Category Archives: Sewing News

We stock a wide range of sewing and embroidery products and are a main distributor for the leading manufacturers. Read our sewing and embroidery news and product updates below.

Bernina Repairs in Manchester

Bernina Repairs Manchester Bernina Repairs Manchester


We carry out hundreds of Bernina repairs in our shop in Manchester and many of the people who own these Berninas live in or around Greater Manchester. However, more and more people are choosing to send their Berninas to our store for a professional service. My brother, Steve, and I have have both attended numerous Bernina training courses down the years either at Berninas UK base or their home in Switzerland. We’ve also passed on our training to our two mechanics, Shahid & Luke.

Bernina remain a top quality sewing machine and are the last of the ‘Big Four’ sewing machines remembered from years ago – Bernina, Pfaff, Viking and Elna.
Pfaff and Viking have changed from what they used to be and Elna no longer exist. Bernina have continued sailing, flying the flag for precision and quality. If you have a Bernina, even an old 7 or  5 series there is only one place to take or send it for service and repair – Bambers.

Brother PR655 to Edinburgh

Brother PR655 to Edinburgh

Another trip North with a Brother PR655. This time I’m off to the fair city of Edinburgh and what a beautiful city it turned out to be. As regular readers will know by now yours truly can’t pass up on the opportunity to call in at Tebay Services for a full english.


Brother PR655 Edinburgh

And I’m pleased to announce that I did not let you down. Another delicious breakfast at Tebay which makes a change from the Weetabix, Porridge or Alpen etc that I usually chomp in the early morning.


Edinburgh EmbroideryThe ducks were in a frisky mood and the small corner of their pond that wasn’t frozen became the centre of activities in the early morning winter sun. You’ll notice the two ducks standing off on the ice. I was reliably informed that these two characters were a pair of well known trouble makers and that they had been asked to stand in the corner for half an hour.


Edinburgh PR655

The journey up to Edinburgh to deliver the embroidery machine took me deep into some beautiful scenery. As I climbed ever higher in me trusty Land Rover the scene became wider and whiter and although I encountered a few closed roads, the way remained mainly clear. One day, I’m sure, I’ll end up stuck in a snow drift somewhere – probably in Scotland or Kent.


Scottish Military EmbroideryFinally, I arrived at my destination in the middle of Edinburgh. Nigel has a lovely shop and he sells all manner of Scottish military uniforms etc. etc. so I’m sure his Brother PR655 will prove to be a very worthwhile investment. Nigel was a very decent chap and provided a flagging yours truly with coffee and chocolate biscuits to revive the spirits. Phew!


Edinburgh Embroidery

After completing the training with Nigel, I wished him and his partner, Sheila, well and pointed the Land Rover south. A quick phone call to Mrs B. and I was set for the journey home. I left the fair and by now bustling city of Edinburgh with a slight sense of sorrow. So many of my travels delivering Brother embroidery machines across the UK take me to towns and cities that have lost all sense of character. Too often the view is of carbuncles made from glass and steel. The proud and mighty city of Edinburgh has held on to its past and its architectural heritage and it’s a wonder to see. I only wished I’d had a weekend spare to walk it’s impressive streets and corridors.



Solway Firth

It’s a freezing winters morning as I leave the comfort and warmth of my bed and, after taking care of my ablutions, I climb into my trusty Land Rover for another adventure together. This time we are heading north to Bowness-on-Solway, a rare treat and a journey which won’t involve the dreaded M25. There is a heavy frost and the tyres crunch on the gravel and crack the ice of the small frozen puddles as we trundle out of dry-dock. I am fortified only by a breakfast coffee with just a tot of Courvoisier to keep out the chill.

Land Rover PR655


After a brief journey I arrive at the shop – Bamber Towers – to load up todays delivery, a brand spanking new Brother PR655 embroidery machine. After a quick heave it’s safely loaded into the back along with all the accessories etc. This humping and heaving lark isn’t getting any easier, especially on a freezing cold winters morning like this one.


Land Rover PR655


Before I push off it’s a good opportunity to top up the old windscreen wash. So much salt and grit on the roads at this time of year and it’s a royal pain in the botticelli if you run out and can’t see out ‘cos your windscreen’s filthy. Know what I mean???

