The Great British Sewing Bee



We know we’re probably not the first ones to bring you this fantastic news, but, just in case you’ve missed it we’re excited to share it with you                           …



The Great British Sewing Bee, from the makers of  “Great British Sew Off”, will be coming to our BBC2 screens very soon!!


Remember we linked to the application process last year, and it seems that it’s here already!! It’s no secret that the aim of the show will be to encourage people to sew and excite the “make and mend” movement back into the nation, just as the Bake Off did with baking. Of course the extent of success will not be truly known until the show is actually underway, however going off the success of the Great British Bake Off and also the fact that it is based around amateur contestants as opposed to ‘professionals’ we are pretty confident that this spring/summer is one to look forward to!!

Claudia Winkleman will be presenting the show supported by judges May Martin and Patrick Grant.

So, do you think Claudia will be able to recruit a nation into being economic through sewing? Toyota have always backed the idea and are excited to see more big names behind it.

If you’re inspired and looking to invest in a sewing machine, or even just interested in seeing which sewing machine accessories are out there – why not pop over to our Home-Sewing site where you can choose your own stylish look with our Designs For Living range or learn more about our accessories and storage items too.

Let’s all aim to be happy little sewing bee’s this spring and share our skills with others!!

Top 5 Spring Sewing Projects


Now that there’s been a good few days of nice weather and the days are officially getting longer we feel it is the perfect time to keep yourself warm & busy creating some lovely spring pieces. It doesn’t seem long since advent calendars were lining the shelves but already they’re now stacked with Easter eggs and the high streets are finally bringing out beautiful and colourful dresses once again… so even though it takes a little faith to trust that Spring is on her way, she is!!

1. Make An Owl Doorstop.

There’s no denying there’s still a chill in the air so why not make this cute and cuddly owl but use stuffing or dried peas/rice to create your very own colourful chill protector. We found this one from Toad’s Treasures and found their step by step guide very useful.

2. Fabric Easter Eggs.

What better way to reduce the temptation of all that chocolate than to replace with fabric eggs instead. Not only do they look so much prettier (and you can choose the colours yourself) but they will take away all that urge to eat them and last for next year too. Lovely free pattern at Positively Splendid.

3. Oil Cloth Lunch Bag.

I’ve yet to find someone that disagrees how wonderful Martha Stewart’s ideas can be and here’s another that fails to disappoint. It’s her oil cloth lunch bag. Spring means we can finally start making our packed lunch once again so why not grab some colourful oil cloth and give it a go.

4. Gardening Apron.

What says ‘I love you’ better than a thoughtful handmade gift? So, with mother’s day approaching we picked this easy to make gardening apron from Sew-Mama-Sew that you should be able to create just in time for 10th March. In fact I think I’ve decided I’ll make this one too.

5. Easter Bunny.

Children will love them, why not sew up some easter bunnies in your favourite fabrics. This time of year isn’t complete without the easter bunny and the great thing is you can amend the pattern to make it a spring/summer bunny instead. The tutorial we found was from Revoluzzza here.


These are just some ideas to get you started and I hope they help. Remember to post your pictures to our Facebook page and let us see what you’ve been creating. Or if you have any recommendations of your favourite projects and blogs, we’d love to hear your thoughts too.


Toyota Home Sewing


Sew Successful – Gift Bags


Have you dreamed of dressing your presents up this Christmas and giving an extra special touch to your gifts… well here’s how with this simple and stylish reversible gift bag tutorial …


 You can make it to your ideal size and choose your ideal fabric to make it perfect for anyone. It’s an eco-friendly wrapping solution and we love that … it can be used again and again for all sorts of things from storage to door stoppers as well as more gift-giving


1. Choose 2 coordinating fabrics and cut out your desired shape from each fabric x 2. This will give you 4 rectangles of the same size.

2. Pair the fabric together, right sides facing.

3. Use your Sewing Machine to sew a 1cm seam down the lengths and along the bottom of each separate bag (leave the top open).

4. Choose which one will be the exterior bag and turn it right side out, press. (Leave the liner bag inside out).

5. Slip the liner bag over the bag that will be on the exterior when completed (right sides facing). Pin bags together at the top seam.

6. Stitch the liner and exterior bag together with a 1cm seam along the top only, (making sure you only sew 1 layer of exterior and one layer of liner together all the way around).

7. Use a seam ripper to take out 3cm of the stitching on the bottom seam of your liner bag.

8. Gently pull the exterior fabric through this hole, (right side out).

9. Close the hole in the liner using your Sewing Machine (stitching close to the edge).

10. Took liner into the exterior bag and press.

11. Place the thicker ribbon around the bag about 3cm from the top and pin. (Make sure that the raw edge of the ribbon is tucked directly underneath itself, approx. 1cm, and starts on the side seam of the bag).

12. Slip the bag over the Sewing Machine arm, and place under the presser foot.

13. Stitch along the top edge of the ribbon; stop stitching before reaching the other side seam.

14. Cut the ribbon off at the seam, allow for a 1cm overhang, turn this under, align with side seam and stitch in place. (Back stitch at each side seam for reinforcement).

15. Repeat this method to attach the second piece of ribbon to the other side of the bag.

16. Stitch along the bottom edge of the ribbon (it should remain open/accessible at both ends).

17. Attach a safety pin to the end of the narrow ribbon and draw it through, pull full circle.

18. Join together the ribbon ends, remove safety pin, and tie off to secure.

19. Start at the opposite end and repeat procedure with safety pin and ribbon.

20. Simply pull on the ribbon ends to tighten and your bag is finished!!