This is it:
Its a fabulous little machine from John Lewis (JL300C). I bought it around four years ago and it does everything the average home sewer would need. The digital display allows you to select from 30 different stick types including automatic buttonholes, embroidery, faux overlock, decorative stitching and settings to alter the stitch length, width and speed.
If you haven't already got a machine but are looking into it, I would definitely make sure you have the buttonhole function if you are going to be making clothing - makes life a whole lot easier!
The last two machines I bought were from John Lewis, I found they had a fantastic range to choose from, fantastically knowledgeable staff and of course their 5 year guarantee.
I will also be using an overlocker (also known as a 'serger'), and this is the wonderful device:
This one is made by Janome, another very reputable brand. Its a four thread overlocker and essentially 'cuts and knits' the edges of fabric to form a very professional finish to seams. You can use it for all manner of craftiness - rolled hems, lace edging, very quickly attaching pattern pieces...all sorts. MakePlace in Norwich even offer a workshop on how to use this machine to its full capacity - highly recommended!
You do not need one of these! However it is a wonderful indulgence worth every penny if you are a bit more experienced. You can always neaten edges with a zigzag stitch (we'll get to that in tutorials ;-)
So there it is, a very mini intro to what I'll be using to show you lots of crafty bits and bobs. It is currently with the lovely engineers at Sew Creative on Magdelen Street in Norwich getting a bit of TLC. Let's hope it comes back all raring to go!