Posts tagged "sewing machines

Tag Archives: sewing machines

Winter coat DIY: how your sewing machine can keep you warm this winter

Do you think that sewing a coat is too tricky a project for you? Well maybe it’s time for a rethink…

It’s only just starting to get colder after what proved to be one of the warmest summers in recent years. But now it’s time to begin preparations for the onset of winter (don’t blame us – it’s not our fault LOL). And what better way to keep the cold at bay with a wonderful new winter coat – especially if it’s been lovingly crafted by your own fair hands!

We’ve put together a list of some great how-tos and tutorials that will help you to get started and that may well demonstrate that such a project isn’t quite as intimidating as you thought it might be.


Winter coat: to sew or not to sew?

This shows that we don’t just throw these things together! It the perfect piece for those of you wondering whether you should attempt such a task, and making it clear that this will be no twenty minute project.

It comes from the Ageberry website. This is our first visit to this goody-laden blog, but it certainly won’t be our last!

Loads of tip, videos and links that will go a long way towards not only helping you to make your mind up, but learn a whole lot of terrific stuff along the way. Hours of sewing fun!

Don’t panic! “There are so many details in sewing a coat and it feels sometimes a little intimidating but once you start it is not as bad as you thought it is going to be.”

Tips for making winter coats

We’re assuming that if you’ve got this far, you want to know more. This is the perfect next step from Claire-Louise Hardie resides on the Thrifty Stitcher website.

A great overview to flag up some important considerations before you begin.

Top tip: “A great way to approach the sewing of bulky fabrics, is to use a walking foot.”

Top 10 tips for sewing coats

This comprehensive package of winter coat goodies hails from the wonderful Sew Daily website and was written by Lucinda Hamilton from Sew Wrong.

Some brilliant things to consider here in a piece that’s aimed at producing some very high end results. This is serious stuff!

Top tip: “Tailor tacks are your BFF…  it’s easy for traditional chalk marks used in garment sewing to rub off.”

How to sew a winter coat!

If you prefer a video tutorial, you may well like this YouTube offering from SimplyCloe.

It’s pretty high speed stuff, so you will need to rewind and pause a few times – and we really like the odd high speed coffee break. You may feel exhausted by the time you get to the end – the pace is relentless!

We like: the end result – it’s amazing!

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.

Can you turn a sewing passion into a business?

Advice and examples of sewing entrepreneurship

Many of us have from time to time wondered if our sewing passion could lead us on the greater things – most notably being able to give up the day job, or at least earn a little extra from our number one pastime.

The simple fact is that hundreds of people have succeeded in realising this potentially exciting ambition. Temper this however, with the thought that in all probability many more have failed.

So we spent some time having a rummage about in an attempt to highlight some initial hints and tips that might just encourage you to do some research – and find out whether you can turn your passion into an income generator.

You’ll notice by the way that we never use the word “hobby” when it comes to describing sewing – it’s much too important for that!

Start small and work your way up

The excellent LoveSewing website really hits the nail on the head with an article “How to make money from sewing…”

“Even if you haven’t mastered all the more advanced techniques you can start by sewing up simple purses, bags, pin cushions or little soft toys. Spend some time creating unique designs.

“You can sell these little gifts and accessories at craft fairs or on a handmade marketplace like…” 

What makes a good “sew to sell” project?

An excellent question – well answered by the So Sew Easy website. Stephanie Woodson from from Swoodson Says has compiled a really good list of considerations, including

“Shipping – can be expensive on large, heavy or valuable items. Smaller items that can go in a padded envelope and be inexpensive to send may sell better.“

Enjoy what you’re doing!

SewMyPlace comes up with some nice ideas in the aptly titled “6 Ways to Make Money Sewing” – and there’s one piece of advice in particular that we think is really important. Make sure that you really enjoy the type of sewing that will be required.

Otherwise you may as well go back to the day job!

