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Looking to buy sewing machine in London

Michelle | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Any Londoners in this group know  of a honest and reliable sewing machine dealer in London?

Am planning on visiting (a 3 day quickie) this week and would like to be able to find something to take home.

TIA

Shelly

Replies

  1. GhillieC | | #1

    First of all, where is home?

    We talked about this recently, but remember that the UK and the States run at different voltages and you will have problems using the same machine in both countries unless you think it out very carefully.

    Also remember that if you are in the States you will currently be getting a lousy exchange rate.

    Assuming you are somewhere else in the UK or have settled all of the above, what brand of machine do you want?

    There is a Bernina dealer in Central London, at MacCulloch and Wallis, and the department Store John Lewis's nearby sell, oh, I can't remember, either Janome or Brother. The Sewing Rooms in Putney, West London is a good Husqvarna (Viking) dealer. I can't think of any other dealers in Central London.

    There is Bromley Sewing Machines selling a range of brands as well as second hand machines. However Bromley is way out in the suburbs, to the East. My dealer, also selling all kinds of brands and second hand, is SewMaster which is in Maidenhead and Reading, west of London but within easy reach is probably too far out for your purposes.

    I am sure all of these are 'honest and reliable' but what are you going to do about a warranty if you are immediately taking the machine a long way off?

    There is also a mail order sewing machine dealer, http://www.jaycotts.co.uk/ which has an excellent reputation.

    Doubtless there are plenty of other good dealers.

    Cheers,

    Ghillie

    1. Michelle | | #2

      Hi Ghillie,

      Thanks so much for responding to my query.

      I actually managed to access Bromley's web site - it really looks like an amazing place (and truly worth a visit) http://www.sewing-world.co.uk/stores/index.htm however, since my time is going to be somewhat limited, and taking into account that it's quite a distance (is there any way to get there by train?) I doubt that I'll get to see the place.

      I know that it seems strange that someone would simply 'fly in and pick up a machine' However, having done a fair amount of research I feel that I could still get a better price on a machine in the UK than I could in Israel - and the 2 companies that I would be interested in (ie Elna and Janome) both have service over here.

      Regards from Jerusalem,

      Shelly

      1. GhillieC | | #3

        Shelley,

        Rents are so high in Central London that there are no shops of the kind you need around. I am also worried that the more central ones will not carry stocks that you can take away. John Lewis's, while very good and competitively priced, never seems able to supply anything big and expensive in less than a fortnight. So I think you would have to go to Bromley, or their other branch in Tunbridge Wells. There are plenty of commuter trains to both places and I am guessing that it would take under an hour - probably only half an hour to Bromley. The Tunbridge Wells shop is very centrally situated, and perhaps 10 minutes walk from the train station, but I have not visited the Bromley one. It would be worth contacting them in advance to make sure they have the kind of machine you want in stock, at the right branch.

        Another thought. There is a sewing show coming up shortly in Birmingham. See http://www.ichf.co.uk/sewing_for_pleasure.html If you can choose your time you might like to visit that and buy from one of the stands - but I would check in advance that they will have what you need. I would expect Janome to have a stand,and to be giving show discounts, though I am not so sure about Elna. Birmingham is perhaps one hour from London by a fast train (get off at Birmingham International, do not go into the city centre) or if you are really visiting just to get your machine you can probably fly into Birmingham airport. The airport, Birmingham International train station and the exhibition site are very close together. I don't know much about Birmingham hotels, but they will be a little cheaper than London.

        I can't complain about strange ways of buying machines! My husband bought mine in Dublin, where he was working at the time, and it came into the country as his baggage allowance.

        Cheers,

        Ghillie

        P.S. I have just had a look at http://www.janome.co.uk Only John Lewis, Oxford Street is at all centrally placed. All the others are out in odd places in the suburbs.

        Edited 2/23/2004 9:50:48 AM ET by Ghillie

        Edited 2/23/2004 9:59:28 AM ET by Ghillie

        1. Michelle | | #4

          Hi Ghillie,

          Thank you for all your help -

          My reason for being in London is not exclusively to find a machine - that certainly wouldn't be terribly economical ;) rather, since I happen to be there... perhaps......

          I would have liked to have visited the Birmingham show but unfortunately I won't be in London during those dates :(     but I would really  try to find a way to visit Bromleys ......There are definitely no such place over here!

          Thanks again all your input

          Warm regards,

          Shelly

          1. GhillieC | | #5

            Shelley,

            I thought you must have more reasons to come to UK than buying a machine, but there was no harm in airing all the possibilities.

            If I were you I would try and get a day, or even half day, out in Tunbridge Wells while you are here. It is quite a pleasant historic town. Bromley is not exactly a tourist destination.

            Cheers,

            Ghillie

          2. Michelle | | #6

            Hi Ghillie,

            I would like to thank you once again for your help.  I did in fact manage to take a train out to Tunbridge Wells (which turned out to be the highlight of my trip.)

            I enjoyed Bromleys very much - such pleasant and helpful people (they were very captivated by a copy of 'Threads magazine' I showed to them) I really wish we had such a store over here.

            Tunbridge Wells is also a lovely place to walk around, so all in all, I was pleased to have had the opportunity to take this little 'detour'.

            Warm Regards,

            Shelly

          3. GhillieC | | #7

            and did you buy a machine?

            Cheers,

            Ghillie

          4. Michelle | | #8

            Yes, a Brother - Computerized, which so far, I'm very happy with.

            Regards,

            Shelly

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