Call: +447795 481246 - Email:

PAPER PATTERN BRANDS stocked in the stores above marked with an *


●New Look



●Burda - not recommended for beginners as it gives little visual information and very detailed text which is hard to follow.

These brand names can also be ordered online.


There are also great paper patterns available with the Sewing magazines.  Be careful that the copy you pick up has the size scale to suit you. Ensure you bring your body measurements with you when buying a pattern...if you are a size 10 on the high street, you will most likely not be a size 10 in the paper patterns.  Ask advise from instore before purchasing, as patterns can not be returned.



There are lots to choose from.  Here is a list of ones that I have sewn with and have experience using.

Bernina - Swiss made.  I have the 1008. Price range ££-£££.  Excellent quality of machine and stitches.

Pfaff - German. A real workhorse. The Pfaff will take what you throw at it.  Excellent for quilting as there is a lot of room around the machine. ££ - £££  

Singer: I personally find the older metal body machines are the best.  Circa 1980s.  I have a 1939 Singer and it runs very well.  It only sews a straight stitch, but it is a perfect one.

Janome - as seen on The Great British Sewing Bee.  Janome has a wide range of machines to suit all pockets.


Lidl stores stock sewing machines twice yearly.  There own brand ‘Silvercrest’ is excellent value and has the thumbs up from me.


Stay clear of any under £20 sewing machines sold in discount stores.  They are a waste of money.  For a decent new machine, expect to pay £50 upwards.


Gumtree is a great source for well priced sewing machines.  Make sure you bring some fabric and thread before you decide to buy.  There is often no return on these sales.


Consider what you intend to sew on your machine.  If it is stretchy fabrics, a stretch stitch is essential.  Not all machines do this.  If it is a fast machine, ask for a dual speed foot pedal.  There are lots of things to consider so you make an informed choice.




Sew Knit Centre, 131 Newtownards Road, Belfast.  Contact Barry. Stockists of Janome  02890456015

Tools for Solidarity, do not supply sewing machines, but they will repair for a very fair price. 55a Sunnyside Street, Belfast.  02895435972


Belfast Area

Blade Craft on facebook.


Kai - (Japanese) and Fiscar (Finland) both get my vote.

When purchasing fabric sheers try before you buy (if the store allows) as grip comfort is paramount to your success in cutting fabric.

The creme de la creme of shears: Ernest Wright and Son, Sheffield

For us left handers there are specialized left hand grips, although I still cut better using right handed ones.


Please do your own research and read reviews before purchasing.

Also check out your local library, they tend to have a large section of sewing, dressmaking, crafting and creating.  The second hand book stores often have sewing book gems.


The Readers Digest Complete Guide to SEWING  - my personal favourite.  Full of very clear step by step illustrations.  You can often pick up the older version in second hand book stores.

The Sewing Book by Alison Smith.  She has also written ‘Dressmaking’ - it is 95% the same book, but different title.





Complied by Christine Boyle, Colour and Cloth.  October 2016.  All rights reserved.