“After all, the whole point of making money sewing is being able to earn some cash while doing something you already love to do. So you should choose a sewing business that allows you to do the types of sewing projects you most enjoy.”

This article contains lots of relevant stuff, including the type of sewing service that you might light to consider providing.

Choose your speciality

All of which brings us very neatly to the Assemble & Earn website and their article “Introduction to Starting A Sewing Business From Home.”

“What you decide to sew will also depend on the the kind of equipment you are starting out with and whether you are working on your own or with someone else.”

They flag up suggestions like alteration and repair, custom sewing and designing.

The real life success stories

It’s all very well people banging on about “how to do so-and-so” or “top ten tips to become a millionaire in 20 minutes” (to be fair we haven’t found that one yet lol), but the best and most inspirational example are the people who’ve been there. Done it. Worn the T shirt – and in this case probably made the T shirt as well.

We’ve got two for you here – one bang up-to-date and one a couple years older that we also love.

Debbie Shore, “Derbyshire’s TV sewing superstar”, according to the Derby Telegraph. She has so much energy and get-up-and-go that she was always going to be a success – even being Zippy’s girlfriend on Rainbow!

The wonderful This is MONEY website features an inspirational report on Helen Dickson, who started Bustle & Sew who “…realised her passion could become a commercially viable business after her daughter left home and she finished a full-time job working for the local authority.”

The right tools for the job?

And we couldn’t finish without a subtle plug for our wonderful Jaguar sewing machines and overlockers, which, like the Jaguar 377 offers automatic threading.

The Jaguar 377 offers the perfect sewing partner for precision sewing, offering you the ability to use a variety of built in different stitches, enables you to create a variety of sewing projects with ease, making it ideal for beginners and more experienced textile crafters.

Our top tips on avoiding those dreaded sewing mistakes

Sewing techniques – a list of “how-not-tos”

It’s important to make sewing mistakes – or so we’re always being told. It’s supposed to be how we learn. But when you bog up your latest potential masterpiece, that’s not much consolation. So much better to let others make mistakes on your behalf LOL.

The playwright George Bernard Shaw wasn’t, as far as we know, a renowned sewist, but he did offer some advice that is hugely relevant to all of us.

“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.”

We think it’s so much better to avoid them in the first place…

3 Sewing Mistakes I’ve Made (and how I avoid them)

This cautionary tale is courtesy of the marvellous Sew Can She blog, which is wonderfully well put together by Caroline.

The three tips seem obvious when you think about it, but they will save you an awful lot of grief if you bear them in mind.

Caroline covers:-

  1. I would rush my way through a project.
  2. Sewing things that I didn’t want to sew.
  3. Using the wrong fabric for the pattern.

We like: “There’s a very good reason that patterns have ‘suggested fabrics.’ Pattern makers want you to be successful – so you’ll love the project and buy another pattern! They include the important ‘suggested fabrics’ section to give you the best chance for success.”

How To Avoid The 13 Most Common Sewing Mistakes

This blog full of cautionary tales comes from the Contrado website and it includes a whole lot of hair-pulling-out-prevention tips, including one of our all time absolute faves “Measure twice, cut once” as well as a number of goodies including “Have plenty of fabric at hand”, “Use the right tools” and, importantly, “Fabric preparation is key”.

Look out for: “Some fabrics can shrink after washing them, and if you haven’t prepared for it, then your garment will not fit properly when it is made. Sewing disaster!”

Sewing Mistakes That Will Make Clothing Look Cheap

We recognise ourselves in the introduction to this how-to (or rather how-not-to) piece by Annabelle Short on the Wunderlabel blog.

“It doesn’t matter how much time you’ve lovingly put in to making your clothes, even the smallest of details can make your clothing look cheap if you’ve made a mistake.”

Yep – that’s us all from time to time!

All sorts of super tips here that cover many potential aspects of your sewing projects, including choosing the zip, spacing your buttons and sizing up your button holes and making darts.

Why read this? “Avoid the little mistakes and avoid making your clothing look cheap.”

