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Tag Archives: sewing machine

Why we just love sewing machine presser feet

They make sewing MUCH easier – and even more fun!

We’ve waxed lyrical about sewing machine presser feet on a number of occasions – and we think they’re the most underrated and overlooked addon in sewing land!

Described as “a life savior of the sewist” on the Sew Guide website, the good old presser foot is the subject of an interesting introduction to this Aladdin’s Cave of goodies.

“Presser feet add different functionalities to your sewing machine, so that it can accomplish much more than mere straight stitching.”

Presser Foot (A detailed 33 Sewing Machine Feet Guide) »

Some of our favourite Jaguar presser feet

As an example of how and when to use presser feet, we’ve popped together a short list of five which shows just how useful they can be. The final three, for example, will be of great interest if you’re into quilting.

  1. Buttonhole Foot: The Sliding Buttonhole Foot is a plastic foot suitable for most makes of machines. By placing your button on top of the foot the machine will sew a perfect buttonhole for you exactly the correct size!
  2. Twin Zipper Foot: No matter the zipper application – lapped, centered or exposed, this foot will not ride on top of the zipper coil. It’s so versatile because you can attach the foot either to the left or right side of the needle.
  3. 1/4 Inch Quilting Foot: Best for quilt and patchwork piecing with 1/4” or 1/8’’ seam allowance. Its back and small needle opening are designed to give the right pressure on fabrics.
  4. 1/4 Inch Quilting Piecing Foot.
  5. 1/4 Inch Quilting Piecing Foot With Guide.

See all Jaguar sewing machine feet »

And just in case you’d like a wonderful new Jaguar sewing machine to go with it…

Some wonderful quilting tips!

It’s “a really fun way to get creative”

We love quilting here at Jaguar Sewing Machine Central, so we’re always on the look out for some useful quilting tips, tricks and techniques to share with our colleagues and sewing groups.

(Get in touch if you’d like us to cover a specific topic in a forthcoming article by the way…)

Quilting is not just about enabling you get warmer in bed – it goes way beyond that. It gives you a great chance to express yourself, reinvigorate the interior decor of your bedroom, it’s fun and inexpensive.

What’s not to love?

Free quilt patterns? – yes please!

So imagine our excitement when we came across a brand new series of how-tos on the excellent Prima website.

 has put together a marvellous array of free quilt patterns, examples and even a tutorial video here and there.

The article even begins with a feature called how to make a patchwork quilt, which starts the ball rolling nicely if you’re new to this.

Quilt how-to’s include:-

  • Star-print quilt
  • Rose quilt with fabric squares
  • Vintage floral quilt
  • …and our favourite Layer cake coin quilt.

7 free and pretty quilt patterns »

 


Check out the wonderful Jaguar sewing machine range…

JAGUAR SEWING MACHINES »

The unique DQS (Digital Quick-threading System) has now been introduced to the UK. All current models come with a three year parts and labour guarantee and the 100% satisfaction guarantee.

JAGUAR OVERLOCKER MACHINES »

Exclusive to Jaguar overlocker sewing machines – the unique cutting system opens up 180 degrees giving easy access to the looper thread guides.

JAGUAR SEWING MACHINE ACCESSORIES »

Everything you’ll need for you Jaguar overlocker and sewing machines. The range includes foot control units, sewing feet, overlocker feet and overlocker spares.

Enjoying making your workout wear doesn’t force you to go to the gym!

Loving sewing is a great way to start exercising – or not…

New Year – lots of new resolutions. This is the time of year when many people are already conveniently forgetting those heartfelt intentions to get fit. Live well. Go to the gym. Cut down on the booze…

Many of us have actually taken out a new gym membership – and some may have actually started exercising there. And a few more than once or twice!

It’s not easy to get out of bed early to go for a morning session while the weather is dark, cold and dreary – or in the evenings, just when that latest amazing series is about to break on Netflix. And that sofa is just SO inviting…

Do something you definitely love – sewing!

This is a really great tip. We all love sewing. That’s why we’re here – and we suspect why you’re reading this. So why not start the process in a fun way that will work?

Sew your own workout and gym wear!

