Dealer Focus: The Lorna Knight Sewing Academy in Bradnop, near Leek

Located near Leek in the Staffordshire Moorlands, The Lorna Knight Sewing Academy offers countless sewing machines, haberdashery, fabrics and workshops in a picturesque location.

Workshops, machines and haberdashery near Leek After running sewing workshops in church halls, museums and shops for over 15 years, I decided it was time to have my own base, so in July 2014 I opened my studio in a barn we renovated in the Staffordshire Moorlands.
Starting with six Brother sewing machines and four tables for workshops, the studio filled up quickly with even more sewing and embroidery machines, haberdashery and fabrics - so much so that now, five years later, we are busy converting the next part of the barn so we can spread out further and increase stock.

My husband, Stephen, joined me in the business 12 months after opening the studio. As well as ordering haberdashery stock and buying fabric he received excellent training from the Brother engineers and is now qualified to repair and service a…

Using up scraps with Design Centre and the XP1 Luminaire's Projector feature with Angie Lawrence

In my last blog, I mentioned how much I enjoyed making bags and purses of all sorts. I like to create with all sorts of materials, and that means – like most sewists – I have a lot of scraps to show for my work! 
I'm a firm believer in using scraps, and above you can see some Abraham Moon tweed offcuts which I have made into a couple of little zip top coin purses with the aid of my trusty Brother XP1/Luminaire.

I hope this brief tutorial inspires you to have a go too!

Step one Select your scraps – for the purse on the right, I decided to use some of the one-inch pieces I had and applique them on to a five-inch square of tweed. The left-hand purse was another scrap of blue tweed which I decided to applique along the top using a heart design.

Step two So, off to the Design Centre to select one of the built in shapes. I selected a simple circle but you could use a heart (as I did in the second purse) a leaf, a square – whatever you like. As I look at this picture now I can see …

Tim Cooper creates character and decorative stitches with the XP1 Luminaire's embroidery hoop

Building on the embroidery features of the Innovis XV machine, the Luminaire XP1 extends the number of sewing and character/decorative stitch patterns that can be used on the embroidery side of the machine.
On the XP1 you can combine, mirror and resize different stitch patterns, using them to create all sorts of projects. One feature I particularly like is using button holes in the embroidery hoop so I can ensure I achieve perfect placement on my clothing (shirt plackets) and home decoration projects!
You can find the character/decorative stitches in section 5 on the embroidery screen, as shown:

The character/decorative stitch section is divided into 3 categories:
·01 Buttonholes ·02 Embellishments ·03 Decorative Stitches
As you will see, there are many styles of buttonhole available to use in your embroidery hoop, as well as embellishments for them.

Select the category of stitch pattern you want to sew and then choose the stitch pattern you want, either using your finger or the XP1 &#…

Dealer Focus: Make at 140 in Plymouth

Situated in sunny Plymouth, Make at 140 is a fantastic sewing shop, cafe and workshop space run with a fantastic passion for the community!

Sewing supplies, workshops and machines in Plymouth Hello, my name is Lizzy and I am the creator and founder of Make at 140. Make started its journey as a button shop called Funky Poppy, which sold unusual buttons, button jewellery, gifts and anything made with buttons. It was a great little shop in a touristy part of Plymouth, where people would come year after year to choose from my homemade buttons and jewellery. My love for buttons started when I was a child, playing with my Granny's button tin, which I still have now. You can’t beat a good button - change the buttons on any garment and it makes it look expensive, designer and special!

Starting off with buttons and upcyling, my journey took me into the wonderful world of sewing. I was given a Brother sewing machine for my birthday one year, I got it out the cupboard a couple of times, yet w…

Jen Walker's step-by-step guide to French seams

Hello again Brother readers! I thought I’d drop by with another blog post – this time I felt compelled to share my love of the queen of all of the seam finishes – the French seam.
If you haven’t come across French seams before, they are used mostly on fabrics which are lightweight, sheer, slippery or fray easily - perfect for all of those floaty, gorgeous, spring and summer makes!
The final finish on a French seam will encapsulate the raw edge of fabric and give an oh-so-neat look! Previously, I had avoided using this seam finish as it felt like a lot of hard work when I could easily just use my overlocker to give a nice, clean and professional finish. But I need to tell you that it really is worth that little bit extra effort. You won’t be able to stop staring at the beauty of the inside of your clothes – trust me!
Sounds great right? So how do you go about making them? It really is a lot simpler than some people think so please don’t be scared off! 
To help, I have broken this down …