Call: +447795 481246 - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Essential Sewing Kit
This is not exhaustive. Please email email@example.com to be added to the list.
If you use any of the information below, please let the company know that they were recommended by Colour and Cloth. This is beneficial both for C&C and for the business used.
FABRIC and STORES IN BELFAST AND SURROUNDING AREAS - This lists the ones I have visited and is not exhaustive.
FABRIC STORES IN DUBLIN
Check out The Fold Line for sewing resources, it is a wealth of sewing information at your fingertips!
ONLINE FABRICS - The world is your oyster!
www.capecastlefabrics.co.uk - one of my favourites and Hannah is locally based in Ballycastle! She designs and prints her own jersey fabrics in a range of base fabrics: bamboo, terry, velour. Also check out her bricks and mortar store in Ballycastle Hannah’s Artisan Crafts
PAPER PATTERN BRANDS stocked in the stores above marked with an *
●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.
PRINTING PDF PATTERNS
FASHION, TEXTILES, AND SEWING PODCASTS THAT I LOVE
I love listening to podcasts as I sew, these are my favourites. Let me know of any others you are enjoying and I will add them to my list.
Love to Sew
Dressed: The History of Fashion
WARDROBE CRISIS with Claire Press
DOMESTIC SEWING MACHINE BRANDS
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. Their own brand ‘Silvercrest’ is excellent value and has the thumbs up from me. They also stock overlockers, normally the Singer brand. At £129, I find these to be great value for domestic sewing room.
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.
SEWING MACHINE SUPPLIERS and REPAIRERS IN NORTHERN IRELAND
Sew Knit Centre, 131 Newtownards Road, Belfast. Contact Barry. Stockists of Janome and Pfaff 02890456015
Tools for Solidarity, do not supply sewing machines, but they will repair for a very fair price. 55a Sunnyside Street, Belfast. www.toolsforsolidarity.com 02895435972
Melvin Simpson 07840514029
Tandragee Sewing Machines, 6 Old Mill, Tandragee, Craigavon, BT62 2JH. 07834976448
www.lrmsewingmachines.co.uk. 125 Meadowvale Park, Limavady, BT490SN 07770764923 / 02877231055.
SCISSOR AND BLADE SHARPENING SERVICE
H.Weber UPHOLSTERY SUPPLIES - also stockist of Hancock Tailors Chalk
BEST BRANDS OF SCISSORS
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.
RECOMMENDED SEWING BOOKS
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. I prefer the older editions.
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.