Bernina 330 Review


Bernina 330 Review

I am a HUGE fan of Bernina sewing machines and still use one that was made in 1969, the Bernina Record 730. Bernina is still a family run business who build their own quality machines. This is my Bernina 330 review, a domestic sewing machine and part of the Bernina 3 series. It has an array of great features and is also seen on the popular “Great British Sewing Bee” tv programme.

Functions and Features


  • Bernina 330 LCD DisplayBright, easy to read LCD Screen.
  • The CB Hook is a patented Bernina system based on the oscillating hook system, great for perfect stitches on all types of fabric and suitable for thicker threads.
  • 97 different stitches to choose from:
  • 15 utility stitches
  • 3 cross stitch programs
  • 23 decorative stitches
  • 3 stitches for quilting
  • 1 one-step buttonhole
  • 1 alphanumeric font
  • 30 memory locations to save your stitch creations. Your favorite or most used combinations of stitches are available at the push of a button.
  • Needle plate has seam guide etched in.
  • Drop feed ideal for free motion quilting and embroidery.
  • Free arm for those awkward places such as cuffs and hems.
  • Bernina 330 automatic needle threaderBuilt in needle threader, a nifty function that will save you time!
  • The stitch length and width are adjustable.
  • 9 different needle positions.
  • Automatic and manual buttonhole and comes with the buttonhole presser foot. Buttonholes are my nemesis and this function, because it is automatically saved means, all your buttonholes are identical!


Watch this video and see how easy it is to do a buttonhole on your Bernina B330.

  • Quick reverse button
  • Start/stop button
  • The speed control easily lets you adjust your speed to suit the sewing project you’re doing.
  • Bernina 330 LED light2 spool holders.
  • Thread cutter.
  • Fast 900 stitches per minute.
  • Programme for sewing on buttons.
  • Needle up/down stop positions.
  • Bright LED light.
  • Ability to change the stitch settings while sewing.
  • Bobbin winding can be done while sewing.



And here is another video to show the simplicity of the Bernina 330 by doing applique.

Standard Accessories

  • 4 metal bobbins
  • 5 Presser feet
    • ThenReverse pattern foot for sewing forward and reverse utility and decorative stitches.
    • The overlock foot lets you overlock seams easily and neatly.
    • The buttonhole foot determines the desired buttonhole length for identical sized buttonholes.
    • The zipper foot with slide with its narrow, centrally positioned toe, it can stitch very close to the zipper coils.
    • The blindstitch foot lets you sew so you can hardly see the stitching from the front.
  • Screwdriver
  • Seam ripper
  • Lint brush
  • Owner’s manual


Optional Accessories

There is a range of optional accessories available for the Bernina 330:

  • Embroidery presser foot.
  • Tailor tack presser foot.
  • Jeans presser foot.
  • Darning presser foot.
  • Edgestitch presser foot.
  • Cordonnet presser foot.
  • Bulky overlock presser foot.
  • Straight stitch presser foot.
  • Braiding presser foot.
  • Button presser foot.
  • Free motion presser foot.
  • Appliqué presser foot.
  • Braiding presser foot.
  • Cording presser foot.
  • Gathering presser foot.
  • Pintuck presser foot.
  • Invisible zipper presser foot.
  • Roller presser foot.
  • Piping presser foot.
  • Eyelet embroidery attachment
  • Circular embroidery attachment
  • Plexiglass extension table (included in this package).



As you would expect with a Bernina machine, I struggled to find any.

Including some extra feet given the price bracket would have made it a better purchase. I’d like to have seen the walking foot included, probably one of the more essential items in a sewers armoury!

Perhaps more expensive than some, like the Singer 7258 but you do get the superior quality of the Bernina brand.


The Bernina 330 produces excellent stitches, hard to find at this price. It’s light enough to be portable, great for taking to sewing groups and friends. I like the all round functionality, the ability to embroider, quilt and dress make. The machine is simple to set up and suitable for beginners through to advanced sewers.


I love this machine and there is that old say “you get what you pay for!” With Bernina you are buying a quality, made to last sewing machine, the pros far outweigh the cons.

If you liked what you’ve read in this Bernina 330 review you can pop over to Amazon!

Buy the Bernina B330 Domestic Sewing Machine + FREE Extension Table!


Janome Atelier 5 Review


Janome Atelier 5 Review


This Janome Atelier 5 review will give you all the info on the latest from Janome’s computerised sewing machines. The idea behind the design of this machine is to make it suitable for all your sewing needs. There are 3 optional kits you can purchase depending on what you use the machine for, quilting, home furnishings and fashion sewing. It comes with that all-important extra throat and added arm space perfect for larger projects. Let’s take a closer look and see if it’s worth the price tab.