Brother PR655



Anyway, soon I am chugging along up the M6 and onwards to the first essential destination on any trip north – Tebay Services. Regular readers will not need reminding that yours truly has stopped at almost every service station  throughout the land in search of a hearty breakfast. The majority of these stations leave much to be desired and my ‘test’ is the all essential trip to the loo. If the manager/manageress can’t be bothered to keep a tidy toilet then imagine what the kitchens are like. Tebay is the absolute pinnacle and how I truly wish more service stations followed their example.

Tebay Services


As I park up the Land Rover a quick mooch confirms light parking and a good chance that there are still plenty of sausages left for yours truly. Mid January is usually a quiet and civilised time to drop in but calling during the summer months can be a bit touch and go as it’s the time of year when the weary traveller is likely to be met by the school coach trip…


Breakfast at Tebay Services

It comes as a serious relief to discover that Tebay have kept an eye on their stocks of sausages – imagine the horror of being told – ‘sorry sir, we’ve run out of sausages’. The sheer terror of this message has still left its mark on yours truly after a fateful stop at the M6 Toll service station last year. By the way, the Norton Canes service station is another place that has slipped down the league table. The toilets are appalling and whoever manages the place needs taking outside for five kicks up the arse…
However, I am delighted to report that the Tebay-Brekkie was absolutely scrumptious. The sausages were meaty and the toast was crunchy and the tea was piping.

Take a moment and taste it with me, dear reader. Yummy!

Tebay Services

I return to the elements refreshed and repleat and ready for anything. The ducks aren’t happy as their pond has frozen over and all they can do is recreate one of the Dancing on Ice, shows. A quick photo of the bleak and snowy hills and we’re off to the Solway Firth.


Bowness on Solway

Some time later, and after a long drive through some of the loveliest little villages that you normally only see on your Christmas tin of biscuits, here is the Solway Firth. There are regular signs warning me that the tide may be one foot deep on this bit of road or two feet deep on another bit of road, but today the tide is where it should be – in the sea.

Brother PR655


Soon, I am inside the customers lovely house – fabulous views – and I’m tucking in to a nice cup of tea and a plate of biscuits. The offer of lunch was made but even yours truly has to draw the line somewhere… As usual, I spend time showing the lady of the house how to operate her new PR655. It’s very simple really but I always take my time to ensure the new user can thread and embroider to my satisfaction.
Another cup of tea is produced and drunk and then it’s time for my journey home. I say my goodbyes and point the Land Rover back to the centre of the Universe – Manchester.

On the way home I decide to stop at Tebay Services – well, I’m feeling a bit peckish…

Bamber Blue Ribbon Dress Competition

Christine Whites winning entryBambers 2014 Blue Ribbon dress Competition has been won by Christine White, from Derbyshire. Christine wins our First Prize a Fabulous Bernina 330 worth £599.00 Our three judges, Lorraine Luximon  (Sew Magazine) Lorna Knight (Lorna Knight Academy) and Celia Banks (SewFundamental) all decided that Christine should be the winner.
Their comments were,
“Choosing a winner from the exceptionally high standard of entries, was a very difficult task. 
The winning dress ticked all the criteria we were looking for and stood out because of the multiple style options offered in one garment”
Lorraine Luximon.

Everyone here at Bambers sends their congratulations to Christine, we hope you enjoy many years of happy sewing with your new Bernina 330.


Maggie Forbes

Maggie ForbesSecond prize was won by Maggie Forbes, in Hampshire. Maggie wins a £100 voucher for Vogue sewing patterns.
Again, the three judges loved Maggies entry and here is what they said,

“We thought it was a clever idea to use the lace in the panels.
This produced a striking effect and it was well executed as it can be difficult working with two layers like this.
The dress itself was beautifully made too.”
Lorna Knight


Sharon WoodThird prize was won by Shoron Wood, from Manchester. Sharon wins a £50 voucher for Vogue sewing patterns.
Here are the comments for Maggies entry.

“A lot of thought had gone into the specific placement of the petals to enable the design to flow freely across the garment.
The applique stitches were beautifully executed and were further embellished by individual beads.
The result was a subtle, yet effective decoration.”
Celia Banks


Jennine & Nichola at BambersHere are the three winning dresses, modelled by Jennine and Nichola – we’re not sure of the young ladies name in the middle, but it all seems to have gone to her head…


Bambers Blue Ribbon Dress Competition


Bamber Sewing MachinesThank you very much to everyone who entered this years competition. Congratulations to the winners and commiserations to you if you weren’t so lucky. We will of course be holding our Blue Ribbon competition next year so, why not try again. We had almost 180 entries and here are a few more those which were entered. Thank you.


