When Toyota Met Emell Gök Che …


Our popular Toyota Super Jeans sewing machine seems to have a new admirer, the lovely German TV presenter Emell Gök Che.


Emell Gök Che

Emell is also an artist/designer and her talents have landed her an exciting new role as the host of Germany’s version of  our ’60 minute makeover’ starting next month, Nov 2013. Although the show will be aired on the German TV channel ‘Sat 1’ we’ve heard that it will also be available to watch online and there may well be a sighting or two of our Super Jeans machine.

Emell recently shared the below image on her social networking pages along with this quote:


“Sewing with my Super Jeans sewing machine is really fun. Thx Toyota”.


We met Emell during the IFA fair in Berlin during September when she visited our Toyota booth. Like many people, she was surprised that Toyota made sewing machines and she was very impressed when she found out and started using our demonstration model. She immediately took a fancy to our Super Jeans model … this is when Toyota Home Sewing met Emell Gök Che.


We look forward to seeing Emell on her new show next month and all the wonderful things she makes with her Toyota Super Jeans machine.


For more details on our Toyota Super Jeans visit our Home-Sewing website here: www.home-sewing.com and click into the ‘product description’ and ‘additional information’ tabs on each page. For access to the German version of our site please click here.

“I tried my new Toyota. It is so great and comfortable to sew. I love it. Next week I will use it in a scene and I am really looking forward to do it. It is not only the sewing quality but also its unique black look that thrills me.” Emell       http://www.artemell.com/alice/#/home/

How to make a Bandana Bib

My name is Anoushka. I’m married to my Husband Alister we have 2 boys, Jackson aged 11 years and Hugo aged 7 months. I work full time as a technical trainer in an engineering environment and decided I needed something girly in my life! I’ve always wanted to learn how to sew so back in April this year I decided to buy Hilda (my Toyota DFL machine) and join a weekly evening sewing class at my local community centre.
I absolutely love the classes and I’m learning so many new things every week. I’ve now got the confidence to try out new projects at home, the bandana bib being one of my favourites as I had been spending a small fortune on buying these bibs from businesses online at around £4-5 each! I can now make 4 of these bibs for the same price using brand new material (patterned cotton backed with fleece) but this design can also be made even cheaper using old baby grows/clothes lined with flannelette sheets or virtually anything else you can find.
I personally love using button fasteners on this design as there are so many to chose from and they look so cute but you can use popper fasteners or velcro (new or from old clothing) if you like.
How to make a Bandana Bib
You will need:
  • Material for bib front (cotton, old baby grow etc)
  • Material for bib back (can be the same as the front but for this I used fleece as it’s lovely, soft and absorbent)
  • Matching thread
  • A button or any other type of fastener
  • Pins
  • 1 x A3 sheet of paper
  • Pen
  • Paper scissors
  • Dressmaking scissors
  • Small sharp embroidery scissors or scalpel (to cut inside button hole)
  • Sewing machine
  • Button hole foot (if you chose to use a button)
  • Dressmakers chalk or pencil
  • Hand sewing kit (to sew on the button)

Step by step:

1. Take an A3 piece of paper and lay it down on a flat surface

2. Fold the bottom right corner up until it meets the left edge
3. Fold the bottom left corner up until it meets the right edge
4. Using a ruler and pen mark a line (copying the picture) this will contour the neck of the bib
4.1 Cut along the line that you marked (see picture)

5.  Unfold the paper and pull away your triangle bib pattern

6.  Fold the bib pattern in half and make a straight cut at the edge (see pic)
6.1 Your bib pattern is ready!

7. Pin the pattern to your back material and cut out

7.1 Repeat the process with your front material

















8. Iron both front and back pieces (use a very low setting on the fleece)

















9. Pin right sides together













10. Prepare your sewing machine and select a straight stitch













11. Start sewing about 3 inches away from the corner of the bib (reverse stitch a little at the beginning to ensure the stitching will    not undo later) give yourself a 1/4″ seam allowance

















11.1 Continue to sew 1/4″ from the edge all the way around the bib leaving a 2 inch gap from where you started (lock by reverse stitching again)

















12. Turn the bib out the right way through the 2 inch gap













13. Top-stitch along the top edge of the bib with a 1/8″ seam allowance ensuring that you seal the 2″ gap closed along the way

















