Made with Toyota


We love the people who make with their Toyota machines and we wanted to share some of the beautiful creations from our Toyota machine owners. We’d love to hear what you think!

Toyota sewing machines offer such a range of features, feet and tools that you can tackle almost any job with a Toyota. Some in our range can even sew through leather! Where will your Toyota take you?

Isn’t this little floral dress adorable?


Every sewist needs a good pincushion!


A classic-shape pencil skirt with a cute twist!


Aren’t these stag curtains totally amazing?


Our top video tutorials


They say a picture tells a thousand words, so how about a video? Sometimes it’s easier to learn a new technique by watching rather than reading instructions manuals.

Our Youtube channel is packed full with tutorials to help you with some more complex machine tasks.

Making buttonholes using the specialised foot

The buttonhole foot is an easy to use attachment for creating perfectly sized buttonholes. It looks a bit daunting at first, but trust us it’s easier than it looks!


How to thread RS2000 machines

Even if you regularly thread your machine, it might be worth reviewing the correct threading of your machine once in a while to check you’re getting the best out of your sewing!


Auto-threader helps you thread in seconds

Auto-threaders are a dream come true for many sewists, allowing you to quickly and easily thread your machine even when light is low or you are struggling to thread the needle eye. Make full use of the potential of your machine with this handy tutorial.

Get to know the new Great British Sewing Bee judge

Judges for GBSB 2016

It’s 2016 and we’re entering the fourth series of the ever-popular sewing programme. This year has given us a real eclectic bunch of amateur sewers and we’re really keen to see where they’ll go over the next few months. Last night’s episode started off with a rather technical “beginners” challenge to create a bias top, working with a chevron pattern. This is by no means an easy feat! The contestants pattern matching was of paramount importance. But many really showed their skills early on and completed the challenge successfully.

Judges for GBSB 2016
Judges for GBSB 2016

But we were also introduced to a brand new judge on the programme. Esme Young has replaced May as the new judge alongside Patrick Grant. Esme has some fantastic experience as a tutor at Central St Martins, so she really knows her stuff.

And did you know that she also sewed Bridget Jones’ famous “playboy bunny” costume for the 2001 film? Esme Young has done plenty of film and theatrical sewing work in her time. Speaking of her time, she’s been sewing for nearly sixty years – that’s some real experience!

Esme’s career really rocketed while at art school she founded fashion brand Swanky Modes, which had a shop in Camden in the 70’s and was hugely popular with celebrities such as Cher and Toyah. Below is one of the amazing Swanky Modes outfits.

Swanky Modes outfit from 1973 issue of Nova Magazine
Swanky Modes outfit from 1973 issue of Nova Magazine

We are of course really excited to see what this new season will bring us, and we look forward to seeing how Esme judges our willing contestants!

In the Toyota Home Sewing Library…


A good sewing library is indispensable to the home sewer, and did you know that Toyota Home Sewing sells a range of great sewing books? We thought we’d take a look through our library…

Vintage Style for Kids – £13.29

If you’ve got children in your life, why not sew a beautiful piece from Vintage Style for Kids? Packed full of adorable projects like this classic PJ set, runcibledays made a great set in cute, stripey cotton.

Sew Scandinavian – £6.99

If you love that minimalist but cute Scandi style, why not try out some of the projects in this book? We love the bear on the front cover. Perfect for someone special this Christmas.

The Very Easy Guide to Using Your Sewing Machine – £9.09

If you’re just getting started, or know someone who is, then the Very Easy Guide is a great book to help you along the way. This book is packed with picture tutorials perfect for a beginner, or even a forgetful novice trying to remember that perfect technique!


Which “Design for Living” machine are you?


Here at Toyota HQ we’re delighted to be offering our Designs for Living range at an even better price than before. These machines are perfect for a range of uses and the best thing is they come in a huge choice of gorgeous colours and designs. They’re sure to adorn any sewing table or studio and there’s a whole range of choices. So, which Design for Living is for you?

The Design for Living comes in three different levels of functionality. Classic is great for beginners or those who enjoy a little light sewing. Comfort offers some extra features ideal for a sewer  who wants a little more from their machine. Expert is a perfect all-rounder machine with all the features and functionality you’d expect from your Toyota machine.

But there are nine beautiful designs to choose from, yes nine!

In Bloom – This machine features a strikingly gorgeous bloom pattern in our favourite bright red. Great for a sewer who likes to stand out from the crowd.

Jardin – Featuring pretty pink flowers this machine is sure to bring you dreams of a lovely country garden as you sew.

Labyrinth – For those who fancy a deeper, darker design the Labyrinth machine is gorgeous with it’s classic black, swirling pattern.

Flora – Soft and sweet, the Flora machine is understated with it’s pale flower design on a taupe background.

Butterfly Pink – Think summery meadows as you sew with this pink Butterfly design


Indigo – This striking periwinkle blue is accented with majestic butterfly designs and is sure to stand out in any sewing space.

In Bloom Shade – Contemporary and minimalist, Bloom Shade is a subtle but classic design that would suit any sewer.

Butterfly  – Stand out from the crowd with this luxe golden Butterfly design.

