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ScrapBusters: Rustic Sachets with Wonky Patchwork

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Awwww, the sweet smell of success. Or, at least the sweet smell of lavender! Slip these pretty little sachets onto one or more hangers to freshen your closet. Tie one on a doorknob to lightly scent a small room, such as a guest bath. Bundle up several with some elegant lingerie for a decadent bridal shower gift. Or, heck... just make a few for yourself! This project is all about random elements with its wonky piecework and rustic feel. Don't stress about keeping everything perfect; embrace the unusual.  

Simple hand-embroidery accents and a cute bow tie button make each sachet unique and personalized. Even with this extra hand-work, it's a fast and easy project that can make great use of some of your favorite little scraps. 

Experiment with mixing textures as well as color and print. We combined smooth linen with rough burlap, simple ticking, and nubby silk dupioni. Watch the heat settings on your iron and use a pressing cloth to make sure you aren't pressing one while scorching another. 

The hand stitching doesn't have to be 100% even, the button can be secured with a bow or a simple knot, and the pieces that make up the front can be precisely fussy cut or completely carefree. 

Your seams should be accurate and the button and grommet centered, but after that.., loosen up and have fun to create an interesting, textural result. 

Each sachet finishes at approximately 4¼" wide x 7" high.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

Supplies shown are for ONE sachet

  • Scraps of 4-5 assorted fabrics in coordinating colors but with varying textures. We used five fabrics, mixing and matching them to make our three samples: ivory linen, bronze silk, tan silk, tan/ivory striped ticking, and burlap
  • ONE yard of lightweight jute or similar (apx 1/16") for the button bow
  • Scrap or ⅓ yard of medium-weight jute or similar (apx. ⅛") for the hanging tie
  • ONE ⅜" grommet/large eyelet
  • Scrap of lightweight fusible interfacing to reinforce the grommet; we used Pellon's Shir-Tailor
  • ONE skein of embroidery floss in a slightly contrasting color; we used taupe
  • ONE ounce of fragrant filler; we used dried lavender 
  • ONE ⅞" - 1" decorative, two-hole button
  • All purpose thread to match fabric
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Straight pins
  • Standard hand sewing needle
  • Large-eyed doll or yarn needle(s) for the button and accent hand-stitching; we used a set of doll needles, picking the largest to thread the jute through the button and a slightly smaller one for the hand stitching. Dritz has a good set
  • Spoon and/or funnel for filling sachet

Getting Started

  1. Press all your chosen scraps. When working with small pieces, you don't want to be fighting wrinkles. 
  2. Download and print out our TWO pattern sheets: Scrappy Sachet Pattern-Back and Scrappy Sachet Pattern-Front.
    IMPORTANT: These patterns are each ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on each page so you can confirm your final printouts are to scale.
  3. Cut out the back piece and the four front pieces along the solid lines. 
  4. Using the pattern pieces, cut out each of the five pieces from your various fabrics. 
  5. The drawing below shows you how we configured the fabric for our three samples. For Sample #2, we flipped the pattern pieces wrong side up to cut the pieces for a slightly different option. 

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Assemble the front

  1. Align all the front pieces so you can keep track of the order and which side is up. 
  2. Place the bottom right and bottom left pieces right sides together, aligning the slightly diagonal center raw edges. Because you are working with angles, the points of each side may extend beyond each end just a bit. This is correct. Pin in place. 
  3. Using a ¼" seam allowance (we are using our Janome 9mm Quarter Inch Seam foot), stitch together the two bottom corner pieces. 
  4. Press the seam allowance towards the left corner (the larger of the two pieces).
  5. Place the sewn bottom piece right sides together with the bottom raw edge of the center piece. Again, as above, this is an angled seam (we're wonky, remember!). Pin in place. 
  6. Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch together. Press the seam allowance towards the center piece. 
  7. Place the top raw edge of the sewn bottom-center piece right sides together with the bottom raw edge of the top piece. Yep, it's a wonky, angled seam again. Pin in place.
  8. Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch together. Press the seam allowance towards the center piece.
  9. Thread a large-eyed needle with a full strand of floss. Stitch a long running stitch along both angled center seams.
    NOTE: Embroidery floss is traditionally six individual strands twisted into one larger strand. You want to use the full twisted strand to get the best look to your hand stitches. 
  10. Run a third line of handstitching along the bottom vertical seam within the larger of the two pieces (which is the direction to which you pressed the seam allowance, so you are stitching through the seam allowance in all instances).

