Make at 140 Blog

A-line Skirt Customer Makes July 12 2017

We recently held one of our very popular A-line skirt workshops and thought we'd share some of our amazing customer creations with you! This is one of our longest running workshops and always books up fast. We also have a Make Forum Facebook page where you can see more marvellous makes or use it as a platform to show off some of your own.
To start off with we have this lovely bright green skirt, it's made from one of our luxurious peppered cottons with 2 wooden printed buttons which compliment the beautiful fresh look. This was made by our very own A-line workshop Leader, Anna.


Peppered Cotton - Green Tea By Studio E 

Wooden Printed - Summer Floral Buttons 

Our first customer creation is this pretty patterned number! This bold floral fabric was accompanied by some of our turquoise shell buttons. The A-line skirt is a great place to start with printed fabric if you worry about pattern matching as there are not too many pieces to line up.

"Brilliant day! going to make it over and over again in different materials. The invisible zip, once you know how to do it is amazing. Once you know the tips it seems easy."


 Turquoise Painted Shell Buttons

Cheryl made the skirt below using a great, lightweight Art Gallery voile that we have in store. We think it's the perfect partner for this sewing this garment.

 "I am very excited about knowing how to make a skirt - I'm going to save myself a fortune! the invisible zip is such a great skill to have learnt" - Cheryl

Millie Fleur Miss Thread Ashen Voile - Art Gallery 

"Lovely day, my birthday treat! learnt so much & have a skirt to wear!! whats not to love? got more fabric for my next one. Thank you" - Kate

This gorgeous pair proudly sporting their A-line creations. The skirt on the left is made with our organic cotton baby cord - Floratopia by Cloud 9.


Floratopia Heart of Gold - Cloud 9

Metal Elephant Button - Silver

"Learning to make something that fits the real me in the colour i like. The most amazing feeling in the world. This will change my life. Thank you Anna and Lizzy, I can not thank you enough." - Sarah

Katie looking fabulous in her skirt, what a brilliant summer outfit this is! 

Keep your eye out for the next workshop and come and make one of these versatile garments yourself. It can be made in all sorts of fabrics to suit the season and looks great with so many things.  

The last and the next 20 months ...... July 11 2017

Did you know we have been open for 20 months now?
How fast has that gone?! 
It has been so fantastic seeing the community of makers, sewers, knitters, and all come together and use Make for what it is here to do, bring people together. 
In that time we have sold over 8000 pieces of cake, taught over 600 people new skills in the workshops and sold over 950 metres of fabric. 
It has been a busy time!

The Current ......

We are pretty excited about what is to come to be honest with you. We are making a few changes as we now think we know just what you guys like and when you want to come and see us. 
After such a busy time we need to take a day out to be able to fit everything in. As of next week we will be taking a planning day a week and closing on a Tuesday.
This will give me plenty of time to plan the workshops, get out in the world and find the best and most delicious fabric and it'll give Kim the time to catch up on all of the cake making needed to fuel all of your creating.

Did you know we have been open for 20 months now?
How fast has that gone?! 
It has been so fantastic seeing the community of makers, sewers, knitters, and all come together and use Make for what it is here to do, bring people together. 
In that time we have sold over 8000 pieces of cake, taught over 600 people new skills in the workshops and sold over 950 metres of fabric. 
It has been a busy time!


Our New Opening Times

We now know when you lot are coming to visit us and so we have tweaked our cafe times to make sure we are there when you need us and our cake!
Along side our new cafe times we will be bringing you a new menu with some new fresh flavours to go alongside our Make favourites. 

And the next 20 months ........

All the best of Make is staying, Make Creatives every Wednesday until 9 pm. come and join us for a day of making and creating with like minded people. 
Make Sewcial will be returning to us in the spring with a fantastic programme already in the planning. 
Big plans for this year, we are opening up the space for pop up shops for local makers, inviting applications for the rental of our workshop space and we are looking into the Big Event of the Make year ....... The Make suppliers fayre. 
All in the planning and all coming soon so keep an eye out and let us know if there is anything you'd like to see us do. 
Thanks for the last 20 months and here's to the next.......

Meet the Team: Sherrie June 25 2017


This week we are introducing the talented Sherrie Yablsey from Ollie and Bella.


Job title:  Crochet Tutor


Coffee or tea?  COFFEE for sure, although I do enjoy a lovely cuppa tea.



Favourite Cake/ dish at Make: I’m a vegetarian and love food! I especially like Vegetable Curry and Vegetable Quiche! Also I am a big Chip fan.

As for cake I would say my favourite cake would be coffee cake of course ;) as well as a chunky slab of flapjack- YUM!

What adventures have led you to Make?

I first started attending the evening Make sessions where every crafter is welcomed! It’s a great opportunity to meet with like minded people and enjoy a good natter over a yummy slice of cake and drink. From chatting with Lizzy and sharing my Instagram page which is crammed full of colourful crochet pics, Lizzy approached me about running some workshops at Make and I jumped at the chance.



When did you start sewing/making? I started crafting as a child and have always had the inspiration to want to make something whether that be baking or sewing or paper crafting thanks to my very clever Gran. However my passion is Crochet, I started Crocheting 4 years ago and haven’t stopped since.

What is your favourite/proudest Make? Apart from my children, I would say having my crochet patterns published in Crochet Now magazine. I feel proud every time I make something, it conjures up that feeling of excitement and from then it usually leads onto something else which I want to hook up!

Most used sewing/making tool? Ummm my crochet hook? Ha ha!

