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Harriet’s Fat Quarter Makes

I used to be exactly the same, squirrelling away those little squares of loveliness in the hopes that one day I’d find something to do with them – lo and behold, that day has finally come! Here are some ideas of how you can use the ever so snazzy fat quarters that come in the Sew Hayley Jane boxes.


Making square lavender bags is really, really simple – they only take about 10 minutes and are great little gift bundles or additions to your own wardrobe; lavender repels moths and makes your clothes smell lovely, so they’re a must if you want your me-made clothes to stay hole-free and smelling lush!

All you need is a fat quarter, some dried lavender, and (uncooked) rice.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Cut as many 10cm x 10cm squares out of your fat quarter as possible. Each lavender bag takes two squares, so make sure that you cut out an even number!
  • Pin together two squares, right sides together.
  • Lining up the fabric with the edge of your presser foot, sew three sides of the square entirely and leave enough of a gap on the fourth side for you to turn it right sides out.
  • Snip across the corners before turning inside out, so that you get nice sharp corner. Turn right sides out
  • Add the rice and lavender. Use whatever proportions you like, but I use one tablespoon of lavender for every two and a half tablespoons of rice.
  • Making sure that all of the grains of rice are away from the open edge, turn the unsewn part to the inside of the lavender bag and press
  • Sew across the turned in edge using thread of the same colour, so that it doesn’t show up.
  • Ta da! That’s all that you need to do to make a lavender bag! You can get at least three from each fat quarter, and they make you wardrobe smell really lovely, so this is a make that I’d really recommend!


    This is one that I do a lot myself! I add pockets to everything really, whether or not the pattern actually comes with them.

    For inseam pockets, which no one but you really sees, you can use whichever pattern fat quarter you fancy (that’s what I did for the November Hayley post – my dress had secret Christmas pockets!) and make whatever you’re sewing that little bit more unique.

    This also works really well for patch pockets – especially if you’re using a plain fabric for the rest of the garment. You do everything in exactly the same way, but cut the pocket from a fat quarter rather than the self fabric. Super simple!


    I quite often add ties to the tunics and dresses that I make, so that I can pull the waist in a little more if I need to. Usually, I make the ties in the same fabric as the rest of the garment, but every now and then I fancy a bit more of a clash!

    I like to make my ties 40cm long x 2.5cm wide – I can get these out of one fat quarter, although it does mean sewing two shorter bits together for each tie, which leaves a seam halfway along. I don’t mind the seam (I mean you can’t even see it when the ties are done up) but if it’s something that might bother you, you can make the ties longer and thinner – more seams, but they’re practically invisible! I made longer, thinner ties for a top that I made for my mum out of a contrasting fat quarter, and I think that it looks great.

    Make the ties before you’ve sewn the side seams of the garment, as you’ll be sandwiching the ties between the front and back bodice (or side back, or wherever you want the ties to originate) to avoid any bulky and ungainly folding.

    All you need to do is decide what you want your tie measurements to be, cut strips of the fat quarter and sew them together, so that you have four long rectangles of whichever length and width you’ve decided on.

    Place the rectangles right sides together and sew along both long sides and one short side using a small seam allowance, turn them right sides out and press.

    After deciding at which point of the side seam you want the ties to come from, and marking the position on either side so that they’re even, pin the ties and sew the entire side seam, so that the ties look neat and tidy from the right side.

    There are loads of other things that you can do with fat quarters – I’ve never made a quilt in my life, but manage to use them all the time and incorporate them in almost all of my makes!