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PHOTO: Tessa Zundel
If you need a homemade-gift project for your kids, these herbal sachets are just the thing. Perfect for the sock drawer or turning into ornaments by attaching a loop of ribbon or metal ornament hook at the top, they’re also a great way to introduce your children to sewing.
Be sure to let your kiddo do as much of the sewing as they can. You may need a little patience and creativity to help them learn some of the stitches, but the sewing is very basic—I promise. It may take several days for your child to finish the project depending on their age, skill level and attention span, so adjust your expectations accordingly. The most important thing is to allow your child to practice their hand-sewing skills while feeling proud of themselves for making such a useful, frugal gift. If you’ve grown and harvested the herbs you use in your sachet, then your kiddos can be doubly proud of their efforts.
Choose a shape for your herbal sachets. We made ours into a heart shape, but you could do anything. Cut a paper template. Lay your sweater out flat, and pin the the template onto it. Using sharp scissors, cut 1/4 inch out from your template all the way around—that 1/4 inch will be your seam allowance. Cut two pieces of sweater, one for the front of the sachet and one for the back.
Place your two fabric pieces so the outsides are facing in, and pin them together. Using a simple running stitch or backstitch, sew around the edge of the sachet, about a quarter inch in, leaving about 1 inch open so you can stuff your herbs inside. Go back over your seam with a blanket stitch.
Knot the ends of your thread to secure the stitching, and then turn the sachet right sides out.
Gather dried lavender, another fragrant herb or your favorite potpourri mix that you want to use in your sachet. I recommend stuffing the herbs in a muslin or cheesecloth packet kept together with a knot or running stitch to keep the organic material from sneaking through the sweater material. Place the packet inside the sachet and disperse through the sachet by pressing with your fingers. If you’re making an ornament, you can fill in the gaps around the sachet packet with raw wool or quilt batting.
To close up the hole in the sachet, turn in 1/4 inch of fabric so it points down inside. Pin it to keep it closed, if you like, but I usually just hold it as I sew. Close the hole with a whipstitch.
Sachets are simple to make and pleasing to gift to someone special. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not very crafty, so trust me when I say these are quick and easy to finish.