; use the same decorative machine stitch to close the opening, and VOILA!
As you saw in my earlier post, I like to bundle two of these babies together with some ribbon--a great little gift!

Please let me know, if you try this, what you think--and if you need clarification or have any questions, send them my way!

60 comments:

Poulsen Family said...

Thank you for posting a tutorial for these, I'd love to try it!

Felt-o-rama said...

What a sweet tutorial! This would make the best little gift. With your permission, I'd love to feature your tutorial on my Felt-o-rama blog :)

Cassie@You Go Girl said...

Lovely. Thank you!

Melissa Crowe said...

Felt-o-rama: permission granted! ;-)

june at noon said...

Very pretty, and I'm a big fan of lavender. I make similar sachets, although just with simple printed fabrics rather than all the beautiful embellishments you do. I like to stuff them with a combination of lavender and flax seed. This cuts back on the amount of lavender you use (and thus have to purchase) per sachet, and the flax seed also allows you to refrigerate or microwave (for a very short time) the sachets to use as cool or hot packs for tired hands or sore necks!

Melissa Crowe said...

Ooh, great idea, June!

Flower Girl said...

I stumbled on your blog, and I love the sachets! They are lovely, I think I'll give 'em a try. Thank you!

Tamara said...

Cute as can be. I love your work and your daughter sure is a true artist, too. I'm an art teacher and I have an idea about what most kids are capable of.
I want to follow your blog. I think I can do it using the button on top.

kate said...

Very cute! Thanks for the tutorial. These would make a sweet hostess or teacher gift. I'll add 'em to my list of things to make.

kate said...

Ok, I'm back because I have to tell you that I now have a girl-crush on you. After finding you via SMS, I've been scrolling through you blog, and with each new page I am more and more in awe of your work. I literally squeeled out loud when I saw the tiny airstream trailer! Your work is amazing, especially the family "portraits" and that wedding party?? Oh. My. Gawd.

I noticed that you seem to use "regular/sewing" thread more so than embroidery thread; is because regular thread is thinner and therefore easier to work with? Also, do you have a good source for wool felt that you'd recommend? You've inspired me to attempt a piece featuring our dogs, for my daughter's upcoming 9th birthday.

Again, I adore your work. So glad I found you!

Melissa Crowe said...

Hi, Kate--and thanks so much for all your kind words! Who doesn't like when someone has a crush on her?! ;-)

I use cotton hand-quilting thread for the actual applique (sewing the pieces down) and also for lots of the delicate details--for me, this words because it feels like drawing if that makes any sense--the line is thinner. You could do this same thing, of course, by separating floss strands, but then you have to spend time doing that. I use embroidery floss for bolder details--tree trunks and the like.

I get 100% wool felt from Magic Cabin online and wool-blend felt (thinner, less plush but still far superior to acrylic) from feltorama (either feltorama.com or her etsy shop at www.feltorama.etsy.com). Hope that helps!

kate said...

Thanks so much Melissa! Off to shop now! :)

Jen said...

What a lovely project - thank you for sharing!

Holly said...

I'll definitely add these to my ever-expanding list of Christmas gift ideas (and maybe make one for myself!) Thanks for sharing.

Sew It Up! said...

Thank you! These would make great Christmas gifts for those unexpected receivers.

hoganfe said...

Wonderful tut - thanks for sharing!

mary
hoganfe handmade
handbag originals

Kate said...

This comes just in time, as I have blooming lavender all over my garden, and aside from cutting it for vases or wands, I've never been able to come up with a sachet cute enough to give as a gift...but this is beyond perfect. Thanks!

ps-- from one recovering academic to another, kudos to you for making the leap!

luvinthemommyhood said...

LOVE IT! I added you to our link luv roundup today!

http://www.luvinthemommyhood.com/2009/08/link-luv-roundup_19.html

If you are interested in sporting one of our "featured on luvinthemommyhood" buttons just send an email my way!

Thanks for a great tutorial!

Claudia said...

So pretty! Love your work.But can you please tell me: do you really cut out all those circles with scissors or do you have a gadget to help you? Thanks!

Melissa Crowe said...

Hi, Claudia--and thanks so much for your kind words. I do indeed cut everything out by hand, but I do know that some people do use heavy-duty craft punches to cut felt. A circular punch would certainly work for this project!

Sam said...

I love this project, and I am totally inspired to try it myself.
I love the SMS tutorial too - so wonderful.

Thanks for sharing :-)

Pand0ra Wilde said...

I can help you with much cheaper but very high quality sources on the lavender if you're interested--I'm finding organic lavender for $19.50 from sources I've used for years as a soapmaker.

Melissa Crowe said...

Pandora--I'd love to get organic lavender for that price. If you want to email me the source (address on the sidebar), that would be WONDERFUL!

Megan of Sanourra Designs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megan of Sanourra Designs said...

Hi Melissa,

I love your tutorial! That little sachet is so cute and lovingly made. I'll have to find some felt!

I was wondering about something; in your first sentence you pointed out that you use a plastic frame when you're not planning to leave the project in the hoop after completion.

I'm a bit new to embroidery. Why should one prefer plastic over wood? Thanks in advance!