So, which Design for Living are you?

Design for Living machines are available for purchase direct from us, starting at £89 for the Classic, £119 for the Comfort and £139 for the Expert. All machines are currently reduced. Shop here.

The Great British Sewing Bee: What we loved and how you can make it


So, another season of the GBSB is over and this year was full of beautiful and sometimes eccentric pieces of sewing. We saw the invention of the ‘skanklet’ (don’t think it’ll catch on?) and of course the sewing world is now ablaze with the desire for sewing a walkaway dress in pretty much every colour we can think of.

Looking back at GBSB, we wanted to write about some of our favourite moments and how you can make these garments with your very own Toyota machine. GBSB projects are great for beginners too, so lets get started!

The Walkaway Dress

Needs no introduction, this dress is supposedly worked up in just a few hours, though it may take a few longer if you’re a beginner. The pattern is available from all good sewing shops (just go in and ask, they won’t be sick of it, I promise!) and some stylish cotton and you can sew yourself up a quick and beautiful 50s style dress. No zips or fiddly closures required, but the moveable needle of the Toyota ESG325  makes light work of sewing neat and tidy bias binding, as you can adjust the stitch position to get that top-stitching sewn right up close to the edge.

The Japanese Asymmetric Blouse

This funky blouse is cut from just once piece of fabric! It’s a bit of a puzzle but once you’ve got your head around it it’s quick to sew. Sewing it up in a floaty, delicate silk would be fantastic, but those edges will need hemming. Why not use the Toyota rolled-hem foot to make light work of sewing beautiful, neat hems on lightweight fabrics with ease.

Image Creative Commons attributed:

A 2014 Round-Up: Top Trends This Year


Another year of crafts and creations is drawing to a close, and it’s time to look back again over the trends we’ve sewn with. We’ve sifted through piles of tutorials, pinterest boards, blogs, lists and more to find out what really got us going in 2014. Join us as we review our year of fabrics, fashions and fun – and a quick look at Toyota in the New Year.


Be a dear, Deer!

Last year we were full of foxy feelings, and before the fox came the owl… but the new king of the woodland this year is definitely the deer! From fabric stags heads to fawn print cottons, these four-legged friends have lent charm to our clothes, homes and accessories. With homey, rustic charm the deer and stag have been a cosy addition to the year.



Not Over Yet, Knitwear!

A knitted jumper never used lurks in every wardrobe across the country – but this year we finally set them free and fabulous. Recycled, re-purposed and restyled, we’ve loved our old jumpers more than ever before. We’ve seen them in blankets and quilts, tunics and dresses, tea cosies and cosy slippers, and we love each and every one. Head to toe in cable knit feels like a fantastic way to end the year.



Promising Polka Dots

There’s a lot more than we think to the humble polka dot, and while it’s always a staple of home and wardrobe it’s really been pulling its weight this year! From big bright and bold to subtle and small, the polka dot has something to offer for everyone – but our bigger winner for 2014 is the classic bright colour white polka dot combination. This enduring favourite has a charming vintage chic, and works especially well with candy colours.



Fun With Free Motion Embroidery

We’ve had a big year for embroidery at Toyota HQ, with our Oekaki Renaissance launch looking to get everyone having a go at some creative crafting. So of course, we’ve been pleased to see how popular it’s been this year! Free motion embroidery is a great, expressive way to add extra life to clothes, home wares or accessories – and a big hit in the world of textile art as well! Whether you’re adding a small embellishment to your gifts tags or you’re whipping up a wall-hanging wonder, free motion embroidery has something to add.



A Look Forward

We certainly won’t be letting these trends go without a second thought, but we’re excited to what new fun we can have in 2015. While we look over our hopes for the new year (tartans? birds? dip-dye? The choices are endless!) why not tell us about what you’d like to see more of. If there’s a technique you’re wary of or something you’d love to learn, let us know! Head over to our facebook or twitter to tell us what you’d like to see in 2015. Don’t be shy!


Give your sewing a vintage twist


Vintage fashion is all the rage, especially in the sewing world. What better way to make your fashion sewing a little more glamorous, cute or exciting than adding some vintage twists? You don’t have to worry about rationing amounts of fabric or worrying about what girdle to wear underneath it, but you can definitely give your current makes a little something different!

Add a pussy bow

Pussy Bows are called such because of the cute little satin bows depicted on greetings cards of kittens. Adding a pussy bow blouse to your wardrobe is a sure-fire way to add a little retro to your work wardrobe. We love this one made by We Sew Retro in a gorgeous Liberty Tana Lawn fabric.



Add some flair with a petticoat

Adding a petticoat layer under a normal summer dress will give it a beautiful silhouette, and a perfect 50s look! Petticoats can be bought but it’s easy to sew your own, how about making it brightly coloured to accent the colour of your dress?


Give it a wiggle

A strong silhouette is a perfect vintage look, especially if you have the figure for it! Creating a well-fitting wiggle dress, perfectly fitted to your own body shape is sure to be a killer at any party! You don’t need to worry about having the perfect figure, if you wear it with confidence you’ll look fantastic!