Attach the front button

  1. Using the pattern as a guide, mark the position for the center button.
  2. Cut two 16" lengths of the lightweight jute. Thread both lengths through a large-eyed needle (test the needle first to make sure it will pass through the holes in the button). Do not knot either end of either piece of jute. 
  3. Pull the threads just through the right hole of the button until half the jute is coming out the front. Hold on to the remaining jute at the back and un-thread the needle. Then re-thread it with the ends still at the back. Pass the needle through the left hole of the button with these ends. You have now simply looped the two lengths of jute around the back of the button. Two tails are coming out of the right hole of the button and two are coming out of the left. 
  4. Knot the tails together tight against the button. Tie them into a small bow and knot again, pulling the bow to secure. You could certainly just use a double knot without a bow if you prefer. Trim the tails to about 2½". The picture below also shows you the size of needle we used for this step. 

Assemble front to back

  1. Find the back piece. Cut a small piece of lightweight fusible interfacing to reinforce the grommet area. Ours was about 2" x 1¼". Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the back piece behind where the grommet will be inserted. 
  2. Place the front and the back right sides together, aligning the raw edges all around. Pin in place, leaving a 2" - 3" opening along the bottom. 
  3. Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch all around. We found it best to start at one side of the opening, stitch up to the first bottom corner, pivot, stitch up and around the angled top, down the opposite side, pivot at the opposite corner, and end at the opposite side of the opening. 
  4. Go slowly around the angled top to keep your seam consistent around the curved outer edges. Pivot at the top angles. With small, intricate seams like these, it helps to stop often, with your needle in the down position, and adjust the fabric ever-so-slightly to maintain a smooth seam. 
  5. Trim the corners and clip the curves. Turn right side out through the bottom opening. Smooth out the angles and gently push out the corners. We used our favorite tool for this: a chopstick. 
  6. Press flat, pressing in the seam allowance at the opening so it is flush with the sewn seam.
  7. Insert the top grommet. You can use the guide on the pattern piece for placement or simply find the center top and align the grommet above the center button. 
  8. If you are new to inserting grommets (or in this case a large-eyelet), check out our step-by-step tutorial. It's really quite easy, and you get to whack something with a hammer!

Fill and close

  1. Use the bottom opening to fill the sachet with something fragrant. As mentioned above, we used about one ounce of dried lavender. A long ice tea spoon works well for filling. You could also use a small funnel. Don't overfill the sachet. You don't want it to be tight and puffy like a pillow. 
  2. Shake the filler down towards the top and pin together the bottom opening. Hand stitch the opening closed. Use tiny stitches; you don't want the filler to come out. 
  3. Re-thread the large-eyed needle with the same floss you used above and run a final line of handstitching across the bottom. This adds a pretty finishing touch and helps seal the bottom opening. Make sure your starting and ending knots in the floss are neat as they will be visible on the back of the sachet. 
  4. Cut an 11" length of the medium-weight jute. Fold it in half and loop it through the grommet from front to back, like a gift tag. This creates the hanging ties to attach the sachet to a hanger to keep your closet smelling wonderful. 

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas  
Sample Creation: Liz Johnson

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Comments (6)

Carol Ann McCarroll said:
Carol Ann McCarroll's picture

I have been going through my wardrobe and have a skirt that I just cannot part with the fabrics are lovely so guess what there will be a new (quite a few) addition to my wardrobe. These are just so nice. Thank you for sharing.

Judi said:
Judi's picture

Love, love, love the project.  Great way to teach young and new sewers piecing, measuring, angles, hand and machine sewing.  Plus get rid of material from your " I can't throw that away" collection.

molly pitts said:
molly pitts's picture

I really like these! You all do the classiest projects! Even the "country" type things are classy.  I work at a sewing machine dealer inside of Jo-Ann and I always recommend your site to new machine buyers.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

The foot we are using is 9mm as shown in the links in the article above. The one you referred to is correct for machines that use the 7mm feet.

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