Functions and Features

Comuterised sewing machine The Atelier 5 is fully computerised and can memorise combinations of your stitch and alphabet designs. The video below shows the memory function in action.





Maximum speed control sliderThe Maximum Speed Controller lets you set the speed for comfortable sewing. The easy to use slider allows you to easily set a slower speed for more intricate sewing such as applique and a fast speed for straight stitching. Lowest speed is 60 spm and the fastest is 100spm.

A programmable needle down/up feature sets the needle to stop in the up or down position. You can set it in the down position for free motion embroidery and for easy pivoting on corners.

lock sitchThe lock stitch button means you don’t have to use the reverse stitch for securing the ends of the stitch. A press of the button and your ends are secured.




start stop buttonYou can sew without using the foot pedal with the start/stop button. An exclusive feature to Janome is the speed control at the start and end of your sewing. Press and hold to accelerate slowly, press and hold to slow down, then release to stop.



built in stitchesThe Janome Atelier has a generous 170 built-in stitches including the alphabet and numeric stitches. The width (up to 9mm and length (up to 5mm) of the stitches are variable and there are also 10 buttonhole style.

The lift up lid gives convenient access to all the stitches

automatic button hole footThe buttonholes use an automatic, one-step process. Using a special foot the button is placed into the gauge and the machine’s sensor creates the perfect buttonhole. The included 10 buttonhole styles go up to 9mm wide

A button is placed into the gauge of a special foot for buttonhole formation. The foot works with a sensor on the machine to create a perfectly-sized buttonhole. This creates quick, easy buttonholes of an accurate size for the button of choice. 10 built-in buttonholes, including a 9mm wide style.

thread cutterYour thread cutting is done by the simple push of a button. The auto thread cutter feature is conveniently placed in front of you, no need to reach for the scissors!




One of the most useful features on a sewing machine for me is an automatic tension system.  When selected the tension is adjusted based on the fabric thickness, great for switching between layers and fabric types. If required, you can set your own tension using the tension dial.

bobbin caseThe easy set in bobbin case and cover also features a special design where you don’t need to pull the thread tails up and through when you’re threading the machine. It has built in cutting blades for trimming the thread.





7 piece feed dog systemThis model/easyazon_link] comes with a unique 7 piece feed dog system called the “superior Feed system Plus (sFs+).” This feature ensures that the feed dogs always maintain contact with your fabric as it stays parallel when moving up and down. You can use the drop feed function when doing free motion quilting or embroidery.



Janome ergonomic knee liftThe presser foot can be controlled with the conveniently placed ergonomic knee lift. This means you can keep your hands on your project while raising the presser foot, great for quilting and applique work.
There is also an adjustable foot pressure function, perfect for using with different fabric types and layers.







free armThe free arm feature lets you easily sew cuffs, trouser legs and tubular shapes.

Because the Janome Atelier 5 comes with a horizontal full rotary hook bobbin, you no longer need to worry about the thread jamming. The clear cover lets you see when the bobbin thread is running low.




Another unique feature from Janome is the One Step™ Plate Converter. There are 2 plates included as standard accessories with this model, the normal straight stitch plate and the enhanced stitch plate. The enhanced stitch plate allows you to easily sew a small 1/4 seam. No screwdrivers are required and the internal sensor means you don’t have to worry about breaking a needle.

There are a whopping 91 needle positions with the Atelier, allowing for really fine adjustments in your decorative stitch.
No more headaches from working in dull light with the 6 ultra bright LED lights! These lights mean all areas of your work space are well lit.

The ultra large work space 220mm x 310mm (8.70” x12.25”) with 210mm (8.25”) on the right of the needle, plenty of room for any project. It’s unusual to have such a large work area in this class of machine.

Included Accessories

Lint brush
Seam ripper
Knee lifter
Instructional DVD
Hard Cover
Instruction book
Standard foot
Rolled Hem Foot
Zipper foot
Satin stitch foot
Blind hem foot
Overcast foot
¼” Seam foot
Darning foot
Auto buttonhole foot
Even feed foot
Button sewing foot
Quilting guide bar
Spool holder
Straight stitch needle plate
Touch panel stylus
Spool holder – large
Spool holder – small
Power Cable

Other Information: 

Weight – 16KGs,
Dimensions – 52cm x 32cm
2 years manufacturers warranty

Using the Janome Atelier 5

The video below shows you the Atelier in action. You’ll also get a better idea of the size of the machine and how much space you would need for it in your workroom.