Common mistakes in Sewing and How to Avoid Them

This highly individual approach to sewing pitfalls has been interestingly assembled on the Sewsonatural by Juliet blog.

This is well worth a careful read and it covers all sorts of mistakes made by Juliet and others and they include:-

  • Orange peel effect on facings after attaching interfacings
  • Sewing along without bobbin thread
  • Not paying attention to the feed dogs.

Top tip: “Iron a strip of interfacing on your zip seam allowance – where the zip would be attached. The interfacing enables the fabric to remain stable whilst you’re sewing the zip.”

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.

Top tips for sewing with corduroy

Corduroy isn’t a difficult material to sew – but it helps to know a few key points…

If you’ve never sewn any corduroy before, you might find it helpful to read these wonderful tips before you begin.

Corduroy has a great number of advantages – it can be used for special or casual garments, it’s easy to look after and it’s really comfortable to wear. If you’ve not tried it before, now may be the ideal time to give it a go.

So here are some of our current favourite corduroy how-tos, starting with an introduction to the fabric itself.

Corduroy and stretch corduroy

This is the perfect place to start – an excellent definition from the Emma One Stock website by Shannon Gifford.

This corduroy introduction also includes information about pretreatment, needles and threads, seams, finishes and hems and interfacing.

Useful tip: “Corduroy is a perfect candidate for machine blind-hemming.”

Five tips for sewing with corduroy

If you’ve not checked out the exquisite Tilly and the Buttons website yet, now’s your chance! Her Five tips for sewing with corduroy blog article is a brilliant introduction to the fabric!

Her usual array of easy to follow instructions and clear photos make this article a must-read. It covers

  1. “Decide what direction you want the nap to lie
  2. “Keep the ribs straight when cutting
  3. “… and keep the ribs straight when sewing!
  4. “Avoid squishing the fabric
  5. “Be prepared to make a mess!”

And don’t forget

“…give your sewing machine a good clean inside and out after sewing!”

Seven tips for sewing with corduroy

Even more hot topics for you on this marvellous piece on the Alina Sewing website.

Very usefully, all seven tips are incorporated into a tutorial on the production of a marvellous corduroy Chi-Town Chinos skirt. We love her “jump right in and get on with it” type of approach, which is the perfect way to tackle a corduroy-centric project.

Top tips here include:-

  • “Pre-wash and pre-dry
  • “Find the nap and pay close attention
  • “Order additional fabric
  • “Press lightly – or not at all”

Our favourite bit concerns keeping a small piece of the original material to refresh the nap with from time to time. Nice!

The Jaguar Sewing range – treat yourself!

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.

New to sewing? Here are some ideas to get you started

Simple sewing suggestions and tips for beginners

Sewing is an enjoyable past time for many across the world. In many cases, what starts off as a hobby can go on to become a serious business.

Whatever your justification for wanting to take up sewing, we’ve come up with a few suggestions that may well help you get up and running just that little bit more quickly, bearing in mind that the internet can be a wonderful information source!

1) Keep it simple!

Don’t stretch yourself too much too soon. Build up your basic techniques and capabilities by producing something that’s straightforward, but will still provide you with a tangible and pleasing end result.

We thought we’d start off with something suitably seasonal, so for our first example we’re heading off to the How To Sew website, on which they’ve provided a delightful tutorial on how to make winter coasters.

The simple step-by-step guide we’ll get you up and running in no time, enabling you to produce a decorative addition to your festive dining centrepiece.

2) Build your sewing skills

Sarai Mitnick has written a series of articles that we just adore! One of our absolute favourites The Art and Science of Skill Building is a powerful and well written piece.

Sarai has every sympathy for the newby.

“I know how disheartening it is to be a beginner at something. Often when you’re learning something new, your imagination and taste greatly outpace your actual skills.

“You know when something looks wrong, but you aren’t at the point where you can fix it. Not yet. This can be highly motivating, but it can also be incredibly frustrating.”

