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Sewing the Dream | Chapter Four - Colour Shuffling

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Before I start, I just want to say what a fabulous time I had at Quilt and Stitch Village in Uttoxeter From April 13-15 this year. It was great to meet so many friends old and new and to share with them some of the fabulous features of the Brother Innov-is XV/Dream Machine. 

One feature I particularly like is colour shuffling. Quite often when I buy a design I am disappointed when the colours on the machine are not the same as the ones shown on the original design picture. You know what I mean. How often have you ended up with a design on your machine which is showing a horse with a green face or a fairy in an unlikely shade of purple? If you’re anything like me, even though you have hundreds of different spools of thread by different manufacturers, you don’t always have the exact shade recommended by the digitiser of the original design. It’s often quite difficult, especially with a complex design, to decide on the colours that you want to use. This is where colour shuffling comes in.…

Reloved Upholstery use Brother Sewing machines to breathe new life into old furnishings

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Hi, I’m Simion, Creative Director of Reloved Upholstery, an upholstery firm based in Greater Manchester.

Very exciting day picking up new @brothersewinguk machines from @bambersewing for my upholstery and sewing classes. Please follow link in my bio for course details #comecreate . . . . #manchesterupholsteryschool #upholsteryschool #upholsteryworkshop #frenchbulldog @frenchie_photos A post shared by Simion Hawtin-Smith (@relovedupholstery) on Mar 14, 2018 at 9:05am PDT

I specialise in sourcing and reupholstering vintage chairs to give them a contemporary edge and new lease of life. I work with new and established designers to find fabrics that enhance the chairs and really make them stand out from the crowd. 




Following a stint working with a TV production, I realised that my skills were in demand. So I embarked on a new venture, sharing my knowledge through a series of upholstery courses. 
The workshops are going great guns; designed specifically for beginners or those with a small amou…

Sewing for Pleasure with Fashion & Embroidery and Creative Craft Show

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Brother Sewing UK recently visited the Sewing for Pleasure event at the Birmingham NEC event, 15018th March 2018. Here is our review.

Unleash the creativity within you at Sewing for Pleasure – if sewing, knitting and patchwork are your passions, this spring visit the ultimate stitchers’ paradise – with all the latest supplies and ideas including must-have fabrics, fabulous yarns, patterns and threads; plus plenty to inspire and help refine your craft, including hands-on workshops, demonstrations and a chance to speak with the experts – you’re sure to leave with your imagination ignited with inspirational ideas!


We were at Sewing for Pleasure for the last few days. Thank you all for visiting and sharing your sewing passion with us. It was certainly a busy show - with lots of you popping over to say hi!

We didn't have much time to wander around this year, but below are a few things that really stood out for us at the show.


This wonderful piece of art entitled 'Lion and the Lamb&…

The Brother Innov-is 1300 from Jaycotts.co.uk

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An Introduction
This is one of the most amazing domestic sewing machines I have ever used, and of course, it is by my favourite brand Brother.


The Brother Innov-is 1300 ticks all the boxes both for versatility and ease of use. It is packed with so many features that I cannot hope to go over them all in this one post, so I am going to concentrate on getting you up and running.

It is fabulous for both dressmaking and quilting having just over 8" workspace to the right of the needle, quilters will know the importance of this.


It has an advanced square feed drive system (SFDS) which delivers a really good feed on all fabrics but - and this is my favourite - it enables the machine to sew sideways as well as backwards and forwards and it means too that it has the capacity of sewing extra wide decorative stitches.

This is my machine which I unpacked as soon as it was delivered. I know some of us feel out of our comfort zone with a new machine, but please do not worry, take it slowly and …

Sewing the Dream | Chapter Three - The Wonderful World of Scanning

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When I first heard about the scanning capabilities of the Brother XV/Dream Machine I could hardly believe it! Scanning in an image, converting it into an embroidery design and sewing it out - all without the use of external software? It HAD to be more complicated than that!

But guess what!  It really isn’t!

The first thing I did was to create an image of a scarf ring that my daughter gave me for Christmas. I photocopied it, scanned the line image into Design Centre, traced around the lines I wanted (and erased the ones I didn’t) until I had something I was happy with. I then layered up grey linen on top of beige linen and did a test stitch out. A little more tweaking, copying and pasting the design twice more and I had the front panel of a makeup bag. (Incidentally, I made the back panel in Design Centre too using one of the built-in quilt fills)


Now I was ready to try making my own embroidered fabric!

For this I needed a very clear black and white design which I found on the Internet…

Sewing the Dream | Chapter 2.5

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Yes I know I said I would be talking about other stuff at the end of my last blog but (as is usual for me) I have allowed myself to be sidetracked into more Brother XV/Dream Machine wonderfulness – hence this mini-blog.

I’m talking about the feature on the machine that allows you to make appliqués – or indeed patches – at the press of a button.

I’ve been into making Christmas decorations recently and thought how wonderful it would be if I could use some of the many, many Christmas designs I already have and make them into ornaments for the tree.

Here's the first one still waiting for her hanging loop and some decorative beads. The design is from the wonderful fruBlomgren on Etsy.


Please ignore the zigzag at the top, that’s where I pieced the stabiliser – yes I really am that mean...

As you can see the satin stitch appliqué follows the line of the design which is pretty and effective, but then I thought how great it would be if I could put my designs into a simple circle or oval or…