Quilted Dress Takes to London Fashion Week

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It probably comes as no surprise that our favourite designer at London Fashion Week this year has to be Jasper Conran, for this floaty quilted dress design alone!!

 

With his bright colours and tropical inspired show, Conran provided a hint of Spring amid all this recent gloomy British weather. Walking barefoot, yes barefoot, the models strutted along a walkway of artificial grass with a fun floral background. But the show stopper for us is this quilted dress, in which he has used a variety of hexagonal colourful fabrics to create this marvellous creation. Within moments of seeing this dress we had re-pinned it and splashed all our love over it (as you can see).

It wasn’t just the dress that made the fashion show, to tie in his designs he also showcased this quilted bag:

 

If this post has inspired you as much as it did us, then why not check out our range of Quiltmasters & Sewing Machines on our Toyota Home Sewing website.

Sew Fun – Sewing Parties

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We all know about ladies parties … a number of us have probably been to more than one (from luxury cosmetics to everyday home appliances).  Retailers throughout the years have zoned in on a female target market and provided resources to offer “party” style shopping experiences, which have proved very successful.

 

As the success of these have grown, the variety of parties have become endless, as has the number of people doing them and the repetitive syndrome has kicked in and the fun kicked out.  However, we’re over the moon & very excited to hear there may be a wave of sewing and baking style home parties ahead, a new genre generation and the perfect choice for “home” style parties!!

 

 

SEW: why not look into throwing a “sewing party” (it even rhymes) … a fab excuse to get all your favourite pals together and do your favourite things!! AND if your friends aren’t the sewing type, what a great opportunity to share the fun in it and the possibilities of what can be made!! A lot of people don’t actually feel confident using a sewing machine, sew, what a perfect opportunity to show them how easy it can be (and show off your skills at the same time).   We’ve all got something in the back of the wardrobe we’ve been “meaning” to fix or alter in some way but waiting to find the “perfect” time a midst our busy schedules to get the chance (which let’s face it will probably see the charity shop before we get the “perfect” time. Well….wouldn’t this be the perfect moment!!  Ask all your friends to bring along something (of their choice), pool in and brainstorm and help make it a Cinderella transformation moment.

 

Some helpful tips & pre-planning thoughts:

  • Set up your sewing machine and equipment ahead of time
  • Have the instruction manual to hand (you can re-print Toyota ones here)
  • If you have a portfolio, or your favourite work, have it to hand and show it off to everyone
  • Visit your local fabric shop before the night and see what remnants you can pick up cheaply
  • Consider workshop styles, ie: “How to sew a button” or “How to make cushion covers”

 

If you do host one over the coming months, be sure to let us know how you get on and send us all your pictures. If you need any equipment feel free to contact us via our website, email, Twitter or Facebook. If you are buying in bulk we may be able to offer you some discount so its worth letting us know!!

 

Good Luck, and Happy Sewing 🙂

Sew Successful – Victoria Pendleton

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SEW SPEEDY…

 

This Summer the whole nation (and world) has been gripped by the Olympics & Paralympics (and we are no different)!! The last few posts on our community blog have been Olympic inspired and it seemed only right to keep this post in the theme too…

 

Victoria Pendleton, one of our 2012 Team GB “Golden Girls”, has admitted that she looks forward to switching her “Queen of the Velodrome” status to Domestic Goddess. It’s no secret that Victoria enjoys the homely comforts that we all do, and is especially fond of her sewing machine (a women of our own hearts).

 

Within her first newspaper interview after she announced her retirement from the sport, Victoria aired her excitement of getting her hands on the ‘acres of fabric’ she has been storing up at home for such a time. Dressmaking is one of her great enthusiasms and she has been quoted to have said “I bought a vintage sewing machine, the ones with a treadle, from a charity shop and I am dying to start using it properly”. And if her leg speed on the bike is anything to go by, she will be one speedy sewer!!

 

This is quite a fitting contraption for Victoria Pendleton, don’t you think!?  The 1939 “Goofybike” :

 

 

Sew Successful – Olympics 2012

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Over the last few weeks the whole nation (in fact world) has been zoned in on London and the Olympics 2012, it’s taken our minds off the glum broken English weather and seasonal seaside trips and had us indoors glued to the live coverage. The greatest thing is that it hasn’t only been relevant to the sporty type, the whole nation has found it uniquely enticing and have been able to associate with something.

