Spring Inspiration

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

23 March 2015

We've seen some sunshine over the last few weeks, but the Making team are hoping that our lovely sunny and bright April issue (out this Thursday!) will encourage the warmer weather to stick around! 

MM59 Final Cover

So while we all wait patiently for the arrival of the new season, I thought I'd share with you the latest DIY's & makes that have been keeping the craft team inspired. (All taken from the Making Pinterest boards)

Garden Chair

Add some Cath Kidston kitch to the garden - all you need is some paper napkins and super strong glue!

Instructions can be found here.


This would make an adorable Easter gift. For yourself. 

Flower pattern.

Leaf pattern.


Talking of Easter...I've never seen such glamourous eggs!

Click here for tutorial. 

Basket Cake

It almost looks too good to eat. Almost.

Find out how to make it here

Bunny Bags

These little bunny bags were featured in our March issue. 

You can get the template here.

Can't find one in the stores? You can order one here



Making Reader Survey

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

19 March 2015


Click here to complete the survey. 






Stationery set, www.abramsandchronicle.co.uk

'Tardis Purse' making kit (& a selection of threads), www.simpleway.co.uk

Fabric earring kit, www.themakearcade.co.uk

Select 'n' Stitch sewing books, www.gmcpublications.com

Cotton Craft Set & Mini Fabric Bolt, www.grovesltd.co.uk

'Message in a Million' ribbon set, www.berisfords-ribbons.co.uk 

Craft book selection:

Knits For You & Your Home, by Debbie Bliss (Published by Quadrille)

The Hand-Stitched Home, by Caroline Zoob (Published by Jacqui Small)

Cute & Easy Knitting, by Fiona Goble (Published by CICO Books)

Quilting Happiness, by Christina Lane & Diane Gilleland (Published by Potter Craft) 

Click here to complete the survey. 

Survey Prize2

GBSB Series 3 Finale!

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

16 March 2015

Sound the trumpets, the finale is here!

Over the last 6 weeks there have been tears, tantrums and terror in the face of the trickiest challenges to date, but three have managed to stick it out – Lorna, Matt and Neil (winner of the most challenges in the history of Sewing Bee!). 


So, without further ado, let’s get on with it!

Challenge 1: one-piece pattern

90 minutes. Vital fabric choice. Tricky Japanese pattern. Err, good luck you three! Patrick gives his best advice yet “you’ve got to have a neck hole, two holes for the arms and a hem.” For a ladies top? You must be kidding Mr Grant! Within 5 minutes, everyone seems to be fraying slightly (see what I did there?!) with the total lack of pattern marks, but of course, it isn’t long until Sgt N. Sew has got to grips with it, followed closely by Matt (who’s gone for a ‘rotter’ of a fabric – eek!).

(Just as an aside, aren’t the sewers families just lovely?!)

Patrick is on form today – unfortunately for the contestants! One scary, slightly ambiguous comment before he melts back into the fabric stash again. You can feel the tension from the sofa (or wherever you might be watching it!) even Mr Un-Flappable is visibly sweating, and poor Matt looks distraught.

Lovely Matt is 3rd (+ a medal of gallantry), Lorna 2nd and Matt 1st.

Lorna (3)

Challenge 2: The Skanklet.

Is it just me – and the three contestants, judging by their faces – who hasn’t heard of a Delphos Column Dress? Patrick announced it as if it were the best thing since the LBD! So, adding secret structure to a Grecian dress, and Neil seems to be on his way to one of his most bizarre designs yet (mini skirt and boned trousers…) and Lorna’s hooped skirt comes together quite quickly. 

The combination of boning and pleated fabric means they are heading into lampshade territory – sorry Lorna, Patrick & May are chuffed though. I have to say, I’m instantly impressed with Matt’s 70’s fluted halter neck, it seemed to come from nowhere!

Unsurprisingly, Neil is 3rd, then Matt (boo!) leaving Lorna as winner for this challenge!

Neil (1)

Challenge 3: n’awww!

I’ll say that again, n’aww – the first tears of the episode, these are happy though as the sewers find out the final dress is for their loved ones. You can’t seem to get much past Matt though; he’d sussed the ruse and practically made his lovely (5 foot 3) wife a brew before the reveal!!

