Sew a Wheat Warmer

I had some lovely leftover fleece from making one of my niece’s a leopard print cape last Christmas, so I decided to use it to make some lavender wheat warmers for myself and others.

I find wheat warmers are really useful when you feel a bit sore or stiff and I had been using a very old shop bought one for years to manage my chronic health symptoms before getting round to making this one.

Once you have made it, all you need to do is pop it in the microwave for up to 120 seconds if less than 800 Watt, or up to 100 seconds if your microwave is 800-1000 Watt.  It can help to put a small mug filled with water in the microwave at the same time to provide a bit of moisture (just in the microwave with it, not poured over it!)

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Sew your own dishcloths

Recently, my mum got into making her own dishcloths to be a bit more sustainable.  Also, they’re great for using up scraps of fabric you have left from other projects!

This dishcloth is simple to make.  It uses a bit of hessian (burlap) for one side for when you need a more abrasive side which won’t damage any non-stick surfaces.  The softer side is simply cotton, and can be made from any of your favourite remnants.

To make them as sustainable as possible, you need to use 100% natural fibre fabrics and thread.  This will ensure that the dishcloth can biodegrade.  Here, I have used cotton fabric as I have loads of remnants of this, but another natural fibre such as linen would work just as well.

If you’d like to make a few dishcloths, either for yourself or to gift to others, I’d recommend making a cardboard template to make it easier to cut out a batch.

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Pattern Review: The Bibi Pinafore!

Today I am pleased to share with you the positive outcome of cutting into the wrong fabric last Christmas… it’s the bibi pinafore!


  • Pattern name: Bibi
  • Variation/Style: Pinafore
  • Design House: Tilly and the Buttons / Tilly Walnes book Stretch!
  • Size I made: 4


I used the leftover fabric from the Kinder cardigan I made my nan for Christmas.  As I have mentioned in that pattern review, I accidentally got two fabrics mixed up (downside to having a huge stash) and ended up cutting lovely thick ponte from a fabric shop in Tiverton which I was saving for a dress.  However, it has worked out beautifully for this make so I feel a lot better than I did at the time!  It is a lovely dark red and a nice quality.  I probably would not have made it from this if the meterage had not decreased as you do not need much fabric to make this pinafore.


The Bibi skirt is the first pattern in the Stretch! book because it is the easiest and made with the most stable knit fabric.  It lived up to expectation and was a nice simple make.

The pinafore variation was not much harder – the bib and straps are provided on the pattern sheet and the instructions were clear on how to add these.

The only challenge I found was getting the straps attached in the right place.  I ended up adjusting them a couple of times to get it right.


I feel a bit like I always say this, but Tilly and the Buttons patterns are beginner friendly and feel as though you are being guided step by step.  

Design and Fit

When I first got the book, I didn’t want to make the Bibi skirt.  Firstly, I don’t wear a lot of skirts, and secondly, I didn’t think the shape would suit me.

When I saw the pinafore variation, I was smitten.  I have a soft spot for pinafores and this one was no different!  The great thing about this pinafore is that depending on your fabric choice, it can be smart enough to use as part of your work wardrobe!

The fit is perfect but I would like to make a note of caution – it has no zip or fastening so you need adequate stretch/strong machine stitching on the waistband to get it over your hips!

Time Taken

This was a really fast make which I made in a day.


I am really impressed with this pattern and it works really well with the fabric.  I may even be tempted to make a regular Bibi skirt in the future!  Being in a knit fabric, it’s very comfy and would see you through both a day off or working day.

You can watch my video review below:

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Pattern Review: The TATB Bow Blouse

Today I’m sharing a pattern review of one of my #2018makenine projects!  I added it to my make nine list as it’s something I began in 2017 and then abandoned when I got confused with it.  However, I am so glad I persevered as it wasn’t so bad after all and it certainly stands out in my wardrobe.

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The £2.50 Dress

I went to my mum’s house with the intention of making a pattern from an old dress I have of hers (which is at risk of disintegrating as it’s been worn so many times!) but I ended up nabbing one of her most recent charity shop pattern purchases and cutting out the pieces to make a dress!

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#sewmystyle – April – Bridgetown dress

Once again, I found myself blundering out of another month without a completed project for #sewmystyle.  My flaw in April was that I completely forgot to prewash the fabric until the day I chose to cut out the pieces.  I ended up washing it while I cut out pieces for another project on my list, and then with other deadlines appearing, April came and went!

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The Walkley Dress


While on a bit of a dressmaking roll, I decided to delve back into the realm of knit fabrics.  Having only made one successful garment with knit, I decided that I wanted to keep the pattern as simple as possible.

The simple question for this project was The Walkley Dress by Wendy Ward MIY.

This pattern requires two pieces to be cut out of your fabric, and they come from the same template.  If you’re lucky enough to have 150cm wide fabric, you only need a metre!  In this instance, I already had some fabric ready and waiting – a remnant from a fabric shop!

Setting up the machine proved the most difficult part.  It’s been about six months since I last tried a stretch pattern, and it was a challenge to set up my machine.  Following the advice from the pattern, I opted for the small zigzag stitch for the seams, and the three stitch zigzag for the hems.  In addition, I attached a walking foot to my machine and loosened the pressure of the presser foot; without these adjustments, my machine did not want to stitch!

Originally, I planned to try a twin needle on the hems, but I managed to break my stretch needle one a while ago and haven’t replaced it yet.  It turns out that I keep loosening the needle whenever I attach the walking foot to my machine!

I didn’t colour match the thread for this garment as I had recently acquired a set of threads in different colours (none of which were a perfect match) and I didn’t want to go out and buy more supplies on this occasion.  The downside to this is that the hemming is a lot more noticeable than it would have been.

Also, I stretched the hem a bit while stitching (I did the hem before the neck and armholes).  I didn’t have any stay tape or stabiliser, which could have helped to prevent this, but I did adjust my stitching technique to decrease the amount of stretching after noticing the issue on the hem.

The neckline is quite wide (though this could be in part due to my stitching ability!) but it’s really comfy and it is definitely a pattern which provides you with fast results which are satisfying!  It’s a brilliant ‘first knit’ pattern too as there aren’t too many steps or seams to stitch which means you can focus on working carefully with the knit medium.

I think next time I use this pattern, I will definitely try out some knit stay tape to ensure that the garment lasts a long time.  Also, I think I may opt for a patterned material.

I think I will give this pattern another go with the lessons learnt from this occasion in mind!  As it only requires a metre of fabric to create a whole dress, and can be made in less time than a lot of the other patterns I have, I think another one will be made!  As the pattern says, this make is versatile for all seasons as you can layer it for the winter or wear it as it is for the summer.


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