Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Lavender Pillows

A whopping 8 people voted that they wanted to learn how to make lavender pillows - so here you go! There really is nothing easier to make, and not only do they smell lovely, they keeps moths away too (a big issue in my flat, for some reason!) What can make these special is any decorating, or as I like to call it, garnishing that you might do. I like to sew on little ribbon roses, or fun buttons, and if I have the time I'll usually embroider one of them the initial of the person who's getting them.

I like to have some on hand, half finished, so that I can stuff them and personalise as needed. From start to finish, you can easily make three in a nap time. These ones are just for me, so they're pretty plain, and they're made from old pillow cases bought in a charity shop.

Incidentally, this is the exact same method you can use for making little bean bags. Just stuff with dried beans or grains instead of lavender, and I'd suggest stitching round your seams twice for extra strength.

You will need:
-fabric. Nothing too thick, so that the lavender smell can easily escape. I like to use old pillowcases and scraps of cotton. For mine, I tend to cut 5 or 6 inch squares. To make three cushions, you'll need 6 6 inch squares in complimenting or contrasting fabrics.
-lavender. I buy mine in huge amounts on eBay and it's quite reasonable. I think I paid £12 for a kilo and that is all the lavender I'll ever need in my life.
-garnishes (ribbon, flowers, buttons, iron-on transfers, appliques, beads, sequins, lace - whatever takes your fancy!)
-sewing machine and iron
-needle for hand sewing

Step 1: Cutting Out

Cut out two squares (or any shape really; the world's your oyster!) from the fabric of your choice. My squares are 6 inches. I make these in sets of three, so I've got 6 squares in total.

Step 2: Sew

Put your squares right side together, and sew round the edge, leaving a gap of a few inches on one of the sides.

I prefer to leave my gap in the middle of a side, and sew round the corners. It makes it easier to get a nice, sharp corner.

Step 3: Trim and turn

Snip off the edge of your corners (again, this helps get a nice sharp point, and turn right side out. Press your pillows nice and flat, and make sure to tuck in the edges of the gap you left.

Step 4: Stuff and Sew

Fill your pillows with lavender (or beans, if you're going that route). Then sew up the gap by hand, using a whip stitch. Or, if you're pressed for time/not really bothered about stitches showing, just sew over your gap on your machine. They're just going in a drawer, after all!

Stitching the gap closed

And, you're finished! Now the beauty of these is in the presentation so take some time with it. I like to tie mine in ribbon, and sew a button on to secure it. Tuck a feather in, or pin it shut with a vintage brooch or lapel badge. When the smell of lavender starts to fade, just give the pillows a good scrunch and that should revive them. Enjoy!

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