What's next up on your sewing/making table or what craft would you like to try your hand at? I think it’s about time I dusted off my sewing machine and we made up and became friends again! I think I need some help and of course I’m in the best possible place!

Sewing tip? My crochet tip would definitely be count your stitches! Don’t rush ahead. Also if you’re making a garment I strongly suggest you make a gauge swatch first to check your tension.

If you'd like to see more of Sherrie's work we can highly reccommend her wonderfully colourful workshop for beginners.

Pillow Case Dress a step by step guide June 14 2017

As some of you may know we are doing our very best to help support one of our fabulous customers Lynette in her annual trip to Uganda by holding a pillow case and nappy pad drop in day on Wednesday 21st June. 

Some of you have asked what pattern we are using so that they can make one even if they can't make it on the day so here it is, a step by step photo guide of a very simple pillow case dress. 

Please feel free to embellish decorate and generally jazz up your dress in anyway you feel. 

How to make your pillowcase dress:

Materials Needed

  • One pillowcase
  • Needle and Thread (Sewing machine recommended)
  • 2 metres of 1.5 cm – 2 cm ribbon, cut into 2 pieces

Directions How To Make A Pillowcase Dress

1.These measurements can be followed for certain ages.

6 months – 36 cm

2 months – 41 cm

18 months – 43 cm

2T – 46 cm

3T – 49 cm

4T – 52 cm

2.From the hemmed edge, measure up the length that you just determined and cut straight across the top to remove the pillowcase portion. This cut portion will be the top of the dress.

Cutting the top

3.Fold the pillowcase vertically in half.

4.Cut armholes into the pillowcase. By folding the case in half, you have now created two identical armholes. The shape of the armholes should be like a J. For a smaller child, make the armholes 5 cm wide by 10 cm deep For a larger child make it 7 cm wide and 14 cm deep.

pillow case arnholes

5. Now hem each armhole to avoid fraying.

Arm hemming

6. Fold the top of the front and back of the pillowcase, first 0.5 cm then 2 cm to form a casing.

7. Sew a seam to stitch this closed

8. Thread 1 m of ribbon through each casing by using a small bobby pin.

Ribbon insert

9. Tie a small knot at the ends of each ribbon.

10. Take the ribbon from the front and back, and tie bows on the shoulders.

11.If your pillowcase has an inner cover at the bottom, sew along the edge of this to keep it in place, you could even sew a decorative trim along this line to match the ribbon.

12. You have a perfect pillow case dress.

Pillowcase dress

Summer Sewing at Make June 13 2017


The Great British summertime is once again creaking into action in the South West and at Make we are busily planning our summer wardrobes.

 Summer is the most fabulous time for Sewers, we can get really excited about showing off all of our wonderful makes in the best summer colours. You know we have to be prepared for when the sun does eventually shine in the Southwest!

Top of my summer to do list right now are these beauties..

The clever ladies at Deer and Doe have come up with a summer top with structure that could be worn at work or home with some lovely detailing!

My fabric pick for the Datura would be one of our chic Atelier Brunette fabrics for that extra dose of French sophistication.



 If you want a versatile pattern that's daring yet oh so practical at the same time why not try Tilly and the Buttons Marigold jumpsuit pattern.



I love the fact that this isn't just a jumpsuit, it can also be a pair of lightweight trousers too. Two for one and if you make this is a sweet soft rayon fabric it will feel like you're wearing secret pyjamas...who doesn't  want to be as comfy as possible while mooching about on their hols, especially on my frequent staycations!

I've been oggling these soft fabrics from our Make Basics range for the Marigold pattern, super soft and lovely to sew with too!



I also like to include a good basic tee in my summer wardrobe that you can wear with everything or use to layer up on chilly sea breezy days. I'm really can't wait to get my hands on the Grainline Studio Scout Tee pattern.

Check out our beautiful range of summer weight cottons from Merchant and Mills, we are all totally in love with the indigo dyed range at the mo!


What kind of summer wardrobe are you making? Does the sunshine inspire you to get sewing something wonderful? Are you one step ahead of us and already wearing your summer outfits with pride?

If you're proudly wearing some handmade summer togs from Make let us know! Join our Facebook Makers forum, email us a pic or tag us in your Instagram posts.

Keep your eyes peeled for my summer dress edition...coming soon.

Madame Tifaine x






Meet the Team: Anna June 11 2017

We are  a multi talented lot here at Make. You might not realise the wealth of skills and fabulousness that we have on board here so every now and again we will be showing off one of our team on the blog. It's a great way of finding out what we get up to not just at Make but in our own creative pursuits too.

First up is... Anna Weseman


Job title: Workshop tutor and part-time advisor. Pictured here looking fab at our last Make Sewcial.


Coffee or tea? Tea



 Favourite Cake/ dish at Make: A lovely indulgence is the avocado and blue cheese melt but I also love any of the savory muffins.




What adventures have led you to Make?

Some friends were raving about a new fabric shop in Plymouth. I am a bit addicted to fabric shops so I went to have a look and met the lovely Lizzy and Lou. After a chat I ended up rushing home and piling examples of my own makes in the car to show Lizzy. Both Lizzy and Lou liked what I had made and they gave me the confidence to believe that I had enough knowledge and skill to run some sewing workshops.


When did you start sewing/making?