I don’t like

There’s isn’t much I don’t like but think [easyazon_link identifier="B00OLNM9WY" locale="UK" tag="upcybabyclo00-21"] could have done better with the feet, which are plastic. I would have like  to have seen quality metal ones on a machine in this price range. I’m not a fan of plastic bobbins either, but the machine seems to run smoothly enough with them. It’s too bulky to be portable so you won’t taking this out and about to sewing groups and friend’s houses.

I like

Janome Atelier convenient buttonsThere’s a lot to like about this machine, it’s loaded with features and Janome has put great thought into the button placements for ease of use and the location of the ergonomic knee lift.

Even though this is a large machine all areas are well lit due to the 5 LED lights. I also like the unique 7 dog feed system, great if you like experimenting with of different fabrics. I haven’t seen the One Step™ Plate Converter system before and like this addition, much easier to get those tiny seams straight! The 3 optional kits make it a versatile machine.

I haven’t seen the One Step™ Plate Converter system before and like this addition, much easier to get those tiny seams straight! The 3 optional kits make it a versatile machine.


This is a sturdy well built machine with some great features unique to Janome. Janome are well known for building quality machines and the Janome Atelier 5 is no exception. It’s in the higher price bracket but the build reflects that. If it’s out of your price range you might want to look at the Brother cs6000i Computerized Sewing Machine

 Buy the Janome Atelier 5 Computerised Sewing Machine




Sizzix Big Shot Machine Starter Kit


The Sizzix is a cutting and embossing machine described as “The Ultimate Crafters tool!” It cuts paper and fabrics into predefined shapes and also creates embossing effects. It can be used for home decor, scrap-booking, quilting and card making but my main interest is in the fabric cutting capabilities.

Why would you need one? 


If you’re anything like me you collect a Sizzix upcycled booklot of fabric from
various sources and of various types; like curtains, ties, jumpers, dresses etc. I already have good dressmaking scissors and a rotary cutter but the accuracy I was looking for just wasn’t there when I made this quilt. With a Sizzix Big Shot Starter KitI would have had perfectly sized squares and in a fraction of the time. Sizzix have just announced the debut of an a book specifically for upcycling, great news, more ideas for projects! 

Upcycle with Sizzix: Techniques and Ideas for using Sizzix Die-Cutting and Embossing Machines – Creative Ways to Repurpose and Reuse Just about Anything (Cut It Up)


As always, before making a purchase, I like to do my research and this is what I found out about the Sizzix and where to buy for the best price.



  • Cut fabric shapes accurately – my main reason for wanting one.
  • Depending on the thickness, shape and fabric type you can cut several layers at once, this will save lots of time!
  • Steel precision dies for years of use and no sharpening needed.
  • Maximise fabric by aligning to the blades edge.
  • Wide range of different shaped dies available.
  • It’s portable so you can take it along to friends or groups.
  • This special offer from AmazonSizzix Big Shot Machine Starter Kit, Powder Blue/ Teal
      • die-cutting starter kit.
      • includes 4 different die types
      •  6 x 6 Craft Aslyum paper included
      • pair of Standard Cutting Pads and an Extended Multipurpose Platform included
      • Cuts designs up to 15.2cm wide and 33cm long.


How does it work?

The Sizzixis a hand operated roller machine which takes your fabric/paper/card through the machine cutting whatever shape you’ve chosen.

This is an excellent video from Amanda Evans, from opening the box to cutting shapes with paper and felt she takes you through all the steps. The second video is taken from the Sizzix official website and shows what the Sizzix can do.


The only negative comment I found was this one and I had to really search hard to find it!

“The dies come fixed to the packaging with sticky tape which, unfortunately, does not peel off cleanly. So all the dies that came with this pack (and others I have bought separately) have a sticky residue which is very difficult to clean off, especially if the dies are detailed.”

Other Information


Warranty – 3 year warranty (limited)
Machine Size – 14 1/4″ x 12 3/8″ x 6 5/8″
Construction – Solid core steel rollers, solid steel gears, unibody cast roller housing, plastic ABS exterior
Weight – 7.5 lbs


Will I buy it?

In a word, yes!  With the solid construction and the versatility, this machine will be perfect for getting accurately cut fabric pieces. I can see all kinds of ways I can use it from a small piece of applique on a bib to a complex quilt block

Buy the  Sizzix Big Shot Machine Starter Kit  here

Share your Sizzix stories with me in the comment box below, I’d love to hear them!


