Sewing Bee: Children in Need Special - Episode 2

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

24 October 2014

Once again, I'm spilling all the secrets from the latest episode below - so if you haven't seen it, catch up on iPlayer here!

This episode was brought to you by the lovely Sara Cox and Patrick's not so lovely moustache! It saw Louis Spence (Pineapple Dance Studios), Gaby Roslin (the telly) and Mark Watson (comedian) pitted against (the clearly pretty talented) Pam Ferris (Miss Trunchbull in Matilda!). I must say, it did strike me as slightly odd that three out of four celebs admitted to a total lack of sewing experience to then face one who would "probably be doing this if I wasn't acting"... but, all in the name of charity I suppose!! 

Group (3)

Challenge 1: The Pattern 

The celebs are given a pattern for pyjama trousers and shoot off to the haberdashery. While Pam is careful about her material (kindly sharing all her wisdom with Mark), Gaby's choice is disco-fantastic - and not what May would choose to wear in bed! My heart went out to Mark, while he carefully pinned a snipped, the rest ploughed ahead (i.e. cut corners!) and left him floundering. Unfinished, Westwood inspired pj's aside, Pam shone with her animal print pair (and sneaky handmade drawstring) while Louis’ classic navy pants come a close second - showing his attention to straight lines paid off!


Challenge 2: Recycle

Using only one of a rainbow selection of kiddies onesies, the sewers are tasked with creating an animal costume – simple, right Mark?! Frustrated by the un-animal like colours, Mark searches for inspiration until the very last minute, redeeming his zebra fish ‘costume’ with a poem (although how the imaginary child would have worn said costume is anyone’s guess!) In what could only be classed as a strop, Louis attacks the front of his (lovely!) ladybird costume to ‘punk it up a bit’ – landing himself joint third with Mark. Gaby and Pam fight it out over stuffing, but in the end it’s Pam’s regal rooster that comes out on top.



Challenge 3: Bespoke

For their final, and most intense, challenge the celebs must make a skirt that tells a story personal to them. Louis dances and prances his way to a lycra rah-rah skirt (‘because I never got to wear one!’), although his rolled hems impress even May – it’s his choreography that takes up most of his time! Gaby’s Alice’s Tea Party skirt is bold: there seems to be a theme to Gaby’s creations – with her very glamourous dragon covered in sparkles…who ever said less is more eh? She chastises Patrick for even suggesting embellishing the back as ‘you need to sit down at a teaparty!’ Quite right, Gaby. Pam creates a stunning London sunset skyline for Peter Pan, and wins the day (congratulations – it really was top notch Pam!) but I think a special mention should go to Mark who managed to produce his first completed item of clothing, with darts and embellishment to boot! If only May had been his model…

Mark Pants

That’s all for now folks, but tune in tonight at 8pm, BBC2 for the final episode! Anita Rani hosts, while Gemma Cairney, Helen Lederer, Kathryn Flett and  Timmy Matley put their sewing skills (or lack of) to the test.

Don't forget, every item made is put on eBay, so get bidding - it's all for charity! Click here to buy buy buy!


Sewing Bee: Children in Need Special - Episode 1

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

22 October 2014

Warning! I will be giving all the games away below. So why don't you catch up with episode 1 on iPlayer

Since the Bake Off finished, evenings in front of the telly have felt distinctly un-crafty! But thankfully we've been treated to a three part Children in Need Great British Sewing Bee special! 

Jenny Eclair presided over the first episode, which saw Dave Myers (one half of the Hairy Bikers), Edith Bowman, Dr Dawn Harper (Embarrassing Bodies, Ch4) and Wendi Peters (Coronation Street) battle it out (more with their sewing machines than with each other) to be crowned Star Sewer (same principle as GBBO right?!)

Group (2)

Challenge 1: The Pattern

Kicking off with a 'simple' A-line skirt, it's clear that some of these celebs are more proficient with a Singer than others - yes, Dave, we're looking at you. Alexander McQueen may have gotten away with bum-skimming waistbands, but I'm not sure it's worth trying again! (Talking of style faux-pas... seems Patrick's channelling Tom Selleck this season!) 


Congratulations to Dawn for her cherry print skirt, we love the pompoms! 

Challenge 2: Recycle

Faced with rows and rows of garish Hawaiian shirts, the celebs groan in unison - other than Dave who heads straight for an eye-watering orange print. Wendi's summer dress was a worthy winner, but I definitely think Edith's Elvis-inspired cape should have come out on top! 


Challenge 3: Bespoke 

The celebs were asked to create an iconic dress from the era of their choice. Although Jenny mocked Dave's 'simple' 60's shift, I think he had quite a job making it so form fitting - and look super to boot! Dawn created a fab fringed flapper dress and matching bag, but the real contest was between the two 50's tea dresses! At the end of the day, Wendi takes the biscuit with her perfectly executed embellished evening gown - congratulations!!


The BBC aren't just content with entertaining us with comediennes and sewing catastrophes - they've put all of the celebs makes on eBay to raise money for Children in Need. You can bid here!

