In the very beginning of May I blogged about harvesting fresh lavender for potpourri and aromatherapy at our friends house in Southern California. After letting my lavender bouquets dry for 7 weeks I finally decided to get around to making the little aromatherapy bundles. I was tossing around different sachet patterns and techniques, but ultimately decided to make these very simple Suffolk Puff Pouches.
This Suffolk Puff technique – while very popular in Victorian times – dates back to well before the Victorian era. The very first known ‘puffs’ pattern was recorded in 1601 in Suffolk, England, as a means of recycling old worn out clothes and fabric scraps. Today, the pattern is flattened out (not stuffed) and used primarily for patches, jewelry, headbands and crafting décor. But as I’ve been on a recent Victorian-era kick, I thought I’d give this old school potpourri pouch a go. It’s really extremely simple:
1. Cut out a circle of fabric.
This can be as large or as small as you’d like. Since I intend to use my potpourri puffs to tuck into my undergarments drawers, I wanted them small enough to just fit into my palm. So I used a medium saucepan lid as a template for my circle (about 6 inches across). Once you’ve cut out your circle, with the wrong side of the fabric facing you, fold over the edge of the hem and with a needle and thread, sew a loose running stitch all the way around the circle.
2. Sew and gather the complete circle of fabric.
Continue sewing your loose running stitch until you’ve completed the circle. Then, pull gently on the thread so that the circle is gathered up into a loose pouch.
3. Fill with your potpourri.
For my lavender potpourri, I simply snipped the heads off of the stalks of dried lavender, and used the heads intact as stuffing for the pouch. That way, when I want a fresh infusion of lavender, I simple gently squeeze the pouch, crushing and breaking apart the heads, which releases more of the fragrance, and doesn’t dry the oils up prematurely. So I just tucked the heads in whole into the pouch.
4. Tighten your pouch and finish.
Once filled, simply squeeze the gathered thread till its tight, and stitch it closed. If desired, top off the center pucker with a decorative button and some ribbon. And voila! You have a gorgeous and simple little aromatherapy pouch to freshen up linen closets, drawers, or to keep by your bedside to promote relaxation and restful sleep!