Top 10 Steam Irons


For someone who has stated that she doesn’t like ironing you might wonder why I’m writing this guide to my top 10 steam irons under £50!

It’s simple, if you’re a dressmaker you need a decent iron. An iron that you can’t clean or that spits brown water over your your hard work just won’t do.

I needed a new iron and always do extensive research before making a purchase. I researched 10 steam irons under £50 and chose to review the 5 I considered to be the best buys.

You can be like this:

Cartoon lady ironing






Or like this:

Sad cartoon lady ironing







I’ve already done the hard work and found you what I think are the best value steam irons available. Read my reviews and make sure you’re like the 1st character and not the 2nd!

Features to consider:

  • Power
  • Water tank capacity
  • Steam boost
  • Price
  • Soleplate
  • Ease of cleaning
  • Anti drip
  • Cord length
  • Warranty length

These are my top 5 based on features and price.


  • Continuous steam output up to 40 g/min with 130 g steam boost- Steam output is measured in grams of weight as it leaves the soleplate. The heavier the output the deeper the steam can reach into the fabric layers. This way you need fewer ironing strokes to evenly moisten the garment and therefore less time to complete the ironing. It’s also great for those stubborn creases and getting a sharp crease on your garments.
  • 2400 Watt enables constant high steam output – 2400 means energy efficiency.The cord has a 360 degree swivel  for making it easier to iron. No more tangles and twists means you get yoru ironing done faster.
  • SteamGlide soleplate is Philips premium soleplate – SteamGlide soleplate Philips innovation soleplate. It is scratch resistance, glides perfectly and is easy to clean. Steam is distributed evenly across the soleplate..
  • Vertical steam for crease removal in hanging fabrics – The iron can be used vertically and the steam is powerful enough to be used to iron out creases from curtains or hanging clothes. You can use this function for freshening up clothes.
  • Safety Auto Off – 3 state automatic cut out feature.
  • Drip stop system – Lets you iron delicate fabrics at low temperatures without getting stains from water droplets. Especially good for silk fabrics.

I love the 3 state auto off safety feature, it cuts out when it:

  • still for 30 seconds on sole plate.
  • 30 seconds lying on side.
  • standing on heel rest for 30mns.

No more worrying if you’ve switched the iron off when you go out!


This is a great iron towards the top end of my £50 budget. It is worth every penny just for the extra features you won’t get on a lower priced product and my first  choice out of the top 10 steam irons I reviewed.

Click here to buy from Amazon with free delivery!


  • Ceramic soleplate – ceramic soleplate will glide effortlessly glide over fabrics cutting down on ironing time and ensuring a crisp sharp finish.
  • Anti-drip and anti-scale –  This feature stops water dripping at lower temperatures and staining your garments.
  • Variable steam – steam settings to suit various fabrics plus a powerful 35 g/min steam output and 95 g shot of steam, great for those stubborn creases. Also useful for getting that extra sharp creae on your trousers.
  • 2 year warranty – Russell Hobbs products are guaranteed for 2 years, you usually have to pay extra for this lengtrh of warranty.
  • Safety light – this indicates when the iron is at it’s optimum temperature, and ready for use.
  • Vertical steaming – useful for removing wrinkles from furnishing fabrics, curtains and from hanging clothes. It can also be used to freshen up garments.
  • Self-clean function – comes with an anti-scale agent to prevent the build up of scale.
  • Fine mist water spray – perfect for dampening dry areas.
  • Swivel cord – 360 degree swivel cord for added convenience


This is a good buy if you’re on a tight budget and with a 2 year warranty included what’s not to like.

Click here to buy from Amazon with free delivery




  • Autoclean soleplateSmooth ironing thanks to the  Palladium Autoclean system. The system uses catalytic oxidation as the iron heats up to transform the fibres stuck on your iron  into gas and steam. This soleplate has also has been specially made with a built-in anti-drip system and has extremely scratch resistant and hard wearing properties.
  • Steam Power Zone  – 170g/minute shot of steam thanks to the steam Power Zone. Helps to make light work of difficult and stubborn creases thanks to the Aquaspeed’s two times faster shot of steam via  a trigger control. 
  • Refilling in only 4 seconds – You can fill this iron quickly thanks to an extra large water tank opening with no splash or spills.
  • Large water tank – A 300ml water tank saves you from having to keep refilling, great for getting through the ironing quickly.
  • Front fill – This gives you for extra safety when filling the iron.
  • Easycord systemKeeps the cord away from the clothes you are ironing and comes with a long 3m cord.
  • Double anti-scale – Anti-scale and anti-drip functions for easy maintenance, no more drip stains on your clothes with this anti-drip function.
  • Extra large open heelThis provides extra stability when standing upright and means it is for safer storing away.
  • Enhanced glideabilityraised lines running across the soleplate ensure excellent heat distribution and reduce surface area resistance making for a crisp finish on your clothes.
  • Vertical steam function – This is ideal for getting creases out of suits or other hanging garments It can also be used to de-crease curtains and freshen up clothes.