Christine White wins Bambers Blue Ribbon CompetitionWe were delighted to present Christine with her winning prize, the Fabulous Bernina 330.
(From left, Jennine (our lovely model), Christine White (1st Prize winner) Steve & Alan Bamber).

Sharon Wood at BambersWe were also pleased to present Sharon Wood with her 3rd prize, a £50 voucher for Vogue patterns.


Bernina 330 tuition at BambersAnd finally…Before she left, Christine took advantage of our unlimited free tuition from Jennine on her new Bernina sewing machine.

Home Embroidery Machines

A variety of factors will determine which home embroidery machine you buy especially if you plan to build a commercial embroidery business from home. Number one consideration is of course the cost. If you choose to buy an embroidery machine for entirely personal use then the choice is a wide one. Options to consider include whether or not your new machine will be purely an embroidery machine or a mixture of embroidery and sewing. Bernina, Janome and Brother offer a range of good quality sewing and embroidery machines. A visit to your local sewing machine dealer will provide you with some practical working knowledge about the choices on offer.

If, on the other hand, you do plan to build an embroidery business then you should narrow your search. In most cases you may have set your sights on one of the Brother PR models. These mighty embroidery machines have cornered the market and are most peoples first choice. The Brother PR600, Brother PR620, Brother PR650 and the latest model, the Brother PR655 are all superb at what they do and here at Bambers we can offer you sound advice and a very cost effective lease deal.

You may consider dipping your toe in the home embroidery machine market before you opt for a PR model. In that case you should take a closer look at the Brother Innovis 750 and the Janome 350E. Both of these machines share similar features. They are both single needle machines and offer a relatively low cost way of starting your embroidery business.

Before you decide which route to follow you should contact Alan or Steve Bamber, at Bamber Sewing Machines for some plain and honest advice.

The Bernina 1008S – it must be love.

The Bernina 1008S – it must be love

You can buy a machine that does more, for less. You can buy a machine that looks more modern and weighs less.
But will you love those machines anywhere near as much a you will love your Bernina.

The 1008S is the latest in a very long line of straightforward, simple mechanical models that stretch back to the origins of Bernina sewing machines.
The 1008S will sew almost anything you ask of it. Not only that, it will produce a beautiful stitch.

So, if you want a faithful friend that will last through thick and thin. Buy this Bernina, 1008S

Sewing Machines for Schools…

sewing machines for schools and collegesSewing machines for schools…

This time of year, we receive orders from schools and colleges across the country for new machines & accessories etc etc.

Here is a quick snap of todays orders being readied for collection later today and then despatch, tomorrow, to some lucky textiles teachers.

The most popular choice of sewing machine for schools & colleges is the mighty Bernina 1008S

If the budget won’t stretch to the 1008S then I always recommend the Janome 423S

Anyway, I’ve got to get on with getting these machines ready. The orders for tomorrow are waiting, too…

Brother PR650e

The Brother PR650e is a very user friendly embroidery machine. I’ve travelled the length and breadth of the UK delivering the PR650e to all kinds of customers, from large national wholesalers to Jenny in her spare back bedroom. Funnily enough it is quite often the ‘Jenny’s” who turn out to be the most successful. The Brother PR650e often has to suit many demands from it’s individual owners. Some like to embroider workwear, others sports or schoolwear and the list goes on. One of the most popular types of personalised embroidery is, of course, babywear. Of the hundreds of Brother PR embroidery models we have sold, most of our most successful customers produce an awful lot of embroidered babywear.

A lot of our Brother PR650e customers, especially the men, start off with some kind of vinyl cutting and printing business – often in their garage. They start off printing mugs and mouse mats and tee-shirts etc. etc. Someone will then often ask them if they offer an embroidery service and that’s usually when they phone Bambers for help and advice.


Sewing Instruction Videos

I won’t need to eat now until the middle of February and I’ve bought three new pairs of trousers with a larger waist size!.

In the meantime, I’d like to add a lot more instruction videos to our You Tube channel,

I’d like your help & input. Tell me what sort of videos you’d like to see, eg. machine maintenance, how to use a needle threader, how to thread an overlocker etc. etc.

Come on guys let me know and, ‘get involved’