My best friend Natalie is getting married in Portugal in September, and I am one of her bridesmaids. The plan for her hen-do was based around her requirements – no hen tack, no embarrassing incidents, no theme. With that in mind, we planned a stay in the lovely DoubleTree Hilton in Tower Hill, a trip to the Tate Modern for afternoon tea, and then a walk back to the hotel to shower and get ready for the evening entertainment – a trip up to the 12th floor of the hotel to enjoy the panoramic views from their rooftop bar and then on to Karaoke Box for a bit of rowdy singing. The next day was a relaxing trip to the Grange Hotel’s spa, where we were pampered with a 30 minute treatment and used the steam rooms, sauna, Jacuzzi and swimming pool. It was a lovely couple of days, and even though the planning was all done remotely, everything fell into place and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. With the plans made, I moved on to how to make it feel special. I decided on making some favours for the afternoon tea. My co-planner, Ali, had taken charge of the goody bags, and did a great job, including rose wine, crisps and chocolate, as well as a glass and serviette – it all matched the wedding theme perfectly, so I felt a good deal of pressure not to do a botch job. Ali also did an amazing job of creating a memory book so the pressure was rising! The idea for making passport holders came to me quite easily – most of the hens would be travelling to Portugal for the wedding, and also, it’s not a complicated item to make – no curves and only 2 pieces of material. I am fairly new to sewing though, so the botch potential was seriously high, especially since I needed to make 17 favours. I have been attending sewing classes at Creative at Incanto, which is run by the wonderful Bernadette, and when I explained what I wanted to make during a bring your own project session, she helped me figure out the pattern, and I was off. I chose to make the basic pattern out of Calico, and decided to create two pockets, each having the capacity to hold 2 passports because most of the ladies attending have families and I thought it’d be nice to have room for everyone’s passport together (little miss confident, presuming people will use the holders!!!). I then created various designs using hand and machine applique, crochet and some simple embroidery. I’m happy to report that I managed to make all 17, even having time to focus on the design of the bride-to-be’s cover so that it was extra special. I then wrapped them in tissue to match the wedding theme, and cellophane and tied with string, again to match the theme. The hen loved her gift, and after the relief at finishing them and getting them to London subsided, I decided that I am overall very pleased with my effort. I also made a little Date Ideas box, which is used to store the cards on to which the hens had written fun things to do on a date. I got this idea from this site, which was useful for classy hen ideas. I used a papier mache box from Hobby Craft, some modge podge and some more of the rustic string from wrapping the favours.