Tips for Beginners: Rolled Hems


What is a rolled hem?

Rolled hems are a very small turned hem finished with a straight stitch. They’re made by rolling up the raw edge until it’s hidden by a small hem, then flattening the hem down and straight stitching down the middle. They’re easiest to work with lightweight woven fabrics such as cottons, silks and voile, and work well on a slightly curved hemline. The light delicate nature and simple straight stitch securing makes them perfect for the bottoms of skirts and dresses, or intimate items such as babydolls or your favourite frilly knickers! As they can sometimes add a slight wave to the hemline, try to avoid using them on straight edged areas such as armholes.

Rolled hems by machine

An extremely delicate rolled hem can be achieved with hand stitching, but don’t despair if your hand sewing isn’t quite up to scratch. With practice, a machined rolled hem can be just as perfect as a hand one, and using your sewing machine can really speed up the process. If you’re making large items, or lots of small ones, why not give it a try on your machine!

The easiest way to create a rolled hem on a machine is to use a specialised roll hem foot like this one. These roll and tuck the fabric for you as you sew, speeding up the process and ensuring you get an evenly sized hem!
First, make a normal straight stitch and backstitch over the first inch of your hem, and cut the threads (leave the threads quite long). This anchoring will help you smoothly pull the hem through the first few troublesome inches of the roll hem.

With your secure stitching in place, roll the first few inches oh your hem and place it into the gap of the roll foot. Pull gently on the threads you left hanging as you sew, to ease it through the foot. Then simply slowly sew along your hem, helping to roll the fabric into the foot when needed.

Tips and tricks

  1. Trim your fabric very neatly, a couple of inches at a time, to reduce any fraying. The neater the edge you work with the easier the roll hem!
  2. Keep a pin or awl on hand to help manipulate the fabric into the roll – changes in hem thickness (such as sewing over seams) can slightly jump your fabric out of place. Helping to ease the fabric back in place will keep your hem neat.
  3. As in all cases of sewing, the magic trick is to be patient! Although they can be tricky to get to grips with, a rolled hem should be easy to turn out if you take your time as you go. A little less speed can save a lot of unpicking! Why not try the method out on some fabric scraps first, to get used to the foot?

Without a roll hem foot

If you don’t have a roll hem foot, you can use a presser foot instead!

  1. Sew a straight stitch 1/4” from your raw edge, and fold the hem up from your straight stitch
  2. Sew another straight stitch a tiny 1/8” in from the edge
  3. Trim the raw edge away as close as you can get to your stitching
  4. Fold once more, just enough to encase the raw edge (you want as small a fold as you can)
  5. Then press into position and straight stitch again down the middle of the hem!

If you’re still struggling to handle the roll hem, why not message us through facebook or twitter letting us know what’s going on. We’re always happy to help you out, and we love to see your creations!

Toyota Home Sewing – Website Introduction


Recently, we changed our Home-Sewing website to make it simpler and smarter for our users. Following this big news, we thought it was about time we wrote a little bit about it so that you not only know how to use it but you also know what you can find on there…


Firstly, to access our site from the UK simply click on the link here and a new page will appear and look like this:



At the top of the page you will see these options:


1. Sign In: If you have already registered with Toyota Home-Sewing you can log straight into the site here.

2. Search: If you are looking for something in particular you can type it in this area and click the magnifying glass ie ‘needles’.

3. Sewing Machines: If you are looking to view our range of sewing machines this is the place to head to. However, please note that the only machine we sell directly through our site is “Designs For Living“. All our other sewing machines are information pages only and are sold through our dealers.

4. Accessories & Parts: When you click on this tab, you will see our impressive range of accessories. These include needles, storage, tools & consumables etc. We have tried to make it simple to find what you are looking for by placing all our accessories into  categories. However, if you are struggling to find what you are looking for, try the search bar at the top right of the page.

5. Haberdashery & Books: As part of our new site, we have introduced a new section called Haberdashery & Books. We are hoping to grow this area and if you would like to see anything in particular being sold here, please let us know on our Facebook page.

