My Inspiration and Equipment



My life in the sewing room has probably always been inevitable…for one thing, a former colleague described me as giving off the impression to the outside world that I would be the ‘perfect wife’ (I believe he was swayed by my baking skills), though my boyfriend would tell you otherwise – I cannot stand midweek cooking, washing, cleaning, can’t iron etc. etc.

In addition to this, I have knitted since I was a child – the reason I began knitting was because my lovely granny was my heroine and an avid knitter, making me excellent clothes for my doll, Frances, and when she died when I was only three years old, I was determined to make sure that I was like her!

Granny and Me
Granny and Me

Until relatively recently I have assumed that I would be terrible at sewing – I am not really that artistic – I was dreadful at art at school – and not great at textiles either (I can’t even really remember much of the Textiles lessons!). However, through a combination of wanting some bunting in a particular material I saw and then a few years after this watching The Great British Sewing Bee and following a few blogs such as Tilly and the Buttons ( , I decided I would give it another go (and never looked back!).


Obviously a key investment for a home sewer is a sewing machine. My initial machine was a John Lewis mini sewing machine that my mother describes as my toy sewing machine. At £49 when I bought it (and I believe only £35 now), it is perfect for the beginner sewer – particularly one who does not know whether they will even enjoy this hobby!

I would also direct you to the lovely Alexandra’s website at this point, where she writes reviews about sewing machines and has reviewed both machines I have:

Mini sewer

That was all I started with, and really – my sewing cupboard has not hugely evolved since.

My basic accessories include:

  • a good pair of large scissors;
  • greaseproof paper on which I trace the suitable pattern size for myself;
  • coasters from my coffee table that I use to weight down the traced out pattern onto the fabric; some pins;
  • tailor’s chalk;
  • a quick unpick.


Sewing box

Otherwise, most other items are bought for a particular project – the thread, fabric, anything else required.

At least a year, and many projects later, I have decided to invest in a slightly larger machine. I am perfectly happy with my current mini sewing machine, but it does not have a button hole function, and I really wanted to tackle a project with buttons, which meant that this was going to be a problem!

Large machine

As a result, I have now purchased a John Lewis sewing machine – again – the price at £100 (I believe they are currently £79) is such good value that it felt worth it for me. I am unsure whether it will perform all of the functions I will need it to in the coming years, but it looks pretty, and so I will cross that bridge when I come to it. So far it has been incredibly practical and useful, as well as easy to lift and relatively small to store.

Otherwise – really, that is it! If I can sew, anyone can, and for a hobby that does not cost a large amount of money and results in something tangible that you can even wear – well, I’m very happy with that!

Have a lovely week of sewing,



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