Brighten up your bedroom

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

30 April 2014


My bedroom is looking rather shabby around the edges, and to top it all of, my wardrobe collapsed this morning! It's safe to say, it's in desperate need of some creative TLC! Before my bedroom and I fall out completely, I've trawled the internet (ie Pinterest!) for inspiration to make the whole room sparkle (or look like the room below..!)  

Blue Room

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Fix a brightly painted ladder to the wall...and your done - it really is that simple (&stylish)!!!
Image courtesy of Pinterest.


Alternatively, use a pole or branch hung from the ceiling for a statement rail.
Click here for tutorial.


This is such a lovely idea - and much better value than a traditional inlay dresser!
Click here for tutorial.

Books headboard

I absolutely love this as an interesting headboard project - but I'm not sure I would be happy destryoing the books!!
Image courtesy of Pinterest


This walk-in bookcase is definitely more book-friendly! (But what about my clothes?!)
Image courtesy of Pinterest


I love this ever so quirky project. And it looks like a very stable wardrobe!!
Image courtesy of Pinterest

Hangers Main _6888

Have you seen these crochet hangers in this months Making? It's in the shops now - so grab a copy! 



A fresh take on old favourites

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

24 April 2014

Our new issue hits the shelves today, and inside you will find 22 pretty projects to help you fall in love with you home again.
So, to celebrate this, I've searched the internet to bring you the best 'upcycling' projects out there!




Transform a simple sweater with this easy 'done-in-an-afternoon' project.
Click here for tutorial.


An ingenious way to display your wares; at home or at fairs! 
Click here for tutorial.

Necklace (2)

Make a statement with nail varnish and a junk-shop necklace.
Click here for tutorial.


Spruce up your worn leather bags for Spring.
Click here for tutorial.


The effect of this revamp is amazing, and yet you need little more than old newspapers and glue!
Click here for tutorial. 

Sunny -yellow

Brighten up a boring filing cabinet with bold paint and patterned fabric.
Click here for tutorial.

I also fell in love with these simple ideas...


Image 1: Jewellery holder
Image 2: Sewing jar


Image 1: Washi tape stool
Image 2: Lightbulb vase


Grab your copy of Making today!! (Comes with FREE kids crafting magazine!)

MM47 Cover


The Sewing Bee Finals!

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

9 April 2014


After 8 weeks of tears, trimmings and taffeta, we've made it to the final. May and Patrick have left no technique untested, nor any fabric unfiddled this season; each week asking the contestants to jump through higher and higher hoops! But for the grand final, there is only one thing sufficiantly spectacular: Couture.


finalistsImage courtesy of Facebook

Challenege 1: The unseen pattern 

Handsewing seems to strike fear into even the hardiest of stitchers; Chinelo's normally smiley face was grave as she sat down to her machine. Neither Tamara nor Heather looked any chirpier, and when they discovered the intricate silk tie pattern provided, silence desended. Chinelo, consistantly competent and confidently calm, fell apart: her point was not pointy, her  hems were unhemmed and her sewing was non-existant! It's no surprise she came 3rd, but it is a shame. Heather kept her head above water - just! - and produced a passable tie, in a really lovely fabric, her handstitched hem was her only downfall. Tamara impressed the judges with her 'very wearable' stripey silk number: her tipping was impecable and her pattern matching was faultless! Well done Tamara, off to a super start. 

tamara tieImage courtesy of Facebook

Challenge 2: Alteration 

For the grand final, the alteration challenge could be no mere t-shirt project! No, instead the girls are presented with a collection of wedding dresses and told to 'make something lovely' for a child. Gulp! A scary prospect for Heather, who willingly admits to despising this task each week - especially when facing the two champions of alteration: Chinelo & Tamara are always neck and neck. Tamara, as always, illustrated her ambitious ideas but didn't have the time to turn them into reality - her handstitched tulle sleeves suffered in the last few moments. Heather's simple bridesmade dress used the fabric weight beautifully, but time ran away from her too! Despite professing she didn't like children, Chinelo produced the cutest, sweetest, loveliest little dress I've ever seen! The cap sleeves and the rolled hems had the judges in the palm of her hand - a well deserved win for Chinelo. It really is all to play for now! 

weddingdressImage courtesy of Facebook

Challenege 3: Bespoke

The Big One.

For once the judges are kind, and surprise the contestants with their new models...better known as their best friends! Big hugs and a few tears before they get down to business ('I'm not being rude if I don't talk - I'm busy.' Quite right Tamara!) Each design is strikingly different, but immediately identifiable. Heather's elegant red and black number is personalised with her horse-y chain-link back, and the removable bustle turns it into a show-stopper. Chinelo's form-fitting (so fitting, she'd used her friends measurements....before the surprise was revealed!) peplum gown was intricately decorated with 'invisible' mesh and jewelled flowers. Tamara's couture gown echoed her fabulous neopreen prom dress in it's bold and bright design (as well as echoing Patrick's 80's childhood!).