Lorna’s dress is quite…bold what with the high-to-low hem, the ruffles, the chartreuse/pink combo and then lights! I’m with Patrick I’m afraid Lorna. Goodness knows what Neil’s poor wife will end up in – FYI, she’s far too stylish to go anywhere near a ‘skanklet’ Neil! I’m quiet excited to see Matt’s Chinese lantern/fish scale dress – as long as it doesn’t overpower his petite lady. 

After manic sewing and panicked finishing touches, all of the women look absolutely stunning. Lorna’s frothy skirted dress is so much lovelier than I (or Patrick) imagined – great fitted bodice and lovely little underskirt – but the tulle hasn’t blown the judges away. Matt’s lantern gown is next and the judges fall over themselves to praise him – his best ever, ‘stunning’! Neil’s created a dress in which nothing in it feels ‘normal’ – is that a complement Patrick? His pleating and seams cause a bit of the judges criticism, but who knows what they really think?!

And now, what we’ve all been waiting for…. The winner of 2015’s Great British Sewing Bee is…. 



So did you agree? Would you have kept the fairy lights in?! Please let us know what you think in the comments below.

Thank you all for staying with me, next year I’ll be better!! 

GBSB Series 3 Episode 4&5

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

11 March 2015

Okay, please don't shoot me - I know this blog is so so HIDEOUSLY late, but it's because we've all been slaving away over our beautiful April issue (on sale Thursday 26th) To make up for it I've got a BUMPER review of both episode 4 and 5, along with a little sneek peak of our gorgeous April issue... 

MM59 Final Cover

Episode 4




Challenge 1: boning, binding and blind panic

“A lot of home sewers are frightened at making something like a corset…” With all of those pattern pieces, I’m not surprised May!! (Who also swore it would unforgivable if the front panel didn’t match – someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed today!) As Amanda says, a structured pattern calls for a structured procedure..or in other words military planning - cue Neil!!

Even with four hours, everyone’s looking flushed and overworked! Even Ryan who’s had previous corset experience, he must be feeling the pressure (lovely Claudia even has to explain ‘bumpy boobs’ to the lad)! I love Lorna’s description of her creation – ‘it started out as Macbeth, and now it’s more Moulin Rouge – very racy!’

So, to the line up. Despite Amanda’s ‘structured procedure’, she decided to make her own binding which took far too much time , with Ryan coming in 6th! It was Neil who found himself in first place – describing it as the ‘nicest garment’ he’s made. (Congrats to Matt for his first time in 2nd place)


Challenge 2: "Ghostbusters. What you gonna make? Ghostbustaaas!"

The sewers are presented with the most amazing array of 80’s, sharp shouldered suits (all of which are older than Ryan, which had him chuckling for a good while) I must say, the talent in this series is staggering (despite Matt’s insistence that he applied for “the baking one”)– the alteration plans going on in this challenge are incredible: a cocktail dress (Neil), a maternity top (Lorna), skater dress (Ryan + tears) and a bolero jacket (Deborah).

Second line up of the day – Amanda 7th, Paul 6th, Deborah 5th, Lorna 4th, Matt 3rd… Ryan 2nd and Neil 1st – again!!


Challenge 3: Patrick’s lovely legs…err…kilt

This weeks final challenge is (modeled by Mr Gorgeous Grant) the traditional kilt, although the sewers can go to town on modernizing the original style. Lovely lovely Paul decides to go for glittery denim (LOVE his fabric choices each week) in an attempt to bypasss the scary check-matching, which everyone else has to tackle. Although, as it turns out, the pattern – for once – lent itself to this task and actually HELPED with the pleating, poor Paul. Amanda also takes a risk, being the only person not to start pleating first, and foregoing the hair canvas & thick/stiff fabric – eek! In typical Neil fashion, he’s decided to hand-stitch his pleats and knows exactly how much time to spend on each (10mins, first one took 6! He should spend those extra 4mins keeping an eye on Claudia & his model..!)

And, so with two people out this week, tensions are high as garment of the week is revealed… NEIL! (ie General of the Ceremonial Kilt)


But unfortunately we have to say goodbye to Amanda AND Ryan – good luck in the future guys!! 