Of her most valuable pieces of advice is to learn at least one new skill within each project undertaken.

The highlight of her article is called “A true beginner sequence” – a six project springboard that will help you to achieve a great deal in a short space of time.

3) Look at the bigger picture

Steps to start your sewing hobby by Allie will enable you to take a step back and plan a series of actions and activities.

Ali lists seven categories that’s when considered will really make a difference to the newby sewer.

  1. “Take an introductory sewing class
  2. Start with simple sewing projects
  3. Get a working sewing machine. Or get your sewing machine working
  4. Practice. A lot
  5. Get the right tools
  6. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
  7. Find your community.”

4) And when you’re ready for a new sewing machine?

OK, we must admit to being a little biased here, but we think the wonderful range of Jaguar sewing machines can provide everything that the beginner needs – but with the capabilities that will enable you to progress efficiently and easily to far more complex and imaginative projects in the future.

The Novum Life 157 for example, has 14 built in stitches, adjustable stitch length, a built in needle threader, a top loading bobbin, a stitch selector dial and a 3 year warranty – yet retails at only £149!

Jaguar Novum Life 157 sewing machine
The Jaguar Novum Life 157 sewing machine – it’s a little beauty isn’t it?

See the full range of Jaguar sewing machines »

Four tips for the more experienced sewer

How sewers can get even better with their sewing machines!

Sewing is an interesting activity – even a passion with many of us! Joining a sewing group is a great idea – sharing tips, techniques and generally letting the excitement rub off on each other. 

Not all of us can get together with groups of sewing ninjas on a day-to-day basis, so the next best thing is to get together online. We’ll be running an article soon highlighting the sorts of common interest groups that could just help you get over a particular problem – or even to help you spread the sewing love!

In the meantime, we’ve come across four tips from around the world that may just help you take the next step on your sewing journey.

Techniques and projects that may just help sewers to move out of their comfort zones…


This will help some of you intermediates – according to the Craftsy website there are a number of compelling reasons to get to grips with this more advanced technique. There are four other excellent tips in the same article by the way.

“Depending on your garment fabric there are many reasons to add underlining to your garment. For a lightweight silk the underlining can add strength and reduce wrinkles. Used in a wool dress, the underlining can eliminate the need for facings. Underlining adds a supporting structure and lets the outer fabric be the star.”

Learn from industrial sewing

The Colette blog is one of our favourites – and we love Sharon Blair’s article 15 things home sewers can learn from industrial sewing.

As the title says – you’ve got 15 pearls of wisdom to go at here – including

“Perform similar operations at the same time and sew flat. Sew the details first. Set these aside. Then start assembling the garment. Complete as much as you can before joining side seams. Sewing in a tube is more time consuming than sewing flat.”

Keep up your quality control

Eight interesting tips can be found in the blog article by Shelley from New Vintage Lady – Tips for making you a quality sewer on the Curvy Sewing Collective website.

Shelly makes the really important point that if you are going to improve, you have to eradicate the “that will do” or “that’s good enough” state of mind.

“We have all been there. That zipper stitch is a bit crooked, or that collar is a bit too long on the left. Fix those problems. Take the time and get out your seam ripper and fix them. The moment you suffer from ‘good enough’ in your sewing is the moment you won’t improve.“

Take the stress out of being a sewer!

We love sewing – it’s fun, it’s a passion, it’s a way of life! Which doesn’t mean that things don’t get a little tense when things go wrong.

So do what you can to eradicate the tension.

Jenny Hellström makes us smile. A lot. Which is why we’re finishing this particular blog article with Very hot tips for sewers.

And our favourite? You might say our “tip of the day”… 

“Tip 4. Do the robot dance between the sewing machine and ironing board to make sure to get all the sewing aggressions out of your system.”

I’ll bet you didn’t know that sewing could help your dance floor routine – did you?

Check out our wonderful sewing machines

Well – we are very proud of them! Thanks for stopping by!

Jaguar sewing machines »

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