I started when I was a little girl; both my grandmas were seamstresses and they encouraged my sisters and I to sew. Both ladies were a real inspiration, they made beautiful clothes for us including fur trimmed coats and party dresses. My sisters and I were always making doll’s clothes and soft toys, and the passion continued to grow as I did. However it wasn’t until my thirties that I would openly admit to sewing my own clothes, it just wasn’t cool when I was a teenager and young adult.


What is your favourite/proudest Make?

Anything my teenage daughter allows me to make for her and she then wears out in public is a massive seal of approval. When my children were little I didn’t have the time or space to make them clothes, so now I feel very proud when she chooses to wear something I have made her.


Most used sewing/making tool?

I recently bought a hemline gauge which is a small ruler with a sliding guide on it – so simple but fantastic for enlarging/ decreasing patterns and measuring hems. Can’t believe it’s taken me 30 years to discover it!


What's next up on your sewing/making table or what craft would you like to try your hand at

This year I am trying to challenge myself with my projects- not just churning out clothes. I attempted a hat which was not very successful. My next project is to make a shirt for my husband. I have only made him some pyjama bottoms so this is a step up to make something more complicated.

Sewing tip?

It’s only fabric! Just go for it and be open to try new things.

If you would like to see what Anna is up to why not try out one her workshops?


Make a Cleo with Madame Tifaine June 07 2017


It may seem at times like we are the unofficial spokespeople for the wonder of Tilly and the Buttons patterns, but they are just so versatile and accessible that we can’t seem to get enough of them! If you are a newbie sewer or you just need a quick sewing fix, Cleo is the one for you.


My new favourite from Tilly is most definitely the Cleo dungaree dress. I only have three versions so far, I think that’s pretty restrained given the endless possibilities that this pattern offers. I think that our unpredictable weather system, Cleo is the perfect item to layer up in the UK. My winter version is made from some lovely heavy weight brushed cotton tartan style.

 If you choose a more lightweight fabric like the delicious Merchant and Mills light denim you can step right into summer, this dress is in heavy rotation in my wardrobe especially with a stripey top.

Cleo is a clear favourite at Make... if you're lucky you may even spot me and Lizzy wearing matching dresses.

Join me on Sunday 25th June to start your own dungaree dress obsession! Follow the link to book your place now and see the full details. Come on lets fill Plymouth with dungaree dresses!

 Be like Zara...make a Cleo


The Great British Sewing Bee Returns May 11 2017 1 Comment


Patrick Grant

From the man himself Patrick Grant has quelled rumours that the show has been cancelled and has said it will be returning to our screens in 2018.

I know a lot of us here at Make will be very happy to hear this, read more from the beautiful man himself...... Patrick Grant on the Sewing Bee



Sharing with Sewcialists April 25 2017

Thank you to everyone who came to our second Make Sewcial evening. This was our opportunity to use our sewing hive mind to come up with a collection of the best sewing hints and tips.
We had a fabulous time sharing tips, chatting up a storm and most importantly fabric shopping!
Team Make decided that it was time to unveil our matching Tilly and the Buttons Cleos and we were very excited to see some very talented Sewists showing off their handmade threads too.
If you come to Make in a 'me made' outfit you will be photographed against our mustard wall of fame!
Check out the beautiful tops that Nicky and Zara wore to Make Sewcial. Nicky is rocking a cobalt blue Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top and Zara had me coveting her Atelier Brunette sweater fabric sewn up as a Grainline Linden.
We were overwhelmed by the amount of sewing knowledge gathered in one room and we've managed to collate a few of our top tips so if you couldn't make it this time you can can check out our most popular tips.
An invaluable piece of advice handed down through generations of respectful fabric lovers. No one wants their precious fabric spoilt!
We had a lot of great tips about sewing machine maintenance, we all love sewing but every Sewist also needs to learn how to take care of their kit properly and hopefully we've added a few more years to our machines by learning that you must clean your machine after every project.
I think given our discussions about fabric hoarding this definitely applies to all Sewists who love their fabric stashes!
Keep your eyes peeled for more sewing tips and details of the Make Sewcial.
Tif x

Make Basics April 12 2017

We would like to introduce you to our new Make Basics range, a pocket friendly selection of dressmaking fabrics that doesn't skimp on quality or style but is perfect for the beginner sewists first foray into fabric buying or the serial sewer who needs a quick fabric fix.


The Make Team are anything but basic, we love to bring you new and different high quality fabrics from the worlds most talented pattern designers such Atelier Brunette and Merchant and Mills. After putting our heads together we decided that we needed an everyday range, something simple that we could make our favourite, most wearable wardrobe staples.

This is a range that brings together super speedy experienced sewers who like me, might sew faster than they can replenish their fabric stash and the beginners who want to try out some new-found workshop skills.

We've been able to source some lovely dressmaking fabrics such as peachskin in burnt orange, stretch sateen, printed polka dot denim, ponte roma, and spandex backed crepe in navy.

I couldn't wait to sew something up something in the simple yet fabulous spandex crepe fabric, when it arrived i instantly know that it was destined to become a very simple Tilly and the Buttons Coco with a twist.

Spot the difference? No sleeves! Huge 60s funnel neck. The spandex crepe was so stable, I was able to hem the sleeves without any knit bias to create an elegant silhouette easily. If you want to create some drama in your Coco funnel neck, just double the width of the funnel pattern piece!

I got to wear my new favourite dress on a gorgeous seaside spring day, it's the perfect weight for some breezy Devon weather. Breathable, comfy and most importantly I think it may be the most wrinkle resistant fabric in the world.

Steal my style!