I liked the extra large open heel for stability of the Tefal FV5370G1 Aquaspeed Ultracord Premium Steam Iron, the raised lines for glideabiity and the large water tank. A feature packed steam iron for a good price.

Click here to buy from Amazon


  • Powerful Pressurised Steam Iron – This steam iron has a powerful continuous steam output of 50 g per minute for consistently fast results and a 200 g steam boost for deep crease removal
  • Vertical Steam – The iron can be used to steam vertically with enough power to remove creases and refresh curtains or hanging clothes such as suit jackets or dresses.
  • T-IonicGlide soleplate – This is the Philips patented coating which glides easily and makes it very scratch reistant. The carefully designed shape and vents provide an even steam distribution for faster crease removal.
  • Easy de-scale & reminder – In addition to the Quick Calc Release a more thorough clean of your soleplate will remove the most stubborn calc. A clean soleplate will improve your steam performance and ironing results.
  • Fast heat up time – It only takes 2 minutes to heat up.
  • Triple precision tip – The tip of this Philips iron is precise in 3 ways: it has a pointed tip, button groove and a sleek design of the nose. This enables you to reach into tricky areas of your clothes such as around shirt buttons or between dress pleats.
  • CordGuide – The innovative CordGuide clicks to your ironing board and keeps the cord out of your way when ironing.
  • Drip stop system – Drip Stop system lets you iron delicate fabrics at low temperatures without having to worry about any water droplet stains.
  • Quick Scale Release – This is a  detachable scale outlet located at the back of the iron. When your iron is left on the heel rest, scale particles are collected at the base, which can be emptied quickly for fast and easy cleaning. No more white marks or having to rewash clothing!
  • Safety auto off – To save energy, the appliance switches off automatically when it has not been moved for 8 minutes when left standing on its heel. and after 30 seconds when left resting on its soleplate or sides.


There are a lot of good features with this iron. I like the triple precision tip on this one and the quick scale release. I didn’t like the short cord length, at the top of the budget a decent length cord should be standard.

Click here to buy the Philips GC4521/87 Azur Performer from Amazon

Russell Hobbs 21570 Steamglide Iron

  • Dry/Steam/Spray and burst- a powerful 35 g/min continuous steam output and 110 g shot of steam for easier ironing plus, variable steam settings and temperature.
  • Stainless steel soleplate – For gliding smoothly over your fabric.
  • Powerful vertical steam – The iron can be used vertically and the steam is powerful enough to be used to iron out creases from curtains or hanging clothes. You can use this function for freshening up clothes.
  • Large water tank – Generous 300ml water tank, lets you iron for a long time before you need to refill.
  • Mist spray –  Fine mist water spray for dampening your clothes prior to ironing.
  • Anti-drip –  Iron at low temperatures without getting stains from water droplets.
  • 3 year guarantee – for peace of mind.
  • 2m power cordthis extra long cord also has 360 degree swivel.
  • Self-clean function – helps to keep your iron in tip top condition.
  • Soft touch handle – for comfort grip.


The Russell Hobbs 21570 Steamglide Iron is a good budget priced iron. While it might not have as many features as the more expensive models I thought it was worth a mention for the 3 year guarantee and the 2m cord.

Brother cs6000i Computerized Sewing Machine


After my recent foray into the world of patchwork quilting I decided to see what was on offer in the way of computerized sewing machines that are good for quilting. I found this excellent budget machine from Brother!

Brother cs6000i Computerized Sewing Machine

Functions and Features

 LCD Display:

Easy to see your stitch selection. brother cs6000i computerized sewing machine L






Adjustable sewing speed:brother cs6000i computerized sewing machine adjustable-sewing-

The stitch speed slide button lets you control the speed at which you want to sew.




Easy threading: brother cs6000i computerized sewing machine easy-threading

With a numbered diagram written on the machine threading is a breeze!




Oversized brother cs6000i computerized sewing machine over sized tabletable:

Perfect for quilts and larger items this oversized table gives you the space you need




Automatic needle threader: brother cs6000i computerized sewing machine automatic needle threader

No more fiddling around trying to thread a needle with this handy function.




Easy bobbin brother cs6000i computerized sewing machine bobbin winderwinding:

Again, there’s an easy to follow diagram.




