Easy breezy summer makes!

Crafts Institute

Crafts Institute

27 June 2014

I know, I know. The sun is out, the kids are about and there are holidays to plan - so crafting comes pretty far down the list. We get it! But don't rule it out all together, as I've found some cute & quick projects to have a play with. 


These great wall planters are super simple, but super stylish to boot! 

Click here for tutorial. 


A gorgeous maxi, perfect for beach/bbq or just basking in the sun! (And would you believe it's upcycled from a couple of t-shirts?!)

Click here for tutorial.

Lip Scrub

In this heat, even our lips need some lovin'!

Click here for tutorial.

Flowers (1)

These elegant anemones will just last and last and last (even I couldn't kill them!) 

Click here for tutorial.


These beaded macrame are retro-fantastic and certain to brighten up a kitchen wall.

Click here for tutorial.


Perhaps the simplest of the lot, but the most stunning.

Click here for tutorial.

Gin Cocktail

What better way to celebrate summer than with a scrummy cocktail?

Click here for tutorial.

Ice Cream

Lastly, find out how to make this mouthwatering blueberry & banana ice cream in our July issue of Making, out now! 

Makegood Festival #2

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

18 June 2014

When I spent the day at Makegood, I spoke to so many lovely makers and creatives! I've just finished writing up my article for our August issue (on sale 17th July) and I still had so many lovely images and interviews left over, that I thought I'd share with you all here! 

Over the course of the day at Makegood, I was finding it increasingly difficult to choose which stand to look at, who to talk to and what (not!) to buy! The endless stream of makers, creators and visitors just shows what a super successful enterprise Doug Richard has organised. Everyone we spoke to had nothing but praise for Doug and his School for Creative Startups, citing the community vibe as the biggest inspiration. Michelle Kent, the creative genius behind Suitcase Susie, told me that everyone on the course would pool ideas, inspirations and business plans, "even though our concepts were so different. We all helped each other out, sometimes visiting suppliers together or buying trips. I'm sure we'll keep this network going now the course has finished." Michelle had been selling her ceramics at markets for a few years before she encountered S4CS, but she was still finding herself hitting walls. "The school helped me flatten the kinks and organise my ideas. No matter what stage you're at, there are always issues that need dealing with, even in established businesses!"



Our next stop is Fable & Base, a sustainable design-led textiles house. Having grown up on a farm, founder and designer Francesca Baur strongly advocates organic products and sustainable living: “the products all made-to-order to minimize waste, using high-quality textiles -  including hemp and British wool.” Her graphic floral designs are stunning, and printed locally, she tells me. “I want to offer a creative hub for the community. I’m a teacher too, so I’d like to offer workshops as well as workspace for other artists.”

Fable & Base1

Fable & Base

I spied some colour-pop shawls on a nearby stand, and went dashing over to have a closer look. Helen Stewart is the creator of Curious Handmade, she creates and sells knitting patterns that will "soothe away fretful days without having to concentrate on mysterious instructions that leave you tense and dissatisfied." Each pattern is simple to read and "give you percentages to show how far you've got, so no matter how many interruptions you get you won't get tangled up!"

Curious Handmade

Curious Handmade 1

Just before we left, Katie Henry's Art in Offices stand caught my eye, with it's multitude of arty books piled up around her. Her company sells or rents out great artworks to offices and homes to fill up empty space. "Doug was my first customer, so he's really my lucky charm!" Katie describes the course itself as "liberating and empowering: teaches you marketing skills, bragging rights and how to get rid of time wasters!" Not wanting to find out how she does that, we make a swift exit..



My full article will be in the August issue of Making (on sale 17th July). It's a lovely mag, filled with a beautiful bunch of projects, PLUS it's our 50th issue!! We're celebrating in a BIG way, so keep your eyes peeled for more details..

Images courtesy of Callum Dickson.



National Sewing Machine Day!

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

13 June 2014

In honour of National Sewing Machine Day, I thought I’d share with you my absolute favourite sewing blogs!
(It may be worth noting, I’ve only ever sewn a scarf…last week! But I dream of being as talented as this lot) 





Community is the main aim of this: getting together and sharing ideas and tips for a beautiful bright new future…or dress! Sarai Mitnick, author of The Collette Sewing Book, and her collection of stitchers are on hand to help you through any problem – day or night.

Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing 


With her fuschia hair and 50’s styling, Gertie shows you how to make beautiful clothes in simple terms! She’s recently started her own YouTube Channel, subscribe here so you don’t miss out on her fabulous how-to videos!

By Hand London


We love the By Hand London girls, and their blog is as super as their patterns! Filled with pattern hacks, tutorials and DIY ideas – bookmark it quick.

A Fashionable Stitch


Sunni, the genius behind A Fashionable Stitch doesn’t just offer tonnes of tips, tricks and tutorials – she has a online store brimming with fabrics and ribbons aplenty!

