Lavender Sleep Pillow: Craft Yourself Some Rest & Relaxation
Whilst we’ve all spent a lot more time at home this year, it’s not necessarily true that we’ve enjoyed a lot more rest. In fact, insomnia is on the rise; more and more of us have found it difficult to get a good night’s sleep since the pandemic hit, which in turn affects our mood, our energy levels, and our mental wellbeing. Lavender has been used throughout the centuries to help ease anxiety, calm the nervous system and tackle sleeping difficulties – which is why the talented Becky Cole has featured it in this latest sewing project: a handmade lavender sleep pillow, designed to help you bring this soothing scent into your bedtime routine, to aid a more restful night’s sleep!
Time to Make: 1 hour
Skill Level: Beginner
You Will Need:
- Printed fabric
- Hessian fabric
- Embroidery floss in dark purple, light purple & olive green
- Fabric pen
- Embroidery needle
- Embroidery scissors
- 16cm embroidery hoop
- Rotary cutter
- Sewing machine
- Sewing thread
- Narrow lace trim
- Tape measure
- Straight pins
- Dried lavender
- Small cup, funnel, and teaspoon
How To Make Your Own Lavender Sleep Pillow:
Cut out your burlap and floral fabrics to a square that will fit the embroidery hoop. Back the burlap with some white cotton to help with the stitching. Trace the patterns onto the fabric using your fabric pen. Hoop up the cotton/burlap fabric.
Split a length of green embroidery floss in half (3 strands) and thread up your embroidery needle. Start with the stems of the flowers using stem stitch. To create stem stitch, insert the needle from the underneath to the top and pull through. Feed the needle back through the fabric a few mm along the line and pull through leaving a loop of thread to the left of the stitch line (if you are stitching right-handed). Reinsert the needle a few mm down the line and push it straight back up backwards up the stitch line so that it emerges at the midpoint between the start and end of the stitch. Pull the thread through and repeat, holding the loop to the left and feeding the needle back up through the midpoint of the previous stitch. Continue this all the way along all three stems.
The lavender flowers are made using bullion stitch. Cut a length of dark purple and a length of light purple embroidery floss and separate out 2 strands from each. Put these together and thread through your embroidery needle so that you have 4 strands in total on your needle. Bring your needle up through from the underside of the fabric at the point you want your flower to start. Push the needle back through the fabric approx. 5mm away from the start of the flower and then back up at the original point of the stitch, leaving the needle laying through the fabric. Wrap the floss around the needle 6 times.
Gently pull the needle out from the fabric holding the wrapped floss and pulling the thread gently so that eventually the wrapped thread sits in a tight coil along the length of the stitch.
Pass the needle back through the fabric at the end point of this coil to secure. Repeat in groups of 3-4 petals in several places along each of the three stems to create the lavender flowers.
The leaves are made using fishbone stitch. Stitch a long stitch down the centre of the leaf shape. Starting at the top point of the leaf, feed the needle up from underneath to the left side of the line and take it back down a few mm down just to the right of the line. Next feed the needle up on the right side of the tip of the leaf and feed it back through a few mm down just to the left of the line. Keep repeating this process until the whole leaf is filled. Repeat for the other 2 leaves.
Next, remove your lavender sprig embroidery from the hoop and hoop up the lavender fabric. The words are made using threaded running stitch. To make this stitch, work a running back stitch all the way around the letter. When you reach the end, start to weave the floss through each stitch.
Take the needle through from the right to the left under the stitch, then take the thread back over and repeat by passing the needle from right to left under the next stitch. Repeat until you reach the end of all of the back stitches. Repeat for all words.
Remove your embroideries from the hoop.
Turn your embroideries over so you are looking at the back of the fabric. Cut out one of the rectangles from the template sheet to create a window in the paper. Line this window up over the embroidery so that it sits in the middle.
Mark the shape with your fabric pen. Do this for both embroideries. Trim away the excess fabric leaving a 1cm excess around the lines you have just drawn.
Pin the 2 embroideries together right sides together. Stitch all the way around leaving a gap along the bottom edge. Trim away the corners and turn your pouch through the right way. Give your project a press and, if you used a wash away fabric pen, now is the time to spritz your work with water to get rid of any remaining pen marks. Allow this to dry before proceeding to the next step.
Place your sachet in a cup with the open side facing up. Insert a funnel into the opening and spoon the dried lavender flowers into the pouch using a teaspoon.
Fill the lavender sleep pillow pouch around 2/3 full. Pin the opening closed to stop the dried lavender falling out.
Stitch the lace trim around the outside edge on the floral fabric side. Push the dried lavender flowers away from the seams as you stitch. As you go round, use this stitching to close up the gap. Your sleep sachet is now complete.
Place the lavender sleep pillow inside your pillowcase, and enjoy the soothing scent of lavender at bedtime! You may notice the fragrance fading over time, so we recommend replacing the dried lavender inside every 3-6 months.
Looking for more home craft ideas? Dive into the rest of our inspirational projects and articles right here.