13.1 Continue to top-stitch the 2 sides of the bib, giving yourself a larger seam allowance for a more decorative finish (about 1/4″)













14. Select your button













14.1 Using some chalk or a dressmakers pencil mark the length of the button onto one corner of the bib. Attach your button hole foot to your machine and sew a button hole, mine is a 4-step:

















14.2 Step 1-sew bottom bar end

















14.3 step 2-sew left edge

















14.4 step 3-sew top bar end

















14.5 step 4-sew right edge until it meets bottom bar end and finish

















14.6 Using some very sharp embroidery scissors or a scalpel, cut a slit in the middle of the button hole, taking care not to cut any stitching

















15. Sew your button onto the opposite corner and your bib is complete (see front, back and final pics)


























Sewing Room Upcycling Ideas – DIY Your Own Sewing or Desk Chair


Are you done and dusted with your spring cleaning? Have you organised your work space but fancy giving it a bit of a fresh new look? Well, recently we were truly interested, impressed, and inspired by one very simple photo and you may well be too.


We were sharing some tweets with one of our lovely, and loyal, Home-Sewing community members and came across some very interesting images. We’ve been looking for a chair that will fit in a shabby chic style sewing room for the past 2 months. The walls are lined with Laura Ashley Duck Egg ‘Summer Palace’ Wallpaper and a matching ‘Jade White’ paint from Dulux finishes it off. The desk and bookcases are a white finish but that last item still remaining to complete the look is a chair in the shops. One that is comfortable and sturdy enough to sit at for hours of sewing but that will fit in well with the rest of the room.  We’ve searched every charity & vintage looking shop for one, and, after a brief exchange with Becky, the light bulb moment struck, and the answer is simple … paint one!


The images come from Becky Peddie, and were taken from Becky’s Twitter feed. This is the first image in which we spotted the chair and, just out of interest, we asked whether it was one Becky had upcycled herself.  Sure enough it was!


This next image shows the before and after, hasn’t she done such a good job!

I actually have a used dining chair I can use for the very job – saving me the long search for the perfect chair. Maybe you are the same! Becky has also very kindly shared some of her home-sewn patchwork chair cushions to complement the look and make them extra comfy to sit on. Just like Becky says, they are a great way to use up your excess fabrics from other projects .. “a good scrap buster project!”.


Our special thanks once again go to Becky for allowing us to share these with you and GOOD LUCK to everyone about to upcycle their own!!


To read more from and about Becky – check out this blog post “Becky Peddie … Mom Not Mum” .


Carolyn’s Sew & Tell – With Love

We noticed recently a YouTube channel offering lots of helpful ideas and methods to help you sew some wonderful creations for yourself … and, as you know, we’re all for that here at Toyota Home Sewing. So, we wrote to Carolyn and asked her to do a special “Sew & Tell” especially for you. In the short exchanges we made with Carolyn we saw how lovely, friendly and passionate she is about sewing and her customers and we wish her all the best with the opening of her new shop in Edinburgh … be sure to pop in if you’re in the area – we will be!!
“My love of sewing and fashion has allowed me to create and mould my dream career around my little flat in Edinburgh.
After graduating in fashion in 2007 and feeling a little bewildered on what route to take, I soon found myself catching my first design job – creating a dress for a Miss Universe contestant. After this job, I felt that this was where I belonged – making women feel glamorous! Within 18 months, I am proud to say, from that day I have now built a dress label which has featured on the The Bachelor TV show and with various celebrity fans including Katie Piper and Millie Mackintosh.
Despite this rapid success the last year I still run my business from my little 1 bed flat in Edinburgh. However this is soon going to change as I open my first shop in Edinburgh later this month.
Throughout college I felt a little behind and less capable in my pattern cutting than my other class mates. I soon found out this was due to me having dyslexia. Despite this, dyslexia was never something which hindered me too much as I worked my own way around pattern cutting creating my own techniques. One thing that did bother me however was the first time I tried to sit down and follow a pre-made pattern. Everything suddenly became jumbled and I soon got frustrated and gave up. Rather that this being a negative thing I decided to put my dyslexia to good use. Along with my dress label I am also a Youtube partner giving tips on fashion and beauty on a budget. I decided to use my simplified pattern cutting techniques to turn the written instructions in video form. I created a series of short videos showing how to make your own celebrity red carpet dresses and sold the simplified patterns to go with the video guide. The video instructions make it easier to follow and the patterns have various symbols on them to match up the pattern pieces. My intention was to turn pattern cutting and dress making into a more accessible thing using 21st century technologies. I hoped to tap into young woman who maybe viewed dress making as complicated or old fashioned.
The thing I love most is when I am sent photos of girls all over the world wearing their dresses to proms & special events. It always puts a smile on my face.”
Carolyn Baxter has her own website of the same name that sells her unique designs & patterns and she also has her own YouTube channel that we think is just amazing and we are sure you will too … Here’s Carolyn’s personal recommendation especially for you  … How To Make Your Own Madison Dress
Check It Out .. Be Inspired!!