Next time, Sara Cox takes the helm, while Gaby Roslin, Pam Ferris, Mark Watson & Louie Spence take their turns behind the machines. Episode 2 is on tomorrow (Thursday 23rd) at 8pm, BBC2

Guest Blogger: Bristol Makers

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

13 October 2014

Bristol has been on my list of places to visit for a few years now and I STILL haven't got around to going. Everyone I talk to about Bristol says that once you live there you never want to leave. With that in mind I did a bit of research on their designers and makers to see just what Brizzle has to offer in the craft stakes. I was not disappointed!

Laura Snockels


First up we have Lauren Snockels, an artist, maker and sculptor. I was first drawn to these awesome hand crafted russian dolls. Lauren is commissioned by lots of designers to make their visions and has even worked on film sets making props.

[image source - bristol creatives]



Next up we have Malobi who makes these awesome cat caves. I love their contemporary design and your cat would be happy as larry tucked up in one of these awesome alternative cat beds.

[image source - etsy]

Cool 4 Cats 

Cool 4 Cats

I absolutely love papercutting and making anything out of card or paper and was over joyed when I stumbled across Cool 4 Cats. They specialise in pop up paper kits and this circus themed lion kit is amazing.

[image source- cool 4 cats]

Amanda Colouring In 

Amanda Colouring In

I am a big fan of birds and anything bird related and Amanda colouring in is taking embroidery and bird prints to the next level with this one. This embroidery bird print is amazing!

[image source - etsy]



Last up we have these awesome kids chairs by ByBrophy. The cloud design is super cool and they were recently featured in August 2014'a issue of Vogue! I wonder if they make them for grown ups?!

[image source - etsy]


She's Called Claire

Claire Culley is a blogger and one half of creative hub Super+Super. Her favourite crafts are printing and papercutting. Addicted to crisps. Big animal lover. Her first books, Printmaking and Embroidery, are out in October and will be available from



November photo shoot: behind the scenes

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

24 September 2014

An authentic, chic 1950's home was the backdrop for the November issue photo shoot - and boy, it was gorgeous?! With panoramic views of sprawling lawns, it was easy to forget you were a mere five minutes from the town centre. The house was built in the early 1950's by a (clearly, super talented & ultra modern) architect and the family have kept it in pristine condition ever since. Our contemporary themed projects looked wonderful in situ - Jemima's cushion collection seemed to have always been scattered on the sofa, while Tash's 50's cocktail was the perfect thing after a long busy day of shooting! (I even did a bit of modelling in Vanessa's frilly pinnies!)


Vanessa's lovely reversible bag is the subject of much discussion.


Desperately avoiding looking at the food.


"Put some wallpaper on a pinboard" Simple right?


...Apparently not - needs two to get it straight!

November's issue hits the shelves 9th October, so put it in your diary now!

MM53 Final Cover (1)


Guest Blogger: London Makers

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

3 September 2014

Following on from last months post about Brighton makers, this month we are focusing on showcasing some amazing London crafters, designers and makers. Once again I was spoilt for choice, as it seems our capital city is packed to the rafters with creativity!

Luna on the Moon


First up is Luna on the moon. I’m sure I am not the only one who has jumped on the fruity accessory bandwagon…give me a watermelon or a strawberry any day! This jazzy pineapple handbag MADE WITH GLITTER is the perfect accessory for this season.

[image source: etsy]

Rosie Wonders 

Rosie _wonders

Rosie Wonders first caught my eye on Instagram a few months back. I kept seeing snaps of peoples amazing temporary tattoos and decided I needed to investigate. Rosie also makes greetings cards and jewellery in her signature style.

[image source: rosie wonders]

Crispin Finn


Crispin Finn consists of two London based creatives, Anna Fidalgo and Roger Kelly. They have been working together since 2008 and their style is instantly recognisable. They only use red, white and blue in their designs and I happen to have this awesome tea towel framed on my kitchen wall!

[image source: crispin finn]

Laura Gee

Laura Gee

Laura Gee’s etsy shop ‘Oh My Gee’ showcases her awesome illustrated homewares. This beardy man cushion, handsewn by Laura herself is called Malcolm. Hello Malcolm.

[Image source: etsy]

Lucy Sparrow

Lucy Sparrow

Last but by no means least we have Lucy Sparrow from Sew your Soul who you may well recognise as the creator of the crafty corner shop that has recently popped up in London. Lucy spent 8 months creating an entire corner shop made out of felt and it has recently been unveiled. You can go visit it at 19 Wellington Row, London, E2 7BB.

[image source: sew your soul


She's Called Claire

Claire Culley is a blogger and one half of creative hub Super+Super. Her favourite crafts are printing and papercutting. Addicted to crisps. Big animal lover. Her first books, Printmaking and Embroidery, are out in October and will be available from

Guest Blogger: Brighton Makers

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

20 August 2014

In the first of a series of articles looking at makers around the country our first stop is the sunny seaside town of Brighton. Brighton’s craft scene feels like it is massive at the moment and as a person who likes to support local makers and independent shops I am most definitely spoilt for choice when it comes to showcasing the best of this Brighton bunch.

