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Bettys Sewing Box

This Pesky Virus

By | News

Dear Friends,

It’s with a heavy heart that I have decided to postpone all the upcoming workshops and courses at Betty’s Sewing Box, due to the increasing concerns around the Coronavirus outbreak. I am currently working with the teachers of the courses in order to find new dates for these events.

I haven’t taken this decision lightly, as you know from my last email I was still quite positive, nevertheless I feel that with the latest directive from the government, our customers health must take precedence above all else.

I feel incredibly grateful to run Betty’s and be surrounded by such talented and creative people and am humbled by the support people have shown me.

To those of you that have paid for an upcoming event, I would ask that you continue to support us by transferring your booking to a rescheduled event in the future. I’ll be releasing additional dates as soon as possible. By doing so you will be helping me to protect Betty’s and keep us moving forward during these uncertain times.

I am still going to keep the shop open and will be posting items online and on Facebook, even a few online tutorials – Angel making and Free machine embroidery… the courses I was going to run. I’ll still be here to help and support anyone who needs vital crafting supplies to keep you busy – and can post out as well, or just come and have a sanitised chat and a brew!

Thank you so much for your continued support keep strong and healthy!

With love and gratitude


Don’t Panic-Buy Mr Mainwaring!

By | News


Hello everyone – I’m afraid it’s a late one as I’ve been mulling and planning and deliberating all day and I must admit to having a bit of a wobble but I think I have a plan.. as it seems sensible in light of all the craziness, with news reports and directives changing every day so I’ve decided that we will stay open and carry on with the current planned workshops, there are a few new workshops which have been agreed with artists  and I’m happy to post them here, but no more until we see how the situation evolves.

I know many of you come to Betty’s because it’s a nice place to be, other like-minded, crafty souls come here and we’re a friendly bunch. I’d like to think that during this uncertain period we can continue being a little haven. Obviously we’ll follow government guidelines, and If you’re poorly and in self isolation, stay at home and follow us on Facebook for updates – even me doing an online tutorial to keep you entertained! I’ll be uploading more items to the online shop and will add photos to the Facebook page of items that can be posted out. If you’re not on Facebook then email me or call the shop – I’m very accommodating!

Despite all of the above I must now tell you that both the Shop and Tearoom will actually be closed for 3 days from tomorrow, Monday 16th and reopen on Thursday 19th March,  nothing to do with the virus – urgent repair work being carried out on underground pipes. With the water off and the car park filled with construction vehicles we feel that the safety of customers comes first.

I don’t feel as if I’ve been very cheery in this missive – but it’s important,  people are ill and have died. As I write this our own sewingista sista (Jacqui) is in quarantine in a hotel room in Hanoi City – Hello Jacqui! (I know she’s bored because she’s been whatsapping me at 3am) and Sophia’s crochet cruise has been cancelled again.

Please keep safe all of you, wash your hands, don’t panic buy (unless it’s sewing related) listen to an Archers omnibus and KEEEEP Crafting.

As usual thanks for your support

Annie 🙏🏻

Baton down the Hatches and get your crafting out 🌬🌬🌬

By | News

The new look ‘studio’ is so bright – we love it 🥰


Hello everybody – Blimey,  they weren’t wrong about the gale force winds! As I write this it feels like a tornado is brewing outside!

Anyway I hope this finds you well and happy and enjoying the weekend and welcome to our new subscribers.

It’s been steady in the shop this week, we’re still enjoying the ease of working in our new look ‘studio’ with everything still organised and streamlined. Gordon came and took some lovely photographs recently and Hannah styled it beautifully so we can still retain the ‘Betty’s’ look. Thanks for your lovely comments – it’s always nice to hear we’re on the right track!

I’ve added a few speciality craft packages for Hens, Baby-showers and  private get togethers.. the first one booked is a Nipple Tassel or ‘Pastie’ workshop .. I’ll just leave that there for you to digest😘

The Liberty aficionados among you will be happy to hear we’ve ordered more Tana Lawn from their new collection including ‘sun daisy’ (pictured below) AND I’m expecting a delivery of two Liberty craft cotton spring ranges by the end of the month which will hopefully inspire our ever growing quilting community (June and her girls!)

