Running Stitch Sachets

(Makes 6)


Hand-stitching + special scents make memorable gifts
Stitching by hand is a portable hobby that can be a lot more gratifying than scrolling on a cell phone, especially when you hand-sew a little gift filled with a special scent.  A sachet is a lovely token of wonderful moments spent together.

Holiday Scent Blend ingredients found here
7” x 20” light to medium weight woven fabric such as linen, cotton, silk (fabric one)
7” x 20” light to medium weight woven fabric in a complementary color or print (fabric two)
2 yards leather cord, rat tail, or skinny ribbon - cut into 6” lengths for sachet ties (photos show leather cord)
All purpose thread to match sachet fabric
Contrasting topstitch or embroidery threads

Hand-sewing needle for running stitches (medium to long for stitching ease)
Blunt-tipped needle for interlacing stitch
Sewing machine (if desired)
Fabric scissors or rotary cutter
Cutting board (if using  rotary cutter)
Straight pins
Water soluble fabric pen or fabric pencil
*optional - transfer paper

Begin by making the Holiday Scent Blend or create another blend of your choice.  Set aside in a bowl and enjoy the aromatherapy as you stitch.

To make the stitched sachets, print and cut out paper patterns, trace the football shape six times onto fabric one, and six times onto fabric two.  Then, choose the stitch detail you’d like to use from the two included patterns, or create your own.  

If you prefer to make the sachets without a hand-stitched design, skip forward to “Sachet Assembly” section below.

If using the “Sashiko +” stitch pattern, prepare the paper pattern by pushing a large hand-sewing needle through the center of each printed “+”, making holes in the paper through which you can mark dots onto fabric one to locate where each “+” will be sewn.  


Using fabric pen, mark the holes onto the fabric.  (Alternately, use transfer paper and trace the pattern to mark stitches*)  For this stitch pattern, we complete the hand-stitching before we cut out each piece because it is easier to control the stitch lines.

Using a topstitch or embroidery weight thread, hand-stitch over each mark with a 1/8” stitch. The easiest and cleanest way to make the “+’s” is to use a running stitch to make all of the horizontal stitches from top to bottom of each football, and then turn the football 90 degrees and use a running stitch to add vertical lines over the horizontal stitches, creating the + shapes.  The +’s needn't be stitched perfectly, as variations are the charm of hand-stitching.  When completed as described above, the back of the fabric should look like the image below.

back of stitches.jpg

If using the “Interlaced Running Stitch” pattern, cut out individual fabric footballs and mark two parallel lines down the middle of the shape to indicate where to put the two running stitches.  Hand-stitch these lines using topstitch or embroidery weight thread, making sure that the stitches in the second row are a mirror copy of the first row, and not staggered haphazardly.  The stitch count should be the same, and both rows should run off into the seam allowance area at both tips of the football. 

Next, use blunt-tipped needle threaded with contrasting and heavier weight thread to interlace the two rows of running stitches with a wave pattern.  Your needle travels under the running stitches but never through the fabric.  Note:  the beginning and end of the thread wave should be small, so that no loops get stitched over when stitching together the front and back of the sachet. When the wave is how you want it, knot the thread and leave a small tail at both ends to capture in machine stitches.


Sachet Assembly
When your hand stitching is complete, lay all backing fabrics (fabric two) right side up on your table.  Tie a knot in each 6” cord close to one end.  Lay a knotted cord at each end of the football, with the knot hanging off the edge of the fabric.  Tape the cords with removable tape as shown (optional) to keep in place. 

Next, place fabric one on top of fabric two, with right sides together.  Pin around the edges, leaving a 1 1/4” length unstitched at side (between dots on pattern).  Take care to pin the cords in place near the knots so that they are centered on your stitch detail at the ends.  Leave the cord tails hanging out of the unstitched portion.

With fabric one on top, start machine-stitching at one edge of the open portion leaving 1/4” seam allowance, continuing around the football and ending at the second edge of the opening.  Sew carefully when passing over each knotted cord end, to make sure it doesn’t shift under the machine foot.  Also, be conscious of where your hand-stitching is, to center your pattern and to avoid crossing over stitches.  

After you finish stitching, check both sides of the sachet to make sure all fabric edges are captured.  Turn right sides out by gently pulling on loose cords one at a time, to guide the sachet through the unstitched opening. 

Once right side out, carefully press the sachet edges with an iron, tucking in  raw edges of the opening.

Shown above, we press the turned sachet flat, tucking in the raw edged opening.  Then fold the sachet in half, right sides together, and press a crease.  Open out the fold.  Fold lining sides together and pinch in the hem to angle the outer sachet edges, using the inverted crease.  Pin as shown if it helps you to keep a flat bottom edge.  Press the angled edges to crease.  Open out the creased sachet and find the unfinished opening.  Fill sachet with approximately one tablespoon of scent blend.  Using a funnel or paper rolled into a cone will make this easy.  After filling the sachet, pin the opening shut.  Close using a blind stitch with matching thread.   Equally distribute the contents throughout the sachet and then fold in half along previously creased lines.  Tie the cords together using an overhand knot and trim as desired.

Try creating your own a sachet blend with your favorite scents, depending on the season or occasion.   We encourage you to use your own unique stitching designs or techniques on the fabric.  Stitch a monogram.  Add a tassel or beads to the cord.  Attach personalized ribbons for place settings.  So many fun options to make these special gifts.

view related blog post:  holiday Common scents - a sachet