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.
Whether you’re a learner or an expert, these things can happen to all of us at some point within our sewing lifetime. However, it’s usually easily solved & fixed…Check out our points below that may help solve a) why it happened in the first place and b) how to help prevent it in the future!!
This may be because the:
Needle is incorrectly installed
The needle clamp screw is loose
The needle is too fine for the cloth
The tension of the upper thread is too tight
The fabric is being pulled too strongly
The bobbin case is not in the correct position
You could fix this by:
Installing the needle correctly
Firmly tightening the screw
Checking you are using a needle appropriate to the fabric
We stumbled across a great video that features a trustworthy senior Toyota Sewing Machine at work by a senior American Engineering Professor and thought it fitted in well with our recent blog … It supports our theory that the use of correct TLC and maintenance can see your machine sticking around for as long as you!!
(Click Here to the Toyota Sewing Machines cameo on this short video.)
Rene Coté, known by his students as “Grampa” because of his personable and friendly nature, is an Engineering Professor at TCU. He runs his own small in-home embroidery business designing and making t-shirts, hats and polos for his colleagues and students. He creates the customised items all on his loyal Toyota Sewing Machine that he’s been using for over 20 years!! … We guess he’s a man that knows a thing or two on how to look after your sewing machine and keep it running well!!
“Sometimes you have to think like a machine.” says Coté
It seems Coté’s sewing machine really has become his best friend, and they both seem well suited to each other don’t you think?! And that got us thinking … “Do sewing machines reflect our personalities in some way?!” and “Does everyone have a “soul mate” sewing machine?”
I’ve recently purchased a beautiful new Purple/Gold Toyota Design for Living number that is definitely my soul mate … but I wonder what this says about me??!!
Thanks goes to TCU News where the article was spotted
As we all know, sewing machines need looking after, a bit of TLC and regular servicing; after all they are no stranger to the popular concept “for life, not just for Christmas (or birthdays)”!
It’s so common these days that people quickly loose the maintenance momentum that comes with the excitement of a shiny new machine but slowly start to neglect the sewing machine’s needs. My Grandma had the same sewing machine from the start of her sewing career and passed it down to me in great working order. However, without taking care of it and treating it as the delicate piece of machinery that it is she would never have seen it last so many decades.
When you invest in a sewing machine, or any other piece of equipment for that matter, you want it to last as long as possible! And so we want to help you maximise your machine’s performance and efficiency whilst saving you time, frustration and money as repairs not only usually end up being costly but they typically crop up at the worst of times, like mid project, and could have been prevented with following our simple tips and trouble-shooting! And the best thing is, for the majority of repairs all you will need is your regular toolbox!!
To start; our MUST basics …
Know the make and model of your specific sewing machine.
Treat your machine with respect. Keep it clean and brush it down regularly.
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:
Sometimes we get the idea that celebrities are surrounded with a scurry of assistants running around to do everything for them. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I read recently that Tom Cruise bought his wife, Katie Holmes, a sewing machine for her birthday this year!!
It’s lovely to read that her hobby for sewing started in a similar way to many of our own…She was introduced to home sewing as a young girl when her mum made things around the house and she noticed how this created a warm homely feel.
I think it’s beautiful how she now does this with their daughter Suri, and the generation of sewing continues!
As well as her ability to sew around the home etc, check out Katie’s clothing line “Holmes & Yang”. A luxurious and stylish brand she started with two friends in 2009.
Other celebrities we’ve heard that sew include Eva Longoria, Nicole Kidman & believe it or not, even Chris Martin.
Do you know of any other celebrities who sew or who own a sewing machine?
The beauty of applique is that you can personalise anything, it’s simple to do and it looks amazing!! It’s another great way to use up those beautiful scraps of fabric lying around too!! And once you get started, you won’t want to stop….
1. Choose the item you wish to embellish and a design to applique.
2. Cut out a template of your design/letter.
3. Lay the template face down, in reverse, on the wrong side of a sheet of BondaWeb and draw around it.
4. Lay the template on the fabric (right side up) and cut out. You can choose to do it all in one fabric or separate fabrics and layer your design to add a deeper and more colourful effect.
5. Fuse the BondaWeb to your chosen fabric (be sure to do this on the correct sides).
6. Place this onto your backing fabric and press.
7. Using the zigzag stitch on your sewing machine, sew around the edges of your design. (If you have the correct Sewing Machine Accessories change your foot to the Applique foot).
**You may want to experiment on a scrap piece of fabric first with the tension & stitch size to achieve the desired look. (You need one side of the stitch to go through the applique fabric and the other side to go through the backing stitch).
8. Line the fabric up so the raw unstitched edge is in the centre of your foot and start stitching.
9. Where necessary add more stitch detail and any layers in the same way.