This dress was made using 2m of Spandex Crepe and a Coco pattern both available at Make. If you're new to sewing and want to make a Coco try out our Coco Dress Workshop, it's the perfect first make and so versatile you'll want to make it again, and again and again.

The possibilities are basically amazing!

Tif x



Merchant and Mills Collection at Make March 31 2017

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Make at 140 has recently become the proud owners of our very own Merchant and Mills corner. A fabric purveyor of old school style and covetable fabric ranges, Merchant and Mills is more than just a fabric supplier, it’s a fabric cult, a way of sewing life. Merchant and Mills has its own dream filled establishment in Rye but we’ve brought the best of their range directly to you.

Merchant Mills emphasize function and quality above all else and try to entice people who may have previously overlooked sewing as a craft to take it up as part of their daily life.

The owners Carolyn Denham and Roderick Field come from successful artistic backgrounds and wanted to break the mould of the fast fashion offering by providing an alternative, authentic and back to basics sewing experience.

Our ethos is to respect the roots of sewing, from trade to home dressmaking, as we enable and inspire more people to find the satisfaction of simply making.”

One of the biggest challenges of dressmaking is often making the right fabric choice. You want something eye catching, you want something that’s you, something that you can sew, but you also need a fabric that you can wear.


Merchant and Mills is the ultimate wearable fabric, good hard wearing basics that feel luxurious yet on trend all at the same time. I made up the Deer and Doe shorts from the Merchant and Mills Frontier fabric and I almost never take them off!

Come and behold the wonderously versatile Merchant and Mills collection, be quick the Make team have got designs on it already.

Indian block Sorbetto top anyone? Floaty muslin Kiomi dress? Denim Merchant and Mills trapeze dress? Baby Wale Corduory Grainline Moss Skirt? Come and share your Merchant and Mills dreams with us!


Tif x

Make Sewcial II The Sharing Edition March 28 2017

Make Sewcial is almost here again and this time it's all about sharing and we want to tap into our Make Sewcialists incredible knowledge bank.


Sewers, sewists, seamstresses, dressmakers and textile crafters when gathered in the same room represent a wealth of knowledge that google will never be able to match. This knowledge may have been passed down through the generations, picked up at a memorable sewing lesson or simply be the sum of your latest 'ah ha' epiphany when tackling a tricky sewing project.


Make Sewcial Space


We all know something that someone else would love to know!


Let's be true Sewcialists and share our sewing fountain of knowledge together for a great evening of sewing chat, tip swapping and shopping.


We are very nosy and we would love to know:


  • Your oldest sewing tip
  • You newest sewing discovery
  • A sewing question; for instance have you been dying know what that thingy does on your sewing machine, does everyone else make a toile or how much coffee does it take to get one sewer through a double welt pocket?


We will ask you for your tips and questions when you book your Make Sewcial ticket through eventbrite. We will then sort through these and pop them into our big sewing tips jar ready for sharing on the night.


Last time at Make Sewcial a few of you were asking for advice on which patterns with which fabric, for one night only I will totally at your disposal as Make's very own Wardrobe Architect. Don't be alarmed this is nothing to do with Trinny and Susananah! I will be there to offer guidance on which patterns are suitable for your skill level and which fabrics will be appropriate.


Come wearing your best handmade glad rags and appear on the Makers Polaroid gallery too. We love to see what you've been making, I did mention that we are very nosy! There will also be prosecco on offer for a small donation to St. Luke's Hospice  to help the conversation flow and a special Make Sewcial nibbles plate for only £5 to keep you fueled all evening!



Not only would we like you to share your knowledge but also your old patterns too! We thought starting our very own Make Pattern Library would be a great way to recycle all those old vintage patterns and magazine freebies and give them a new lease of life. In my other life I'm also a librarian so I'm looking forward to organising all of your offerings and seeking what we can share with Makers new and old.


Last but not least on the night there will be 15% Sewcial discount, a great time to snap up fabric or patterns you've had your eye on for a while or if you're anything like me just compulsively buying something pretty for your ever growing fabric stash!


Book your place here, get there quick!


Eventbrite page link to book your ticket 


We can't wait to see you on Friday April 21 st. Tif x



Sewing-a beginner's journey March 03 2017

I meet lots of sewers in the shop, both experienced and beginners and one of the great things about this job is being able to chat about all things fabric and patterns. As all crafters know, sharing information is vital to progress. Nowadays, with social media this has been taken to a new level. 
A few weeks ago, Make started a new Facebook page, the Makers' Forum which is a "closed" site. It is proving popular and I love to see what people are making at home. It includes, sewing, knitting, crochet and much more. Why not pop in a request to join, the more, the merrier!
One of our regular contributors to the forum and regular in the shop is Zara, pictured above.You can see that she loves her sewing!
Zara began sewing just over a year ago. A keen knitter, she was eager to follow up her jumpers with a skirt to match. Having seen someone who did this successfully, she was eager to learn. 
Zara signed up for our "Get to Know Your Sewing machine" workshop and from that point, there was no looking back!
Inspired by "Tilly and the Buttons", Zara bought her book, "Love at First Stitch" which she felt was perfectly written for the beginner. Using patterns from the book, she made the Margot PJs then, as her confidence grew, the Clemence skirt.
With two young boys at home, Zara wanted to sew garments more suited to her lifestyle and signed up to the workshop at Make, "The Jersey Wriggle Skirt".  To Zara, she and cotton jersey fabric was a match made in heaven! Any trepidation about working in cotton jersey knits disappeared and Zara likened the quality of the Lilestoff fabrics like cutting through butter!
Zara signed up to a couple of online courses through Tilly and the Buttons and a few Agnes tops and Coco dresses followed.
As a beginner, the support available through the independent pattern makers Zara prefers such as Tilly and the Buttons, Grainline and Sewaholic has been invaluable.
There are images galore online to refer to and, the aspect which Zara has appreciated most is the guidance as to which types of fabric to use. 
To make this Chloe pinafore, Zara wasn't sure of the meaning of the various denim weights and which one would work best. Using the blog online, she was guided to a successful end.
  Linden sweatshirt
Zara is a regular at the Make Creatives' evening on a Wednesday when she is able to couple her love of sewing and knitting with that of drinking coffee in her favourite coffee shop. She also keeps an ear to the ground as to when the workshop space is free so that she can pop in and spend a couple of hours on her crafting when she has time.
Asked what she has gained from sewing over this past year+, Zara said that it has done wonders for her body image. No longer is she a particular shop size but a set of numbers which translate into a garment which suits her style and shape. Garments are no longer from a certain shop but unique and suited to her exactly.
If you have been inspired to start sewing, why not get in touch with Lizzy in the shop and give it a go. It would be interesting to see where your journey takes you!
We also have workshops for beginning knitting, crochet and a lot more.....
Happy making,
Many of the patterns and fabrics seen here are available in the shop and online.

