Tuesday, 4 February 2014


This morning has definitely been a learning curve.  I packed away the jewellery making components and brought out the fabrics and sewing machine.  All my good intentions for making  herbal pillows with a removable cover went out of the window when I couldn't get the inner lining (muslin) to cooperate.  The muslin was in fact cheesecloth and much too fine to handle as the threads kept getting caught in the machine.  I think it will be better suited for containing bouquet garni or to make bath bags.

For my second attempt I decided to do without the liner and just contain the herbal mix in a pretty fabric.  It started off good but then I realised that I had sewn the handmade label in the wrong way.  On the third attempt I had the right side and wrong side of fabrics facing each other and didn't realise until I went to turn it out, I also sewed the label in the wrong way round.  On the fourth attempt I have produced a passable if not plain cushion.  My word of the year 'perseverence' paid off in the end but I will need to persevere some more if I want to improve on the above effort.

Now I could do with some advice.  Do you think I should leave the pillows (when I make them) as they are, unadorned or do you think that they need some embroidery or further embellishment?  I would be interested in your feedback. The pillow above is approximately A5 in size (half an A4 sheet of paper).

I am glad that I got the machine out of its box and astounded myself that I could change a bobbin and thread up the machine!  I am looking forward to using it a lot more from now on.


  1. Oh dear I sometimes have days like tat when I want to throw it all out of the window and give up so I am glad your perseverance paid off in the end. I think I'd want to decorate the little pillows in some way maybe with an appliqued motif or maybe a strip of lace or ribbon. If some are to be sleep pillows then whatever you decorate them with must be flat and smooth rather than lumpy or hard like beads or suchlike. Muslin is hard to sew on the machine but if you wanted to make the pillowslips removable for washing then you might be able to stitch the muslin inner bags by hand perhaps.

  2. You could use a plain white cotton for the inner pillow Simone, if you still wanted to go down that route.
    I am glad though you did enjoy using your sewing machine..so much potential!
    Personally I would like a little bit of adornment, not too much just something tasteful!
    V xxx

  3. Well done on sticking with it! I'd go for a bit of decoration - maybe just a ribbon bow? X

  4. Hi Simone - sounds like you have had a very trying day but the result is good and it looks extremely neat. You can buy an inexpensive thin unbleached cheesecloth fabric from most fabric shops it is like the next step up fom muslin and would contain your herbs well whilst being much more stable to sew.
    I would decorate it with something to add your personality to it. Try some lace or ribbon or as Marigold says applique. If you crotchet you could give it a crotchet edging. Once you have done a prototype you can cut them out in a batch and make up loads at once. This is how it is done in the trade and believe me whether it is a kitchen table business or or someone as big as Marks and Spencers doing a mock up can be very testing but irons out all the problems. Look forward to seeing more photos.
    PS with any scraps you could do matching Lavendar bags and padded coathangers!

  5. I think you will spoil the rustic charm if you over embellish them. Keep it simple.

  6. Perseverence is certainly your word this year and much needed is seems. I like them as they are, Simone! I have an elderly friend who sleeps with a lavender pillow about that size and she likes it plain as lace or buttons would irritate her skin as she has it under her cheek on the pillow:)

  7. Good for you, Simone! Your beautiful results speak for themselves! xxx


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