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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





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 Machine for Kids


sewing machine for kidsKids are quite capable of using a sewing machine from an early age, my Granddaughter was 8 when I taught her on my Singer Featherweight! It’s hard to find a suitable sewing machine for kids that actually sews effectively but I’ve managed to find 2, both on a special offer, perfect for a kids Christmas or birthday present.


Janome Sew Mini 140M Sewing MachineJanome kids sewing machine

Website: Hobbycraft
Price: £49



  • 8 built in stitches: Straight and Zigzag for general sewing tasks.
  • Create Buttonholes: Easy to do with the adjustable zigzag stitch.
  • Single selector dial: Easy for children to understand and use.
  • Adjustable tension: There is a tension dial for fine tuning stitches.
  • Portable: Very lightweight at only 2.5kg. Easy to take out, set up and put away, great for kids who don’t want to wait for your help.
  • Reverse stitching: Lock off seam ends by simply depressing the reverse button.
  • Free arm: For those fiddly areas like cuffs or trouser bottoms.
  • Dimensions: Size (H)23cm, (W)27cm, (D)13cm, neat and portable.

This nifty little machine comes complete with two bobbins, a needle, a needle threader, an adapter and an instruction book. It’s operated with a single dial making it suitable for kids 8yrs and up. It can be a little noisy but for the price it’s a good buy.


Pink kids sewing machineBeldray 12 Stitch Sewing Machine with Accessories, Pink


Website: AMAZON
Price: £50



  • 12 Built in stitch patterns: Simple to use for general sewing.
  • Reverse stitch: Great for finishing off seams.
  • Automatic thread rewind: Easy to rewind the thread.
  • Includes 200 piece sewing kit with carry case: Great if you’re just starting out and don’t have any sewing accessories.
  • Includes nylon storage bag for machine: Useful for keeping the machine protected and clean.
  • Includes a drawer: handy for storing bobbins and essential tools.
  • Built in sewing light: makes it easier to keep sewing lines on track.
  • Built in thread cutter: handy especially if scissors are out of reach.
  • Size: 27 cm x 11 cm x 26 cm: Compact for easy transport.
  • Weight: 1.9 kg: Lightweight for portability.

A cute girly pink machine which is suitable for beginners. This sewing machine for kids is great for beginners. It includes a sewing Bundle comprising of 200 pieces, all the essentials to help you get started. The accessories come in a neat carry case plus you get a handy storage bag for the machine.


These are both useful machines Janome Sew Mini 140M Sewing Machine chartand easy for kids to use. The Janome would be my 1st choice due to the price point and Amazon customer reviews.






The Beldray is a good deal with   Roll over image to zoom in        Beldray 12 Stitch Sewing Machine chartthe extra accessories and the pink colour is cute but it’s not as robust as the Janome.






The comparison charts and reviews will help you make your own mind up which kids sewing machine to choose.

You can buy either one by clicking the links below
Janome Sew Mini 140M Sewing Machine

Beldray 12 Stitch Sewing Machine with Accessories, Pink



Choosing a sewing machine


vintage sewing machineAn important piece of your sewing kit will
be a sewing machine and like most gadgets these days there are so many to choose from. Here I’m going to give you some tips on choosing a sewing machine and I’ll gradually add reviews to help you make an informed choice. Remember, now is a perfect time to start dropping hints about your Christmas present!

First of all you need to ask some questions.

  1. What is your budget?
  2. What is your level of expertise?
  3. What do you want to do with it?
  4. What extra features are you looking for?

You want to get the best you can for your budget and this doesn’t always mean one with lots of features but a machine that’s made with quality parts. Prices range from as little as £50 up into the thousands. A £50 machine will do the basics, straight stitch, zig zag and reverse and probably won’t be of great quality but if you’re on a tight budget it will do the job for occasional use.

I have a friend who recently purchased a £50 machine (review here), she only wants to do the occasional alteration so her clothes fit better and small simple items. She is a complete novice and this machine was very simple to use so perfect for the job.

The next level will be a better quality machine with a few more features like automatic buttonholes and then onto features like embroidery stitches and quilting capabilities. Keep going up in price and you get into the computerised range which will have lots of stitch options, a memory (like your pc!) being able to fill the bobbin without removing it, the list goes on. Remember though, the more features the more complex the instructions.

You can also consider a second Old Bernina Record 730 sewing machinehand machine, I have a trusty old Bernina which I picked up at an auction house for a few £, guess there weren’t many sewers in there that night! The downside to these vintage machines is their weight, they are HEAVY something to take into consideration! Take into account the cost of taking it to a reputable agent to get it serviced and the electrics checked over.