Hello Dodo


Image source: Etsy

Hello Dodo is a dream team made up of husband and wife Jam & Ali. They are a screen printing duo who design prints to make people smile. All of their work is bright and fun and guaranteed to brighten up any wall or mantelpiece.

Lou Taylor



Image source: Etsy

Lou Taylor is the master of papercutting. She uses paper and a sharp scalpel to create intricate papercuts that are full of colour. She has now launched a jewellery collection from her papercut designs and I am particularly fond of these spider plant earrings.



Image source: Etsy

Rockcakes is a one woman operation ran by Sarah Meredith. A professional jeweller who works with semi-precious metals, wood and acrylics. All items are handmade in her studio in Brighton. This brooch set is the perfect gift for any stationary lovers.

I like Cats


Image source: Etsy

If you like cats then you are in good hands with this guy. Maker Toby, who resides in Brighton makes handmade accessories, jewellery and illustrations for the cat lovers amongst us.

Faye Moorhouse



Image source: Etsy

Talking about animals I bring you the last but by no means least maker that I am going to share with you today. Meet Faye Moorhouse, an artist who loves all things strange and magical. Her custom wonky pet paintings are definitely my favourite.



She's Called Claire

Claire Culley is a blogger and one half of creative hub Super+Super. Her favourite crafts are printing and papercutting. Addicted to crisps. Big animal lover. Her first books, Printmaking and Embroidery, are out in October and will be available from

Follow the Herring

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

14 August 2014

With the largest beach-based fishing fleet, Hastings is not unaccustomed to boats. However, last Saturday there was something extra special about the blue sailing boat standing pride of place at The Stade... 




Boat (1)

The life-size knitted fishing boat was in my home town for just one weekend as the final part of an arts project called Follow the Herring. Stopping at 13 towns on the east coast of Scotland and England, the project is a co-production by The Customs House and Guild of Lillians theatre company. It is supported by a grant of £218,832 from the Arts Council's Strategic touring programme which encourages collaboration between organisations, so that more people across England experience and are inspired by the arts, particularly in places which rely on touring for much of their arts provision. You can find out more about it here.

The boat was by no means the only attraction, the entire tent was packed to the yarny rafters with every aspect of fishing life: from piles of fish resplendent in sequins to the overalls worn on board. And over in one corner was a 'Wonders of the Deep' fish and chip van offering enough (knitted!) yumminess to suit all taste buds! 


A single starfish sitting pretty.


Even knitted, fish don't look too happy caught in a net..


Much cuter (and smaller!) than the pesky ones outside my window.


Those eyes! He was just begging to come home with me.


I don't think Capt Dave Purl would get much protection in these.


Shrimp anybody?

(Unfortunately, my grainy phone camera doesn't do the project justice, so why not head on over to their facebook page to see more.)

Along with the knitted boat exhibition, Follow the Herring included a theatre performance of 'Get Up and Tie Your Fingers': a story of the 19th century 'herring lassies' who followed the herring fishing fleets down the coast to meet the catch at each port of call. The tour echoed the women's journey, taking the tale back to the communities where it began and giving them the opportunity to create and participate in a piece of theatre alongside a professional production team. 

The amount of teamwork that went into this project is staggering. And although Hastings is renowned for it's weird and wonderful events, this is definitely up there with the best! (Even if I did have to dash off to the chippy afterwards..)

September Sneak Peeks!

Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

7 August 2014

We're keeping our fingers tightly crossed here in at Making HQ for an Indian summer, so we've tried to encourage the weather with a beautiful boho-inspired issue! Every page is covered in jewel tones and late summer goodness, with a gorgeous quilted throw in Amy Butler's Hapi fabrics and a gorgeous set of velvet bolster cushions.

We don't often show you what happens behind the scenes, but we're just so darn proud of this issue we thought we would! 

emma photoshoot

Emma laying out her enamelling project.

lisa photoshoot

Lisa, our stylist, working her magic!

emma photoshoot1

More magic being worked by Emma.

emma lisa photoshoot (1)

"What on earth is that?!"

The September issue hits the shelves Thursday 14th August!

MM51 Final Cover (1)


Abigail Cox

Abigail Cox

16 July 2014

Tomorrow we celebrate our 50th issue hitting the shelves! (Yes, the big five oh, we don't know where the time went either and yes, we aren't looking bad for our age, thank you!) We're ever so proud of this months Making! We show you what goes on behind the scenes here at HQ, AND we've organised a fantastic range of giveaways worth £7000! (You can enter here) To carry on with the celebrations, I've wandered around the internet to find my favourite party projects! 

Photo Wall

Someone must have mentioned our anniversary to Martha. 

Courtesy of Matha Stewart 

Paper Decor

Super simple, but super chic wall decorations!

Click here for tutorial.

DIY-Flower -Napkin -The Chic

Careful, these napkin rings might out-shine the food!

Courtesy of The Chic Site.

Origami Butterflies

String these minimalist flutterbies up for a modern garland.

Courtesy of The Things She Makes.

Glitter Balloon

A grown-up alternative to party balloons.

Click here for tutorial.

Drink Umbrellas

These'll brighten up your martini!

Find out how to make them here.

Mm 50-subscribe Grab your copy tomorrow!!  


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! 

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