Bewildering Bias Binding - SORTED! February 06 2017

Bias binding is a wonderful thing and something I use a lot. I like to embellish plain fabrics with it, finish off raw edges with flair and edge projects to complete a "look".

You can buy it in the shop or make your own. As its name suggests, it is fabric cut on the bias. What is the bias? Well, woven fabric has warp and weft threads running perpendicularly to each other. If you pull on these grains, there will be a little ease but not much stretch. Sometimes we need to use a fabric within a garment using its stretch; for example covering a neckline. The stretch is achieved across the bias of the fabric which runs diagonally across the warp and the weft. Just find a piece of material and stretch it in different places; you'll see what I mean.....

The striped bias binding tape above is for sale in the shop.

Beginner sewers can find attaching binding a little daunting so hopefully I can guide you through it in this blog. Take a deep breathe - here we go....

Begin by marking the centre back of the raw edge which you are covering, in this case the neckline of a tunic with a pin. Open up your bias binding and lay the right side of the binding to the wrong side of the fabric, matching raw edges. Overlap the pin by 1 cm as seen in the picture above.

Begin pinning the bias to the neckline a couple of cm away from the pin

and carry on pinning at intervals

until you get to 2 cm to the other side of the pin and stop.





 Stitch along the crease nearest to the raw edge until you reach the pin which is 2 cm from the pin. I have pointed this out in the right hand image.



Trim the end which you have just sewn to 1 cm past the pin as in the image above.


With the bias binding fully opened and right sides together, pin the ends together, 1 cm from the raw edges. Stitch the ends together where you have placed the pin. Press open.

Now, continue the stitching line from before, making sure that the binding is attached to the neckline all the way round.

Turn you garment to the right side. Fold the bias binding to the right side of the neckline, making sure that you have tucked the raw edge of the binding in and try to cover your previous stitching line with the bias binding tape.


Edge stitch all the way round to complete the task .......



I hope that this has been useful. Happy making,


A New Year @Make January 23 2017


It's a new year, the days are crisp and even and it is a time to get excited about new beginnings. There's something so comforting about a clean slate, a chance to begin again or open up new possibilities.

However, for many of us, January is a time when we might set incredibly high expectations of ourselves, whether it's losing weight, stopping smoking, getting super fit or the like. We look around and see others apparently reaching their goals and think, I need to work harder, I need to change.

This can happen in the world of sewing and crafts. Goals are helpful and growth is wonderful, but too often I've found that  sudden and dramatic ambitions have only left me feeling disappointed in myself.

Often, I've found that most good things happen because of small, incremental changes and realistic expectations. 

Here at Make, we have been giving this a lot of thought and planning our workshops around this theory.

Check out our Beginners' Knitting course which states in the blurb, a series of three workshops introducing the gentle art of knitting, taking you from first stitches through to beginning your first project. This fills me with hope and realistic possibilities.

Likewise the Beginners' Sewing Course, from the first steps of threading your machine to sewing your first garment, over the 5 week course you will be given step by step tuition, learning all about your sewing machine, sewing a tote bag and finally sewing your own sleeveless top.

The Crochet for Beginners Course is equally encouraging, These three workshops are for complete beginners. If you've never picked up a hook but want to learn how to crochet then these are for you! These workshops will help teach you the basic skills needed to crochet as well as helping build your confidence along the way.

Perhaps you already have some skills and are in need of a helping hand in perfecting another. We offer courses such as Inserting an Invisible Zip which is an easy way to give confidence as you carry out a project at home.

Our First Cut to Final Stitch workshops are proving really popular. You choose a pattern and over 4 weeks you can enjoy support and teaching, helping you complete your garment. Ahead of time, we encourage beginners to pop into the shop to discuss your chosen pattern and fabric choice with Lizzy or myself. By doing this, we can help you to make choices which are tailored to your needs and expectations.

There are many more opportunities to fulfil your crafting goals at Make@140. Please check out the workshop section of our website and I hope that you have plenty of fun and remember to treat yourself with kindness as you progress.


We hope to see you soon at Make.

Happy making,



Last minute Christmas makes..... December 09 2016

If I could have a pound for every time someone comes into the shop and says,

"Oh dear, you should see my fabric stash! I mustn't buy another piece!.... etc etc"

then I'd be wealthy enough to add loads to my own groaning stash!

