I live in an old house which has a tendency to become damp. My wardrobe is next to an outside wall and I don’t want my lovely handmade clothes to go mouldy! So I decided to use up my fabric scraps to make these envelope-style wardrobe scent bags.
1. The fabric
For the outer fabric I used the purple linen chambray scraps I had made my Tania Culottes from. For the lining I used the woodland scene cotton I’s used to line my Ikatee Grand’Ourse cardigan. For the buttons I used some lovely painted wooden ones my brother gave me for Christmas.
2. The pattern
I wanted my bags to be 2″ square envelopes, so I drafted the pattern from there, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. I made the strap from a rectangle 12.5″ long and 1.5″ wide and made it into loops using a 1/4″ seam allowance again. If you want to make these, I’ve created a real-size pdf pattern you can print off and download for free from Overleaf here:
If you haven’t come across Overleaf before, it is a bit like Word Online but you write your document LaTeX code and Overleaf compiles the code for you. When you click on the link above you will see the code on the left side, and the PDF on the right which you can download using the button just above the PDF. If the PDF looks funny then click ‘Recompile’ and it will refresh the document. I made this with Overleaf because it’s really easy to draw things to scale using the co-ordinates, so I can be sure that when you print it the size of the pattern will be correct.
The stages of construction are as follows:
- With right sides together sew lining to main fabric, leaving the section at the tip of the envelope open. The lining is 1/8″ smaller than the main fabric, so it will feel tight and bend a little – this is deliberate so that when you press it the outer fabric will curl in a little and the lining will be fully tucked away. Note: if you’re using a thick fabric leave a wider opening.
- Turn the envelope inside out through the opening. Use a chopstick (or equivalent) to make sure all the corners are fully unfolded and sharp. Press flat, making sure the seam allowance at the opening is pressed inside. Hand sew opening closed.
- Fold up envelope along the pressing lines so it is 2″ square at the base and has the triangular flap shut. Press flat.
- Open up the triangular flap then top stitch around the edge of the whole envelope, at 1/8″ from the edge. Note: I hand stitched it along the edge first to keep it together, but that’s not essential.
- For the strap, fold in half so the long edges meet. Press. Sew along the long side at 1/4″ from the edge.
- Turn strap inside out. For this I attach a safety pin to one end, then use it to pull that end through the tube of fabric. It can be a bit fiddly but it works. Once turned out tuck the raw edges inside then sew the ends up.
- Sew buttonhole in envelope flap and stitch on button
- For the strap make a 2.5″ wide loop at one end (so the bag will fit through it), then stitch closed. Sew the other end to the back of the bag.
- Fill up with scented loveliness, then attach it to a hanger or rail by passing the bag through the loop.
3. The challenges
This is a simple pattern and if you have a good buttonholer you can whip these up pretty quickly. I decided to use these as an opportunity to practice my hand sewing, so I did all the buttonholes by hand which took me AGES as I made 15 bags… but definitely worth it!
4. The final result
I’m delighted with these, they are colourful, cute, and will make my wardrobe smell nice (I’ve added some silica gel in there too so it absorbs the damp). Great way to use up scraps too!