6. Overlockers: Overlockers are becoming very popular with home sewers and we know it is important to find the right one for you so we now also have a page dedicated to our wonderful range. Here, you will find a list of our overlockers along with their key features and functions.

7. Oekaki: If you hover over this Oekaki tab you will have two options : ‘OEKAKI WORLD’ and ‘OEKAKI STORE’. If you click on the Oekaki World, you will be taken to a new site that is dedicated to the world of Oekaki; including blog posts, tips and guest how to’s. If you select the Oekaki Store, a page containing all the relevant accessories for the Oekaki machine will appear. To find out more about Oekaki and what it is, click here.

8. Instruction Manuals: We understand how important it is to have access to the instruction manual if you have a question about using your sewing machine, or you’re trying to use a new feature. If you want to find our whether we have an electronic version of your sewing machine’s manual, simple visit this page. If you cannot see your machine here, please contact our spares department by emailing

9.  Movies: Sometimes it can be tricky to pick up a new sewing technique. This part of our Home Sewing website features all our videos that may help guide you through a particular task.

10. Delivery & Returns: This section applies to any purchases made on the Home Sewing UK website. It will answer some of the questions you have about delivery fees, changing an order and returning an order etc. If you have a question that isn’t answered within this section you can ask us on our Facebook page.

11. Contact: As well as asking us your questions over on Facebook and Twitter, we have a section of the site dedicated to contact us. Here, we have a contact form where you can leave your details and comments, a contact telephone number for you to call and our address for you to write into.


At the bottom of the page you will see these options:

12. About Us: Here, you will find out about the history of Aisin and Toyota Home Sewing.

13. Branches & Agents: We have provided a list of our branches and distributors in Europe and Central Asia. In this list you will be able to access our addresses, contact telephone numbers and email addresses.

14: Sewing Machine Buying Guide: We understand that buying a sewing machine is an investment and therefore it is important to choose the one that best suits you and what you are hoping to use it for. We have placed some useful tips into this sewing machine buying guide to help you find your perfect match.

15: Social Media Links: This part of our site is a quick way to find us on social media. We have Home Sewing accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube and we welcome you to join our communities.

16. Toyota Home Sewing Blog: This is a quick way to access our Home Sewing blog. If you don’t have the blog web address, simply click on this link and it will bring you straight on to the blog.


At the right of the page you will see these options:

17. Sewing Machine Buying Guide: At the right hand side of the page you will find another link to our Sewing Machine Buying Guide as mentioned in point 14.

18. Oekaki World: This is another link to take you directly to our Oekaki World blog as mentioned in point 7.

19. Community Poll: We love to hear from you and so we have placed this simple poll on our home page to learn more about you. The question currently on there is “How Old Is Your Toyota Sewing Machine” and to answer you simply select the choice that applies to you. You can also see the results above the Poll.


We hope this little introduction helps you to navigate around our new site easily and you enjoy looking around our new features.


Sew Successful – Buttonholes


Today, buttonholes can be placed on everything from dresses, jeans, pillows to simply just pieces of art and decorative work. Most machines come with a 4-step buttonhole foot and are able to complete the simple function with ease but, and you’re not the only one, have you ever actually given it a go?


If the answer is no or you’re not sure, here’s a video from Toyota Home Sewing to help you get started. It’s one of those “once you pop you can’t stop”  cliches …. so dig around for the long white foot (aka your bottonhole foot), open up your wonderful button collection jar, grab some spare fabric AND, have fun!!

PS. Don’t worry if you don’t already have one or you don’t seem to be able to find yours, you can purchase a Buttonhole Foot (4 step) on our Toyota Home Sewing website here.  Let us know how you get on by posting to our Facebook or Twitter pages.

Twin Needles – What they are and how to use them




This is often a function that goes unnoticed or untried on a sewing machine but we hope within this blog you’ll find everything you need to know to get you started and encourage you to give it a go. First of all twin needles for our RS sewing machines can be bought directly here.