I’ve recently started quilting so will be looking at machines with features like a large throat space and the ability to drop the feed dogs. I do like to use fancy stitches like on this bookmark and have neat button holes. If I had the budget I’d go for a top of the range computerised model, but wouldn’t we all! At the moment I use the old Bernina and the Brother overlocker (reviewed here) but I do have other machines I bring out depending on what I’m making.

If you’re planning on taking up quilting then you need to invest considerably more for something that does the job well. This one Janome XL601 Sewing Machine is at the low budget end but has some decent reviews.

Pfaff are known for their quality machines, particularly for quilting, this is their non computerised model Pfaff Select 4.0 (IDT) Sewing Machine
and at the top end and definitely on my wish list is this super deal! Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0 IDT. GUR Limited Offer £1,099. Includes FREE Quilt Fabrics & Gold Pack. While Stocks Last.

Lastly, do the research, don’t get taken in by sales talk when choosing a sewing machine, keep in mind the bullet points above and feel free to contact me for advice.



Brother 1034D Overlocker


Brother 1034D Overlocker

You’ve got the sewing bug, have your sewing machine and have now realised you need an overlocker/serger……enter the Brother 1034D Overlockerwith differential feed. Now overlockers/sergers can be pretty scary things that can leave you with a headache just thinking about threading it, never mind the sharp knife involved! I’ve put together this review of the Brother 1034D Overlocker/Serger with differential feed I purchased a few months ago.





My main criteria

  • Brother 1034D OverlockerEasy threading. I’ve had an industrial machine in the past which took me hours to thread.
  • Easy to understand instructions.
  • Price under £200
  • Free arm flatbed
  • Removeable knife.


Out of the box

TheBrother 1034D came pre-threaded (yipee!), with a good range of accessories including Blind Stitch Foot, Gathering Foot and Piping Foot. It was light to carry and the built in handle made it easy to move around my work space.

The built in light was effective shining where it needed to shine. All my main criteria was covered and all for a fabulous price of £189!

I didn’t need anything fancy as my sewing machine takes care of the decorative stuff but I did want a good basic overlock stitch.

Can I thread it?

The short answer, YES. The machine did come pre threaded however, I needed to know I could re-thread it. I didn’t want to spend hours when I needed to change colour, broke a needle or snapped a thread. I removed all the threads and followed the instructions. Everything is colour coded and the instructions were easy to understand. Re-threading was a breeze and took me about 7 mns, another box ticked!


I started with a piece of towelling and if FrayedTowelyou’ve ever cut a piece of towel you’ll understand why I used it for this test.

I didn’t make any adjustments at all, used it straight out of the box. Remember it was already threaded and tensioned ready for use.



A perfect stitch, was I impressed Overlock stitch on frayed towel? YES! The machine ran smoothly, it was a bit noisy but I’m used to a quiet sewing machine.

The knife can be disabled by the means of a simple lever on the side of the machine and the free arm is easy to slip off for doing cuffs etc.

I haven’t tried the extra feet yet but will update this review when I do.

I’m delighted with this purchase and you can be too!

NOTE: The extra feet don’t come as standard so make sure they’re included if the deal.

Buy the Brother M1034D Overlocker here!


Top Stitching with a Sewing Machine


With any upcyling you want totop stitching with a sewing machine add those wee extra touches that finish the garment off. I’m a great fan of top stitching with a sewing machine, yes it take a little more thread and time but worth in the end, it just gives that extra bit of finish to your upcycled project


What is Top Stitching?


If you’ve never heard of topCross dress finished back with matching pants stitching it’s a sewing technique that can be used in 2 ways. You can use it round edges such as necklines and hems with a straight stitch. It’ll also help facings to stay in place and gives a nice crisp edge like the dresses here and a pretty summer outfit made a few weeks ago.



Ways to use Top Stitching

If you make a dress with TopStitch2plain fabric you can top stitch it with different coloured thread, it makes a very effective embellishment.











BookmarkThe other way is to use it is as a decorative stitching which shows and is very effective using fancy thread or with a decorative stitch. This is the first thing I made when trying out the fancy stitches on my vintage Bernina sewing machine (more about that later). The bookmark was very easy to make with some scrap fabric left from a project (more upcycling!) and a great wee gift to pop in someone’s stocking. You can see how I made the bookmark here.


Tip: If your machine doesn’t do fancy stitches use different coloured thread and zig zag to create nice effects.

If you can sew a neat hand stitch then this is another way to get that nice crisp finish. You would use the back stitch listed in the basic sewing stitches article here.


Top stitching with a sewing machine is one of the quickest and most effective ways of finishing off your garments.