Aug 18

Have you heard of the Toyota Sewing machine

I have been sewing for as long as I can remember as it’s in our family but have you ever heard of the Toyota sewing machine? I know here in South Africa we get the Bernina, Elna. Zinger and Frick but never heard of the Toyota since about 2 weeks ago.

I inherited my mother in law’s sewing machine which is a Toyota so as you can think I was quite surprised and couldn’t believe my eyes. So obviously I started doing some research about this machine and what type it was etc. Apparently it seems to be quite a popular brand in the UK and the reviews are quite good on some of these machines.

s-l300

I haven’t even tried sewing or threading the machine yet as I didn’t have the time and I still want to do some more research regarding the type or model I have and all the functionalities. It seems it’s a 2 in 1 as it can sew and do some overlocking. I do have a Bernina overlocker so wont really use that function much.

So if you guys have any information regarding these Toyota sewing machine, please feel free to leave a comment and we can discuss this.

Next time my article will be to report back on my experience working or sewing on the Toyota sewing machine.

 

 

 

Jul 27

Create Invisible Hem in Jeans

So the other day when I was explaining how to hem kiddies pants I just used the normal original hemming procedure that we all know how to do. The invisible hem is quite nice to use and nobody even knows you adjusted the length of your jeans. I normally just use this method on jeans, normal pants i used the original way of hemming as it makes no difference and its maybe a little quicker to.

So firstly we measure the length we want to adjust the length by. You can just put on some shoes and measure the desired length. Once this has been done you can fold over the required measurement and pin the hem. Pin especially if you new to this method.

Pinning the hemDon’t cut off the excess fabric yet, its easier to first sew the invisible hem and then over lock. Please make sure you are using the correct needle on your sewing machine for the side seams where the fabric is really thick.

Invisible hemSo when you look at your final product you will see that how easy it really is. Nobody will be able to notice the difference at all as it looks the same .

Easy way of creating an invisible hem in jeans. Everybody will just love it!

 

 

 

 

Jul 25

How to sew hems on kiddies pants

I normally just hem me or my husbands pants if needed but nowadays with the kiddies growing up and some pants are just way too long I have to start hemming their pants as well.

So the basic principal is still the same to sew a hem its just smaller garments you working with.

So over the weekend I took the 2 jeans that’s to long and match a navy thread with the color. I prefer navy as it’s not visible and hides any mistakes you made. Especially if its your first time.

I measure the length and fold the pants in half so that the 2 legs lay on top pf each other. Make the marks and cut off the access fabric.

Preparing to sew a hem

If you have an over locker you can over lock the hems and just fold over to sew the hem or you will have to fold t twice. I didn’t have my over locker with me yesterday so I just fold over the hem twice and placed it under the needle of the sewing machine and kept the foot inline when sewing. Now I have been sewing for years but if you unsure rather pin it and you can even hand sew it to keep it all in place.

Iron the hems afterwards and that’s it, quick and easy sewing of the hems on kiddies pants.

Just some tips, when sewing on a stretch pants remember to make the stitches longer otherwise it will pull tight. This is also one way of sew a basic hem, there are nicer one which I will still write about.

 

Jul 19

Knitting a Snood

I haven’t knitted in a long time but it’s winter here and I decided I want to knit a snood, nothing fancy just a basic snood especially as it’s also my first time knitting a snood.

I went to our local supermarket and choose a black wool. Very boring I know but I don’t have a nice black scarf or snood. I already had knitting needles a size 10 which is about 3.5 mm.

I started 50 stitches and knitted 2 rows with a double stitch and 2 normal stitches. While knitting I would fit and see if the length is correct. I knitted it a bit longer than the patterns on the internet but I liked it to be longer. I must say I found that 50 stitches are a bit to much for me so maybe try 40 stitches or less.

Double stitch

 

After knitting the required length I finished off my stitches and sew the 2 ends together. Lovely warm snood.

knitting a snood

knitting a snood

 

Before I started wearing the snood I just washed it. Remember that washing will also stretch the snood.

 

Jul 19

How to Sew a Basic Table Cloth

Just the other day we got a new dining room table so I set off to the shop to see if I can find a nice new table cloth for the table. To my disgust I just couldn’t believe the price you have to pay for a piece of fabric if you think about it. So I decided I will sew my own table cloth. I mean really its not that difficult sew a basic table cloth.

I bought a cotton fabric with nice light green, purple and white lines. Something that hide mark if the kids mess and also clean easily. I decided on a light green sewing thread that matches the green on my fabric.

I measured my table length and width. Make sure that you decide how much wider you want the table cloth to be so that it’s not too small.

Cut the table cloth out and all I did for the hem was fold it over twice about 5 mm and stitch a basic stitch. You can decide if you want to add some nice tassels to make it nice.

How to sew a basic table cloth

 

 

 

And this is basically it. I know, so easy and saved so much money!

Jan 17

What is Blackwork CrossStitch

I have always liked doing blackwork cross stitching. I first found out about it when I was in high school so this is quite a few years back. It’s very basic and not difficult at all but something different to do.

You would firstly get some white linen or hardanger fabric; just make sure the weave is even as your stitches will follow the weave. Hardanger is a very nice fabric to use for blackwork cross stitching.

Make sure you choose a black thread; it should be a thicker thread as you want it nice and visible. You can use floss or silk mori threads just to name a few. But have a look at what is available in the shops and would look nice for your type of pattern. At the same time when choosing a thread remember to get the right size needle to be used with the thread.