 

The height of our interest remained on the immeasurable amounts of sewing that went into the Olympic set up. From stage designs and backdrops, to equipment like trampolines and volleyball nets, and the athletes attire we just couldn’t believe the amount of work and detail that has gone in to everything.

 

Even for the average household, we’ve all been busy; sewing TeamGB logo’s onto clothing, making bunting and accessorising everything with the Union Jack, we’ve been SEW busy!!!

 

In the Opening Ceremony we were introduced with an impressive visual bang and witnessed an array of stunning and enticing outfits worn by the 15,000 performers, marking the moment the 2012 games began and all the eyes of the world focussed on London and the UK.  (In fact it apparently took 1 mile of clothing rails to hold all the costumes needed for the show!!)

 

Even the sports gear worn by the Olympians was stepped up a gear this year after the input of top designers.  A lot of name designers got involved with the uniforms and we were eagerly awaiting to see the nations step out in their patriotic colours, as they say: “it’s not the colours you go home with, it’s the colours you came with that matter”!! With Stella McCartney backing TeamGB and Ralph Lauren influencing the US (you can’t get 2 better representatives).

 

However, what stole the show was the Closing Ceremony with the Olympic Fashion show paying tribute to the great British fashion designers and influencers that have impacted the world for decades. The stadium was brought to a standstill as the nation’s sexiest supermodels emerged from giant lorry billboards and performed a creative ode to British fashion catwalk. The line up included Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Lily Cole, all showcasing a series of intricate custom-made gold outfits from our iconic British brands.The amount of work and detail in particularly Naomi’s dress was incredible, and my personal favourite.

 

We know the slogan for London 2012 is “Inspire a Generation” … we definitely agree that the Olympics have left a legacy and hopefully there will be a generation inspired to sew too!!

 

National Sewing Machine Day

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Toyota Home Sewing Blog

Today, Wednesday 13th June 2012, is officially SEWING MACHINE DAY!!

Sew, Happy Sewing Machine day to all our lovely Home Sewing community and all our much loved Toyota Sewing Machines!!

Yes, you read that correctly, there really is a day dedicated to our wonderful creative companion … And, just as any other day of dedication, it’s a day to honour and appreciate all all the hard-work of this impressive invention!!

Sew, today is the day to treat your existing machine to a lovely clean, freshen up or service and why not see what new accessories and feet your sewing machine could benefit from (and you too will also benefit, of course)!!  Or, not sewn in a while (ever) … today gives you the perfect opportunity to get out your machine, dust it off and give it another go; or treat yourself to a spanking lovely new one!!

Now is the perfect time to invest in a Sewing Machine if you don’t already own one!! Just last week it was reported that the UK’s disposable income will fall for the third year on the run, and it’s no secret that we here at Toyota Home Sewing fully support “make do and mend” and creativity.

Sew, in the spirit of “Sewing Machine Day” we have brought you a list of 5 of our favourite sewing machines and accessories for you to check out:

QUILT226-EU

1. QUILT226 – 26 stitch Quilting machine with a wide range of additional accessories included. Join the “quilting” trend with this great machine!!

 

toyota super jeans 15

2. TOYOTA SUPER JEANSOur 15 stitch Super Jeans model with basic functions, but the unique ability to sew through up to 12 layers of denim…impressive!! Click the link to see all the accessories included with this machine along with a short video demonstration of the machine in use!!

 

black-sew-machine

3. DESIGNS FOR LIVING – Personalise your machine with our unique concept by choosing one of our nature inspired designs to feature on the top or side panel of your machine. Also, choose from our 21, 24 or 25 stitch options. View all the range here, and choose the one that best suits you!!

 

JETB224

4. JETB224 – Our Premium Design Toyota machine. Don’t miss out on all the features, it speaks for itself, check them out here

 

ECO15CG

5. ECO15CG – For all our Eco Friendly lovers we bring you this lovely new CO2 reduced machine, at a weight of just 4.85 kgs. Come and check it out here and find out about the great features of this ECO machine!!

