LAVENDER BAG





Lavender bag

Lavender bag

Well, the English summer is upon us with all its attendant rains and floods.  I don’t know what happened to the forecasts of a scorching summer, but I am glad I live on a hill well away from the river.  Still, I suppose there is still time for the weather to change.  It has at least been good growing weather and my garden is suitably jungle like.  Most importantly, my roses and lavender are flourishing.  Now is a good time to collect lavender flowers for drying.

 

How to dry lavender

Hang the lavender upside down

Hang the lavender upside down

To dry lavender, cut stems about 6″ long and tie them together in bunches of about ten or so.  Leave enough length on the string so that you can hang the lavender upside down while the flower heads dry.  This takes two to three weeks.  I often hang bunches from the knobs of doors that won’t be used too much.  When they are completely dry, gently brush all the petals off the stem into an airtight container till they are needed.

 

Drying rose petals

Spread the rose petals on a plate

Spread the rose petals on a plate

Drying rose petals is even easier.  When I first heard that you could dry rose petals in the microwave I was a little sceptical, but it works!  Pick the rose when it is in full bloom but before the edges of the petals start to brown.  Carefully pick the petals off and lay them on a sheet of kitchen paper on a plate.

They will dry more evenly if they are not overlapping.  Microwave in twenty second bursts.  The number of burst obviously varies with the number of petals, but the ones I did took three bursts.

Leave rose petals in a bowl

Leave rose petals in a bowl

 

Rose petals don’t really lend themselves to bags as lavender does.  I prefer to leave them in small bowls around the house until the scent has gone.

 

 

Make a lavender bag

Place a loop on the edge of the fabric

Place a loop on the edge of the fabric

Lavender, however, is perfect for scented bags.  The simplest design is a square.  Cut a rectangle of fabric about 8″ by 4″.  I tend to use calico or a loose weave fabric so that the scent can be released easily.  If you want a hanging loop, place a loop of ribbon in the centre of one of the short edges with the ends of the ribbon in line with the edge of the the fabric.

Fold the bottom half of the rectangle up over the loop.  Sew three and a half sides of the square using a 1/4″ seam and turn the square right side out.

 

Fill the lavender bag

Fill the lavender bag

 

Either fill your lavender bag completely with dried lavender or use a mixture of lavender and toy stuffing – it’s available from most fabric or hobby shops.  This makes the bag softer to feel and helps your lavender stocks to last longer.

 

Heart lavender bag

Heart lavender bag

Use small amounts of stuffing at a time to give a more even fill.  When you have filled the lavender bag as much as you wish, slipstitch the hole shut with small slipstitches.  You can use any shape you choose to make the bag, but try and leave the opening on a straight section of seam.  For the first heart shaped lavender bag that I made I left the hole on one of the curves, and as you can see it looks odd because the curve is slightly flattened where the opening was slipstitched.

Experiment – and enjoy your sewing!

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Comments

  1. Frances Marshall says:

    Dear Rose

    Is it possible that you have something on your website as to how to cut the initial fabric right from the beginning, I have 3 lots of 1 metres of material. I am extremely new to quilting and have had a couple of disasters with the cutting. I think once I have got over this hurdle I will be fine as your instructions are clear and concise . I am trying to make a bag for my cutting mat using your instructions the basic 8″ square.

    Kind regards

    Frances

    • Hi Frances. That’s a very good idea. It’s something that is probably easier to see than say, so I’ll try and do a video some time soon. Good luck with the bag.

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