Chunky Crochet Rainbow Blanket

Time to make has been hard to find lately, but I finally finished a craft project! Today I wanted to share this Chunky Crochet Rainbow Blanket I made for my pals Ali and Jam who run super colourful brand Hello Dodo.

The original idea for this yarn (Bernat Softee Chunky) was to make rainbow cardigans for myself and Ali. However, once I started working it up, I knew it would just be brilliant to make into a large colourful crochet blanket for their whole family, pooches included!

The chunky yarn was quick to work up with an 8mm hook. I just used half treble stitches (hdc in US terms) and made rows of 9 in each colour. Each row took up 2 balls of yarn.

Total time to make was probably around 20 hours, but it was a great make to finish as Autumn began – it kept me warm on my lap as it got bigger!

After blocking, the blanket easily covers a double bed (here it is on mine) and it is super snuggly to wrap around yourself too. I hope Ali, Jam. Hero and Pepper will love it and use it for years to come! They live in a super colourful house in worthing so I think it will compliment their home style pretty well.

I’m definitely thinking of making another chunky blanket in this yarn, perhaps in a ripple pattern or with some pom poms on the corners…..maybe in the grey and more subtle colours for me.

Like the quilt I made a couple of years ago, this one was hard to gift actually. I kind of wanted to keep it for myself!

I’ll be working on a few baby blankets for my next crochet projects to gift to friends for their new arrivals. Taking my crochet back to simple patterns has been refreshing as I’m using my brain power to tackle dress making instead lately.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my latest project. Let me know what you think and what craft projects you are working on!

Shop Handmade for Christmas

This post is sponsored by Amazon Handmade

The last couple of weeks have been a blur of Christmas markets, getting online orders out and attempting to do some Christmas gift shopping. This year I have been shopping handmade as much as possible and supporting campaigns such as Just A Card which champions designer makers and small businesses.

I love encouraging you guys to support handmade, so here are some of the ways I’m approaching my Christmas gift shopping!


Visit your local craft market

I live in Cambridge which has a great weekly market in the city centre. As well as grabbing fruit and veg, I like to visit on Sundays to see local makers and we even have an additional arts and crafts market which is a treasure trove of goods! If you’re looking for something near you, a great way to search is by using the local events pages on Facebook. I usually click via an event I’ve been to and then it cleverly finds similar markets for me to visit.

Bicycle Christmas Decorations

Online market places

Market places such as Amazon Handmade are usually on my list for finding unique gifts. If I’m looking for personalised items or something like our table favour bags for Christmas dinner, this is the kind of place I’ll visit.

What is great about the market place sites is that they allow makers to grow their businesses in an affordable way – we usually pay a small fee to host and sell our creations and it gives us a whole audience of shoppers to reach!

Many creatives will be using their takings from the festive season to keep going during the quieter months in businesses. All those Christmas sales will probably be helping them pay their mortgages in January and will give them funds to work on more product development.

Try making your own gifts

This one doesn’t always turn out well for me – hence why I shop online for handmade gifts instead! I went to a gathering with some girl friends this week and we made gifts for each other. Let’s just say my edible gifts weren’t that presentable! We all laughed about it in the end though and was delighted to receive some blackberry gin, cupcakes, a Christmas pudding and a self care kit.

My tips for making your own gifts would be to start early (I may have been rush finishing gifts on Christmas eve in the past) and to be realistic with what you think you can complete. Work out a timescale!

One year I received a handmade goody bag of Christmas treats from a family member and it was so thoughtful. I enjoyed jam, Christmas cake and chutney which was a real treat. They don’t always have to be edible though, a knitted scarf or scrapbook of favourite photos have been on my to make list in the past too.
So there you have it, a few ways I support handmade over the Christmas season! I’m not making many gifts this year, but I have found some fantastic makers to buy from and I’m lucky enough to have customers shopping my makes for their loved ones too. I’m off to work on my new festive cross stitch kit and visit the Lincoln Christmas markets this weekend. I’m definitely in the mood now! How are you getting on with your Christmas shopping? I’d love to hear any tips you have!



*Some items shown on this page were gifted from Amazon Handmade in addition to sponsorship.

The Royal Wedding Top Picks With Amazon Handmade

It’s almost time for the Royal Wedding! I love how involved us Brits get in celebrating and embracing the Royal Family. This week I’ve been hearing about schools throwing parties, neighbourhoods organising street parties and I’ve seen bunting aplenty being displayed already! In Cambridge there is a house which always goes completely all out for any Royal occasion, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they do this time! It’s definitely been something cheerful to think about instead of Brexit and sad news across the world.

So in celebration of Harry and Meghan, I’ve teamed up with Amazon Handmade to share the launch of their new wedding section!

It’s filled with tons of sellers sharing their wares for planning a wedding or gift ideas for the happy couple. Keep reading for my top picks and to hear my favourite parts of being a wedding guest.Royal-Wedding-Amazon-Handmade-Gift-IdeasAfter looking at the Amazon Handmade shop, I’ve been thinking about essential items for a wedding, whether you’re a guest or the bride and groom. One thing I love for all celebrations is confetti! You can’t beat those photos when everyone joins in – there is something about throwing confetti that just makes everyone smile!

An inventive save the date always gets me more excited about weddings. Whilst Harry and Meghan have to make formal announcements via the Palace, I love items that remind you on more than one occasion like these pencil save the dates or fridge magnets. Mind you, you can’t get away from reminders about the Royal Wedding once the media know in the UK! I can’t imagine how that must feel to have so many people publicly excited about your special day.
Amazon-Handmade-Wedding-FindsWe’ve been to a lot of weddings where the couple ask for honeymoon donations as they have already been living together a while and have no need for domestic items. As well as an experience, I also like gifting a sentimental keepsake to mark their special day, such as a colourful personalised wedding print or one of my Scrabble frames.

I have attended weddings with traditional cake, donuts, cheese wheels and cupcakes – anything goes these days! The cutting of the cake is supposed to symbolise the bride and groom’s union. However, many years ago, the cake was originally intended to be distributed among the guests by only the bride because consuming the cake would ensure fertility. A fun wedding fact for you there! Whatever the cake may be, it always looks good with some floral decorations and a cake topper.

Em&Daniel-Scrabble-Wedding-FrameAfter watching the Royal Wedding this Saturday, I will be enjoying the wedding of Jo and Will in the afternoon – who definitely announced it before the Royal couple! I know that they have planned lots of handmade touches for their festival style wedding, so I’m really looking forward to celebrating their special day and seeing all the detail they have worked hard at. I’ll be wearing a polka dot dress, probably subconsciously inspired by my confetti obsession! Handmade-Wedding-Gifts-PrintAre you going to be watching the Royal Wedding? Or perhaps you’re also attending a wedding this weekend? I’d love to hear your top wedding picks and finds too!



This post has been sponsored by Amazon Handmade. Some links are also displayed as affiliate links. 


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 😉
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.