Sewing Cleo – Tilly and the Buttons Dungaree Dress

Whilst it’s currently snowing and winter is not sure whether to depart, I’m going to throw it back to summer for this post! Half way through last year, I decided to get the work in progress basket out and actually finish some projects that had been abandoned for a while.

The first project I finished was back in August and it was the Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dress! It’s a simple dungaree dress with a great pattern for beginners. I used a pink stretch denim and made the long version to my knee.Sewing-Cleo-Dungaree DressBefore this I had never actually sewn a garment! I have knitted and crocheted jumpers and sewn items for my home, but nothing to actually wear. It took me about 4 hours to make, but I’m not sure if that is quick or slow!
Tilly-and-the-Buttons-Cleo-PatternsI actually inherited a lot of sewing notions from my Nan as she was a seamstress. I used her dress makers pencil to mark out the pattern.Dressmaking-Tools

The pattern is available in UK sizes 6-20 and comes with a booklet of instructions with helpful photographs. So useful if you are following a dress pattern for the first time! I also love that Tilly and the Buttons have online sewing workshops in case you aren’t able to make the in person ones at their studio.

Dungaree-Dress-PatternThe Cleo dress was a perfect item to wear on summer days out and with the other pink items in my wardrobe. In the group picture below, we are all at Dreamland Margate in our handmade dresses!
Cleo-Dungaree-Dress-ClaireabellemakesI made sure to sew the pocket on carefully and as neatly as possible so I could add my favourite pins.
Cleo-Dress-and-Enamel-PinsIn case you’re wondering – it’s stretchy enough to wear on a bouncy castle too ūüėČ
Worlds-Biggest-Bouncy-CastleHave you sewn any clothing before? Since this make I have continued to work through my WIP basket and have finished a quilt (woo!) and also worked on a baby cardigan which has been a disaster. More on these projects soon!

I really want to add the Tilly and the Buttons Mila Dungarees to my list next…..but not until I’ve done all those WIPs!



The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show Ticket Giveaway


This year I’m working on completing all my unfinished craft projects. It’s a huge pile of half knitted jumpers, an almost completed quilt, some endless cross stitch projects and loads of crochet goodies. And don’t even get me started on how behind I am with scrapbooking and journaling! Plus I definitely want to start sewing more clothes….have you seen the new Mila Dungarees Pattern from Tilly and the Buttons?! My pal Zeena looks so great in the launch photos!

This craft determination for 2018 is one of the reasons I am planning to attend the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show in London next month, to give me a burst of inspiration and motivation. I’ll be taking my Mum along too for a nice crafty day out!

Keep reading for giveaway details and a discount code if you can’t wait to snap up a ticket!Yarn-Knitting-and-Stitching-ShowI am definitely counting on you guys for tips on how not to spend all my money. I mean, look at all that yarn!Dressmaking Studio Knitting and Stitching ShowThe show has 190 textile workshops to take part in and a whole heap of galleries and stands to shop from.Mr X Stitch - Wrap CoverI love these kind of events for catching up with the creative community and soaking up new ideas.¬†Kate Whitehead KNIT&STITCH 4I have 5 pairs of tickets to give away for the show! They will be redeemable any day¬†except Saturday 3rd March. All you have to do to enter is follow my Instagram and leave a comment here on this blog post. I will draw the winners on Monday 12 February.¬†

If you just can’t wait, you can use the code¬†CLAIRE18¬†here¬†to receive¬†¬£2 off advance adult/¬£1 off advance concessions. This makes tickets ¬£11.50 instead of ¬£13.50/¬£12.50, plus a¬†¬£1.50 fulfillment fee per transaction. I think that’s a pretty affordable day out for some crafty inspiration don’t you?!

What craft projects are you working on this year? Are you interested in seeing how many I manage to complete? Good luck in the giveaway!




*Photos in this post were provided by the Knitting and Stitching Show.

Christmas Wreaths With John Lewis

It’s been a festive few days here with lots of Christmas markets and meet ups with friends. We decorated the house last week and I added a new Christmas wreath to the door, thanks to John Lewis!

They challenged me to customise a wreath with items from their online Christmas shop so I chose this beautiful snowy eucalyptus wreath.Flocked-Eucalyptus-Wreath-John-LewisAs the wreath was so beautiful, I only wanted to add a couple of touches to customise it and kept it very simple! I picked some red berry cluster decorations and ribbon to give it a pop of colour.

Festive-Berry-Decorations Using wire, I wrapped the stems of the berry decorations around the eucalyptus branches of the wreath.DIY-Wreath-ProjectsThen I simply tied a ribbon on the bottom of the wreath and left long tails for a bit of a statement.Wreath-Ideas-John-Lewis

So as I said a simple change, but one that makes quite a statement.
Flocked-Eucalyptus-Wreath-EmbellishedI also added some Christmas Fragrance Oil to give it a nice scent for when we come home or when the postie visits!Christmas-Fragrance-OIl

As well as some John Lewis decorations, we have added handmade Christmas¬† tree decorations from Hello Sunshine, Mooglears and Stuff, Kim Haskins and Designosaur.Handmade-Christmas-Decorations I better crack on with my Christmas shopping this week – can’t wait to use this santa and llama gift wrap. Look at his pom pom hat!