Those wonderful people at Sewing Daily are of the same opinion. Like us, they realise that you’re much likely to start exercising if you’re wearing something eye catching that you’ve produced yourself. So much so, they launched a recent interactive workshop about this, which is currently halfway through.

The most important aspect of this all is the sewing, they state.

“Even if you have no intention of wearing your me-made athletic wear anywhere but on the couch, it’s a great way to expand your sewing skills and work your way a little closer to a fully handmade wardrobe—two other great resolutions for the new year!”

The Fabric.com website has an excellent how-to called Tips for Sewing Athletic Wear.

This piece shows a markedly different approach – it’s written by an athlete who admitted that “the last thing on my mind is fiddling with what I’m wearing”.

But, they state, “It MUST be comfortable, supportive, and functional first and foremost. Bonus points are given for style and design.”

Keep in mind the zigzag stitch, says the tutorial.

“This is used on seams that need stretch so the threads won’t break when stretched. It can also be used along the hems as well”.

So there you have it. We’re all off to start sewing our own leisurewear. Thats’s the really fun part. Whether you actually get sweaty in it, is entirely up to you…


A New Year resolution you can keep – more sewing!

JAGUAR SEWING MACHINES »

The unique DQS (Digital Quick-threading System) has now been introduced to the UK. All current models come with a three year parts and labour guarantee and the 100% satisfaction guarantee.

JAGUAR SEWING MACHINE ACCESSORIES »

Everything you’ll need for you Jaguar overlocker and sewing machines. The range includes foot control units, sewing feet, overlocker feet and overlocker spares.

New product focus – is this the ideal sewing machine for beginners?

“The best budget sewing machine in the UK?”

The Jaguar DQS401 sewing machine has just arrived for the first time in the UK – and it’s exciting news for potential first time sewist, or one of those who are looking to upgrade from a tired old mechanical unit.

Although it’s classed as an entry level machine, the Jaguar DQS401 packs some very exciting and innovative features into its unassuming framework. These include:-

  • A top loading jam proof bobbin
  • 13 variable needle positions
  • A direct stitch selection
  • An easy to use speed slider control
  • A start / stop function
  • Needle up / down

Jaguar DQS 401 sewing machine

Our backroom staff have been very impressed by this new arrival.

“This is the perfect computerised sewing machine for hassle free sewing.”

“The Jaguar contains all of the essential features needed by new sewists and experienced sewists who are looking for a good quality product at a keen price – in our opinion, this is the best budget sewing machine in the UK market.”

A significant improvement on older mechanical models

If you are tired of using the same stitches on your mechanical sewing machine or are not happy with the quality of your stitching or frustrated with your current selection of decorative stitches – the Jaguar DQS401 could well become your new best friend!

This entry-level computerised sewing machine is packed full of useful features – it includes: 40 stitches, a needle threader, different needle positions and a drop-in bobbin. Jaguar DQS401 has good and varied selection of stitches including stretch stitches, decorative stitches, satin stitches as well plus 4 fully automated buttonholes.

Check out the Jaguar DQS401 for yourself! »


The Jaguar sewing range – making all your sewing projects more enjoyable!

Jaguar sewing machines »

The unique DQS (Digital Quick-threading System) has now been introduced to the UK. All current models come with a three year parts and labour guarantee and the 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Jaguar overlocker machines »

Exclusive to Jaguar overlocker sewing machines – the unique cutting system opens up 180 degrees giving easy access to the looper thread guides.

Jaguar sewing machine accessories »

Everything you’ll need for you Jaguar overlocker and sewing machines. The range includes foot control units, sewing feet, overlocker feet and overlocker spares.

Why threading a sewing machine isn’t a problem – for some!

Daunting for some – not for others.
Why sewing just got easier…

Sewing machines: we can’t live without them. Some sewists love their machines – others find them a little frustrating. But this needn’t be the case. Even something as potentially frustrating as threading a sewing machine and winding the bobbin is for some a pleasure and for others a chore.

Find out how to ALWAYS make this task a pleasure…

The Apartment Therapy website offers very helpful advice for those in the “frustrated” camp, suggesting that the correct threading of a machine “opens up a world of creative possibilities”, but does acknowledge that “the process might seem intimidating”.

The wikiHow website provides a wonderfully helpful series of videos showing two different methods:-

  1. Winding the bobbin
  2. Threading a sewing machine

– a total of 17 videos that explain it all!!!