The picture to the left shows an example.

What is a twin needle?

A twin needle is just basically two needles attached to a single shank, one being slightly shorter than the other to enable your bobbin to catch the thread from both needles.

The needle is used to sew two parallel rows of sewing. It installs in your machine in the same way a regular needle would HOWEVER, the difference is with the spools – if you hadn’t guessed, 2 needles = 2 spools!! Thread your machine as you normally would, one thread at a time ensuring you don’t get them twisted. Hand thread them through each needle as the auto-threader will not work. After you’ve threaded it, I’d always just wind down the needle to make sure none of the needles catches the foot plate. Then, it’s simple … just sew. It looks so effective, I always think it adds a professional and decorative look to any project with such ease and nothing makes parallel lines simpler.

And that’s it, so, why not buy yourselves a twin needle (just £3 on our Home-Sewing site) and get crafty!!





Good Luck!!

Our Brand New Sewing Machine …


Toyota Sewing Machine

It’s SEW exciting … This month, we get to see the launch of our brand new Toyota Home Sewing machine – OEKAKI. The sewing machine has been named after the Japanese concept and term “to draw” and we want to help encourage you to have fun with sewing!! We’d love to see you personalise clothes, furnishings and even transforming your child’s artwork to a unique tapestry piece together!!


We’ve set up a very special Oekaki World BlogFacebook and Twitter to share, show and see what is going on within the community … so make sure you get connected!!


This machine has been cleverly put together by our Toyota design team and has some wonderful features .. it comes with a special starter pack to make it as simple as possible for you to make the most of your new purchase and get started straight away (even if you’re brand new to sewing) – it includes an extension table, DVD, darning/embroidery foot, flower stitch foot, thread etc … PLUS we’re giving a free embroidery hoop to every Oekaki owner here.


We ‘re so excited to see our brand new model already feature in the popular UK Sew Today magazine (see pic below) and be recommended for a Christmas buy in “All we want for Christmas”.  The model will be released for sale in the UK on Friday 23rd November 2012.


Oekaki Machine Magazine Article

If you’d like to read more about this sewing machine, or find out where you can buy it from … come and visit us here. We’ll also be running competitions, sewing projects and sharing your tips and creations so DON’T MISS OUT!!

National Sewing Machine Day


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:


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!!



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!!



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



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!!



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!!



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!!



Sewing Machine Feet – The Basics


Sewing with machines can be as complex as you choose to make it; the key is to start by knowing the basics and then get “hands on”!! Understand what you want to achieve, what best methods/equipment to use for that and treat it a bit like the concept of driving – “learning by doing”!! Everyone has a personal style and it’s great to throw yourself into that and impress yourself with your results, but the basics are essential to taking care of your machine (and mind)!!!

Below you’ll find some general advice on sewing machine accessories to help build up your knowledge of what’s available:



Buttonhole Foot

To achieve the correct measurements, quality and finish to a buttonhole – this foot is a must have in any sewing box! It saves time and creates a neat, professional look. With buttons being the key to completing any item (both aesthetically and practically) this really is an aid not to be missed.



Embroidery Foot

Perfect for creating decorative stitches and embellishments. I love using this foot; it can transform an old tired piece (clothing/cushions/cards) to a completely contemporary feel or even give an item a more classic transformation. It becomes so personal-it is a tool that never tires me to use. You can sew to a design or just really go with the flow and rhythm of the machine.



Straight Stitch Foot

Used for straight stitch work such as top stitching, seaming, quilting. Therefore it becomes a highly used, essential tool. It provides a great finish as it allows excellent fabric control when working with very fine material through to heavy fabric.


Blind Hem Foot

Like many of the feet the name describes this item exactly – a stitch that you can’t see the hem!! It is a more formal finish, extremely professional and yet so simple. Hand sewing takes time that most of us do not have so this foot makes the desirable result easily achievable with your machine!!