The Liberty Craft Blog


It's not just dressmakers that makes my list though. The fabrics of Liberty are renowned, and their blog is almost as good! With pages and pages of tutorials and inspiration, it's guarenteed to motivate you to update your home (and rush out to their haberdashery!)

The Sewing Directory


This really should be in your favourites already. It is a sewing bible: with lists of workshops, fabric suppliers and tutorials galore, it also lets you know the latest fabric sales (uhoh!) pages of inspiration and projects to work on.

Throw _1798

And now that you've caught the sewing bug, look out for the July issue of Making as we show you how to make this beautiful, reversible linen throw.

MM49 FB CoverOut next Thursday, 19th June!

MakeGood Festival

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

6 June 2014


Last Friday, Sophie, Callum (photographer) and I sped up the the big smoke to see this years uber talented graduates from the School for Creative Start Ups. The festival, at the Old Selfridges Hotel, was brilliant! Rooms and rooms filled with gorgeous fabrics, beatiful ceramics and scrummy cakes. That's all I'm going to tell you for now (look out for an article in August's Making!) and instead, show you a few sneak peeks at our day..



Makegood - Paper

Stationery is a girls best friend?

Makegood - Cards

Oh la la indeed!

Makegood - Embroidery

A very Making idea!

Makegood - Milinary

I'd be as happy as they are in hats like those!

Makegood - Tilly

I had a lovely chat with Miss Tilly - when I could get through the scrum!

Makegood - Howl

The lovely Howl-ers kept us going with freshly brewed coffee.

Makegood - Sewing

That's not panic on my face...! (thanks again to Tamasin for her patience!)

Makegood - Brighton

Keep your eyes peeled for these guys wheeling their way through festivals near you!

That's all folks! My article all about these lovely people will be out in the August issue of Making (on sale 17th July!) 

Images courtesy of Callum Dickson.




Me Made May

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

2 June 2014


Me Made May is the brainchild of Zoe Edwards, author of So, Zo...What Do You Know?, and has gone from strength to strength since the original challenge in March 2010. It began as her own sewing challenge: "I'd been sewing clothes for a couple of years and my passion for doing so was really stepping up as I began to see it as part of living a more self-sufficient life." She then repeated it in May of that year, and was blown away by the number of people wanting to take part! For Zoe, it's the community aspect of the project that she loves best: "I get many people emailing or messaging me saying that their self-confidence and body image has improved because of taking part, or that they have met some really awesome new 'e-friends' through the community element of the challenge, which has enriched their lives."

Fabric Brooch Mmm 14Image courtesy of MiyDiy

What is MMM'14?

Me-Made-May'14 (MMM'14 for short) is a challenge designed to encourage people who sew/knit/crochet/refashion/upcycle garments for themselves to actually wear and love them The me-made and self-stitched challenges have been taking place for over four years now and they work on both a personal and community level. The participants decide the specifics of their own challenge pledge, so that the month is appropriate and challenging for them. A very common pledge is for a participant to aim to wear one self-stitched or refashioned garment each day for the duration of May 2014. The participants can also choose to document their challenge with daily photos (though this is in no way compulsory for taking part) and share them with other participants.

What isn't MMM'14? 

  • The Me-Made-May challenges are NOT all about taking daily outfit photographs. However, many participants do choose to document their challenge with daily/weekly/as-often-as-you-like photos and share them on their blog if they have one or on Flickr if they are a member. The challenge is about wearing your handmade clothing more often than you usually do, if you choose to take documentation photos, then that is fabulous and we'd love to see 'em, but taking photos isn't necessary or compulsory and really isn't the point of the challenge. 
  • MMM'14 also isn't reason to panic-sew/knit/crochet/refashion etc. This challenge is about wearing the items that you have already created, not about stock-piling more makes. However, if you want to use taking part in MMM'14 as the kick in the butt you need to finally hem that half-finished skirt, or rework an ill-fitting garment, then great. Remember, this challenge is meant to be fun, and panic-anything isn't fun! 
  • A competition. It doesn't matter how many self-stitched items you already have or haven't. You can take part even if you just have one solitary self-made item! You just need to set your pledge to make it challenging for YOU, no matter what criteria other participants have set themselves. 
    Courtesy of Zoe's blog.

Now that it's over (I missed the bandwagon in April - sorry guys!) here are a few of my favourites. Perhaps they'll give you some inspiration for the next Me Made May!! 

Mmm 14 Avonlea

Image courtesy of Dreaming of Avonlea

Mmm 14 Assorti

Image courtesy of Mademoiselle Assorti

Mmm 14 Jennifer Lauren

Image courtesy of Jennifer Lauren Vintage

Mmm 14 Day 31 Pinterest

Image courtesy of Pinterest user YoSaMi

 Mmm 14 Fancy Frugality

Image courtest of Fancy Frugality

Mmm 14 Carlotta

Image courtesy of Pinterest user Carlotta Stermaria

This is our contribution, a vintage inspired crafting dress! Find out how to make it in this months Making.

Dress _7872 (1)

Did you get involved in Me Made May 2014? If so, please send us your photos/a link to your blog.

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