FriendsImage courtesy of Twitter

The results


heather winImage courtesy of Twitter

Congratulations to Heather and her gorgeous gown. She had gone to great pains to push herself this week - and boy, did she?! Her bustle was genius - who doesn't want to waft around in an 18th gown, before whipping it off Bucks Fizz style for a night on the tiles?! The sun-ray bodice was also a triumph, with every fold delicately sewn and secured. Well done Heather, and well done to the pin-dog (who certainly deserves half the praise!) 

Chinelo wowed everyone, again, with her self-drawn pattern and figure hugging haute-couture gown. The peplum, which was so carefully created with its 7 different layers of organza, was thought to be 'too heavy' with the rest of the delicate dress. I feel the judges were being particularly picky with this one - over and over again Chinelo produced wonderous feats of design and sewing without the praise she deserved. I am sad to say, she fell short of the judges (clearly very high!) standards and came a solid second overall. I am pleased to announce, however, she will be hosting her own sewing classes at Fabric Rehab's new sewing school: The Cloth Clinic

Tamara's unique creation, unfortunately, didn't win the judges over. May was distraught at the loss of the crystal organza (I agreed with T - it was far too much with the rest of the dress...but could she have made it into a petticoat?) and both were disappointed with the use of a glue gun. So despite her consistancy throughout the competition, Tamara fell at the final hurdle, letting the pressure and timings get the better of her. Best of luck T - I loved all of your outfits!! (Fingers crossed for a Tamara's Trimmings Tutorial soon!)

And now it's over. Are you bereft already? Was Heather a worthy winner?
Please send me your thoughts about the past 8 weeks! 

heather claudiaImage courtesy of Facebook

In Making..

In next month's Making, we're lucky enough to have an interview with last years contestant, Tilly Walnes!! With the forthcoming release of her new book, Love at First Stitch, she chats to us about everything from celluloid to ripping seams... 

Book Cover (2)

We've also had a go at our own alteration challenge - just minus the over-bearing judges!

The next issue hits the shelves on 24th April, so don't miss out!! 

coming next

Sewing Bee - the semi-finals!!!

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

4 April 2014


Oh-er! It's all getting a bit tense now, isnt it?! And since David's gone, the lovely Claudia is running out of fellow trouble least she has Lynda and her pin box!

Challenge 1: the unseen pattern...without the pattern!

I say it every week, but the judges really did concoct a nasty challenge this week! With drapery and pins aplenty, but no pattern to rely on, the remaining contestants looked more than a little scared. Despite starting out with a strong plan, Tamara fell slightly short of her grand 'picnic dress' vdesign, while Heather and her trusty pin-dog rushed to finish a very lovely draped neck dress. Chinelo suffered from Patrick's quick tongue, but created yet another stunner of an outfit. Despite claiming to 'wing it' all the way through, Lynda's maxi was a brilliant example of patternless sewing. I must say, Claudia's little excursions into history are getting better each week! But I am a sucker for a bit of bias cut silk!

 Vionnet (1)
Image: Vanity Fair

Challenge 2: the alteration task

I cannot sew. I mean, a button is doable and I could stretch to a hem on a good day, but otherwise I'm in the dark. (This is aspirational viewing for me!) Saying that, it seems no matter how knowledgable one is with a needle, sleeves are a tough one! The tension defintiely escalated in thay sewing room as everyone fiddled and fussed with their shoulders and seams. Poor Lynda floundered after such a great first round, and sadly, Tamara's dinky capped sleeves also failed to wow May & Patrick. Heather (& her pin dog!) presented a very professional pair of sleeves, but it was Chinelo's show stoppers that won the afternoon - both in technique and height!

Image: Facebook

Sleeve 12
Check out last year's contestant, Tilly Walnes blog - and her fab sewing-lite tutorial on sleeves!

Challenge 3: the bespoke garment 

The last challenge of the semi-finals had to be a good one, and recreating a treasured item is definitely a teaser of a test! No pattern and no guidance other than the pre-made garment in front of them..eek! Lynda fell apart pretty early on with her fabric disaster (what that disaster was though, I'm still baffled - I must have been making a tea, so answers on a postcard please!) Heather's simple shift was elegant enough but not as well fitted as M&P demand. Chinelo's party dress was, as Patrick decreed, 'better than the original!' Tamara's yoga outfit was a unique, yet potentially foolhardy, choice..but it paid off! For the first time in a good few weeks she nabbed garment of the week with her multi-coloured, multi-fabric sweat top & pants. 

Winner (1)
Image: Facebook

The loveable Lynda was tearfully waved off thisweek and she will be sorely missed! (I think this was a very controversial choice - and I've seen on facebook that many other viewers agree. I don't believe Heather had done enough to stay in. But, that is why I am a mere blogger and not a talented tailor on Saville Row!!)

Image: Facebook

What did you think about this weeks episode? Who do you think is going to come out victorious in the final show-down? 

Tune in next Tuesday for the couture-filled final! BBC2, 8pm. 

Top (1)

If you fancy trying out some 1930's drapery, take a look at our pretty peplum top pattern here, from April's Making.



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