Make lovely lavender bags using Laura Ashley Fabric

After being inspired by the new Laura Ashley collection I designed some lavender bags using the lovely new fabrics. They have a loop on the top so you can hang them over a coat hanger or you can just slide them between layers of clothes. They have an envelope back so you can replace the lavender sachet when it gets stale.

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You will need

For the front 1 piece of fabric 15cm x 15cm

For the back 2 pieces of fabric 15cm x 11cm

For the tab 1 piece of fabric 14cm x 3cm

2 pieces of muslin 14cm x 14cm

Dress-makers pins


Sewing machine and thread

Tracing or greaseproof paper pencil and ruler to make a pattern

Steam Iron

Dry Lavender

Sewing Needle

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1.Make a pattern on tracing or grease-proof paper. Place it over an interesting part of the fabric choosing the part of the pattern you like. Pin in place and then cut one front piece, two back pieces and one tab piece.

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2.Neaten one 15cm edge on both back pieces, turn over 0.5cm and 0.5cm again and press. Pin and sew with a running stitch.


3. Make the tab by turning the long sides in by 0.5cm on both sides. Press flat and fold in half so all the raw edges are caught inside. Pin and sew with a running stitch.


4. Fold the tab in half lengthways. With right side facing out, pin the loop facing downwards on the top edge of the front fabric square. Sew in place with a running stitch.

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5. With right sides facing and neatened edge towards the middle, pin one of the back pieces to the front piece, covering the loop just made. Sew with a running stitch.


6. With right sides facing, pin the second back piece with its neatened edge in the centre, so that it overlaps the top piece in the middle, to the lower half of the front piece. Sew with a running stitch

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7. With right sides facing, pin the second back piece with its neatened edge in the centre, so that it overlaps the top piece in the middle, to the lower half of the front piece. Sew with a running stitch.

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8. Cut two pieces of muslin. Sew three and half sides with a running stitch.

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9. Fill the Muslin with lavender. Close the opening with a hemming stitch. Insert the muslin bag into the outer bag.

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Create your own pillow cases using liberty fabric

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Liberty lawn is soft beautiful fabric, perfect for a place to lay your head. I have chosen very pretty liberty prints from Sew Box an on line fabric supplier. I bought white and light coloured cotton lace from http://www.craftysewer.com I dyed the lace using http://www.dylon.co.uk hand dyes. However if you don’t want to do this, http://www.craftyribbons.com

have Etienne a French cotton deep coloured cotton lace.

You will need

Liberty lawn from http://www.sewbox.co.uk/

I used

LTL03634042A  Danjo

LTL03632019J Betsy Pink

LTL03633037A Margaret Annie

A pillow -case from which to copy the measurements


Sewing thread

Tape measure

Dress making pins


  1. Measure the pillow-case add 1cm seam allowance to each side.
  2. Measure the depth of the flap and add seam allowance to each side.
  3. Cut a front and a back in one fabric and cut a flap in a contrast fabric.
  4. Neaten one long side of the flap by turning under 0.5cm and the same again, sew with a running stitch.
  5. Sew one piece of trim along the neatened edge of the flap. With right sides together, sew the flap onto one narrow side of the back piece of fabric. Press the seam flat.
  6. Turn under and under again one narrow side of the, pillowcase, front fabric. Press, pin and sew on a piece of lace.
  7. With right sides facing, pin the pillow case front to the pillowcase back so that the front opening reaches up to where the flap is. Sew with a running stitch.
  8. Fold the flap over, where you have just sewn so that the front of the flap faces the wrong side of the pillow front. Pin the sides of the flap to the sides of the pillow and sew with a running stitch. Turn through so that the fabric is the correct way round.




‘Flourish’ by Willow Crossley Book Review

Flourish. front cover

Stunning arrangements with flowers and foliage

by Willow Crossley published by Kyle Books £19.99


Page 36-37 Tulips.jpg

Willow Crossley is an inspired floral Stylist whose arranging style is wild and natural. As she says in the introduction to this book

‘ Foliage is the key; the more the better. I often have big containers at home filled with foliage, no flowers. In early spring, bringing in embryonic branches is magical.

In this book, I want to show you how bringing flowers into your home can be so life enhancing. I’m not saying that they have to be masterly, beautifully designed creations. Just a couple of branches or a few wispy stems in a vase makes all the difference. I want to inspire you to think differently when it comes to choosing flowers and colours’

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Willow is very generous in sharing her knowledge with her readers. She starts by giving her ‘hero’ flowers, the ones she always falls back on, those that will make the arrangement work. She divides these into seasons and adds the foliage fillers as well.

The arrangements within the book are divided into seasons and flowers types. There is a section on how to ‘condition’ flowers and keep them lasting for as long as possible. There are steps on how to create a garland. The basic tool kit and materials are given including types of twine, string raffia. Containers that will work are mentioned too. A lovely and inspired book, now where are the secateurs?

Flourish by Willow Crossley is out now. Published by Kyle Books. Photography by Emma Mitchell.