Sewing With Fur


Don’t avoid working with novelty fabrics; use some of our top tips on buying, cutting, handling and sewing this season’s popular novelty fabrics!

The best place to start is always with a small sample piece of the fabric you’d like to use and to try several stitches on it to get used to the weight, feel, ease and style of stitch. Christmas is the season most likely to use novelty fabrics, so be prepared and give it a go … whether you’re challenged to create a costume for your child’s nativity play, a hot water bottle cover, or just some creative craft pieces. If you really get to grips sewing with fur then you could even create your own jacket … our advice is don’t be scared to try it!

Fur Fabrics:


Choose your design/pattern carefully…try and make it a simple, uncomplicated one with as little seams, detail and fastenings as possible (especially just to begin with). Remember fur fabrics can look bulky especially if they have a shaggy pile, so be wise if using them to create any clothing/jackets and don’t give something a heavy look.


Begin by checking you have sharp scissors and cut in single layers to ensure you get an accurate cut (but remember to flip the pattern piece if a right and left side are needed!). Cutting with the pile is also important so put a little arrow on each pattern piece to help you cut in the direction you choose. Avoid giving the ends a blunt “chopped” look when cutting with long haired fabrics by only cutting the backing fabric (and maybe the odd strand that need to be set free).


If you need to hold layers or edges together it can be quite useful to try out paper clips and tape as well as pins as they hold the thickness and are easy to remove. We recommend colourful glass headed pins with fur as they are so easy to see, sew around and remove which is important – you need to make sure you don’t miss any and leave any in after sewing!! Prevent stretching the fabric whilst you sew by using a small tack or even some tape to stabilise it on the backing. It’s best to avoid top stitching on long pile fabrics and any iron-on interfacings as they can be really messy.


Go around the finished seams on the right side of the fabric and use a sturdy pin to pick out the fur along the seams to cover and neaten them. Also, be careful if you choose to press it as most fur fabrics are very sensitive to heat – to be honest it’s best to avoid any pressing when working with fur and you will find most fur fabrics won’t need it anyway!

Sewing Machine Tip:

Clean your sewing machine regularly to avoid any fur clogging it up, it only takes a moment and can make a big difference to maintaining the performance of your machine!

We’ve created some great pieces using fur in the past, so give it a go, stick with it and keep testing ideas out. Share your creations with us on our Facebook pages and let us know if you have any tips to feed back to us…we’d love to hear!!

Sewing Machine Manuals


One of the most important accessories that will come in the box with your new Toyota sewing machine is the instruction manual…it will become your complete introduction to knowing your machine well and a valuable portal into the world of sewing.

The instruction manual will remain the most important tool you have to keep your machine in good working order so you can always be confident you are getting the best, and making the most, out of it. Toyota has created your manual especially for you, with your best interests in mind because we want you to love and enjoy your machine. The steps in doing these things vary slightly from machine to machine, so be wise and keep your book safe.

Go through the instructions slowly and carefully to make sure you don’t miss out the important bits.

In the manual you will find important information on how to initially set it up, use all the different features and troubleshoot help. It is formatted simply and with pictures to try and make following as simple as possible, however if you have any queries don’t forget you can add us on Facebook.

If you have had your sewing machine for a while, or, if it was given to you and you no longer have the manual with it don’t worry, all is not lost, as Toyota has an amazing section on the website offering you the option to download them here.

Just check your machine for a sticker that looks like this to find the model identity:

Getting Started – Part 2


Setting in the Bobbin:

**(remove the power plug before doing any of the below)

1. Turn the wheel towards you until the needle rises to its highest point.

2. Remove the extension table (slide it out from the base of the machine, towards the left).



3.Open the shuttle cover on the bottom left of the machine.


4. Use the latch of the bobbin case to pull it out of the machine, and take out the bobbin.
5. Place your new bobbin back into the case and pass the end of the thread through the grove in the bobbin case, making sure the bobbin thread winds in a clockwise direction. Pull a few inches of the thread through the tension spring at the side of the case.


6. Insert the bobbin case into the shuttle race so that the bobbin case finger slots into the grove.


7. Close the shuttle cover and replace the extension table.


Drawing up the Bottom Thread:


1. Hold the top thread (from the needle) with your left hand securely and twist the handle towards you.


2. As the top thread catches the lower thread it will pull the loop of the lower thread through to the surface.


3. When able to, pull the lower thread through and pull back about 15cm with top thread.


4. Make sure both threads pass through groove of presser foot to secure.



Congratulations, you are now threaded and ready to start using your sewing machine !!
Why not try several different stitches on some scrap pieces of fabric!!

