How to make a traditional lavender bag

Three small lavender bags

You will need:
• Oddments or gingham cotton fabric
• matching thread
• ribbon
• satin flowers
• dried lavender heads

Cut out two oblong pieces of fabric approx 18cm/7in long x 12cm/5in wide. This includes a 1cm/ 1/4in minimum seam allowance. With right sides of the fabric facing, pin and then and hand-sew in backstitch, or machine stitch around two long sides and one short side.

Turn the bag inside out and push a blunt pencil or similar instrument into the corners to shape them into right angles. Make a neat hem of the top opening by folding the fabric under twice and hemstitch or blindstitch around. Iron the bag. Carefully pour the dried lavender inside the bag until two thirds full. Do not overfill. Cut a piece of ribbon approximately 30cm/11.5in long and tie it securely around the bag in a knot or bow.

You can harvest your own lavender by cutting the flowering heads, tying the ends together and hanging them upside down. Put a paper bag or cloth around the heads to catch the flowers. When they are dry strip the stems with your fingers, over a bowl. Dried lavender heads are readily available through the internet. The average price is about £10 for 500g.

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