It’s very well presented and it needs to be, because, as the website states

“For new sewing machine users, threading the machine can seem daunting, and even put you off the task of sewing altogether.”

How to avoid ALL the above

(Hint – it’s method 2)

So far, we’ve identified two types of sewists – with regard to threading at least – the “Happy” camp and the “Frustrated” one. The challenge is to find the most pain free way of getting from “Frustrated” to “Happy”.

Method 1 – review your instructions books several times, plough through all those marvellous online blogs and helpful videos. This may well result in you having to forget that night out, lunch with friends, the kids’ homework or walking the tortoise for a while. But what the hell – just think of the sense of achievement that you may well get after all those painful hours of study or confusion.

Method 2 – buy a Jaguar sewing machine. No really – it’s that simple!

It’s thanks to that wonderful Digital Quick-threading System (DQS). Just guide the thread directly from the spool to the needle area through a single groove and thread the needle by simply pressing the threading lever.

Free up more tortoise walking time – buy a Jaguar DQS405 sewing machine »

39 top sewing hacks, tips and how-tos

Goodies to make all sewists’ lives easier!

Forgive us if we look a little smug with this one: we’re rather proud of how much sewing usefulness with all these sewing hacks that we’ve managed to cram into one article!

The conversation here started off with a chance remark “what is that little knobbly bit on an unpicker for?”

It quickly developed into us seeking out a whole range of quick fix hacks, hints and tips from across the sewing globe.

And there really are some rippers here (as they say in Australia, the source of our first hack).

Have fun!


Life hack: What that little ball on your unpicker is really for!

We’re off down under for this excellent how-to. A big thank you to the Starts At Sixty lifestyle blog.

This beauty focuses on the small ball on one of the prongs on your unpicker (or seam ripper) – you may have wondered what it’s actually used for?

Enlightenment is at hand! “That’s to allow the unpicker to be slid along a garment in one swipe – no more fussing over individual stitches!”

There’s even an accompanying video that really help you get to grips with the whole concept.

Sobering thought: “We couldn’t help but feel silly when we saw this tutorial – it seems so obvious now!”


11 sewing hacks you need to know

This wonderful collection of goodies comes from Christine Haynes on the Bluprint blog.

Some are really simple, but can make such a difference! They include:-

  • “Add a seam allowance with a double pencil tracing tool
  • “Mark your seam allowance on your machine”
  • and the wonderfully simple “Leave notes with your fabric stash”.

We love: “Nobody wants their bobbins rolling around and unraveling all over the place. Keep them in place by storing in toe separators.”


15 sewing room hacks

Even more goodies for you here, courtesy of the wonderful Heather on her Heather Handmade blog.

A whole range of hot tips for you here – many of which will change the way you organise your sewing, from the really simple “Turn all your machines on with the button on a power strip”, to “Create a tiny ironing area next to your machine for quick pressing” and “Store hand needles in a bulletin board.”

There’s even an accompanying video that covers all the tips.

Top tip: “Use a glue stick to ‘pin'”. 


12 sewing hacks every seamstress should know!

Last and by no means least we have this collection of sensationalises from Kimberly Coffin on the Sweet Red Poppy website.

Some we’ve seen a few times before – but even the most experienced of us have been gobsmacked by some of these amazing how-tos.

Golf tees, pattern weights and perfect ruffles can all be found here.

Look out for: “…a quick and easy way to create beautiful ruffles without all the hassle!”


The Jaguar sewing range – making all your sewing projects more enjoyable!

Jaguar sewing machines »

The unique DQS (Digital Quick-threading System) has now been introduced to the UK. All current models come with a three year parts and labour guarantee and the 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Jaguar overlocker machines »

Exclusive to Jaguar overlocker sewing machines – the unique cutting system opens up 180 degrees giving easy access to the looper thread guides.

Jaguar sewing machine accessories »

Everything you’ll need for you Jaguar overlocker and sewing machines. The range includes foot control units, sewing feet, overlocker feet and overlocker spares.

So you have a sewing machine – what are you going to do with it?

A variety of exiting projects for sewists everywhere

It’s quite often the case that you have a sewing machine, but after a while your inspiration begins to wane. Sometimes all it needs is a little inspiration and you’ll rediscover the joys of sewing all over again!