As well as all the above there is:

  • Superbright work area.
  • Built-in free arm for sewing cuffs and sleeves.
  • 20 decorative stitches.
  • 20 stitches for garment construction.
  • 7 quilting stitches.
  • 6 Heirloom stitches.
  • 7 buttonhole styles. 

brother cs6000i computerized sewing machine stitches   


The Brother CS6000i Computerized Sewing Machine comes with all the standard accessories as well as some great extras.

• Walking foot.

• Spring action quilting foot.

• Overcasting foot.

• Monogramming foot.

• Zipper foot.

• Zigzag foot.

• Blind stitch foot.

• Buttonhole foot.

• Button fitting foot.

• Seam ripper, needle set, cleaning brush, screwdriver, spool caps (3), spool pin, bobbins (3), eyelet punch.


This Brother cs6000i Computerized Sewing Machine is suitable for experienced and beginner quilter with the great quilting features. As well as the oversized table the walking foot makes it smoother to feed multiple layers of fabric through the machine. The quilting foot helps you to get more accurate placement of quilting stitches and the quilting guide is for evenly spaced rows of quilting stitches.

Last but not least there is a 25yr limited warranty.

Buy the Brother CS6000i Computerized Sewing Machine here and get crafty!

Brother CS6000i 60-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine





Singer 7258 sewing machine


Singer 7258 sewing machine

As you can see by the picture the Singer 7258 sewing machine is an award-winning product by one of the most well known and respected sewing machine manufacturers. It is suitable for basic sewing as well as quilting and embroidery. The array of features is impressive for this price range:


  • 100 built in stitches.
  • 10 Presser Feet Included.
  • Automatic 1-Step Buttonholes.
  • Speed Control with Start / Stop Button.
  • LED Display Screen with Automatic Stitch Length and Width.
  • Easy-to-Load Top Drop-In Bobbin System.
  • Automatic Tension.
  • Easy Threading System with Automatic Needle Threader.
  • Electronic Auto Pilot (allows you to sew without the foot pedal).
  • Drop feed dog.
  • Built in light.
  • Sturdy metal frame.
  • Ready, Set, Sew! DVD Included.




With such a large selection of stitches you know you’re going to have great fun designing and making your project.

Singer 7258 Built In Stitches









Singer 7258 Sewing machine presser feet

This Singer 7258 sewing machine has a good selection of feet gives it the versatility to suit all your sewing needs.There are ten Singer presser feet included in the price, something I rarely see, they are usually “optional extras”.

  • Zipper Foot.
  • Buttonhole Foot.
  • Blind Hem Foot.
  • Satin Stitch Foot.
  • Overcasting Foot.
  • Darning / Freehand Embroidery Foot.
  • Gathering Foot.
  • Narrow Rolled Hem Foot.
  • Quarter Inch Foot.


Automatic TensionSinger 7258 sewing machine automatic tension

One feature I love is the automatic tension. How many times have you spent precious time fiddling with the tension to get the perfect stitch? It is designed to give the perfect stitch over all fabric types.

The LED display is another Singer 7258 sewing machine led displayuseful feature. It displays selected stitch and stitch length & width settings. The stitches are automatically set but you can be creative and override these easily with the control buttons.



We all want our sewing machines Singer 7258 sewing machine automatic button holesto do 1 step buttonholes so how about 6 different styles to choose from!




Other features include:


  • 5-Minute Start –TheQuick Start Guide takes you through the basics and will have you ready to sew in 5 minutes.
  • Auto Tie-Off Function for Straight Stitch – Tie-off straight stitches with the push of a button. Reinforcing the seam and prevents unraveling.
  • On-Board Storage – The storage is in the Free Arm Storage Area keeping accessories  handy.
  • Sewing Speed – A maximum sewing speed of 750 stitches-per-minute means projects can be sewn quickly.
  • Automatic Presser Foot Pressure – You don’t need to make making presser foot adjustments, it’s all done for you.
  • Extra-High Presser Foot Lifter – There are two heights to the presser foot lifter great for quilting or bulky fabric.
  • Six-Segment Feeding System – A specially designed feed dog that makes sure the fabric is picked up and supported from the front of the presser foot to the rear.
  • Twin Needle Capability – Twin needle stitching creates two parallel rows, adding a decorative touch.
  • 13 Needle Positions – Needle position can be changed for individual projects, such as inserting zippers or cording and topstitching.
  • Snap-On Presser Feet- No need for fiddling with a screwdriver to change feet!