Josie’s Sew & Tell – The Fabric Godmother


I LOVE dressmaking! The time spent bent over my sewing machine is my time, the challenges, the mistakes (I like to call them lessons) the triumphs when you work out something new! But most of all I love it when I wear a piece of clothing that I have made and somebody walks up to me and says I love your skirt/dress/coat etc … What a feeling of achievement and satisfaction.

It is not always easy, I have never had a professional sewing lesson in my life. Everything I learnt was through trial and error (with a bit of guidance from my Mum). Nowadays the internet, especially Bloggers and YouTube, is my sewing tutor. But I think just taking a chance is the best way to learn, give it a go and see what happens.

I get my inspirations from Magazines, High street (I love Zara and H&M for fashion forward styles) and the catwalk. I often see something I like and think ‘I could make that, but better’. I am 5ft 9” and 2 sizes bigger on the bottom that the top so buying high street clothes is a bit of a nightmare. By making your own clothes you can get something that really fits and suits you.

Last year I decided to turn my passion for sewing into my job, so I set up www.fabricgodmother.co.uk a website focused on selling dressmaking fabrics, boutique patterns and essential haberdashery. There were other websites out there but many of them focused on craft fabrics rather than dressmaking. I wanted a place where everybody from beginners to experienced dressmakers could find inspiration. As well as a shop my idea is for the website and the blog (www.fabricgodmother.blogspot.com) to become a sewing community inspiring and helping others to pull out their machines and make something.

Every day I write a sewing tip which goes out to my Facebook and Twitter followers giving them quick hints that can make their lives a little easier. Take a look, you may find the answer to that question that has been bugging you for ages.


Here are Josie’s Top Tips:


  • Always challenge yourself, never put in a concealed zip before? Use one in your next project … Tip: Iron the zip flat before sewing it in, you will be able to get the needle much closer to the teeth for a more invisible finish
  • Make sure you are using the right fabric, most patterns tell you what kind of fabrics are suitable to use. Make sure you stick to fabrics with similar properties. If you are not sure ASK! I am always happy to make recommendations to my customers if they don’t know what to use.
  • Read all the instructions on the pattern before beginning. Not only that, make sure you understand them all, look up on the internet anything you are not sure about.
  • Have fun! Only sew when you are feeling upbeat. Nothing brings on the unpicker like a bad mood. If you need to, set aside time in your diary when you want to sew, make sure you have no distractions, put on the radio or your favourite music and enjoy this time to indulge in what you love doing.

(Photo showing Josie behind the sewing machine at just 9rs old)

Happy sewing,

Love Josie x





Val’s Sew & Tell – Halloween Inspiration


Val Houghton, our loyal Facebook friend & Toyota user, has kindly sent us some of her amazing “Sew & Tell” photos to share with our Toyota Home Sewing Community. And, well we thought, what better time to share this creation below considering we all need inspiring to get out the sewing machine and start making our annual costumes … Val shows us how it can be done:


We know that Val is in demand, and makes all sorts for everyone, she’s very talented!! But she explains that she made this particular costume for a friend who attended a Halloween themed dog agility class dressed as (you probably guessed it) … DRACULA!!


What costumes are you making? Why not send your creations, photos or ideas to our Facebook page, there’s a community of Home Sewing Followers who’d love to see!!

Sew Fun – Sewing Parties


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 🙂

Pinning on Pinterest – Helping Overcome “Sewing Block”


Recently we’ve been enjoying posting on Pinterest and seeing all your sewing related pins on there too.


Sew, we thought we’d bring you some of our favourite finds and introduce you to our Toyota Home Sewing pages, and for those unfamiliar with it:  introduce you to the world of Pinterest!!