I’m still sourcing different textile artists to deliver speciality courses for you, and have just added Annette Emms
who will be running 2 workshops making fabric textile books – incorporating many of the techniques you may have learned from other workshops.

Anyway I’m enjoying the day ordering more Stylecraft Wool and thinking of Lulu whose Birthday it is today, sending happy thoughts out to you all wherever you are in the world!

Annie x

Annie Burns.. then fizzles

By | News

Hello everybody and Happy New Year!

I hope you’re all well and have not fallen victim to the coughs and colds or particularly the nasty ‘Flu A virus’.. unfortunately I have so here I am in bed dosed up with decongestants and remedies ..

It’s been a hive of activity in Betty’s over Christmas as Jake has been here totally revamping the workroom and I think you’ll be impressed! We’ve had a few artistic arguments but he got his way! It really is fantastic what he’s achieved – THANK YOU Jake xx

As usual I’ve been planning a few workshops to entice you, this little Bee keeper idea has been buzzing around since Rachel bought me a lovely book for Christmas (we won’t go into the detail.. suffice to say it’s about embroidery). I’ve also had confirmation from another textile artist – Emily Jo Gibbs who’ll be delivering a 2 day workshop in April.

Looking forward to seeing you soon – and those who are too far away (hello Fiona in India!) have a lovely safe and healthy 2020 and come visit us soon x

Merry Christmas

By | News

Here I am sitting next to a roaring fire sending out warm festive wishes to you all. We are gradually winding down at Betty’s with our last few workshops of the year this week. Still plenty of present ideas in the shop though. It’s been a busy but productive year and I feel so blessed to have met such inspiring people in the shop, on the courses and through the workshops. Clever and talented teachers too, who’ve been patient with me – overbooking/underbooking their classes! and lovely inspiring students who’ve produced some great work. Thank you so much to you all who support us – I know there are people far and wide (hello USA and NZ!) And I can’t pass up this chance to mention all my lovely colleagues – we really are #teambettys!  
We close our doors on Saturday December 21st and reopen on Monday January 6th.

Have a fantastic Christmas!


oH oH oH!

Our lovely Millie from the after school sewing group!

Chilly blasts..

By | News

Hello Everybody out there in crafting land.. I hope this finds you well and keeping warm and reflective on this  Remembrance Sunday🌺

I have managed to bring myself in line with retail regulations this year and embrace Christmas.. so the tree is up, and the shop is looking a bit like Santa’s crafting grotto! Loads of prezzie ideas for the creatives in your life!  Beautiful one-off items made by local crafters, all reasonably priced, so please support the high street and even better our talented home grown makers.
The wool stock is growing with more Stylecraft, Chunky and Aran Chunky wool, craft cotton dk as well as some new patterns. If there’s anything you particularly want please tell me as I can always add items on to an order. 
We’ve had some great workshops recently – I do enjoy them – chatting with like-minded souls, making new friends.. Our Advent Calendar was especially fun, set over two days so much easier this year. We’ve also had two ‘baby showers’ over the weekend, 40 ladies embroidered a patch each to be made into collaborative baby blankets, a true keepsake. Good luck to first time mums-to-be Heather and Emily!

We have a few more courses and workshops to run before Christmas Jacqui is leading another beginners sewing course where there are still a few places remaining, and Kath Perry will be back making her wonderful Hedgehog cushion cover on an evening workshop. Have a look and see if anything takes your fancy! 
I’m working on 2020 workshops now and if any of you have particular ideas or requests for certain workshops or courses please feel free to tell me! Here
As usual thanks for your support and have a great week.