The Singer 7258 sewing machine isn’t a huge machine so easily portable for taking to sewing classes. The dimensions are 14.5” length x 7.5” width x 12” height. The machine weighs 14.6 pounds.

The official You Tube video gives you a feel for the true size, always good when choosing what to buy.


The Singer 7258 sewing machine is packed full of features and built to last. I particularly like the extra high-pressure foot lift, the automatic tension and the snap on presser feet. The older Singer machines didn’t have this feature! It gets excellent reviews, from beginners right through to experienced sewers which you can check out at Amazon. A great machine for a great price!

Buy SINGER 7258 Stylist Award-Winning 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine


The Great British Sewing Bee


The Great British Sewing Bee Book review


Book Title – The Great British Sewing Bee: Sew Your Own Wardrobe

Price – RRP £25 – Special Offer Price from Amazon – £12

Website – AMAZON


Did you watch The Great British Sewing Bee? If you’re anything like me you’ll have watched it avidly every week, convinced of the winner one week then changing your mind the next! Each week the contestants had a number of tasks to complete and one was to “refashion” a garment. This is the same as upcycling and to me, the main appeal of the programme. The judges May Martin and Patrick Grant were perfect for the job and pulled no punches when assessing the garments. Claudia Winkleman, better known for her role in Strictly Come Dancing, did a great job of hosting The Great British Sewing Bee. So, without further ado……


This The great british sewing bee Great British Sewing Bee book is is the one to accompany the second series. If you’re struggling for Christmas gift ideas for sewers then I’m sure any recipient would be delighted to receive this as a present.


I had an Amazon voucher left from my birthday just waiting for the perfect product to spend it on. I did my research first as I wanted another sewing book (well you can never have enough) and discovered this gem!


The Positives

This is the second book from the TV series and an improvement on the first one for a number of reasons:

  • All the projects have a paper pattern to go with them.
  • Sizes ranging from 8 to 18.
  • More projects, 24 in total.

The projects include wardrobe essentials from a t shirt and pencil skirt to a wrap dress.

The book also includes clothes for men, home wares and designs for babies and children.

The chapters are ordered in a logical way with lessons on fabric choice and when to use certain fabrics.There are guides for creating buttonholes and inserting zips and the images are clear with step by step instructions.

There is a detailed section for taking your own measurements and adjusting garments to fit, something that many sewers struggle with.

The Negatives

The pattern pieces would be confusing for a beginner; you really need to read the instructions carefully.

There are quite a few spelling mistakes, not vital but annoying none the less.


Opening the book at a random page inspires you to get started with lots of exciting ideas and images. The errors and the way the pattern pieces are set out could make it challenging for beginners. All in all a good buy.

Buy it here and give treat yourself or buy it as a Christmas gift for a friend.

I don’t quite rate it 5 stars but it’s still a fabulous book. The price is alone is worth it just for the patterns!

The Great British Sewing Bee Book review





Compact Sewing Machine


Compact Sewing Machine

 Who is it suitable for?

My friend is a complete sewing novice and wanted a basic compact sewing machine on a very low budget so bought this one.

It is what it says on the box, a basic machine suitable for beginners or, if you want a portable sewing machine to take to classes, a sewing group or friends house.

Functions and Features:

  • 8 stitch patterns.
  • Can be used with batteries (very nifty!).
  • Dual speed.
  • Built in light.
  • Spool drawer.
  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Hand switch or foot pedal.
  • Thread cutter.

My friend brought the machine to me for some tuition. The last time she used a machine was at school (many moons ago). I gave her the minimum guidance, the best way to find out if a sewing machine is suitable for beginners!

It is very light and easily portable. We ran it from the mains but tried the battery function and it worked just as well on this setting.

She managed to thread it without any help just by following the instructions.  Tensioning can be tricky on some budget sewing machines (Low / High) 8 built-in stitch pattern that don’t have automatic tensioning, my friend had no problems.

The light is well angled and Compact sewing machine Accessory drawerthe little storage drawer a handy feature






Her first task was turning up a ompact sewing machine 8 Stitcheshem which it did very well. The stitches are neat on the slow speed. At this point, my friend became more confident and tried the faster speed with the other stitches. She found this easy with the turn of a dial.

She was delighted with the results and impressed with the results for such a low priced and compact sewing machine.


The Negatives

  • It was a little noisy.
  • Not suitable for thicker fabrics.

This compact sewing machine is ideal for someone just starting out and on a tight budget. I liked it and would be happy to buy it as a present for someone.

