From the riotous colours of the shelves of fabrics to the racks of practical accessories, The Little Sewing Company is an absolute haven for needleworkers everywhere.

Some come from as far afield as Lymington and Wimborne to browse the shop, ask for sewing advice and even stop for a cup of tea, while others pop just down the road for a workshop in cushion making or quilting.

“It’s that need to go somewhere and have a break from life,” explained owner Suzie Walker, who opened the shop just a year ago.

“That’s where the idea came from. Even as someone creative, I felt I couldn’t do that at home. I wanted to create a sewing hub, where people can come to get away from the stresses of life.”

Qualified secondary school teacher Suzie has a degree and a Master’s in fashion and textiles. Her father was a colourist who spent his time dying fabrics for retail giants such as Marks & Spencer, so Suzie grew up around colour.

But, after working freelance for a while, and then as a teacher at Poole High School for around nine years, she decided to set up her own “lifestyle” business a couple of years ago, to fit in around her two young children.

“I started making stuff,” she said.

“People said to me ‘I wish I could do that’. I thought where can you go if you want do to that?’ I started off The Little Sewing School from home to test the waters. Then I realised you couldn’t have a sewing school without having the fabric and the equipment and then it really just snowballed.”

The business focuses on machine sewing and teaching people to sew, both through a number of different courses and workshops run by Suzie and her team, and by offering free advice to customers.

“People come in expecting a haberdashery shop,” said Suzie, who lives in Southbourne.

“That’s not what we are. It took a while for people to understand that we offer something completely different, but they love it. We must have had at least 200 people through our workshops.

“Women are fed up of buying clothes that don’t flatter them because they don’t fit. People are coming back to dressmaking because of that.

“We are having a generation of mums coming in that are saying they want to make bunting or cushions or costumes.”

Suzie is now concentrating on building the brand and is hoping to develop her own range of patterns and sewing kits in the future.

“We would like to be in a position where we are known for having beautiful fabrics and good quality service,” she said.