Getting Started – Part 1


Preparing your Sewing Machine:

  1. Insert the power cord into the sewing machine.
  2. Place the foot pedal on the floor so that you can reach it comfortably with your foot.
  3. Plug the power cord into an electrical outlet.
  4. Switch the button on the machine to the “on” and the light should come on.
Sewing machine Powersupply 





Knowing your basic way around your Sewing Machine:


Threading your Sewing Machine:

Thread the spool
1. Pull up the metal spool pin and place your chosen spool of thread onto it.


2. Pull gently on the end of the thread and lead it around the thread guide (located on the upper left of the machine).
Thread guide


Tension Disc
3.Pull the thread down and pass it between the tension disc and thread guide plate.


4. Guide the thread up following the guide plate, turn the hand wheel towards you until the take-up lever is visible and pass the thread through the take up lever.
Up Lever


Sewing machine needle guide
5. Place the thread on the left side of the needle guide and thread the needle (front to back).

Sew Successful – Sewing with Sequin / beaded fabric













Continuing in our ‘Sew Successful’ series we bring you some tips on how to sew with sequin and beaded fabric.  This is the perfect season to wear sequins and beads, whether it’s on complete garments, sections or accessories. They add glamour and sparkles to any item. Sometimes we can stay away from using them because we’re not sure how to effectively sew and work with the fabric so we have some basic guidelines to help you get started and the biggest advice…practise.practise.practise J



Design/Pattern: Choose a simple design for fabrics that are heavily sequined or beaded. Keep the design minimal, avoiding seams, pleats, pockets or set in sleeves for obvious reasons. Sequined fabric can look nice as a final design feature to be sewn into a finished garment as a feature or panel; it doesn’t necessarily always have to be the base layer to stand out.

Alternatively, sequin fabric is one of the most popular choices for evening bags at this time of year and one of my personal recommendations and fun to make.


Cutting: Whatever you decide to make, remember it’s important you keep the seam allowance free of beads/sequins- you can remove these by cutting loose their thread or crushing them. Cut in a continued smooth motion & direction. We recommend cutting in single layers, but make sure you turn the pattern to create a left and right side if you do. Sometimes cutting fabric with detail can blunt blades so try and avoid this by using old scissors for these occasions.


Sewing: It is important you use new sharp needles when sewing with sequins and beads as they can easily blunt, just like scissors, so you will need to change the needles before your next piece too. A great tip is to pop on the zipper foot to your sewing machine as it makes it a lot easier to sew with this kind of fabric & is more practical than a regular foot.


Finishing: Go around and cut down any beads that may snag or are close to the edging and could create discomfort. With a very small pair of scissors work your way around and neaten up the item; making sure that all threads are secure before you cut them. If any area looks a little bare, use some hand stitching to move around or add some sequins/beads to create a full and finished look.


Special Tips: Always press on the wrong side using a pressing cloth or piece of fabric in-between the iron and the main fabric. Avoid any steam and moisture as they can damage the sequins.






Sew successfully – it’s ‘sew’ simple!!


Toyota understands that there is currently a trend of people who want to learn how to use a sewing machine and ignite the creative spark within, but, without having the disposable time or funds for one-on-one lessons it’s difficult to know where, and how, to begin.


Toyota Sewing machines Designs for Living







We love to hear of people’s passion to invest in this fun and rewarding skill so we want to help you, believe in you, and encourage you to make the most of your sewing hobby and machine. We want you to see, and experience, that not all things need to start off being bought from the shelves in your favourite shop, and not all things need to end up in the bin …they just a little TLC from you and your sewing machine!!


The best advice to get started is, simply … just to start!!


You can’t expect something to come from nothing so don’t be afraid to give it a go! We can promise that once you get started you won’t be the only one who’s had to unpick a few stitches or take a 5 minute ‘time-out’ along the way. Remember that starting small is not starting defeated.  Don’t put too much pressure on your first piece or projects … just enjoy them!!   Once you get past the initial learning curve and get your machine running & set up in the right way for you, things will just click into place pretty naturally and quickly.


Alongside our “How To’s”, follow our Toyota series here to learn how to “Sew Successfully…”


The purpose of this series is to share our top tips with you and to introduce you to exploring new methods, fabrics, stitches and much more.


If there’s anything you’d like us to cover, or, if you’d like to share any of your ideas and creations with us we’d love to hear from you…


Just ‘like’ our Facebook or ‘follow’ our Twitter to interact.

If you don’t yet have a sewing machine but really want to start, visit our fantastic range here.