So here are some rather nifty ideas to get you back to what is for many of us a real passion – sewing!

Here at Jaguar Sewing Machines, we’re often on the lookout for hints tips and tutorials. So we’ve put together five of our current favourites.

1) The high-low T-shirt

We really like this one by Mayra at So So Easy, which is subtitled “How to hide your panty line” – something that concerns a number of us from time to time.

It’s very well illustrated and the step by step instructions are a pure joy! We particularly like the fact that

“It will be loose around the hips and closer to your body at the shoulders. Perfect for the ladies who want to hide some extra pounds around the waistline and are looking for an easy going, comfortable top to walk around in.”

2) Cute things for the kitchen

Actually this isn’t one tutorial sewists – it’s actually nine! The beauty of these is that they make wonderful presents for friends and family.

This wonderful piece of work is by Caroline on the Sew Can She website and the tutorials include:-

  1. The classic tie on dish towel
  2. The one yard magic apron – with a pattern
  3. Cloth napkins
  4. Potholders with pockets
  5. Tea towels – and so on…

3) Basic zipper pouch tutorial

Short, simple – and to the point. The See Kate Sew website provides an excellent little tutorial aimed at beginners and early sewers.

Zipper pouches are so useful – you can’t have enough of them! Someone here at Jaguar (mentioning no names, Jane) got so carried away that she created eight of them – and now all her daughter’s friends want one as well.

So no chance of having an under-utilised sewing machine in this particular case then…

4) How to sew a mitred corner

Very useful advice on this blog article which deals with techniques rather than a specific project. 

The source is the always excellent Tilly and the Buttons blog. As ever, the photos are clear and the text well written and informative.

“Mitred corners create a neat finish on exposed corners, without any flappy bits that you might get by folding one edge over the other.”

5) How to finish a knit neckline (3 ways)

One tip, three techniques – this blog article by on the Melly Sews website really is jam-packed with useful information!

Great step-by-step photos and instructions are complimented by a YouTube video detailing

“…two ways to sew knit neckbands (out of rib knit or self fabric) and another option to bind the neckline.”

Jaguar Novum Craft 590 sewing machine

Jaguar sewing machine focus

Our customary Jaguar Sewing Machine plug on this article features the excellent Novum Craft 590 sewing machine (see above) which can handle all types of fabric from silks to soft furnishing materials, it’s suitable for all levels of sewing from beginners to experienced can get the best out of this computerised machine.

And don’t forget, we stock a whole range of Jaguar sewing machine accessories!

Why Sew Magazine loves the Jaguar DQS 377 sewing machine

“Suitable for a wide range of techniques, offering 100 built-in stitches”

The review of our lovely Jaguar DQS 377 in the July edition of Sew – the UK’s best-selling sewing magazine – is a particularly enthusiastic one. 

We love Sew Magazine and their wonderful website – particularly their Sewing patterns and How to sew sections.

The forthcoming July edition of the magazine has a snap review of the Jaguar DQS 377 sewing machine.

“Jaguar’s revolutionary and unique digital quick- threading system lets you skip the headache of threading – it guides the thread directly from the spool to the needle, then you thread it simply by pressing a lever!”

And their conclusion?

“Want it, need it, BUY IT!”

All-round strengths of the sewing machine

The DQS 377 review on the Sew website is more comprehensive and highlights the fact that it is “A great all-rounder”.

“The DQS 377 is suitable for a wide range of techniques, offering 100 built-in stitches that include appliqué, embroidery, patchwork and 13 one-step buttonholes.

“This computerised model also features a digital quick threading system, an extra-high presser foot lifter and a free arm to sew hard-to-reach areas.

“The automatic bobbin winding clutch and top loading jam-proof bobbin also make sewing much easier.”

See the complete range of Jaguar sewing machines »


Good news on price!

Even better is the fact that the Jaguar DQS 377 is available for a limited time at a special price of £399 at GUR – the Sewing Superstore in Birmingham »

Overlocker sewing machine advantages

Between 2 and 4 spools of thread simultaneously!