Pinterest is an online pin board that is used to upload, share and manage photos between users … so for those of us who love to be organised and have a hobby like sewing … IT’S GREAT!!


What makes it so great is that you can create customised themed boards to pin your images, videos etc to and it’s easy to get started. For us, we love the fact that we can divide up our photos into categories and then store all our favourite images in one place on the web that we can refer back to at any time, or any place!! We also love the fact that other users can see and share the images we upload so it helps us offer our Toyota Home Community a bit more in a fun and attractive way!!


Sometimes, just like a good writer can get “writer’s block”, we too can admittedly get “sewing block” and find we become in need of a bit of inspiration to spark it all off again, basically a “creative kick”. Pinterest has been unique at helping overcome this obstacle .. it’s just jam-packed with amazing colours, projects, images and talent!!


Sew, if you haven’t yet visited it why not take a little look at our page & categories and see how Pinterest can also help you.


To join any of our Home Sewing Community platforms just click the links below:





(For more information on Pinterest we have found Wikipedia helpful, here’s the link. )


Becky Peddie … Mom Not Mum



Our first community blog is from the lovely, talented and inspirational Becky Peddie; a loyal Toyota Sewing enthusiast and lover of vintage…. she even got a Toyota Overlocker in lieu of an engagement ring when her fiance proposed!!!


I am a nearly 40 (!) year old stay at home mom of three plus a bonus kid who is with us on weekends.I am originally from Illinois, in the US, which is where I met my husband. We worked at a summer camp there together, then lost touch, reconnected 16 years later, and here I am! (Look out for my husband Steffen this autumn in the BBC2 sitcom “Hebburn” which was penned by his best mate Jason Cook, who also stars!)


I love to sew vintage items, and the dress you see here is from a re released Butterick pattern from 1952. (Its B4790 if anyone wants to give it a go!) I try, right now, to stick with smaller items, because of having the two little girls always underfoot.













The little bathroom heart sachets, and the ladybug lunch bag are machine sewn, and are all hand embroidered and hand inked, which is another passion of mine. The sachets contain lavender from our garden which is another love. (England is a piece of cake to garden in, unlike Illinois with its searing heat and humidity in the summer and five feet plus of snow in the 40 below zero Farenheit winters!) The collection of patchwork and embroidered pillow covers are all made from thrifted and repurposed fabrics as well.


The messenger bags are from a pattern in Mollie Makes magazine (I LOVE that mag!) and used up scraps I had on hand, and vintage buttons and trim my husband has collected for me from various funky little markets he comes across in his tv travels. (This is the man who buys me vintage patterns every year for my birthday and actually bought me my Toyota overlocker on our engagement because he knew I would be more excited about the machine than the ring. There was a message taped to it that said “Will you marry me? I obviously understand you really well!”. Lol, but don’t worry, the ring did come later on!) Awww.

The owl print hairband is another little project I do for my girls long, wispy hair that uses up small scraps. They take about five minutes each to make!










Well, that’s me, in a nutshell, and as naptime is over for my two wild women, I’d better sign off for now!


See more from Becky on her website www.beckypeddie.co.uk


Big Thanks to Becky .. Mom Not Mum 🙂

Keep up the inspiring creations!!



Introducing “It’s All About You”



At Toyota Home Sewing we are all about community and we want to hear your views and interests as well as sharing all the latest Toyota Home Sewing and industry news.


We’re constantly learning and listening on how best to put that into action for you!!  So, recently we asked you whether there would be any interest from any of our community to become a part of our blog.  To say we were delighted at getting an immediate response would be an understatement, it was an extremely exciting time at the Toyota Home Sewing Office…it brought new life into our blog: a two way conversation and a very real sense of “community”! Every now and then we ask you what you want to see, hear and learn about on our Twitter & Facebook pages and we are very excited to now be opening a new category within the blog entitled “It’s All About You”!!


Just like a good group of friends; we strongly believe that when we all pool in our ideas, links, creations, discoveries, and lessons, we’ll have alot to learn from each other…and enjoy it along the way!! This is the perfect place to do that and we invite you to be a part of the sewing sharing.

So all craft lovers, sewers, embroiders and quilters gather here and share and inspire one another .. all ages and all skill levels .. it’s all about you!!


You can post to our Twitter & Facebook pages, or, email us directly on info@aeuk.co.uk.