Zigzag Foot

Also known as the all-purpose foot, as this is perfect for most utility stitching and other standard functions. It is a great accessory to have on hand as a back-up foot. It has the benefit of a three needle position – centre, left and right and allows control but movement whilst feeding.


Zipper Foot

This is designed for installing zips accurately; the design of the foot allows the needle to stitch closely to the item. It is also a must when piping with cord.Remember as well as new creations – Zips can be added to renovate old items (clothing and furnishings) to resize or even just bring them to trend!!


**If you know you are sewing a specific project or have a preferred method it is definitely worth taking a look into the ready to go Footwork Kits available by Toyota (ie “Footwork Kit Denim/Jean”) that make it simple to get started!!**


Stole the night away


A stole (aka shawl) is an ideal way of finishing your outfit, whilst covering your bare arms and adding a touch of colour or glitz. The great thing is, it’s quick and easy to make and you can choose your own colours to compliment any outfit without breaking the purse never mind the bank!!

So if you’re heading on yet another social of the season and running low on outfits, especially in the bleak mid-winter weather, don’t get stressed out … follow our simple steps to make this beautiful shawl to add and give any outfit a second outing without looking like the one you wore last week.

  1. Choose your fabric well, match it to something you intend on wearing and choose one that drapes well.
  2. Fold the fabric in half lengthways, wrong sides together and stitch a *French seam 1cm around from side edge to the opposite side edge, using a zigzag or overlocker effect. Sew all the way around but make sure you leave a small turning gap in the centre.

*French seam: hides all raw edges, to provide a neater finish.

  1. Trim the seam allowance down to a minimum (approx. 3mm) and press. (Be careful with delicate fabrics).
  2. Turn through the small gap you left to the right side.
  3. With right sides together now fold the fabric along the stitched edge and press.
  4. Sew around again (0.5cm from the stitched line), encasing the raw edges and leave another turning gap.
  5. Turn through and press.
  6. Securely close the turning gap using a slip stitch until your happy with the finished look.

Toyota Recommends:

  • Using our Decorative Footwork Kit why not add some randomly placed machine embroidery to add some detail, and you could even add in some sparse beading.Sewing Machine Decorative Foot
  • Finish by adding a stylish trim or fringing to the shorter ends. You can even achieve a great look by simply layering up zigzag stitches. Try a metallic thread or coordinating colour.
  • Create another shawl using two different coloured fabrics, one for the outside and one for the inside to achieve a contrast lining or even a reversible one to change with what you wear or to create a day Vs an evening look.
  • Finish the complete look off by adding a decorative brooch to the finished piece.

How to Sew In A Zip With Your Sewing Machine


Adding zips to clothing can be done for practicality of fashion.


You may simply have a zip that’s broken and needs replacing, or you may wish to recreate some popular styles. For example, this fabulous Gucci Dress utilises a stylish zip down the front which gives it a fabulous modern style.


dress with zip

You can easily create a similar style or add a simple zip for practical reasons.


Click on the image for larger version.


Here’s some tips to help you along the way when adding zips with your sewing machine.


Attach a zipper foot on to your sewing machine for easy zipper sewing.


zip fasner
Buy a sewing machine zipper foot


Attaching a zipper foot

  1. Remove the power plug or switch off the sewing machine and remove a foot.
  2. When sewing the Right side of the zipper, attach the Left pin to the presser foot holder.
  3. Attach the Right pin when sewing the Left zip side.



How to sew

  • Do not sew a U-turn across the zip teeth.
  • Sew the right and the left zip sides separately. Stitch them to the same direction.
  1. Sew the right then the left zip sides.
  2. Sew parallel to the zipper teeth.
  3. When you reach the middle, stop sewing, needle in the fabric, raise the presser foot, and pull down the zip slide past the needle.
  4. Repeat the same procedure when sewing the left zip side.
  5. Change the foot for normal sewing.

Good luck and we’d love to see your creations, so please do upload them to our facebook page to show us what you’ve been making with your Toyota sewing machines!