Episode 5/Semi-Final!!

Yet again, two people are leaving…gulp!


Challenge 1: fraying tempers and feverish sewing

A pencil skirt, not too tricky, right? Cue heart-dropping moment…it’s in LACE! The sewers faces fall, and no one looks quite so confident coming into these semi-finals as they did 5 minutes ago. “If you’re going to go lace, you’ve got to go black” Had anyone else heard that rule from Neil? Lorna clearly hasn’t, as she’s gone for a stunning burnt orange, nor has…well any of the rest of them! Everyone’s getting a bit hot under the collar this week, even meticulous Neil is loosing his cool. (Not to panic, Claudia has Ryan Gosling waiting in the back…in a box, err, wait, Claudia?) 


“Has anyone tried their skirt on their mannequin?” The nervous laughter that erupts is concerning – is anyone confident?! Well, Lorna’s waistband has gone for a drunken walk, Paul has can pinch an inch..from the other side of the hem, and Deborah has too much underskirt (but a lovely colour combo) whilst Neil’s pattern matching was ‘bleugh’ – crikey, this is a toughy.  Matt’s sewing is ‘extremely good’ and found himself top of the charts this week! 

Challenge 2: modern, modern, modern…and Madonna!

Perhaps the most bizarre alterations challenge to date, and some of the..umm..most interesting creations! We can’t go any further without mentioning Lorna’s Madonna-style, conical bustier (‘oh it’s got to be satin!’) Definitely innovative Lorna, can’t wait to see the result. Both Matt and Neil head back to lace, Neil determined to show them pattern matching done well! Deborah’s little dress is shaping up to be something very special, but Paul struggles with sleeves, unpicking the correct one and getting himself into a little bit of a tizz! Looking at the final line-up, there’s an outfit for Madge, Kylie AND Lady Gaga – well done guys!

5th – Paul (as he guessed – sad face), 4th – Matt, 3rd – Neil, 2nd – Lorna…and Deborah came first!! CONGRATS. This week’s full of surprises (in the nicest possible way!!).

Lorna (2)

Challenge 3: bright, bold bikers.

Leather jacket time! And, time for Neil to ‘turn it around!’ Once again, Paul’s choice is just fabulous, but after the previous challenges, it may be a tad too stiff…uhoh. Deborah’s jacket is equally bright, with her teal hide – ‘everytime I come to your station, it’s like Whams back in town!’ – but surely in the best way possible, we don’t want to go back to last week’s 80’s tastic suits! Lorna’s going against the grain and starts work with her lining to ensure the fit is absolutely perfect, but it goes so well she starts threatening her family with head-to-toe outfits, watch out guys! Matt runs out of time and can’t fit the lining in, which makes it an uncomfy wear for the model. Disaster strikes for Deborah at the final hour when her zip comes straight off – after sewing it, eek!

Lorna’s green jacket – chic, Matt’s grey biker – snug shoulders, but sharp corners (precision sewing!), Neil’s statement collared jacket gets a pat on the back for a great sew, Paul’s snake skin jacket – beautifully flat seams, Deborah – brave pattern choice.

Drum roll please…. He did it, NEIL’S BACK IN THE GAME!! His oversized collar, scarlet lined jacket wins the day.

But, REALLY REALLY sadly, we had to say goodbye to lovely lovely Paul, and lovely lovely Deborah.

Final three...

Final 3


Be there, or be square. 

London Design Week

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

4 March 2015

An exceptional showcase of style, innovation and imagination, the show will offer the most comprehensive collective of the latest fabrics, furniture, wallcoverings, lighting, accessories, kitchens, bathroom, outdoor living, tiles and carpets.

LDN Design Wk

LDN Conversations

Psst! Here are some sneak peeks of some of the stars of the show..