Hello September

By | News

Hello again!  I hope you’ve all enjoyed the break. I often forget that Ashbourne and the Peak District is a holiday destination and many holidaymakers find their way to Betty’s, commenting of the beauty of the area. Today a couple from Berkshire (randomly they were from a village near the one I lived in until I was 4 and we shared the same doctor!) ANYWAY they were singing the praises of Ashbourne how clean it is and the friendly folk here.. it’s good to hear some positive feedback at a time when it’s all doom and gloom and way too many hairdressers.. . and of course everyone likes Betty’s 😊

Any way I’ve been updating workshops – Just when you think there’ll never be a cushion workshop again – 3 come along .. Jacqui has run one already this summer, which was a real success and she is putting another on, and Kath Perry who makes the beautiful cushions we sell in the shop, is coming to share her secrets and make the hedgehog cushion cover. Sophia returns with her wonderful crochet workshops and I’m going back to my arty roots with a sketchbook course and more printmaking… hopefully there’s something here that’ll interest you. We are having another Liberty Evening, bring and show your makes, share some fizz and nibbles and bag some discounts off liberty and courses.

A few of the Betty’s Elves have been busy with their studies, we’re really proud of you – Katie achieved a Distinction in her course and Penelope did amazingly well in her GCSEs. Sophie-Rose is off to University and Emmy starts her GCSE course – I have two words for you ..


..a definite nip

By | News


Oh dear it’s raining again.. I hope you’ve managed to enjoy the summer – we seem to have gone through every kind of weather and now there’s a definite nip in the air – reminding us autumn is on the way! (that and the fact that alterations pile have a number of school skirts waiting to be shortened to thigh length!) 

The birthday celebrations were a success, if slightly chaotic, with 10 people making lampshades in the workroom and very little table space to cut fabric for those customers taking advantage of our 20% discount! Everyone seemed to take it in good part, and it was a happy day and a bit of a landmark for me. A nice little piece in The Local Paper too .. should’ve read ‘Annie actually manages to commit to something for more than 5 minutes’.

Anyway below are a list of courses coming up – I’ve been putting the finishing touches to a new sketchbook course I’m running for the autumn, so please have a look at that if you’d like to veer away from the fabric. Another Lino printing day too.

I also have some free machine embroidery feet – they fit the Janome machines people bought from me. Some people borrowed feet off me and I’d appreciate those back. They retail at £19 (John Lewis) but I have them for £9.95

Happy weekend everybody looks like the 🌞 might be out – according to iPhone!

Annie x

Kalimera .. 20% off

By | News

I’m posting this as I’ve had  a few new people sign up to the email list recently – Welcome to this select group everybody! It’s been a busy week at the Box – oh dear did I just say that?! New patio furniture with the sunshine which pretty much guaranteed ☔️. Anyway I’m just back from my second printmaking day in the workroom at Betty’s – it’s such a wonderful medium to work with, extremely meditative – and endless possibilities for printing on fabric and stitching in…

We had another ‘Stevie’ dress in a day  – a really versatile dress and beautiful in denim with some cheeky Liberty trim:

I love denim and Liberty

A quiet week now while I recharge in Crete, then we have a varied summer program of workshops. There are a few changes – such as the lampshade workshop now on 1st August – people already booked on have been notified.

Talking about August 1st – did I mention it’ll be my first birthday at Betty’s- there will be 20% off all the fabric in the shop – including the Liberty – one day only though.. Buck’s Fizz and cake to celebrate too.

Now holiday hair and nails are in order..

Kalispera everybody!

🇬🇷 ✈️

Birthday buzz

By | News

The holidays are upon us – we know this, not because of the weather but because alterations of prom dresses are piling up in the workroom and the alteration Elf is working her magic.. you will go to the Ball!

I’ve been compiling a list of courses that will appeal to the youngsters among us – hopefully there is something for everyone to try. Our first ever ‘dress in a day’ was a success – maybe a little fine tuning in some areas is needed –  like less CHATTING – not mentioning any names Tia! As the course was oversubscribed Jacqui has laid on another session for the end of July. If you’re interested please book online, and remember to come to the shop in advance to get your fabric and that’ll save time on the day

I also notice there’s a little birthday on the horizon – my 1st Betty’s Birthday!! I can’t believe a year has gone past so quickly so Thursday August 1st I propose some treats at the shop, a few deals in store Bucks Fizz and Cake too – so please come and celebrate with me! I have a lot of people to thank not least you for supporting me, for which I am SO thankful, and especially all the Betty’s Elves who put up with me. Oh dear I might just go and shed a tear..

Have a great Summer – I’m off to Crete in a few weeks so will find our elusive sun there hopefully.


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