 

ACCESSORIES:

Black Bag

1. Sewing Machine Bag – Keep your bag safe and free from dust by protecting it in this purpose made bag for your Toyota sewing machine. It also comes with 2 carry straps making it simple and easy to transport your machine. (AND If you order now you qualify for the special online price).

 

extension table

2. Extension Table – Make sewing those larger projects easier by adding this extension table to your sewing machine and increase your work surface area and support (but, remember to make sure you get the right one for your model)!!

 

Footwork - Decoration

3. Footwork Decoration Kit – Let us provide you with everything you need to embellish your sewing projects in this amazing all in one pack…use the same Toyota machine; all you need to buy is this Footwork kit to transform it’s capabilities & features!!

 

brush

4. Cleaning Brush – Although only small, it plays a big part in the maintenance and efficiency of the running of your machine! For that reason we’ve included it in our top 5 accessories!!  If you haven’t got one, treat your machine to one today!!

Rufflers foot

5. Ruffler – Make life easier and create various types/sizes of pleats by letting your machine do all the work!! Watch a quick demonstration of how simple it is to use here and use it to update your wardrobe, home and gifts with pleats and ruffles!!

Toyota Home Sewing

Don’t forget Toyota Machines come with a 3 year guarantee, let them be for life not just for National Sewing Machine Day … We invite you to discover for yourself the ease, reliability and superior craftsmanship that Toyota Home Sewing is renowned for!!

If you have any questions don’t forget you can interact with us on Facebook, Twitter or call us on 01322 291137, we look forward to hearing from you!!

 

 

Big British Bunting Breaks World Record

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From the Banksy wall last week, to the Jubilee streets of the Nation this week … We all know that bunting has become all the rage recently and a common “must have” accessory at any party.  So, it’s no surprise it was the compulsory part to complete many Jubilee street parties this bank holiday weekend!! Streets were lined with red, white and blue flags blowing ripples of our patriotic colours to honour the royal celebrations.

 

Everyone from craft enthusiasts, to primary school children have been busy creating, cutting and sewing the festive triangles in preparation and one village in particular appears to have been especially busy. Schools, community groups and local villagers of Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire, have collectively been busy over the last 3 months!! Their achievement = 14,000 individually decorated flags that have been sewn together and displayed to reveal the longest ever line of bunting!!

 

The previous world record was set last year, totalling 3,427.94m.  But it seems the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee unleashed a new battle of the bunting, as community and competitive spirits were raised!!  At the moment, Clumber Park have officially beaten last year’s record  (a trundle wheel confirmed the stretch of 3,800m flags), BUT will it be a short lived victory??

 

Any of our Home Sewing Community ready to go for 15,000 flags??!!  🙂

Do you have the “craft-factor” for new BBC shows?

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The BBC are famous for bringing us the new kids on the block (or should that be box); with top talent shows narrowing down the best of the best in Britain across many genres.  And this autumn it looks like we crafty folk are in for a real treat! … Whether you aim to be behind the box, or just simply in front of it, we are guaranteed to be entertained!

 

You might remember last month we shared with you a link to apply for a new BBC show from the makers of “The Great British Bake Off”. This was really exciting news for us in the sewing world, and was tailored for anyone serious and passionate about sewing. (If you didn’t see it click here)

 

But, this month, we bring you a new update …. in addition to the above, the BBC are doing a separate recruitment drive for applicants to another show that is searching for the brightest and best *amateur design-makers!

 

We’re all passionate about craft here, so, if you’d like a chance to present your work to some of Britain’s most discerning masters and makers and inspire viewers why not apply? From textiles to leatherworking, glass-blowing to greenwood furniture making, if you love nothing more than to design and create wonderful objects, the producers say they would love to hear from you. The show will be called “Paul Martin’s Handmade Revolution” and is created by the same producers of BBC Two’s hit show “Flog It”.

 

For more details & to apply, visit www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours/shows/beonashow/handmade_revolution.