LDW15 Image 6(3)

 LDW15 Image 4

LDW15 Image 3(2)


Abbott & Boyd * Altfield * Alton-Brooke * Ann Sacks * Armani/Casa * Azucena at GMR  * Baker Lifestyle * Baker * Beacon Hill * Bella Figura * Besselink & Jones * Blenheim Carpets * Brian Yates * Brunschwig & Fils * C & C Milano * Cassina * Chaplins * Chase Erwin * Christopher Guy  * Christopher Hyde Lighting * Clive Christian * Cole & Son * Colefax and Fowler * Colony* Création Baumann * Crestron* David Seyfried Ltd * Davidson * Decca (Bolier) * Decorus Furniture* Dedar * Edelman Leather * Evitavonni * Fendi Casa * Flexform * Fox Linton * Gallotti&Radice * GP & J Baker * Harlequin * Henry Bertrand * Interdesign * Interior Supply * J. Robert Scott * Jacaranda Carpets * Jason D’Souza * Jean Monro * Kravet * Lee Jofa * Lelievre * Lewis & Wood* Lizzo * Marvic Textiles * McKinnon and Harris * Mulberry Home * The Nanz Company * Nicholas Haslam * Nobilis * Original BTC * Pierre Frey * Poliform * Poltrona Frau * Porada * Porta Romana * Ramm, Son & Crocker * Remains Lighting * R.I.M Tile Boutique * Robert Allen * Romo * Rubelli/Donghia * SA Baxter Architectural Hardware * Sahco * Samuel Heath * Samuel & Sons Passementerie * Sanderson * The Silk Gallery * Simpsons Mirrors & Furniture * Stark Carpet * Stark Fabric * StudioTex * Summit Furniture * SWD * Tai Ping Carpets * Threads at GP & J Baker * Tim Page Carpets * Tissus d’Hélène * Top Floor Rugs/Wood * Tufenkian Artisan Carpets * Turnstyle Designs  * Turnell & Gigon * Vaughan * Via Arkadia (Tiles) * Victoria +Albert Baths * Watts of Westminster * Wemyss * Whistler Leather* Wired Custom Lighting * Wool Classics * Zimmer + Rohde * Zoffany 

Plus Designers Guild, Osborne & Little, Kingcome Sofas in Chelsea and William Yeoward

Event Location: Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, Lots Road, London SW10 0XE 
Event Information: Call 020 7225 9166, email enquiries@dcch.co.uk or visit www.dcch.co.uk

Press Enquiries: 020 7225 9121 or email press@dcch.co.uk

Logos (1)

The Hambledon, Winchester

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

3 March 2015

Since 1999, Winchester indie, The Hambledon, has been charming loyal customers near and far with its carefully curated lifestyle and fashion collections. Housed in a beautiful four-storey Georgian building overlooking the Cathedral Square, owner Victoria Suffield likes to think of The Hambledon as a kind of department store, but "just selling the good stuff!" Womenswear is found on the first floor, menswear in the basement, while the ground floor features homewares, bath and beauty – and a dedicated space for stationery, books and craft. Think paper decorations, beautiful notebooks, wrapping paper and letterpress cards aplenty. There’s a project space too. “It’s a place we have fun with, showcasing our latest loves and favourite makers. It’s been used for everything from paper-cutting workshops to charity cake sales. And we have plenty of exciting projects in the pipeline,” says Victoria. Party masters Meri Meri and styling star Emily Quinton will be popping up soon!

HAMBLEDON PompomAll images courtest of The Hambledon

"We always wanted to make a shop which sold the things we loved in a space we loved to people we could grow to love. It's a sentimental kind of aspiration but borne out of a genuine love of retail and a real belief in the worth of shops and shopping and shopgirls (and boys). 

Since 1999 we have been trying to refine and develop what we want The Hambledon to be: a really good shop by any measure, uncompromising in its choices, entertaining in its presentation and always super friendly in its approach. 

We have extended womenswear into three rooms on the first floor. The Norman basement (once a warren of spooky stockrooms) is now a happy home for a fully fledged menswear offer. Homeware and all its associated friends live on the ground floor. The first mezzanine level is a new and grown up bath and beauty department. The Tudor rooms at the rear of the building are now a stationery and book department and a project space to house our temporary exhibitions and collaborations. And the new website is like a new department for us – just a different room in the same building – which enables farther flung people to visit us."




See www.thehambledon.com for the latest products and events.

See you there!! 



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