lavender bag tutorial

27 May

By popular demand (you know, a few people asked me), here’s a tutorial for the lazy lavender bags. Excuse the dodgy photography, I hope it gives you sufficient visual information for the whole thing to make sense.

You will need two squares of fabric – I’ve used 7 cm squares here – plus (in this case) a length of ribbon. I often use quite long ribbon so that there’s plenty of length for hanging but short ribbon is fine. Or you can make them without ribbon. If you want to do that, life will be even easier. And this is not going to make it hard, believe me.

Two squares of fabric plus a length of ribbon

Fold the ribbon in half and put it between the squares of fabric. Whatever way you want our ribbon to be – shiny side out, shiny side in – that’s how you should have it. I’ve made mine matte side facing in this example.

Put the ribbon between the squares of fabric, right sides facing

Pin on three sides: either side of the ribbon and the side where the ribbon aligns with the edge of the square. In other words, in the photo above, you’d put a pin on the left, a pin at the top and a pin at the right. Or not, if you’re fearless and confident. I don’t always pin mine if I’m using a nicely stable fabric. I find it’s helpful to do so when I’m using ribbon, even if it’s only on that side because the ribbon is sometimes harder to keep in place than the fabric.

Once you’ve pinned it, check hat the ribbon is free to move

There’s no reason why you can’t pin on any three sides you choose (I’ve done it myself sometimes by design, sometimes not), but it’s easier to turn through if you can just grab the ribbon and pull. Sew the sides you’ve pinned, using a 1 cm seam.

Sew, being sure to catch the ribbon in your seam

Depending on what fabric I’m using, I’ll either trim the corners with straight scissors or pinking shears. With this, which I think is a synthetic silk, I used pinking shears.

On a thicker fabric, I would probably trim all the seams

Turn the bag inside out and square up the corners. This is where the ribbon is useful because you can just stick your finger into the bag, grab the ribbon and pull. Then use your favourite squaring tool (I have a couple of paintbrushes whose handles are just right for the job) and make the corners as square as you can.

This size is large enough for turning to be quite easy even without ribbon

Then fill your bag with lavender or a mix of whatever you like. I couldn’t get a good photo while doing it that didn’t look like I was trying to choke the bag! I used about three heaped teaspoons of mix, which seems like a lot because it almost fills the bag and you’ll be thinking you’re not going to be able to get that under your presser foot.

You will. Tamp it down. I use an old chopstick to do so but you might prefer a paintbrush or a pencil. I’m not dictatorial about these things. Use whatever works for you. When you’ve tamped the mix, you’ll find you’ve a firmer bag and plenty of room for the next step, which is to make the pyramidal shape. You could sew it flat – that is, make it square, more like ravioli – if you want to, but I like the extra squoosh that goes with the pyramid.

You could make it square; if you do, you might want more mix


I like to use a pyramidal shape

PIn – again, this is optional and I don’t always do it; sometimes if I’m only making a couple, I might miss out pinning and go straight to sewing – then sew.

As you can see, there’s plenty of room for the presser foot

You’ll doubtless notice that my edges aren’t precisely aligned, but no matter. That will disappear in the next step, which is trimming across that bottom edge with pinking shears.

Pinking provides a quick and easy finish

Then, the next thing you know, you have a lavender bag.

There you have it, one pyramidal lavender bag with hanging ribbon

Now, wasn’t that easy? I don’t usually make 50 at a time which was the output last time. I’m far more likely to make two or three when I have a few minutes and that way when I need one to include in any fibre gift, I can just grab it from the box and pop it in with the gift.

Let me know if you have any questions. I’m sure I’ll be able to make up some sort of answer! Happy sewing, everyone.


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Posted by on May 27, 2012 in Sewing



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