I took a train to London a couple of weeks' ago and being early, I wandered into W H Smith to look for a magazine to read on the journey.

I couldn't resist this one which had dress patterns enclosed and pages bulging with all sorts of advice and ideas. It kept me occupied for hours.

One page which caught my eye was this breakfast set which I saw as a potential Christmas gift. 

I know someone who has hens and is a keen cook. This egg holder would be just the thing.

It was so easy to make, I can recommend it to anyone - just make sure you have some wadding to add to your fabric pieces as you will be doing a bit of quilting.

Summer Forest by Dashwood Studio

The main fabric is "Summer Forest" by Dashwood Studio which is in the shop at £3 for 1/4 metre which is probably all that is needed for the main fabric.

This light fabric gave me a chance to add the last two lines of a poem by AA Milne which I remember from my childhood, "The Little Black Hen"

I decided to look at other makes in the magazine which I could pass on to readers of this blog just in case you find yourself in that last minute panic for home made Christmas gifts, just as I was.

This make up brush holder looked perfect. The thing I liked is that it required bias binding and I love the colours Lizzy has in the shop. Perfect for enhancing fabrics I've been looking at for ages.

Don't worry if you haven't attached bias binding before, just choose one of the wider ones and sandwich the fabric inside. 

The bias binding around the edges of the main fabric has been mitred at the corners but again, this can be done by attaching each side separately, tucking the ends under.

However, the quickest make of all was this little bird.

For those of you who have been on the free motion stitching course, this is fun and easy. Once you have made your picture, pop it in an embroidery hoop. This one is a 5" one from the shop. It's then a picture ready for hanging.


I copied the idea in the magazine but you could personalise it to suit the person receiving it.

So, if you have some time before Christmas, pop a mince pie in the oven, put on some Christmas music and sew a personalised gift using that stash of fabric in the corner!

Happy making, Sheila 


Zips unzipped November 18 2016

In the shop, we now sell various styles, colours and sizes of zip all to help you complete your many sewing projects. Inserting a zip is not everyone's favourite thing to do and it can be a little scary to say the least!
There are 3 ways you can insert a zip; centred, lapped and invisible. To help sewers perfect their skills, I recently held a demonstration on how to insert a centred zip at our recent first birthday celebrations and I would now like to share this with our readers via the blog. I have used black thread so that my sewing shows up in the pictures - but it looks really bad in black and I ask you to imagine this sewn in a more forgiving colour which would not show up any little error!!
The correct zip to use is one which has a square pull. It is the most common zip and can be bought in many colours and lengths.
A zip with a slim, more pointed pull is a concealed or invisible zip.
Firstly, finish off your raw edges with a zig zag stitch in preparation for sewing your seam. You will also see that I added some interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric where I will be inserting the zip. The fabric I used was a little flimsy and I wanted to strengthen it. I don't always do this, it just depends on which fabric I use.
You need to measure the metal part of your zip (7 inches in this case) and make a mark the same distance from the top of your work on the seam. I have shown this with an arrow. 
Once this is done, change your straight stitch length to its longest setting. Stitch from the top to the arrow then change the length to your standard straight stitch. Reverse sew a couple of stitches to secure your sewing then continue to the bottom of the seam.
Press open your seam on the back and front of your garment.
Turn your garment to the back/wrong side. Place the zip, face down in position with the metal teeth in line with the centre of your seam and pin in place.
Now hand stitch your zip in place using a long running stitch.
You will be machine stitching from the front of the garment, following your basting stitch. My basting got a little wayward so try to keep it equidistant at each side of your opening! 
Before you start sewing it in however, you must cut open one third of the long stitches in the top 7 inches. This is so you can pull the zip down a little way before you begin sewing as it is not possible to stitch with the zip pull in the way. 
Now it's time to change your main foot for your standard zipper foot and stitch as described above. You will be machine stitching three lines in total. The first will be to the right of the zip, pivot then sew just below the foot of the zip then pivot once more to complete the other side of the zip.
Once you have finished sewing, you can open the zip and pull out any basting stitches.
Your zip is now complete.
This is a great way to insert a zip as it is neat and barely noticeable and can be sewn with a standard zipper foot which is included with the purchase of most machines. I hope that this has been useful..... 
Happy making!

Winter woollies required?.......Let's get sewing! October 13 2016

As I tidy away my summer cotton sewing projects ready for next year, my fingers are twitching for some fabrics to carry me through the following seasons. 
In the shop, Lizzy has this expertly covered through a colourful range of wool blends which have just arrived in the shop.
   charcoal grey
   fawn brown
 moss green
Wow, where to start?

Working with wool

A wool blend works like wool but tends to be more durable and may wrinkle less. Wool is commonly used to sew outerwear, suits, skirts and trousers. It comes in various weights, from lightweight to heavyweight, and is frequently blended with other fibres.Wool is a great fabric to work with because the cut edges are clean and don't fray in the way other fabrics do and it also holds its shape.
Wool can be a bulky fabric which should be kept in mind when choosing a pattern. Think through areas where different layers of fabric meet such as collars, Always use a good quality thread and choose an appropriate size of machine needle. I would advise a 90/14 for our wool blends but you may need to use a 100/16 when tackling several layers.
Be careful when pressing wool and I would recommend using a cloth laid over your fabric, especially when pressing the front of the material.

