Washable breast pads- FREE tutorial

I find washable breast pads much better than disposable as they never leak and you never run out.

First up you need a 13cm diameter circle. Your diameter is the width through middle.

Fold in half then half again. open out and fold in half the other way to basically end up with triangles as per pic. Cut out one of those triangles this is your dart and will shape the pad.


I used flannelette and fleece for mine. 4 layers of flannelette/winceyette and 1 of fleece per pad. Don’t forget you need 2 pads to make a pair.

Place the two egdes of your dark together and sew in place to create your dart (middle)

Do the same to each layer. I found sewing 2 layers of the flannelette at same time much easier and no more bulky than one layer at a time. Plus it made the process of sewing 8 pair much faster.

Next up place your 4 layers of flannelette with right side against wrong side. Right side- neatly sewn, wrong side- open seam with raw dart edges. Then place the wrong side of flannelette layers to wrong side of fleece.

Once sewn this ensure none of the raw edges of darts show and therefore reduces any irritation. image

Sew around the edge of each pad trapping each layer. I used a straight stitch then trimmed them and finished off with an overcast stitch. If you are using a serger you can just do this in one fell swoop.


Repeat for each pad till you have enough.


If you don’t feel confident doing the darts or haven’t the energy you can use the pattern as a full circle and they work just as well without too much bulk showing through a bra and top.

You can also make bigger and thicker ones for night use and remember to only use washable creams or you may find them less effective over time.

Other materials you can use for absorbency are microfibre, bamboo, zorb and terry towelling. You can use fleece like I did or PUL to keep them breathable.

Fleece acts as water resistant barrier so provided you have enough layers to absorb any possible leaks the fleece is enough a layer to stop any leaks out other side whilst remaining breathable enough.



Crochet/knitting Project Bag & Accessory Purse- FREE pattern & tutorial

Losing Weight when Crafting

Due to the fact most crafts are done at home sat down its hard to imagine how you you can involve any weight loss into it.

Well you can.

Stand up to cut out and pin things if your back allows. I find I move about more back and forth smoothing this, pinning that, grabbing my scissors moving things out the way. I would recommend doing at a table not the floor or you’re tempted to sit.

Be prepared! Sounds like a 1950’s singer manual quote but honestly the more prepared you are the less distracted you’ll be more and less likely to stop for a ‘reward’.

Don’t sew hungry as you’ll be more tempted to snack in case of eating a meal because you just want to get this part done.

Don’t have handy chocolate or sweets near by. Provided you are prepared and don’t feel need to take a break because you have to cut something out or do this or that to continue you won’t find time to hunt out the snacks.

Get up for regular walks even if you run up the stairs to the loo. Loosen your limbs and don’t stay sat because no amount of not snacking or standing will help if you don’t take breaks.

In crafts such as crochet or knitting where you can’t move in the same way you could try standing up. Standing up takes energy strength and yes you can burn calories doing so.

If needs be a walk to the craft shop will suffice. Daily for extra effect.


Homemade Deodorant and skin scrub

So I opted to try (ok well I opted Daddy Critter to try) deodorant  hair treatment & foot treatment for cracked heels.

First deodorant. I mixed equal parts of cornflour & baking powder. I gradually added coconut oil till it went to a smooth paste.


The coconut oil comes solid so will have to melt a little. I just popped it in a cup in a bowl of hot water.


Its hard to describe the texture but will be almost like a dry paste that’s very matt & smooth looking.


Daddy Critter rides a bike a lot (pedal kind)  & tested this over 2 days. He favours the use of natural products & has reported them to be a little useless unless reapplied numerous times which isn’t always that easy.

You can put this in an old wind up deodorant ‘case’ for ease of use which means great recycling opportunity.

His verdict of this? worked fab!! Lot less sweat & smells & feel so much nicer. We added couple drops of tea tree oil & he much preferred the smell as a lot of natural are scentless or very mild.

I suffer a lot with cracked heels. I dislike socks so believe this doesn’t help. I looked after my feet but the cracks appear so quickly & so dramatically its difficult.

It was suggested I try mashed up banana but I decided to avoid that option & sought my own.

First I tried coconut oil for 2 days, my feet were same.

