I volunteer each week at my local Brownie unit. For those of you based across the globe this is the UK equivalent of Girl Scouts for girls aged 7-10. On Sunday 14th it’s Mother’s Day in the UK and we’ll be making gifts for our mums at the meeting before. Last year we decorated pots and planted little violas. This year we’ll be making lavender pouches like this:
I wanted to introduce some of my love of sewing to the girls. I remember sewing when I was a brownie and want the girls to leave with some useful skills that they might not always get at school. I’m sharing my instructions for these lavender bags now so that others might be able to do this with their kids!
- Fabric. Whatever size you want, but I cut 2 pieces at 6cm x 7.5cm. I cut using pinking shears but actually you could just use these later to trim them.
- A button. I’ve used plain buttons but have some lovely patterned ones on the way to use actually in the meeting!
- Embroidery thread. You could use normal sewing thread but I think it will be easier for them to see what they’re doing with thicker thread. I split into 3 strands.
- Dried lavender
- Scissors, normal to cut and pinking shears to trim and stop the fabric from fraying.
- Needle. To be honest an embroidery needle worked just fine. Just make sure it fits ok through holes of button.
- Cut your fabric to desired size. You can just use normal scissors to cut at this point. You want 2 pieces of fabric the same size.
- Now to sew on our button. I think this will be a really useful skill for the girls to use. Cut a piece of thread and seperate 3 strands from this. Tie a knot in the end and push through from wrong side of fabric and position in place you want button. I’m hoping you can already sew a button if you’re reading this as I plan to verbally explain to girls. For a 4 hole button like mine I worked 3 times through each diagonal. I finished off by looping my thread through the thread on wrong side a few times then cut. An alternative which might be easier for kids is to leave a longer strand when starting the button and then tie this and end strand together on wrong side.
- Next is to sew up 3 sides. Put the wrong sides of your fabric together. You want a longer piece of thread here (mine needed to be slightly longer than my wrist to elbow). Again seperate 3 strands and tie a knot at end. Start in one corner and put needle through wrong side to right side on one piece of fabric. We’re then going to use running stitch to sew round 3 sides only (2 long and 1 short side leaving a gap on one short side).
- After doing 3 sides, you need to leave the top short side only then turn around and go back again and fill the gaps by doing running stitch back.
- With the top side still open, put in some dried lavender. You could put in some rice or even toy stuffing too to bulk it out if you don’t want to fill completely with lavender.
- Carefully sew up the final side using the same principle as before; running stitch one way then running stitch back again.
- To tie off, sew the thread through one piece of fabric so that it sits between the 2 pieces of fabric. Tie the thread around the knotted beginning strand a few times.
- To cast off push the needles inbetween the 2 pieces of fabric and through to the other side. Pull gently then cut the thread. This will mean the leftover thread sits inside the pouch.
- Trim the sides with pinking shears so that the fabric doesn’t fray. Finished!