Patterns to choose

We have several in the shop which would look fantastic.
Firstly, Colette pattern, "Juniper" is a classic pair of wide-leg trousers which are fitted through the hips and fall gently to a moderately wide hem. This is for advanced beginners,
For the intermediate sewer, this high waisted skirt from Colette, "Beignet", can be sewn in wool and the instructions include how to make and insert a lining.
Another high waisted skirt is the Arielle from Tilly and the Buttons. Here, you also have the option to add a lovely luxury lining!
A pattern which will be coming into the shop at a later date is Colette "Anise". I would like to make this in one of the wool fabrics.
Funnily enough when I was researching this blog, I came across a photograph of the Duchess of Cambridge wearing a wool coat by Burberry in ....cerise pink wool! This one costs £1500. At £16/metre one sewn in the new fabric will come in slightly less!
A blogger who I always enjoy reading is Tasia St Germaine who is the founder of Sewaholic patterns. We have a few of her patterns in the shop. Tasia often blogs about garments designed by other companies. Here she is wearing a Colette "Beignet" skirt (see above) which she made in wool. 
We hope that you will come in and check out these wool blend fabrics then let me know what you make please.
Happy making,

Jersey Joy October 04 2016

Tilly and The Buttons September 20 2016

Tilly Warnes

Tilly Walnes may need no introduction to many of you. She featured in the first series of The Great British Sewing Bee and, even then showed a talent for design and sociability. These characteristics have since been developed into a business, “Tilly and The Buttons”, which is renowned for beautifully designed jargon-busting patterns. Lizzy started selling these early on in the life of “Make” and has now expanded the range thanks to the early popularity of the designs.

Instructions on tilly and the buttons

The instruction booklet is clearly illustrated and each step-by-step stage carefully explained. If you are a beginner to dressmaking then don’t be daunted, you’ll be fine!

The Coco dress

The Coco top or dress is simple to sew with no fiddly bits to deal with. You can choose a boat neck Breton top or a 1960s dress with funnel top and a whole variety in between. This is sewn in cotton jersey for an easy fit.


The Francoise dress is a chic yet easy to wear mini dress inspired by 1960s fashion. This can be sewn in a variety of fabrics to suit your individual taste.

The Arielle Skirt is an asymmetrical pencil or mini skirt with an adorable opening on one side. Great for autumn in medium weight woven fabrics such as denim or wool.

Tilly and the buttons jumpsuitTilly and the buttons trousers

Make a jumpsuit for those Christmas parties …..

…… or a relaxed pair of trousers for evenings slouching at home with the Marigold pattern. Use draping fabrics such as rayon or even silk or try the trousers in jersey, perfect!

Agnes Top by Tilly and the buttonsThe Agnes top by tilly and the buttons

Agnes is a close-fitting jersey top, speedy to sew and simple to fit, finished with a narrow band at the neckline. Choose from long or cropped sleeves; plain or ruched and a scooped or ruched sweetheart neckline.

Bettine Tilly and the buttons dressTilly and the buttons bettine dress

The Bettine dress features a blousy bodice with scoop neckline, kimono sleeves, turn up cuffs, elasticated waist and tulip skirt. Again, it’s simple to sew and here it is again below with a t-shirt underneath for autumn! 

Tilly and the buttons pattern

The straight skirt featured in Dominique is incredibly easy to sew. Use medium weight woven fabrics such as cotton or linen.

The flared skirt is cut on the bias for a flowing silhouette.  Sew in light to medium weight draped fabrics but avoid anything too slippery if you’re a beginner. Each pattern gives a great list of fabric suggestions.

The orla pattern the orla pattern

The Orla is a semi fitted shift top with delicate details offset by a modern exposed zip; we also sell these in the shop.

Fifi pattern

Last but not least, we now have the Fifi pattern for sale at Make. This lovely set of dainties is perfect for lounging at home or wearing to bed. Ooh la la!

Tilly and the Buttons sewing patterns are incredibly popular with sewing enthusiasts worldwide and are receiving rave reviews on countless sewing blogs so why not take your pick and join in the fun! It would be great to feature some of your makes in future blogs.

Happy making,



A New Season of Sewing September 03 2016

As an ex primary teacher, this is the time of year when my mind goes to new classes, new timetables and new beginnings! I have just returned from holiday and I had a spring in my step walking into the shop today, full of those same exciting thoughts and eager to go!

The shop is looking fantastic and there are many samples of projects to have a go at this coming autumn. The autumn workshops are booking up quickly and there is an excitement in the air.


This season, Lizzy is offering a growing variety of skills and levels of ability within the workshops so that those who have attended before will see progression. As you can see in the picture above, there are classes in felt, quilting, free motion stitching, jewellery, clothing, soft furnishings, crochet and much more. So do have a look at the website or pop into the shop. Try something new, develop existing skills or just enjoy being part of our growing community.

I popped this Morris Blazer onto our mannequin today and already it is attracting lots of attention. There is a workshop coming up in October/November on Monday evenings aimed at intermediate sewers. This blazer is described as the go-to garment to complete any outfit and I would agree with that.

Another go-to outfit for intermediate sewers is the lovely Laurel Dress by Colette. I have made several of these as I love wearing tunics/dresses during the autumn/winter teamed with boots and this is perfect. Check out the pictures below and if you fancy having a go, then have a look online. The workshops run on either Tuesdays during the day or the weekend of Oct 22/23.