Then tried aloe vera gel ( yes not home made but natural & sometimes used in home made recipes) & was useless also. I found this actually hurt a little when applied so was maybe working a little but slowly too slow for me!


My last option was lemon sugar scrub. Smell is lush to start with.

Its 2 cups of sugar mixed with 1/4 cup of olive oil, recipe said almond or coconut but I used olive oil. I also added a squeeze of lemon juice but you can use essential oil if prefer.


I resembled slightly wet fluffy snow without being oily or sticky from either main ingredient. I tested it on my hand to start with just to check consistency was right.


Don’t rub too hard cos this is tough stuff but works wonderfully. Left us all with lovely soft skin & not a hint of stickiness you can store in air-tight container.


DIY Hair Oil Treatment

The hair treatment I tried was olive oil. It is meant to help make hair super shiny so was excited to try. At this point I totally forgot to do before picture so here is an old photo taken next to a bright window to show you how my hair normally looks. This was also after a dye job so was a bit shiny from that.


I applied this to me hair prior to a shower. After 20 minutes I washed it off. It was super easy to wash out & also helps work for cradle cap leaving Baby Critters hair super soft.  This is after its brushed but still wet.


This is dried


This is straightened.


This is with hair product added.


As you can see by last picture my hair has a certain shine to it compared to other pictures. My hair that day was a lot more manageable & soft but it lacked body. I wouldn’t say was limp but was definitely less full as usual.

It stayed that way the following day also & had no grease issue. The shine factor for me failed. I would use again to keep my hair under control but not for shine.

For future tests it would be worth trying the oil warmed up, used overnight, used on clean hair & rewashed & even trying different oils.


Minky Eye Mask

You will need to cut 2 eye masks out of chosen fabric. I used minky & this is the pattern I used slightly enlarged.

Next I measured the lace against my head & added 1 cm either end. You will need stretch lace for this.


Pin your lace to the right side of 1 mask piece. make sure sticks out about 1 cm past edge of fabric.


Over lay the other pattern piece so right sides are together (furry, nice part) making sure lace is inside the two. Pin in place ensuring lace doesn’t get caught where you will sew.


Place machine foot right edge to the edge of mask & sew. This will create your seam allowance approx 1/4 inch. Start sewing 3/4 along the straighter top edge


Sew all around stopping before get to start point to create a gap as shown.


Turn out the right way making sure all the curves are pushed out & top stitch.


I added a nice bow to mine.


You can use the smallest scraps of fabric for this & any fabric will do.


Weight loss

Finally after many years of needing too I got so depressed when I looked in the mirror I decided to start to lose weight. I had my 2nd boy in 2012 and gained a lot of weight prior to his pregnancy and during due to mobility issues. I never lost much after him as not long after we moved house and it was difficult and didn’t help my mood.

I then got pregnant again and although I didn’t gain much I didn’t lose any either.

This pregnancy was our 3rd child and 1st daughter. She passed away at 27 weeks in the womb and after that, the delivery a funeral  I stopped eating. I couldn’t I felt too guilty too low and wanted no part in helping my life be prolonged. After 2 weeks I slowly started eating again but I had lost all my pregnancy weight.

Over the last 11 months we’ve wanted another baby and well it hasn’t happened to then be asked if I was expecting because well I looked like I was I decided it was time to lose the podge and actually get pregnant for real!

This is my before shot see I look about 6 months pregnant no matter what I wear. Baggy tops only make it look worse.


This is 3 weeks later! So much better I’ve never wanted to just look fat so much my whole life haha.



I’ve not done an updated picture again yet but I have measured myself and since I started 5-6 weeks ago I’ve lost 1 cm off my thighs, 3 cm off my bust and waist.

The way I did it is slow but for me dramatic weight loss won’t work I know I’d be like whoop lets eat cake haha. So we cycle every other day at least and every day if we can for 1-2 hours. We take the kids with us and my eldest (nearly 8) keeps up so well so not only as a family are we spending time together but we’re strengthening our bodies too.

I no longer have sugar in my tea, I’ve reduced portion sizes but I make sure I eat enough at meals to feel satisfied but not full to stop me overeating and snacking later.

My main problem was snacking at night so I’ve stopped buying chocolate I love so I’m not tempted.

I will update soon with another picture and hopefully more reduction in measurements and maybe eventually girth expansion news 😉