We are hosting a series of ‘Try Before You Buy’ days here at Bambers. Concentrating on our range of embroidery machines, we aim to demonstrate single needle and dual embroidery machines as well as the mighty 6 needle, Brother PR655. Please phone us for details of our latest dates.
Keep an eye out for our new spring fabrics – coming soon…
I ‘found’ Marie Koupparis a little while ago. Marie produces a fabulous blog which you should all add to your reading lists.
Another designer at this years (2011) Festival of Quilts exhibition, was Toni Giles. Toni had brought along a small sample of her work. Please take the time to have a look and see more of Toni’s work.
We wish Toni all the best for the future.
If you’d like to see more of Toni’s work, please click here
Nina Davis, Installation Artist, Textile Designer and Photographer was also exhibiting some of her work at the Festival of Quilts exhibition.
We’d like to wish Nina all the very best for the future.
To see Nina’s blog, please click here.
More about Nina,
Nina Davis – Paper Textile Artist
Oscillating between specific collections and the language of stitch, her work embodies a new perspective in textiles design. Building her current designs from elements of a found postcard collection, she transforms the transient memories onto dyed cloth or through manipulating printed papers.
Whilst working at St Mary’s Calne, an independent girl’s school, she has developed a series of textiles pieces and installations with the girls with the view to a collective identity. Inspiration during her residency has manly stemmed from a research project into the process and form of Japanese Shibori dyed textiles, and how this way of dying can relate to entangled memories and moments that have past.
The Fringe @ The Pound / Corsham / Wiltshire 3rd September – 22nd October 2011
For more information on Nina please visit:
Some time ago I came across Alex Askaroff’s website Sewalot. I think it is the best sewing machine website I’ve seen. Alex has an obvious passion for sewing machines, especially of the antique variety.
One word of warning… Alex has filled every page with so many interesting gems of information – viewing his site becomes an addiction!!!
Hello, I have been sewing all my life. I was taught at a Catholic secondary school, needlework as it was called in them days, and I did my GCE needlecraft. In the ’60’s, the Mary Quant days.
I would buy some fabric from the market on Saturday morning, copy from a picture of a mini dress, make it in the afternoon and wear it to a disco in the evening!
Later when my daughter was a baby, I would make her little dresses out of the off cuts I always keep around.
The first sewing machine I used was my mother’s Singer, a treadle which had been converted to electric! When I started secondary school my mother bought us a new fancy machine which did zig zag! What luxury! It was made by Sondan. I had that machine for years and took it with me when I married. When it passed away my aunt bought me a second hand Singer from the local paper. On that I did my first really big complete wedding, which comprised of the dress, veil, 6 bridesmaids dresses and 7 waistcoats. That was in the early ’90’s.
I then decided as this was going to be something I was going to do more of that I needed a new machine.
I had always passed Bambers when I was going for my bus in Stevenson Sq in Manchester, so that was where I bought my New Home Memorycraft 4000 and my New Home “My Lock” overlocker. I was a Bamber Brownie with the card to prove it! That machine is still going well to this day after making numerous wedding dresses, veils, curtains and alterations.
I went to nightschool to do my city & guild for fashion and another C & G for pattern making. Then earlier this year whilst I was in the process of making another wedding dress, I decided to start a company making veils. I saw the new Janome Memorycraft 11000 and I decided to go mad and buy it and hope my new company might help to raise some funds to pay for it! I automatically went to Bambers. I was really happy to see they had moved to Eccles where it was much easier to park. I visited & was shown the machine by Maggie and that was it! I have since been on a course there for the overlocker which I have had for 15 years, and still I learnt things I did not know! I have done the course at Janome on the sewing machine and have now bought the Customiser programme from Bambers and I am going to do the course with Alan at Bambers to learn how to use it.
My Company started out to make bridal and other types of veils, but since the Memorycraft 11000 has come into my life I have also enlarged my services to make personalised napkins for wedding reception tables. Then following that I have become involved in embroidering initials and company / football club details on the backs of sweatshirts, fleeces and training coats. I have also been able to do logo’s using the Customiser programme.
My Company is called Dream Veils – click the link to view my website which I built myself.
I have put lots of photos there of things I have made and I am constantly updating and adding more photos as I go along.
I’ve been sewing now for 48 years. It doesn’t feel like that long, and yes, I started young! I started making dolls clothes, put my first zip in a skirt for myself when I was seven, using my mothers Singer 66K, and for many years I was a hobby sewist, fitting projects in round teaching, doing an MA, and having a baby. It got to the point when I would rather make a new frock than iron one I already owned. At that point I turned professional and started getting paid to sew for others. There are two big advantages to this: the being paid to sew, and the projects living somewhere else after they are done! For health reasons I work part time, which leaves plenty of time for research, experimenting, resting, and reading.
As a kid I experimented with making hats for dolls out of cartridge paper, wings out of cellophane and varnish, and shoes out of old leather purses… As a student I ended up making costumes for plays, experimenting with silkscreen printing and dying, making party frocks with zero budgets, and spray decks for sea going kayaks…
Now I make historical costumes for men and women, wedding gowns, street theatre costumes, hats, fairy wings, miniature hot air balloons, or whatever you want to pay me to make. To relax I make quilts. And research historical dress.
And I play with sewing machines. I didn’t start out to make a collection: it happened by accident. They arrived in dribs and drabs over the years, and now there are 24 in the house, ranging in age from an 1890’s Adria Saxonia treadle (an on-going restoration project) to my recently purchased Bernina 1150MDA overlocker. It started when I started teaching again after a break, and ended up teaching crafts and sewing in church halls and junior schools where there was no handy classroom stuffed with nice sewing machines. I ended up with a varied collection, every one of which has some sort of story attached. More of that some other time, perhaps.
As I don’t have the right kind of space for commercial or industrial machines, I do all my professional and personal sewing on domestic machines. I rarely come across a machine I seriously dislike (though the overlocker that danced off the table into my lap was certainly one!), and I like to explore the possibilities of any machine I come across. Alan has allowed me a fantastic opportunity to really use and assess a collection of machines over the next few months, and to be really honest about what I think they are like, what their good and bad qualities are, who they would suit, and whether or not they are a good buy. I am looking forward to exploring each one as I meet it. And I hope that what I discover helps you decide which is the best sewing machine for you.
You’ll get a peep in the door of my sewing space, see the machines at work and play, meet the cats, and pick up a few fun ideas to experiment with. Because I’ll have the machines at home rather than in a sewing shop classroom, I hope to be able to assess what they are like once you get them home and it’s just you, the manual, and your fabric!
See our Online Sewing Guides for tutorials and guides by Kate Dicey.
Here are some of the party frocks and other ‘posh’ frocks Kate has made for customers and family.
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View more info about Kate’s posh frock projects here.
Just a select few of the costumes I have made over the years.
- The jester and elf costumes were for Phil Blackmore, a working entertainer.
- Click here for instructions for how to make the wings
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