Overlocker sewing machines have a number of key advantages, particularly when it comes to stopping the edges of cut fabric from fraying. They used to be professional level pieces of equipment, but these days overlockers are increasingly finding their way into the home market.

An overlocker by no means replaces a “traditional” sewing machine, but it does excel at joining two layers of cloth and trimming the edge of the fabric to stop fraying. According to The Sew in Brighton Sewing School

“Its primary function is to clean finish a raw edge, giving the project a professional appearance. Many overlocking stitches have built-in stretch, making them the perfect tool for seaming knit fabrics. Additionally, the eyes of the loopers are larger than the eyes of sewing needles and can therefore accommodate thicker decorative threads.”

Other overlocker advantages

An overlocker’s stitch pattern typically allows for a significant amount of stretch – useful when sewing elastic or stretchy fabrics. And being able to stitch a number of threads at a time can be a huge advantage. The Jaguar Supa Lock 486 for example can be set for two, three or four threads.

An overlocker doesn’t use bobbins but loopers to supply the lines of thread, making it easier to contain the materials edges within the seam.

It’s important to remember that an overlocker won’t completely replace a conventional sewing machine – inserting zips and buttonholes or topstitching will still require one of those.


Jaguar overlockers – super, easy threading

Exclusive to Jaguar overlocker sewing machines feature a unique cutting system which opens up by 180 degrees, giving easy access to the looper thread guides. Threading is quick and easy with no need for tweezers or specialist tools – it’s as quick and as simple as that!

  • The Jaguar 487 – an excellent choice for those looking for features and performance. Surprisingly easy to use.
  • The Jaguar Supa Lock 486 – a 2, 3 or 4 thread overlocker with differential feed.

“The Jaguar 487 is easy to thread as each route is colour coded, easy to access the the workings under the needle plate as this part can swing all the way open allowing a very clear view of all the mechanism housed here.”

Helen McGowan, Kildare, Ireland.

Overlocker / serger sewing tips

Sewing: overlockers are sometimes known as sergers

Some overlocker / serger sewing beginners aren’t aware of the difference between an overlocker and a standard sewing machine. So to get the ball rolling, we thought we’d tell you what an overlocker is…

Wendy Ward provides an excellent definition on her website where she also points out that the machines are also known as “sergers”. Get in touch if you know how this term came into use by the way – we’d love to know!

“…it’s a separate machine that sews with 3, 4 or 5 threads to join seams, neaten edges and cut off the excess fabric all in one go. It’s the neat professional looking finish you find inside ready made clothing.”

Adding a neckline

A useful tip for overlocker serger sewing beginners from the Makers website. After sewing side seams the next step is something that you definitely need to get to grips with: adding a neckline – and this also applies to hems and cuffs. There are some great step by step photos on this article.

Finishing your seams

The Scruffy Badger Time website is compiled by Winnie from Bath in the UK – and we love it!

In her article Overlocking / serger tips: finishing your seams she suggests three practical ways of obtaining a tidy finish on a project. It’s worth paying close attention to her third tip – the most complicated but long term we think the best – which involves getting to know your overlocker’s “stitch fingers”. It’s tricky but worth persevering with – and again the photos are a real help.

Also worth checking out is Winnie’s excellent article Overlocker tips: unpicking seams.

Matching up fabrics

The What Katy Sews website has a really interesting focus – “…matching up all my stashed-away fabrics to appropriate patterns and getting them sewn up”.

The article mixes knits and an overlocker – a really useful combination.

Threading an overlocker / serger

An excellent video by Denise Wild shows how to thread a serger, which will be particularly useful if you’re new to overlockers, your serger keeps unthreading – or you just keep forgetting how to do it.

And now the bit we REALLY love…

We’re trying very hard not to look smug here, but if you’re fortunate enough to own a Jaguar overlocker – it self threads!

The Jaguar Supa Lock 486 overlocker for example, is an excellent choice if you are looking for features and performance. Surprisingly easy to use … this is probably the reason why it is Jaguar’s number one overlocker.

Super easy threading

Exclusive to Jaguar overlocker sewing machines  – the unique cutting system opens up 180 degrees giving easy access to the looper thread guides. Threading is quick and easy with no need for tweezers or specialist tools.

It’s as quick and as simple as that!

Jaguar 486 overlocker serger sewing machines

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