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Bettys Sewing Box

Sewcial Distancing

By | News

Omg! Can I firstly take a moment to describe the smell of home baking  that is permeating through Betty’s this morning… it’s Ginger cookies with undertones of caramel and golden syrup.. I’m thrilled that the tearoom and sewing box are at last reunited and getting back to some semblance of normality, with Julie  back in the kitchen understanding Landlords and friendly customers who’ve really supported us through  scary and uncertain times.

I’m beginning to plan and rearrange workshops so have added dates, however trying to contact people who’ve previously booked is proving to be challenging – so if you see one you’ve paid for and haven’t been contacted please email or call the shop.

Take care everybody


Re-opening 🙏🏻

By | News

Evening Everybody!
t’s late again but I thought I must send this email to you because Betty’s is gradually coming out of lockdown… hurrah!!

We open properly to the public this coming Tuesday and will be having a soft opening for a few weeks, so staff and customers feel comfortable about the arrangements. If all goes well we’ll be back to our regular opening times soon.

Opening hours until the end of June: Tuesday – Friday 10am – 4pm.

Here are a few rules we’d ask you to observe:

  • Please use the hand sanitiser before coming into the shop.
  • We will be wearing masks to protect you and we ask that you do too.
  • Please respect social distancing and keep 2m away from others.
  • Only 2 people in the shop at any  one time.
  • Please avoid coming in with other family members as far as possible. We have made seating available outside.
  • Please avoid touching the products and ask the staff to get items out for you.
  • Please pay by card.


We’ll still be taking orders over the phone and Sophie has now uploaded lots of our new stock to the online shop so please use that facility.  I still have our ‘Click and Collect’ system, and I can easily leave items for you to collect.

I hope this all makes sense and as usual I thank you for you’re support. I’ve really missed  you all, and look forward to seeing you soon.

Keep safe


A Quarantini For Me Please.. (Preferably After Breakfast)

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Pew.. what a scorcher!

Hello everybody! I hope you’re well, enjoying the weather, staying healthy and hopefully doing some crafting. Being creative has helped me so much over the years, it’s ‘mindfulness’ and meditation for us arty types. The lockdown has challenged us all, I have days when I feel motivated and positive -then others when I’d happily drink gin for breakfast. Going to the shop most days has been a huge help and a few visitors has been a happy distraction – it’s good to see you, and hear from you too.

Well ‘mask-gate’ hit Betty’s after I floated the idea in my last email that I could possibly make a few… we had a huge response, the poor website broke, I had to recruit the help of my lockdown buddies Lulu, Jake and Sophie-Rose and Bettys’ Elves, Myra and Rachel, also came to the rescue! We’ve posted masks all over the country so you little beauties have been sharing the email for which I’m so grateful. I’ve had conversations with people from Stroud, Brighton, Essex, Stornaway was probably the furthest North! Thank you all of you for continuing to support Betty’s, it’s really offered us an unexpected income stream during these uncertain times, now I’m on first name terms with the post ladies and I’ve been able to to donate a portion to our local Ashbourne charity Carline.

Our push to make PPE continues, as sewers reach burn out (or, in Cathy Reavy’s case, her sewing machine has!) new sewers come onboard and I absolutely know it’s been going to the right places – Care-homes and Hospices. We’ve helped GPs, Dentists lots of local frontline workers. Sewers all over the area have worked so hard it’s been great to be part of such a positive and useful group.
TAKE care and be safe

Lockdown News

By | News

I really hope this finds you all well coping with lockdown and quarantine or if you’re  a key worker – my heartfelt thanks to you – you really are awe-inspiring. These are such strange times, making us reflect on our lives, re-evaluating what’s important.. oh and I’ve learned a ‘tictoc’ dance..

I must admit that I went into a bit of a tail spin when all this happened, having worked so hard to build up the business, focus on the workshops for 2020, enlisting some ‘Heavy weight’ artists to teach us new and diverse courses .. well it just seemed like everything was going to collapse overnight🥺
Then Sarah Pollard contacted me about making scrubs and aprons, and I was quickly jolted out of my reverie, doing something really positive – collecting duvet covers and sheets, and then, bizarrely here we are displaying our items in Young Ideas shop window – Du-vet to Gucci in a few weeks!
So many sewers from our community have got involved it’s been an amazing response and judging by the mountains of bed linen there must be many tidy airing cupboards! As I type this we’re up to 2000 plus items.

I think the Universe is teaching us all a few lessons.

If there are any local sewers who’d like to take part email me, or look for ‘Coverall Gowns for Careworkers’ on Facebook.

Some bittersweet news..
I’m sorry to tell I you the sad news that our lovely colleague and friend, June, has lost her husband to cancer. Many of you will know June through the Knit and Natter group as well as being the Betty’s Quilting aficionado. David was only diagnosed 4 months ago. I’m sure you’ll all join me in sending her our love and prayers at this time.
We loose a member of our Betty’s family and then we gain one: the after school sewing teacher, Donna, has had her baby. Nancy was born on April 14th and we’re all thrilled, Mum and baby are doing well despite the current situation!   The after school youngsters are busy making a collaborative surprise for her (hard to organise something ‘collaborative’ during this time of social distancing will keep you posted!)

Many of you have been so understanding over postponed workshops and courses. We’re  working on new dates, but until we know when it’s safe to resume normal life I’m not in a position to advertise them again, I promise they’ll be on, I’m also researching more artists and honing my own skills too.

So I think that’s everything for the time being – PLEASE stay safe, stay in and stay in touch!

Much Love

Annie x

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.


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