**P.S.** If you wonder why I deleted my previous post, it was because I made a grammatical error and I couldn't edit it. :P

Melissa Crowe said...

Hi, Megan--good question! I guess I feel like plastic is easier to tighten and to readjust if necessary. The new wooden hoops are awesome as frames but a little bit rickety in terms of their action. They will absolutely work, but I like the ease of use with the plastic hoops when I'm making something that will be removed. Does that make sense?

ofttraveledpath said...

Loving your blog! I can't wait to try these sachets with my 8-year-old dtr; she's quite the seamstress. I'm a crafter-in-progress myself - a fellow recovering academic!

perchesinthesoul said...

For some reason, applique and feltwork have always intimidated me, but your blog is amazing and lovely and inspirational. I love this tutorial, thank you so much! I'll definitely try it :)

redearth said...

Thanks so much for posting this tutorial and sharing your lovely work! I have a question about the felt circles: do you cut them out by hand or use a fabric hole punch? Looking forward to making one!

Melissa Crowe said...

Hi, Redearth--I cut the circles by hand, but heavy-duty craft punches would work, too.

Crazypatch said...

It's wonderfull.

Megan of Sanourra Designs said...

Melissa-
It does make sense, and it's something to keep in mind when looking for a new hoop. Currently I have a few small ones- one in plastic and one in wood. I honestly hadn't notice that plastic was easier, but perhaps that's because I was wrangling a layer of quilt sandwich into my plastic hoop!

Thanks again, and have a wonderful day!

Leslie said...

I'm definately making one before my homebirth - I'm due in the next 2-3 weeks!! Lovely project! I have already harvested Lavendar blooms from my own plant, just waiting to be made into something -this was the perfect size for what I need! Thanks!

Melissa Crowe said...

Congratulations, Leslie--that is SO exciting! And I've been thrilled to hear that folks are using their own home-grown lavender for this project!

Jennifer said...

I came over here from Soule Mama and I have to say I think these sachets are just adorable! Thank you so much for posting this tutorial!

I was thinking the base design would also look cute as a set of coordinating-but-not-exactly-matching coasters, doing the same thing but omitting the stuffing with fragrant materials. Just a thought...

Melissa Crowe said...

Yes, Jennifer--that's an awesome idea! I love it! And wool felt holds up very well and is naturally anti-bacterial, so a little glass-sweat or beverage spill would be no big deal. ;-)

Khris said...

How simple, cute and sweet..thanks for sharing...I have put a link to this on my freebie blog...Khris

randi said...

This is too cute!

Randi

http://ihavetosay.typepad.com/

Ana said...

very cute!

... said...

very sweet

~ Stitchin Sweet Sue ~ said...

Love the linen, great project to get one's feet wet with applique. I know I have all these materials, looks like fun, THX!

Sweet Stitchin...

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

I finished my first sachet last night - using some of the lavender I dried last year. These will be great to pop into Christmas presents!

Mystica said...

We dont have lavender in my part of the world but I am going to do the sachets with sandalwood roots - not just a lovely smell but prevents moths etc attacking clothes. Lovely for christmas.

Thanks once again for such a good tutorial.

Mystica

Debra said...

I am soooo thrilled i stumbled upon this...i really need some (lots) fo simple gifts right n ow for a few b/days etc...they are so sweet and with a couple of washcloths perhaps...just what i need...thanks so much for this :)

Nicola said...

This is just the inspiration I need to actually make something with the Lavender I brought back from our vacation in Tuscany. Thank you!

Caleen said...

love this! great tutorial! I am gonna make some.. Thank you for the idea!

Sheau said...

This is a great tutorial. Love your idea of using embroidery hoop as frame for your work. Saw Finn's Forest. Very lovely and special gift. Do you do custom work like that besides city/house? I just had a baby girl and am thinking of a good gift for her for Christmas.

Noelia said...

Im so gonna try these!

smoose003 said...

I have just found you blog. Cute stuff and fantastic tutorials.

Alejandra Alcantara said...

Asking for permission to post your lovely tutorial on my two blogs (one in Spanish and one in English)
I admire your work so so much !

Melissa Crowe said...

Yes, of course! And thank you for your kind words!

{ to be charmed } said...

This is too cute. I love it and will be posting it on my blog. Thanks so much for sharing your tutorial!

EllenQ said...

I'm going to make these as sweet bridal shower favors. Thanks!!!!

Kriture said...

ohh cute! thanks for sharing!

Happy in red said...

This looks so cute! Thanx for sharing!
Esther (happyinred.blogspot.com)

Melissa Crowe said...

You're welcome!

Lolla said...

Love to do felt applique, don't like the cutting bit though but I found this great online shop at http://www.freewebstore.org/Felt-Cut-Outs which is just great for this hobby, they also do custom shapes too.

Melissa Crowe said...

Good tip, Lolla! Thanks!

Galeria Schaffar said...

I will do it! :))) Thanks!

Maria said...

Thanks for a great tutorial and idea! I've made one and posted about it here:
http://dinkidots.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/lavender-sachet.html
Many thanks, Maria