We look forward to seeing you soon,

Happy sewing,


New Fabrics At Make July 06 2016

Since Make opened its doors in November, it has been important to Lizzy to listen to the thoughts and respond to the needs of her customers when making decisions as to the future direction of the shop. Following on from this, deliveries arriving during the last few weeks have caused a flurry of excitement for customers and staff alike. These have included fabrics, dress patterns and lacy zips (huge excitement here!). 

Atelier Brunette Fabric Lace zips

Let's first look at the fabrics 

Dash Lime by Atelier Brunette

The above is from Atelier Brunette.This collection offers an authentic range of timeless prints and colours that are very easy to wear. Feeling the various fabrics, they have a nice drape so they’re great for sewing dresses and shirts but they still have a substance which means that quite a range of garments and other projects will be successful using this collection. As you can see, there is a dash pattern within the above design achieving a statement to your finished garment. This is evident throughout the range – achieving something different, stylish and contemporary.

Tabby from the "impression collection"

Bye Bye Birdie Chalk off white atelier brunette

Importantly, they are a dream to work with and once made, they just pop in the washing machine at 30-40 degrees and are ready to wear again and again.

Bye Bye birdie Skirt Chalk Charcoal Fabric

Like dandy fabric

For a soft sheer touch and an elegant, lightweight drape 100% cotton voile is an excellent fabric and we have several in store. Think chic scarves and free-flowing dresses… Sweet camisoles and featherweight quilts! The possibilities are endless!

Atelier Brunette Lili fabric in Voile Tuner Tumble in Voile Coming home spring voile


And in our next blog I will be chatting about some of our new patterns.

Happy making!


Make Creatives Sewing Bee Challenge June 15 2016


Make Creatives Sewing Bee

Sewers up and down the country have been on high alert these past several weeks as it is “that” time of year again – The Great British Sewing Bee is back on the BBC! Conversations have been focussed on baby grows, bras and peplums as well as the new presenter, time restraints (more of that later!) and, of course, Patrick’s hair.

Here at Make, we have been enjoying the excitement of building a community of crafters since our opening in November 2015. This has included a special evening on a Wednesday from 7-9pm called Make Creatives. Each week, the shop is bubbling with the sound of knitting needles, crochet hooks, sewing machines and excited chatter. However, the tension has been immense on two occasions recently as Lizzy introduced “The Alteration Challenge” to keen groups of sewers, eager to dip their toes into the GBSB pool.

On the first week, the group was presented with gents’ shirts and asked to sew an item of woman’s clothing. Nervous hesitation was replaced with a feverish rush for a shirt and soon all machines were switched on, scissors were brandished and it wasn’t long before the rumble of machining began and didn’t stop for the next crucial 90 minutes.

To add to the realism, we had Claudia Winkleman in the form of Lizzy, telling the participants how much time remained at various stages. As you can imagine, this was perhaps the greatest shock to everyone – the time truly does fly by!

Sewing bee challenge

 With heads down, it was difficult to know what everyone else was up to so the final line up of finished garments was an exciting time.

Make Creatives sewing bee 

Judging by Make’s own Lou took place with formality and a scary amount of precise detail!

Make Creatives Make Creatives

Among the completed garments, there was a variety of skirts, tops, and even a beautiful cape.

But the winner was…………

Make Creatives

the lovely Sheron with her embellished jacket which was individual, creative and very wearable!

Make Creatives

Two weeks later a second group of sewers were presented with a selection of brightly printed ladies’ dresses. Following on from the international theme of that weeks’ episode of the GBSB, the participants had to make a ladies’ garment which complemented the fabric.

 Make Creatives

Armed with their portable haberdasheries, the sewers again plunged into the activity with gusto.

    Make Creatives

Once again the results were fantastic! Such creativity and accuracy in such a short space of time was amazing.

Make Creatives

The winner this time was ………

..this beautiful waistcoat. The colours and pattern really suited this, especially with the peacock-like tail at the back.

There is one more Alteration Challenge scheduled for Wednesday 22 June, so why not come along and have a go! Lizzy says a big thank you to all those who have taken part in this challenge so far.

And how was it for me? WELL, I mentioned time restraints at the beginning of this blog. Was this my problem, or was it my dog wandering around at my feet, or the heat, or ….? A workman always blames his tools they say. So far, I haven’t managed to tap into my creative side. I know it’s there somewhere so next time I am going to redeem myself with a completed and outstanding result! No pressure then!

Happy making


Make at 140 Vauxhall St - Opening November 04 2015

Hello all, 

I thought you all needed a little bit of an update on the progress of Make at 140 Vauxhall St and how things are rolling over there. 

We are getting really excited now for phase one of the opening of Make. 

Phase 1 - we are so keen to make you guys some delicious coffee and Lou is so excited to get baking, we are opening the Cafe on Tuesday 10th November at 9am. We are baking cakes in house, using delicious Owen's Coffee and offering yummy fresh soups, sandwiches and delicious lunches. 

Owens coffeeLou's Yummy Cake

Phase 2 - will be the grand opening of the shop. We are, in the next few weeks, going to announce the opening of the shop part to Make. Before then we are looking and searching for yummy fabrics, delicious zips and all things creative and different for you lovely lot. So keep an eye out for when the shop will be open, we will be shouting about it I promise. 


Phase 3 - workshops are the next plan of action. We would like to offer you the opportunity to tell us what you would like to see in the Make workshop space. In the new year we will then be able to roll out the workshop timetable for you all to see. Along side workshops we will also be offering Children's parties, Hen parties and any sort of parties you'd like to have.

We honestly can't wait to see you and welcome you to Make at 140 Vauxhall St.