 

There will be two events, to which successful applicants will be invited to bring one item which best represents their work. Event details are as follows:

  • Midlands: 30 June to 1 July 2012 (cut-off date for applications: Friday 22 June)
  • South East: 14 to 15 July 2012 (cut-off date for applications: Friday 6 July)

 

Please note: *amateur refers to anyone whose sole income does not come from sales of their craftwork.

Sew Arty … Bringing Banksy Back?!

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It seems we aren’t the only ones preparing our bunting for the Jubilee celebrations … this young child has popped up with his sewing machine crafting some Union Jack bunting on the wall of a street in London.  

 

Earlier this week, this very ordinary high street awoke to find the graffiti fairy had made a special visit  that night, transforming the bare wall to a new hot tourist destination. It has also caused quite a stir in the media, social and art world, igniting speculation over who did the work and what it relates too. 

 

The question is: is this the latest work of British street artist Banksy?

 

There are a lot of tell-tale signs to immediately associate it to the typical kind of works famously known of Banksy across the world…The distinctive stencilling technique strategically placed and composed that subjectively offers a social commentary to the more thoughtful viewer!

 

Whoever the “spray and run” piece belongs to we just love it … we love art, we love sewing, we love sewing machines and we love Toyota Home Sewing!!

 

Sew Soul Mates

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We stumbled across a great video that features a trustworthy senior Toyota Sewing Machine at work by a senior American Engineering Professor and thought it fitted in well with our recent blog … It supports our theory that the use of correct TLC and maintenance can see your machine sticking around for as long as you!!

(Click Here to the Toyota Sewing Machines cameo on this short video.)

 

Rene Coté, known by his students as “Grampa” because of his personable and friendly nature, is an Engineering Professor at TCU.  He runs his own small in-home embroidery business designing and making t-shirts, hats and polos for his colleagues and students. He creates the customised items all on his loyal Toyota Sewing Machine that he’s been using for over 20 years!! … We guess he’s a man that knows a thing or two on how to look after your sewing machine and keep it running well!!

“Sometimes you have to think like a machine.”   says Coté

It seems Coté’s sewing machine really has become his best friend, and they both seem well suited to each other don’t you think?! And that got us thinking …  “Do sewing machines reflect our personalities in some way?!” and “Does everyone have a “soul mate” sewing machine?”

 

I’ve recently purchased a beautiful new Purple/Gold Toyota Design for Living number that is definitely my soul mate … but I wonder what this says about me??!!

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks goes to TCU News where the article was spotted

Sewing is SEW valuable – Upcycling

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The new upcycling craze everyone’s talking about…

It’s no secret that we’re passionate about Home Sewing here at Toyota, however, it seems we’re definitely not on our own because more and more of you are joining us!!

 

 

The 1950’s was the epitome of the ‘Make Do and Mend’ era forcing most households to pick up and learn sewing skills to survive the cold weather and fabric shortages, becoming a popular and enjoyable hobby. However, when the economy picked up things turned lazy and, rather than picking up a needle & thread or sewing machine to fix a missing button or  turn up a pair of trousers, consumers started to bin the item and buy new rather than repair.

 

However, since the recession a few years ago, the humble sewing machine has been making a remarking comeback and is now, once again, a desirable accessory and we have seen a huge rise in SIY (Sew It Yourself). We may no longer be able to turn to their grandparents or mums for guidance after a skipped generation, but people are clamouring to join sewing classes and following simple tutorials online.

 

This time round, history is repeating itself….only just with a new name … “Upcycling” (and a new machine of course). This is basically a term given to any item that is modified to be used again and can be applied to the home, the office, your wardrobe etc!!

“It’s fun, creative and, once you get the hang of it, really not that hard!!”

If you are a beginner wanting to learn new sewing skills then you are in the right place to begin! First of all you need to choose a machine to best suit you, why not take a look at our Designs For Living ranges. This can be built up by buying our Footwork Kits & accessories as you advance and progress to always get the best results. Learning the basic skills is simple: there are plenty of introductory and advanced sewing classes in most areas and even exciting new sewing cafes, as well as our online tutorials and videos.

 

 

You can also ask us any sewing questions you have on our Twitter and Facebook pages…we love to hear from you and see what you’re making!!