Sewing Machine Cover


Treat your sewing machine to a pretty makeover and a new winter coat using this simple sewing machine cover idea.


It’s no secret that your sewing machine needs looking after, especially from dust, which means it’s important you find that protective instinct over it and remember to cover it up after each use. So, I totally recommend this fun and simple project to design and make your own sewing machine cover. You could even make them as lovely gifts for sewing enthusiast friends.


You will be using your sewing machine and favorite fabric to, not only create a functional cover, but a unique funky one that will compliment your sewing personality and look great in whichever room you store it and to whoever sees it. Just like fashion…your creation can serve a purpose whilst worn but also making your sewing machine look very trendy at the same time!!


  1. Begin by taking your machines basic measurements, bearing in mind machines may vary in size.
    • Measure from the centre point at one of the smaller sides, taking it round the back, and to the centre point on the opposite smaller side. Add a 1.5cm seam allowance around and this provides you with your width measurement.
    • Measure from the base of your machine to the highest point (decide on whether you will be leaving the machine threaded or unthreaded), add on 2cm seam allowance to base and top. (if you cut the fabric on the fold bear this in mind).
    • Use these measurements to cut out the fabric pieces x 2 and lining pieces x 2 (you can cut out paper patterns before cutting the fabric if you find this a useful aid). Iron all your fabric pieces.
  2. Iron all your fabric pieces.
  3. Place the 2 main fabric pieces right sides together and sew a 1cm seam around the sides, leaving the bottom open.


  4. Repeat step 2 with the lining pieces (it will be reversible so choose a matching fabric).
  5. Slip the sleeve over your sewing machine to test the fit…you can take it in a little more if you feel it needs to be snug.
  6. When you are happy with the final fit, place the fabric over the machine again and put a pin where you feel the corners should be rounded off. When happy, mark this with a few soft dots.
  7. Remove thesleeve from the machine and lay it onto a flat surface.
  8. Smooth out one side at the top so that the corner seams lie on top of one another and neatly match up.* Do this process to both the main fabric and lining, however we recommend starting with your lining first (so any amendments are easy to hide).
  9. Use a ruler and your dots as a guideline and mark your sewing line.
  10. Follow the process with the opposite corner; measure the distance on the one you already marked, from the corner edge to the sewing line and ensure these equally match up before drawing the sewing line on the second corner.
  11. Place a pin in either corner keeping the 2 layers of fabric in place and the seams inline.
  12. Sew directly across your marked line on either side and check the fit by, once again, sliding it over your machine and amend accordingly if need be *If it’s too tight you will need to unpick the sewing line and move it closer to the corner, or if it’s too loose then sew in a second sewing line further away from the corner  (remember to use a ruler to draw the sewing line and whatever you do to one side you must do the same to the opposite.
  13. Once you’re happy it fits just as you want, cut off the excess corner fabric.
  14. Slot your main fabric inside your lining (right sides together) and pin in place at the seams and around the rest of the fabric to secure in place.
  15. Stitch the main fabric and lining together with a 1cm seam around the bottom to close, leaving a small turning gap of about 6cm.*Again, fit the sleeve over your machine before sewing and make a decision as to whether it needs a greater seam at the bottom to make it fit snug. It may need more than 1cm.
  16. Pull all fabric to the right side through this turning gap and pull out the corners and seams neatly.
  17. When you are happy you have pushed through all the fabric and it is looking finished, close the turning gap with a neat straight stitch (chose your thread to match the fabric or contrast it and sew all the way around the rim.)
  18. Lightly press

Further ideas, tips and thoughts:

  1. Add creative finishing touches around the bottom edge using ribbon or you could use any trim or lace to best suit your design.
  2. Why not applique or embroider on a personal design or your initials.
  3. If you wanted to experiment with it you could add another layer of chosen fabric, half the depth, as a long pocket by placing it between the main fabric before sewing your seam around the 3 edges (or even stitch in sub dividing sections to this to give several pouches).
  4. Rather than using it as a cover solely for static machines, you could create it with a hole in the top to allow the handle through and so that it becomes a travel cover also.
  5. Add decorative piping down the side seams by placing it in between the two layers, before sewing the seam around the main fabric.

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!!

Avoid Overlock Overload – it’s ‘sew’ simple


Overlockers are one of the most useful items in the sewer’s workroom, alongside the sewing machine of course. But so many people wonder what they are, how they are used and what the advantages are …

When I first started sewing I even asked the same questions.

An overlocker does what it says in the name…it over locks stitches!! Simples!! We just over complicated it, especially giving it second as it is also sometimes known as a ‘serger’. Its primary uses are for seaming, hemming and edging as it gives a lovely professional ‘finish’ look to items, but they do offer versatility to be used in other ways too. An overlocker is the ideal solution for all projects that involve stretchy seams, fabrics that fray, sequins or beads. It accomplishes three sewing tasks in one easy step:


  1. A seam is sewn to join layers of fabric
  2. The edge is trimmed to provide a neat finish
  3. The trimmed edge is oversewn to prevent fraying


Toyota overlockers are based on a central philosophy of ease of use whilst providing advanced performance and features. They give you the confidence to tackle more ambitious sewing projects and achieve impressive results!!


One thing to bear in mind is that, although some projects can be done 100% with an overlocker, they cannot replace all the features of a sewing machine. They are better working together as a partnership and complementing one another, rather than being used alone on projects. For example you will need a sewing machine to sew in zips, facing, button holes and top stitching etc as this is not something you could do with an overlocker.