A 2013 Round-up: Top Trends This Year


With the year drawing to a close we’re going to take a look back at the trends that hit the sewing and crafting world this year, with some interesting new fashion trends Toyota are ready to start the New Year with a bang!

What Does The Fox Say?

Woodland animals have been popular prints for years, ideal for cute toddler dresses, homewares or even a kitchsy blouse for yourself. But this year was definitely the year of the fox, with cute fox fabric popping up everywhere from Urban Outfitters shirts, to beautiful foxy fabric from designer Robert Kaufman.


DIY Denim

Denim is always a staple, but now you can DIY your denim by trying out some of the up-cycling trends this year. With the Super Jeans machine is designed especially as a denim sewing machine, so grab your old jeans and make some dip-dye lace shorts!

Chic Chevrons

Geometric prints have taken a turn away from the 80s fluro and a more subtle, pretty approach in 2013. The chevron has been a key pattern for home furnishings that are modern and fun. Making homewares such as cushions and quilts make great quick projects and Toyota’s fantastic range of beginner sewing machines means that anyone can whip up a pretty handmade piece.

Creative Embroidery

Embroidery is a fantastic way to add interest to clothing, homewares and quilts, and we’ve been seeing more creative embroidery on the high street this year. Toyota’s range of embroidery machines, from Oekaki World make the ideal addition to your sewing repertoire and can create some fun and organic designs.

A Look Forward

With a look towards the new year we can prepare some fun ideas for creative projects. Do you have a new skill you want to learn? A technique you’ve never tried or something you’ve been dying to work on? Let us know!

Halloween Costume Ideas


With Halloween just around the corner, what better excuse can you get to break out your sewing machine and put your craft skills to good use (no matter how good they are!). But if you’re struggling to decide what to sew and you’re running out of time, we’ve put together some critter costume idea prompts that should be quick and easy regardless of how new you are to sewing. These costumes are all classic eerie beasties that are instantly recognisable, and should be manageable even with only minor changes to clothing you might already have. So here are our top four ideas for cute, creepy creature costumes that won’t break the bank (or your sewing machine).

 halloween costume ideas

© Vetala | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Jellyfish:  First, find your favourite floaty maxi dress.  Then cut some long strips of lightweight fabrics – such as organza, thin cottons or silk – in colours that match your chosen dress. Ruffle some of the strips for more authentic tentacle look! Pin the strips of fabric just underneath the bust of your dress, the whole way around (overlap as many strips as you like until it looks good to you) and then secure them with a straight stitch. For the body of the jellyfish, use a transparent umbrella (a children’s umbrella works well if you don’t want to take up too much space!). Glue your leftover fabric strips to the inside edge of the umbrella. Daub some glow in the dark paint on the umbrella and some of the tentacles if you want to go full jellyfish spectacle!

Bat: Take a large black poncho, and put it on yourself inside out. Stretching your arms out one at a time, pin the front and back side of the poncho together underneath your wrist, and again by the side of your torso (make sure you leave a gap big enough to get out of!) Take the poncho off, and stitch the front and back together along the edges, between those two pinned points (leaving you with a torso hole and two holes). Flip the poncho back to be the right way around, hiding the seam – this now forms your bat wings! Wear your new wings over a black top, trousers, and fingerless gloves. Finish of the look with a bat mask, or a headband with ears and some fake fangs.

Owl: This may be a little more time consuming, but looks great finished.  Find a tunic or dress to form the base of your costume – a brown or grey works well, and you’ll need something with sleeves. Cut felt ovals in a number of shades (browns, whites and greys, but you can throw in some other muted tones if you like). Starting from the bottom of your tunic or dress, lay them out a row at a time and straight stitch a line through the tops of them. Lay out the next row so the new feathers overlap the ones underneath by a few inches. Sew feathers on row by row until you reach the neckline. Add a single line of feathers from shoulder to wrist on each arm. Take any extra felt feathers and glue them across a headband. Wear with leggings and boots, and top off with an owl mask or a pair of big round glasses!

Cat: Finally, what’s more Halloween than the iconic black cat? Use a leotard, jumpsuit or top/trouser combo for your base. With some black felt or fluffy material, cut out some triangular ears and sew them onto a headband. Use the same material to make a tail by cutting a long rectangle and sewing the two longest opposite edges together to form a tube – scrunch the end up and sew through for the tip, then flip it inside out to hide the stitching! Pin the tail to your waistline, or straight stitch it on to what you’re wearing for more security. You can even go all out and make yourself some paws by sewing a pair of gloves then appliquéing pink felt footpads to the palms (some white felt claws on to the fingers!)


So if you’ve been struggling for a last minute costume ideas hopefully one of these quick crafts can help you out (or at least inspire you to something even greater!).­­ But don’t worry if you’re still floundering for fancy dress – why not check out our Halloween Inspiration pinterest board for some extra help? We’ll be updating it until the big day!

Finally, when you’ve finished your Halloween projects – costumes, decorations and all, why not share them with us and the community on our facebook page (or tweet us a photo) and let everyone see your best spooky sewing of the year!

Happy crafting!