The pattern is normally a monochromic theme but of course you can choose any design that you like.
When starting I would recommend starting in the centre of your fabric as this will make it easier for your design to look symmetric. I find counting the easiest way to create my stitches and follow the pattern.

Blackwork cross stitch is really easy and makes a nice picture to frame or maybe for a cushion cover. I used a house pattern and framed it. Really looks nice.

Example of blackwork cross stitch

Mar 17

How does Fabric Adhesive compare to normal Sewing

I am one of the old school people that never really believed in the fabric adhesive that you get these days. So one day I was in the shop looking for thread when I saw the fabric adhesive, I started looking at it and read the package and decided to take one and see if it really works like they say it does.

Just the other day I saw one of my favorite t-shirts has a hole in it because these days the fabric quality is not the same like it use to be so after one wash you’ll find stitching holes or fabric holes. So now how to fix this hole because sewing it was not going to work because it won’t look right. I remembered about the fabric adhesive that I bought and decided to give it a try.

I read how you are supposed to apply the adhesive and it seems quite easy to do. Basically you need to apply the adhesive on both sides of the hole, let it dry a bit and then press it together for a few seconds. To my surprised it looked like the fabric was sticking together nicely and it looked very neat but I then I started wondering what will happen if I wash the t-shirt maybe it will start coming loose again.

I washed the garment and I was again surprised, it really seems like this fabric adhesive is working. I have worn and washed this t-shirt quite a few times by now and still the hole is gone and the adhesive is keeping it together. I used the bostik fabric adhesive and that was what I found in the shop but I’m sure that are a lot more different products that can be used.

I think this is really great especially if you don’t really know how to do sewing you can just use the fabric adhesive and your problem is solved. You would be able to hem garments and fix holes.

Sep 20

What is Stitching Cards

My experience is mostly in clothing but it seems like stitching cards are quite a popular thing to do these days. It gives a more personal touch to a card as a gift for a friend. It’s basically embroidery on a card; use some decorative stitches to create a nice gift card.So I decided to try this as well and I was quite surprised at how much fun it was. I combined my knowledge from a sewing background with creating cards and patterns.


The first thing to do would be to find a pattern that you would like to stitch on a card. There are a lot of websites that you can use as a guide or even pictures for cards. I started with some very basic patterns as I first wanted to try and see if it’s going to work and if it’s fun.Now once you have your pattern you need to prick the pattern/design onto your card. You will see the little holes in the card. Decide beforehand what colours you are going to use and set the threads aside.Once all is done then you can start with stitching the pattern, just follow the pattern and points that you want to join. You can even use some beading to create a nice effect.Remember to cut off extra thread pieces and clean the stitches, you want a nice and tidy card. You can use different colour cardboards to cover the threads on the wrong side and it gives a nice look to the card as well.


You can play around with different ideas as well but I think it’s quite nice to give someone a card with your personal touch to it.
This is my experience with stitching cards. Try this, it’s something different but I’m sure you’ll enjoy it just as much.

Aug 25

How to Stitch a Lampshade Cover

Maybe some of you will think this is still very old school to cover your own lampshades but this is actually so easy to do. I have tried this even when I was in school so believe me when I say anybody can stitch a lampshade cover. I’m using stitching and elastic but you can use fabric glue as well.

Firstly you need to take the measurements of your lampshade. Measure the biggest part of the lampshade (around) and then measure the length (top to bottom). Now you know how much material you would need for your lampshade. Choose your fabric and design that you like but also take into account where you want to put the lamp. It’s best to choose colors that fit in with your color scheme.

Measure lampshade

After your fabric is cut out put your edges together on the sides and stitch then together. I normally over lock the edges afterwards to neaten it. Then stitch the top section, I use 1cm. You can fold over twice or over lock first and then stitch it close. Leave a hole for the elastic so that you can pull it tight but you only do this after the whole lampshade is done. So now you have to stitch the bottom section of you lampshade, now here you can do the basic and also create a 1 cm hem or you can be a bit creative with some frills, beading etc.

Stitching and overlocking seams

After all stitching has been completed you will turn the fabric to the right side and pull through the elastic on the top. Now pull the cover over the lampshade and pull the top elastic tight. Then you need to pull the elastic through at the bottom but don’t pull it to tight otherwise you can’t remove the cover to be washed.Lampshade cover

This is a very basic lampshade cover but you can plan and design beforehand what you like, decorative stitching, frills, beading etc.

Hope this give you guys some tips on stitching your own lampshade cover.

Jan 23

Bernina Over locker Model 700D for beginners

A few years ago I finally decided to buy myself an over locker. I have worked on quite a few different over lockers before, home and industrial ones. I’m not too fond of industrial ones as they are too big for me but that you can decide what will work best for you.

I did my research and found this Bernina over locker model 700D and was I totally surprised. They recommend this model as it’s for beginners but I also find that the price was good. Over lockers can be quite expensive if you start looking at more features and functions. I just needed the basic one and I’m really happy with this model.

It’s really easy to use and the instructions easy to follow. To thread the over locker is also easy.  When I bought the Bernina over locker model 700D I also received free lessons from the agent so that I know how to operate the machine.  It’s was really fun for me as I could see what the over locker is capable of.

You can use 3 or 4 threads depending what garment you are making and also what you prefer. I mostly use the 3 threads when making garments or alterations. I also make sure that I use the correct thread for the fabric I’m using. Made about 5 formal wear dresses and it was a breeze, this year I want to make some coats.

I had my Bernina Over locker 700D for almost 8 years now and never looked back.

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