View our Toyota Overlock range here. Just like with sewing machines, our expectations and needs are different so you should write down what you want and then you can match it up to the machine that best suits you.

If you have any queries about our Overlockers or getting started connect to us on Facebook and ask us your questions today…

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.






How to turn-up trousers “Hemming trousers”


We can all fall victims to this problem, especially as autumn and the cold weather quickly approaches us alongside the “Back to School” season. Ready-to-wear trousers are often purposefully made with extra length to accommodate for the taller buyers and a child’s growth spurts. Follow our simple steps below and save yourself some money and wardrobe malfunctions.

1. Try on your trousers (or get your child to try theirs on); with the relevant footwear & positioned correctly at the waist.


2. Fold up the hem of one leg of the trousers to the desired height and pin loosely in place. Use a long length mirror, stand up straight and confirm the hem looks correct from all angles.


3. Take off the trousers, measure how far up you folded the hem and add a 1cm hem allowance then cut off the excess.


4. Repeat on the opposite leg.


5. Finish the raw edges of the fabric by using a sewing machine to zigzag a stitch along the edge (or by using an Overlocker).













6. Fold the 1cm hem allowance back up, press and pin back in place.


7. Use a sharp hand needle and matching cotton to hand sew the new hem in place.  (Start stitching from the underside, sewing with very small catch stitches).


8. Follow this all the way around the hem, tie a neat knot in the thread & remove all pins.


9. Repeat on the other leg.



• Do steps 1 through to 5 but this time allow for a 3cm hem allowance before cutting off the excess.
• Fold, press and pin a 1cm hem, then use a sewing machine stitch to secure this in place.
• Turn up a further 2cm, press and pin.
• Follow the steps 7 – 9 and press to finish.

Make your own bunting


You can never go wrong with this quintessential British decoration … An excellent way to brighten up any area!! And a perfect sewing machine project to use up those remnants of beautiful fabric that we refuse to throw away!!









1.    Cut an elongated triangular template from card.

2.    Place the template onto the chosen fabrics and draw around it (rotating to get the triangles as close to each other as possible) and cut out.

Cut out your triangular templates














3.    Place 2 pieces of fabric together (right sides facing) and, using your sewing machine, sew a 1cm seam down one long side and stop.  Keep the needle down in the fabric, turn and sew up the other long side. (Do not sew top side)

4.    Continue step 3 for all triangles and then turn fabric right sides out and press.

Sew two pieces of bunting together















5.    Cut a ribbon, strip of fabric or bias binding to the desired length, fold in half lengthways and press.

6.    Slot the fabric triangles into the ribbon at equal distances from each other (leaving a 10cm gap at each end) and pin.

Attach the ribbon to the bunting
















7.    Using a sewing machine, sew a straight stitch the full length of the ribbon (the needle must go through both triangles and both sides of the ribbon).

8.    At each end, fold the 10cm remaining ribbon in half and sew securely to the triangle, this creates your loop to hang from, and creates a neat finish. Finally press and your bunting is complete.


Home Made Bunting


Breathe life in to your old denims


There are plenty of ways to breathe life into old used denim items – like a good glass of wine…denim gets better with age!!

We all have an old pair of jeans that have been outgrown, have rips, out of style or pushed to the back of the wardrobe & forgotten about. Simply by following the steps below you can transform them into a wearable pair of shorts:

  1. Pull out the jeans you wish to transform and fold them in half (length ways).
    Cut of Jeans
  2. Lay your favourite shorts on top to guide you with your first cut and leave a ¾ inch seam allowance.
    Trimmed Jeans
  3. Use a tough pair of scissors to cut off the legs until you achieve the desired length/cut.
    Measure the hem

*Be careful & sure to try them on every few cuts – you can always cut off more, but not less!

  1. Turn the shorts inside out and fold the cut end up 0.5cm all the way around & iron flat.
    Iron the seam
  2. Fold the material up by 1cm this time and iron the fold flat again. (If it helps-pin it)
    Fold and Iron hem again

*In order to ensure the machine glides over the seams when sewing the hem in, it is important at this stage to make sure all seams are as flat as possible (so press out the bulk).

  1. Sew a straight stitch as close to the top hem as you can, continuing all the way around both legs and lock the stitch by reversing at the ends. Sew a 2nd line of stitches 1 cm above this.
    Prepare to sew the hem

*Make sure you don’t catch any of the stray fabric in the stitching as you move around.

  1. When you are done hemming complete with a final iron to press out and secure the hemOnce sewn press once againFinished Artcile

**NB: Always make sure you use a heavy duty sewing needle when sewing with denim to avoid jamming or damaging your machine. There are specific Footwork kits available by Toyota to use when sewing with denim/jeans you can view our range of Sewing machines on our website!!!

**NB: Do not pull the fabric when feeding through your sewing machine as denim is a slightly stretchy fabric-let the machine do all the work!!

And the great thing is, you can do so much more to embellish these if you are still feeling the creative buzz:

  • Bleach the denim to provide a fade effect in desired area
  • Machine stitch embroidery
  • Add buttons
  • Add lace (or alternate fabric) – this looks especially cute on inside pockets
  • Fray the ends or pockets with sand paper – distressed look

Denim is also one of the best recyclable fabrics….so why not use the denim you have left over from the leg of the jeans to experiment with. Below are some ideas:

  • Cushion
  • Denim patch quilt
  • Satchel Bag
  • Denim Waistcoat
  • Detail on another item (ie. Patches or embellishment sewing)
  • Journal/Photo Album Cover
  • Denim Skirt