Wednesday, 13 August 2014

French Inspired Lavender Bag Craft - a guest post by Jennifer's Little World

When Julie asked me if I’d like to contribute a French inspired craft post for her blog while she was away, I immediately began thinking about our many much loved holidays in France when I was young. We went every year, and over time the memories have faded, but some things stick in my mind.

One is the fields of lavender that we passed on our drives through the country. Another was something that happened when we were in a small shop. I was buying some trinket or other and when the shop assistant handed me my purchase he also gave me a little lavender bag. It confused me, as I couldn’t understand why he would have given me something for free. My Mum told me it was so that I’d tell all my friends what a great shop it was, which I also didn’t understand as I knew my friends wouldn’t be visiting!

I loved the bag, the incident stuck with me, and I’m pretty sure that I’ve still got the lavender bag around somewhere. So for a French craft I decided that Harry and I would make some traditional French lavender bags. He’s quite good at sewing now and really enjoys it, so I moved him on from the felt and chunky needles that we’ve been using onto some proper cotton fabric, and he managed really well.

To make these lavender bags you need:
  • A small piece of fabric approx. 18cm by 15cm
  • Scraps of ribbon and lace
  • Lavender (I used some from last year’s garden, but you can buy it in craft shops)
  • Stuffing (I recycle stuffing from old pillows)
  • Needle and thread
The longer length of the fabric will be the bottom/top of the bag. Sew with the fabric inside out. Fold the fabric in half and the folded side will become one side of the bag. Then you need to sew along the other side and along the bottom. For my bag I used backstitch but a child will probably find it easier to use running stitch, and they could always sew round again filling in the gaps. Make sure that they make the stitches as small and close together as they can, and they might find it easier to use thread in a contrasting colour so that they can see their stitches.

It’s a good idea to start and finish off the sewing for the child with several stitches in the same place. Because the bag is inside out you don’t need to worry too much if the stitches are uneven or the fabric isn’t perfectly straight, as it won’t be obvious when the bag is finished.

When the sewing is finished, turn the bag the right way out and place some stuffing at the bottom of the bag. Then add a generous handful of lavender, before adding some more stuffing to plump it out. If your child has used quite large stitches, you might want to quickly sew up a small pouch for the lavender to place inside the bag, so that it doesn’t leak out the edges!

Then tie the bag at the top firmly with some ribbon or lace. I cut a small strip of lace to decorate each bag (which I glued in place). You could also decorate with buttons, beads, or scraps of contrasting fabric. It’s a really simple first sewing project for young children, with the added bonus that it’s useful and makes a lovely gift.

- find her on twitter at @jenniferjain


  1. I have some fabric samples that would be perfect for this! :)
    Fab post. x

  2. Thanks Sarah, Jennifer is a crafting queen!


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