Tutorial Thursday: Embroidered Notebook ♥


Hi guys! I’m excited to be here today to share a simple embroidery DIY for Alice’s blog.


Here’s what you will need to get started:

• A moleskin notebook

• Embroidery thread and needle

• Pencil


On the inside cover of your notebook, sketch out your design using a pencil. I went for a simple raindrop.


Using your needle, make holes a long the lines of your design, around 0.5cm apart.


Take a length of embroidery thread (I used all 6 strands) and sew around your pre punched holes using a backstitch. This video shows you how to make the stitches.


Once you have sewn around your design, fasten off with a knot on the inside cover of the notebook. Snip the ends of the thread and you’re done!


What I love about this DIY is you can change the design and colours to suit you. You could try a monogrammed notebook or flowers perhaps!

Thanks again to Alice for having me on her blog today!

Claire x

I have loved having Claireabellemakes with us this week. Her work is so delicate and gorgeous to look at. I do hope you will all continue to follow her work and do check out the interview she did with us on Tuesday. Coming up next week we have Lindsey Portas, who I am VERY excited about!!

Thank you Claire and HAPPY THURSDAY!

Introducing: Claire ♥


Good Morning! Please forgive me for my LONG absence! I have been a busy little bee, however I am now, back! This week we have a lovely guest with us and I can’t wait to share her tutorial with you this upcoming Thursday! I won’t keep you waiting any longer (I feel I’ve kept you waiting long enough these past few weeks!)
So, lets welcome Claire…

Tell us a little bit about yourself…

I’m Claire aka Claireabellemakes and I live in Cambridge, UK. I spend my life playing Scrabble, riding bicycles and making jewellery and accessories, as well as crocheting and knitting. I have a huge stationery obsession and adore sending snail mail. I am also a crazy cat lady which I’m really not ashamed of.

How would you explain your style and and what is your work process?

Ultimately I like to make things that look nice! I tend to stick with pastel colours when working with fabric and when I make accessories, I prefer items that can be worn every day. Most of my projects begin with a notebook sketch or plan, and I often try multiple versions of projects until I get it just right. My preferred work space is definitely my craft studio space in my home, but I often meet friends for crochet and tea afternoons too.


Where did your love of handmade begin for you? Do you have any upcoming projects?

My grandmother taught me to knit as a child and I would spend hours making garter stitch scarves with tons of dropped stitches! I’ve always been ‘crafty’ but over the last 3 years my love of handmade has really grown. There are so many talented makers out there, it is hard not to be inspired to craft yourself. My current projects include some crochet blankets and new Scrabble accessories for my Etsy store. I am very tempted to start another crochet jumper too as you can’t beat a handmade garment.

For you, what is the best part of working in the craft industry?

In a personal sense, it’s the community and how supportive everyone is. There is a great feeling of encouragement and such a willingness to help others. I’ve always been a people person and it makes me happy that there are so many people enjoying craft. Making something with your own hands is a great feeling and being able to share that with others is really positive. In a business sense, I adore the interaction with customers to create gifts and custom orders. I recently made a Scrabble Wall Art as a groom’s gift to his bride and it was such a special feeling to be part of their day.


You’ve done a lot of work with many people in this industry, such as Make and Craft Magazine. Are there any you dream of working or collaborating with?

Over the last year I have worked with a publisher to contribute to some craft books alongside other makers. One day I would love to work with a publisher in creating my own title, but I know there is a lot to learn first! I think every maker would love to be featured in Mollie Make magazine too, it’s just such an inspiring publication!

And finally, what advice would you give to someone branching out in the handmade world?

Be brave and push yourself. Keep your eyes open for opportunities. I have done things I never thought I would be capable of and I’m pleased I did! I would also recommend being as organised as you can possibly be if you are planning to make as a business. I’m a big fan of my Filofax for organising and planning and I think I’d be lost without it.

Please join Claire on Thursday, where she will be sharing with us a tutorial, involving paper & embroidery! Two lovely handmade elements! In the mean time, do check out Claires work on her blog, instagram, pinterest, twitter and her etsy!

Tutorial Thursday: Vintage Cushion ♥

I’m a bit of a bargain hunter. I love going to charity shops, junk shops, car boot sales and the like and picking up little treasures. We’re lucky enough to have some very good charity shops near us and I regularly drag my poor son around them to rake through textiles and vintageceramics.

On one such trip about 18 months or so ago I picked up this beautiful little piece of embroidered linen for just £1.50. The single bed sheet I cut into to make the rest of this cushion was 50p – so as I already had everything else I used to make it, the total cost to me was £2. This would make a perfect Mother’s Day gift and gives you an excuse to buy that pretty little piece of fabric you’re not really sure what to do with (go on!).

This is quite simply the easiest sewing project ever (as well as one of the most thrifty), so would make a perfect first project with the machine for a new sewer or a child.

You will need:

  • Piece of vintage fabric for the front – a nice piece of embroidery like this or whatever you can find. The size and/or positioning of the embroidery will determine the size of your cushion. Once you have this size….
  • Three pieces of backing fabric (this is where I used the sheet) – one which is the same size as your vintage piece and two smaller ones which form the same size once overlapped (see images at point 3 below).
  • Stuffing or a cushion inner.
  • Sewing machine (although you could hand stitch this if you have the patience!).
  • Matching thread.


1. Give your fabrics a wash – they’ll need this after languishing wherever you found them, but this will also enable them to shrink – some embroidered pieces might not have been machine washed before. I washed mine on a delicates setting just in case. Then give them a good press.

2. Lay out your piece of vintage fabric (this has been pressed if you’ll believe it – needed more steam but it is linen after all!) and cut a piece of your second fabric to match it – this will back your vintage piece and give it extra stability – also means this project could work with lace or a fabric with holes in it.

3. Cut two pieces to cover the back with an overlap (for getting the cushion in and out). You can see the benefit of using an old sheet in the images above – I reused the old hem to save myself sewing a new one. If you aren’t as lucky, you will need to turn over and hem the centre edges which will be exposed.


4. Pin. Your pieces will need to be stacked in this order – larger plain piece, vintage piece (face up), larger small piece (with hemmed edge in the centre, wrong side up), final piece (with hemmed edge in the centre, wrong side up).

sewing cushion

5. Get the machine out. Stitch around the whole cushion and tie off your ends. I’ve used quite a large seam allowance here as the linen had edging and I wanted to sew just inside it – 1.5cm will be adequate.

6. Trim the corners off to give a nice sharp finish.

7. Turn the right way around and give the corners a good prod with a pencil to make them nice and sharp.

8. Press again, then fill with your cushion inner or stuffing. Then you’ve finished!

You could use a similar technique to make little lavender bags or heat packs if the vintage pieces you find are really small. I actually considered filling this one with lavender (I planned to put it between the linen layer and the sheet), but changed my mind at the last minute. This would be quite a nice touch with a vintage style cushion though as small cushions often came stuffed with lavender – I remember my Nan having one.

If you wish to see more of Kate Marsdens work, check out her new tutorial eBook in her Etsy shop? It’s just £2.50 and has 10 of her tutorials inside!-