Buy the Compact Sewing MachineSewing with 8 built-in stitch patterns


Sewing Supplies Online


Because I live in a very rural area I always look for the best places for hobby craft supplies and where to buy sewing supplies online. Although I make upcycled clothes I sometimes combine old fabric with new to get the desired effect. I always look in the clearance sections to get the most out of my money. This taggie blanket is a perfect example of combining old with new! There are many online stores and I’ve used a few. There are pros and cons to them all but putting it simply…

I like Hobbycraft!

  • They have a HUGE range of goods
  • Lots of special offers
  • Free home delivery on orders over £30
  • Free returns
  • 10% discount for students
  • Click and collect service
  • Gift cards
  • Efficient and easy ordering
  • Buying Guides


The Goods

If you’ve Half price Fat Quartersbeen following my blog you’ll know that I don’t like spending when I don’t have to. Hobbycraft have always got special offers on, like these fat quarter bundles for half price.

There are usually special offers on sewing machines, worth a look whether you’re looking for yourself or thinking of a gift.


Sewing kits are a great way of encouraging bear sewing kitchildren to start sewing. You can make up your own kit or go for something like this cute bear, cut out and ready to sew.

You really are spoilt for choice and I have to keep a firm reign on the credit card when shopping for sewing supplies online at Hobbycraft!


The Website

It’s easy to navigate with an intuitive search facility. Pages are fast to load even with my rural broadband connection. You can join the Hobbycraft Club and get 15% off your first order with special deals delivered to your inbox.

There are guides to help make informed choices, for example, there’s comprehensive sewing machine guide.

Customer Service

All orders have a freepost return slip in case there’s something wrong with your order. On the odd occasion I’ve needed to use this it’s been a straight forward process with refunds or replacement goods delivered in a timely manner.

I’ve never contacted them by phone but it costs the same rate as a local call It’s free if your landline or mobile tariff includes free calls to local rate numbers. Emails have always been answered promptly.

  • Popular items sell out quickly and stock can take a while to come back in.
  • Some haberdashery items can be on the expensive side.



If you’re looking for sewing supplies online then Hobbycraft is the place to go. They cover most hobbies, not just sewing and they are at the top of my list for cheap craft supplies.

Head over there and get crafting!


Magnifier Lamps


With the darker nights coming magnifier lampsin it’s time to start switching the inside lights on. Now I don’t know about you but I struggle to see with electric light when I’m sewing or knitting. I’ve seen magnifier lamps in workshops and I’ve seen my son use one, just never thought about it being useful for crafting.



As I always do I went off to do some research and discovered there’s a lot more to magnifier lamps than meets the eye! With different prices, sizes, shapes and strengths choosing the right one can get confusing.

Types of Magnifier Lamps:

  • Magnifying desk lamp
  • 3 in 1 magnifying lamp
  • Floor lamp
  • Flexible
  • Hands free
  • Various diameters
  • Different zoom strengths


Narrowing down the choice:

Looking at the different types allowed me to narrow my search down. I needed to think about what I do when I’m sewing/preparing to sew or knitting.

  • I sit at a table
  • I use both hands
  • Need the lamp to be flexible
  • When I’m knitting I sit in an armchair so a mutipurpose  lamp would suit my purpose
  • A tabletop lamp would also work if I placed it on the coffee table beside me when I’m knitting.
  • It needed to be a magnifier lamp

Because I don’t have a dedicated craft room I needed the light to blend in with the decor (I dont want much do I!). In my searches the name that kept cropping up was PURElite, always with excellent reviews. They do a wide range of different magnifier lamps including the types I’ve listed above.

The one which really caughtPURElite 3 in 1 Magnifying Lamp my eye was the PURElite 3 in 1 Magnifying Lamp

It fulfilled all my main criteria.

  • It converts from a floor lamp, to a table lamp or clip on lamp
  • 21 LED lights for maximum brightness
  • 15cm optical magnifying glass lens with 2x magnification
  • Flexible neck so I could position it easily
  • Mains or battery operated
  • Excellent customer reviews
  • Aesthetically pleasing


Where to buy:

I found this lamp in 2 of the online stores I normally use:

Now on the face of it StitchCraftCreate looks like a better deal but I noticed that Amazon had a special deal on. If you purchase a the 3 in 1 magnifier lamp and then add 2-in-1 Hands Free LED Magnifierand Magnifying reading vision aid you get a special deal price!


There were many magnifier Hands free magnifier lamplamps to choose from, I decided to go with the special deal from Amazon. The hands-free magnifier swung it as I often do close up work with dark thread on dark fabric, hard to see even with 20/20 vision!

Click here to buy the 3 in 1 Purelight