Thanks for letting me share some of my Christmas decor today. Next year G wants to go nuts with tinsel and all the colours, so I’m looking forward to seeing his take on Christmas decor!

Are you hanging a wreath this year?



*John Lewis gifted the items from their Christmas shop for the purposes of this blog post. As always, opinions are my own.

Laser Cut Alternative Christmas Decorations From Etsy UK

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling pretty festive quite early this year! I think because small businesses have to prepare for the Christmas season so early, that I have been doing seasonal shoots and product development since the summer! I’ve also spent the last week packing tons and tons of Christmas decorations in the hopes of some sales over the festive season.

Today I wanted to share with you some of my favourite alternative Christmas decorations that I found on Etsy. All of them are laser cut like my bicycle decorations and all are from UK sellers.Laser Cut Alternative Christmas Decorations From Etsy UK

G and I bought one of the Designosaur Roarballs a couple of years ago (in fact, it’s the one pictured below) and we love it. We go for a white and red theme on our main tree and then I have a completely multicoloured tree theme in the studio.

All of the shops are linked below, so please do check them out and consider shopping small for your Christmas decorations this year! Laser-Cut-Christmas-Decorations-Etsy-UK

Rock Cakes / Claireabellemakes / Designosaur

Hello Sunshine / Art Angel / Doodle Duck Prints

Glitter Punk Jewellery / Betsy Benn / I Like Cats

Maybe you celebrate a different holiday? If so, what decorations do you enjoy? I’d love to know!

A lot of these makers are going to be participating in the Etsy Made Local markets this year which take place over the first weekend in December. You can find a market near you if you are UK based by following this link. If you are based in the East, why not come along to the Cambridge or Norwich markets where I will be earning some pennies! More info on my events page here.

When are you decorating for Christmas?



*This post contains links to outside sites, including paid affiliates.

Crafting With Kirstie Allsopp At The Handmade Fair

Last weekend, G and I made the trip across London to Hampton Court Palace to attend this year’s Handmade Fair. In previous years I had attended as a Blogger, so it was great to go along and be involved with a talk this time! Pinterest had invited me to talk with Kirstie Allsopp about how I use Pinterest as a crafter and to share with the crafty crowd how they could use it too.

I was SUPER nervous until the moment my session started. To the point where I didn’t even finish one of the legendary duck wraps from the food stands because my tummy was in knots. Weirdly, as soon as I got set up and sat down on the stage I felt instantly relaxed.

Pinterest-Talk-At-the-Handmade-FairMy venue was the Super Theatre which was a great big circus style tent – so cool! What made it easier, was that I couldn’t see the audience at all due to the lights, so it took away the nerves of seeing faces I knew. I had my mic fitted and then we got on stage to make some DIY Envelopes (inspired by this Pinterest board) and to chat about the ways in which Pinterest is useful to crafters. I also got to bust out some stats and share the latest updates with everyone including the ‘Tried It’ feature which I love.

Claireabellemakes-Handmade-Fair Claireabellemakes-Kirstie-Allsopp-Handmade-Fair-2017


I got all the supplies for our DIY in Hobbycraft so will link to them below. We used a fantastic set of metallic watercolour paints which Kirstie fell in love with. We had a Q&A with the audience with some great input from them and then the 45 minutes was up! It went by in a flash and we finished with some beautiful envelopes. Making-DIY-Envelopes-with-Kirstie-Allsopp

After some great chats with Keith Brymer Jones and his wife about selfie culture(!), G and I had some time to enjoy the fair and catch up with my Mum – No.1 fan! We met friends, looked at all the amazing stalls and enjoyed some Churros.

L-R, me with:
Lizzie from Pinterest / Zeena Shah / Fuz from Cloth and Candy


I managed to vlog the day (with some help from G and Lizzie) which you can watch here or by clicking the video below. It was so much fun to be involved with the fair – it’s a great event which really celebrates the supportive, encouraging side of our community. On the journey home my head did start to hurt, but it was totally worth it for the experience!

Here are links to the supplies we used to make the DIY envelopes and to the awesome wooden template I found. I’m never buying envelopes again once I’ve used my stash!

Metallic Watercolour Pan

Permanent Tape Pen

A4 White Card Pack

Metallic Ink Pads

Wooden Envelope Template

If you were one of my followers that came along to support or someone who sent me a good luck message (lots of you lovely folk did), THANK YOU. It meant tons to have everyone’s support and I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had this year.

The next month is looking pretty busy. I have two exciting workshops coming up in October, one of which is the Etsy Educators course for new sellers in Cambridge. If you know anyone who might be interested, please do share the event with them! I’m super stoked to be working with Etsy for it and to share what I’ve learnt.

I’ll be back here soon with some round ups from summer, behind the scenes in the studio and a stationery giveaway tomorrow!



*Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates.