Saturday, 8 December 2018

Troubleshooting your Sewing Machine By Jaycotts.co.uk


A Jaycotts Blog post by Alex Jaycott


I asked Jaycotts about troubleshooting Sewing machines as we all have problems from time to time and we don't always know where to start to sort it out.


This is their advice:

Alex,

The biggest issue we encounter is mis-threading of the sewing machine 


Having sold and serviced sewing machines for over 30 years I can honestly say that the biggest headaches for customers are actually caused by mis- threading the sewing machine!


everyone does it from time to time whether beginner or expert, novice or sewing teacher 

What do you mean by that Alex, what should we be doing?  Angela





Alex

Well , it is important to thread the machine  exactly as shown in your manual.For example  if someone miss-threads the take up lever, they usually don’t notice it and when the machine jams it looks as if the problem is the bobbin area  - when in fact it isn’t

So I guess my point should be that if you have an issue, the first thing to try is: re do your upper thread, taking care that the thread goes right into the take up lever. Incorrect threading can cause the machine to jam almost immediately.
If you  still have problems after that then go on to checking the bobbin area.




Thursday, 6 December 2018

How to sew Knit Fabrics

A Jaycotts post

Sewing with stretch fabrics, using the differential feed dial on your overlocker, and using a walking foot.

NB
Stretch fabrics - used for sportswear in the program - are featured in the GBSB 2019

I have not covered how to sew with Knit and stretch fabrics for a while so I want to show you how I work with these sometimes tricky to sew fabrics.
There will be two garments in this post and another post will follow shortly. I also want to talk a little bit about overlockers and how to make the necessary adjustments to your settings for sewing lightweight knits
In the second half of the post I want to talk to you about the differential feed function on your overlocker if you have one.

NB not everyone has an overlocker. In this case I recommend using Mettler Seraflock
 This is a stretch thread and you can sew knits with it using a straight stitch. Neaten your seams with a zigzag.

I have chosen two patterns, one very easy, and one slightly more challenging. There are plenty of other patterns which use stretch fabrics and I will be making up some more shortly.



Thursday, 29 November 2018

How to sew your own Vogue coat

A blog post showing you how to sew coats. Yes, it's easy!
This pattern is by Vogue




Do not be put off by making your own coat. It really is very easy if you follow a few simple tips. What is it that puts you off most? usually people say buttonholes.Well, this coat uses sew on poppers, so what could be simpler than that? a future post will feature a coat which fastens with a chunky metal zip.


I love coats and being able to sew your own means that you are not stuck with the same one all season, so I am currently making a few, this is just one of them!



This is a very warm wool blend fabrics which I picked up in one of the bargain bins but do have a look at their online store as they have lots of fabrics to choose from. Wool tweed is easy to sew, and very forgiving for beginners so it is a good choice.
There are some very nice Wool Boucle fabrics Wool blend Boucle Fabri at MinervaCrafts Boucle fabric

For other coat fabrics look at this selection in all price ranges Coatings

If you are new to sewing then I would choose something without a definite pattern on it so that you need not worry about pattern matching.



This is the finished coat

Sunday, 4 November 2018

How to sew a man's shirt - great gift idea .

Sew a man's shirt.


Don't be daunted by the thought of sewing a man's shirt. In many ways they are easier than sewing for women. I'm thinking that maybe I might reconsider if I were asked to make one for a muscular body builder type,( I'm picturing "large chest" adjustment, "biceps adjustment", hmm, not impossible but luckily but most men are pretty straightforward to sew for.
They are great for gifting to the man who has everything and so I am busy sewing shirts for Christmas at the moment. They are enjoyable to sew in my opinion and you can add individual touches as you go along.


You can never find a man when you want one can you, so I ended up having to model it myself.
Hmmmm, maybe if I shortened the sleeves I could keep it????



Tuesday, 2 October 2018

A Luxury Lined Pencil Skirt in Italian Wool and Mohair Mix Fabric

A MCBN post


Pencil skirts are really fashionable this year and I want to give you a few hints and tips which will easily turn yours from handmade to designer.





The fabric is Italian Wool and Mohair Mix fabric.  and it is utterly beautiful.

Do read my post on the. Minerva Crafts Blog    and find out how to make and use a toile ( test garment) which you can use time and time again.

I look forward to reading your comments


#sewangelicthreads


#skirt #pencilskirt #lining #toile #fitting #woolfabric #sewing #sew #tutorial 








Thursday, 27 September 2018

Sewing a Dress in a Stretch Fabric

A Jaycotts post.

Stretch fabrics - used for sportswear are featured in the GBSB 2019


This post is additional help for sewing with knits. Please look at my previous post where I talked about making Knit tops How to sew knit fabrics
This is a trapeze dress, so named because of its triangular shape. It can be unflattering so make sure that you wear it with heels and you will feel elegant in it not frumpy.

NB  not everyone has an overlocker. In this case I recommend Mettler Seraflock which is a stretch thread you can use for knits using just a straight stitch. Use a zigzag to neaten the seams




This time I am making a dress in a SCUBA fabric which is very easy to work with. You still need the same equipment as in the previous post, for example Stretch needles, Mettler thread and so on so do read the post.
Scuba fabric was born out of neoprane, the fabric which diving suits are made out of. It is a double knit fabric, made from polyester but there is usually some lycra or Spandex included in the fabric mix.
The fabric does not fray and some people don't bother to finish the seams but that would annoy me no end so I still overlock everything. It stretches well and has a good recovery. The downside is that it doesn't breathe and so can be hot to wear. It can be sewn up very quickly and is great for party dresses.
Various Scuba Fabrics. Do take a look
When stitching it use a ball point needle and a longer stitch than normal. I use a 4 or even a 4.5 at times.




The pattern I am using is one I have made before, it is the Grainline studios Farrow Dress and this is the link to that post.

This pattern is for anyone with some knowledge of sewing as it has several points which need matching up exactly. Any slight mis-matching might not be so obvious on a patterned fabric but would spoil a garment made in a plain fabric.

Continued .......


Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Linen - Cotton Blend Shift Dress

A MCBN post 






This is a lovely dress which can be made in a variety of fabrics , the pattern even shows an option which has a lace overlay.

To make this dress I chose a linen- cotton blend fabric. Linen can often be a nightmare to wear because it creases so much but add cotton to it and the problems disappear. This is a very easy fabric to sew, it has a great texture and lends itself to a great variety of garments - skirts and tops and jackets as well as dresses all look fabulous made in this fabric. It is bright and cheerful and I can't wait to wear it.

Unfortunately this design has been so popular that it has sold out, but there are lots of other choices so head over to the Minerva Crafts Website and read my post in full and see the fabric options The New look 6261 dress

Thank you for reading this.

Angela




Monday, 3 September 2018

Sweet Pea Machine Embroidery Australia Cutest Cupcake Collection

A Jaycotts Post


Sweet Pea "In the Hoop" Machine embroidery designs.


A while ago I was fortunate to meet the Sweet Pea team and see their amazing designs close up.





Sweet Pea were invited by Brother UK to do a roadshow in the UK and Germany and we were very fortunate that Jaycotts was chosen as one of the few locations to host an event promoting their incredible in the hoop embroidery designs


Cutest Cupcake Collection

Since then Jaycotts have been able to stock three of their designs to sell online and in the store. 
If you have not come across Sweet Pea before then you are in for a treat. This is embroidery at its most exciting, the designs are mostly made entirely in the hoop,and what stunning designs they are!


Saturday, 1 September 2018

Bags of style!

A  post all about bags and what you need  to make them.


Fabulous gift idea



There's a youtube video showing all sorts of bags and other interesting things to make 

Labels

Bags
Decovil
Fleece interlining




It's not difficult to make your own bags, in fact they are one of my favourite things to make. I use them myself and give them as gifts. Quite often I am out with one and I end up giving it away and then I have to go home and make myself a replacement!
I sometimes make one to match an outfit or for a specific purpose, such as a beach bag,and I have shopping bags everywhere!
The other great thing is that once you have a few basic supplies you can use up odds and ends of fabrics which you would otherwise not have a use for. It's all win-win!





This is one I finished last night, it's a saddle bag and I made it from remnants of tweed fabrics.



This is a special bag which I made for my school bestie Margaret for her birthday. I was in such a rush to finish it and post it that I didn't take many photographs of it before it went off to Devon!

Please note that in addition to Jaycotts and MinervaCrafts, bag making supplies are available from Crafter's Companion. They sell absolutely everything for any sort of craft from papercraft to sewing and quilting fabrics, they are amazing! Do look Crafter's companion

Bag supplies from Crafter's companion  click on the link to take you  directly to their vast selection of bag making equipment. But do look at the rest of their site.



Friday, 31 August 2018

How to sew very Easy Totes and Shopping bags

A jaycotts.co.uk blog post







I am often told that many of us are inspired to make our own bags and we go and buy a lovely pattern, but that's as far as we ever get - mostly. The reason seems to be that these patterns require so many different and unfamiliar fabrics,interlinings and other notions which are either hard to obtain or are too expensive, or both.
In this post I am going to show you how to make a very easy Tote bag for your shopping and then I will  adapt the same design by first of all adding a lining, and then by making the bag larger to make a practical beach bag and finally a stylish faux leather large Tote with embroidery. 
Although I am using my wonderful embroidery machine - which is quite honestly the best thing I have ever had - it takes sewing to a whole new level, you can omit the embroidery.
Why not use a patterned fabric, do some simple applique or even hand embroidery, it doesn't really matter. In fact it's a great way to use up fabric scraps or even discarded clothes. The whole point is that we all need shopping bags and if you know how to make your own you will never be short of a bag again. The best thing is that if you use leftover fabric they are free!


Skills learned

Labels

  • French seam
  • Machine embroidery (optional)
  • Making a basic tote
  • Adding a lining
  • Sewing with faux leather 
  • Using a commercial bag pattern
  • Adding a zip

Saturday, 25 August 2018

How to sew a Blind Hem

This is a Jaycotts post talking about the Blind Hem Foot

I have been asked to show you how to sew a Blind hem using the Blind Hem foot. If you have a Brother Sewing machine it is foot R
This is a great way to stitch the bottom of skirts, trousers, blouses etc the effect is almost  invsible.
Once you master the technique you will find it quick and easy every time.


This is the blind hem foot.
This presser foot has a guide which is positioned against the fold of the hem to keep the stitching the same width all the way round the hem.



Thursday, 23 August 2018

Everything you need to know about Seams

This is a tutorial about working seams and finishing seams. 

A Jaycotts.co.uk blog post


Labels

Seam allowance, self bound seam, Flat felled seam, Hemmed seam, Hong Kong Seam,  French seam, Overlocked seam, Curved seam, stretch fabrics,

What is a seam?


A seam is much more than joining two pieces of fabric together. A seam can provide subtle shaping to a garment and when correctly made can be almost invisible. Decorative seams add design and interest to a garment.
So what are the rules in sewing a seam?
  • Pin the seam together right sides of the fabric together normally, but there are exceptions which we will come to later
  • Pin the seam edges together matching the ends, notches and any other markings
  • Hand tack the seam. You can omit this if your fabric is easy to handle and if you are experienced at sewing.
  • Stitch the seam with thread which exactly matches your fabric and buy the best quality thread you can afford
  • Finish the seam edge appropriately
  • Trim loose threads
  • Press every seam every time. Pressing gives a crisp edge and makes the thread sink into the fabric making the stitches invisible.
NB Please note that in order to show you the different seam finishes  more clearly I am using a contrast thread. The only time you should sew a seam with a contrast thread is when it is a design feature for example top stitching.




Tuesday, 7 August 2018

The Savannah Knit Top in Lady McElroy Ponte Roma

This is a #MCBN post




Don't you agree with me that this is the most amazing fabric? It is a Ponte Roma by Lady McElroy fabrics. Ponte Roma is a heavier weight stretch fabric which stretches just across the width. It is a very well behaved fabric and lends itself to almost any type of garment from trousers and jackets to tops and dresses. This particular fabric comes in three colourways, I chose Paprika. Lady McElroy stretch Jersey fabric
It drapes well, washes well is easy to care for and the medium weight means that it won't cling to any Lumps and bumps making it easy to wear.
It is suitable for beginners as it is very stable and needs no special sewing techniques.
Want to know more? Head over to the MinervaCrafts Blogger Network and take a look .Just   Follow This link and you will be taken to my review .



.
This fab top features in this YouTube video

Best wishes
 Angela


Sunday, 29 July 2018

Parkinson's, Sewing and Me.


With thanks to Jaycott.co.uk.

Please note that these tools are suitable for most disabilities, not just Parkinsons


See also Parkinsons UK for lots more information about Parkinson's

I have been asked many times to write this blog post and I kept putting it off. It is not easy to write but if it helps anybody then that makes me very happy.
The tools and equipment featured are all from jaycotts and I will give you the links as we go along. Please note that the products featured are suitable for use no matter what your disability, be it arthritis or poor eyesight.

Well, Christmas is here and it's a nightmare! The shops are busy, my town centre is being " updated" and half the parking is gone so I can't shop here until the roads reopen, it means a 15 mile drive to the next big town.
And the crowds, shopping is stressful enough at the best of times but add to that busy stores and car parks, queuing it becomes an impossibility.




Food and medication have to be carefully timed, I mean meticulously timed, it's no good eating or taking meds an hour long of sync, that just makes my symptoms worse. Yes I can enjoy a drink, but not too much because of the medication.

I haven't sent Christmas cards because I can't write them. Life is so very different. If you know anybody with Parkinson's do look for ways to make things easier for them. If they are eating with you ask what time would be best for them and they will give you a window. Food and medication often have to be taken an hour or so apart, and some foods cannot be eaten at all. A discreet conversation would prevent embarrassing moments on the day. Cut your guests turkey very thinly and add lots of gravy as swallowing is affected by the disease. Provide a steak knife too, they do help.
I might make light of my condition, but it isn't easy to live with.



Parkinson's is not what I want for myself or anybody else for that matter,quite frankly it stinks. One day I may feel well (ish) there is always an ish! Other days I cannot even get out of bed.

Currently around 127,000 people in the UK are living with Parkinson’s, an incurable, degenerative neurological condition which leaves people struggling to walk, talk and sleep

It's made harder by the fact that I live alone, people with disabilities become somehow undateable, I mean it's not the best chat up line in the world is it? " Hi, I'm Angela, I suffer from Parkinson's, I have chronic fatigue, I drop things constantly, I can't always find the word I want and I might fall over and appear drunk" come on! Yes I know I am positive and I am a fighter but sometimes I don't want to be, you know? I want to be " normal" I don't want to have to collect two carrier bags of medication every month and spend two hours every week sorting it out.



And I am really not complaining because I am grateful, but I would love to be able to earn my own money and not be means tested. Hey I'd love new carpets! Correction I NEED new carpets but I don't have that sort of money! I cannot just go out on a whim if I am feeling low or buy myself a treat - like those carpets, or anything really.
I lost a 30K + salary when I was diagnosed, now I have to prove to people that I really do qualify for the little I get, just like millions of others.
I didn't want to give up work. Early " retirement" was not an option. It was tough giving up a career I loved.



Saturday, 14 July 2018

Get the fit right! The denim pencil skirt with exposed zipper


Why go to the trouble of making a beautiful garment if it does not fit you perfectly?


Labels

Exposed zipper
Fitting
Top stitching 


I don't know about you but I read a lot of blogs and I see a lot of people showing themselves wearing lovely hand made clothes which quite frankly just do not fit.
What's the point? Why go to all that trouble and expense only to end up with a garment which is either too big, or worse far too small?





I bought some stretch denim Stretch Denim from MinervaCrafts as I wanted to make a skirt. Some stretch fabrics - as this one does, just stretch across the width, some stretch in all directions. You need to ensure that with a two way stretch fabric the stretch goes across the garment.


Tuesday, 3 July 2018

The Style Arc DIXIE top

A MCBN post

The Style Arc Dixie Top

This pattern requires woven fabric, IE one which does not stretch, and a linen blend is absolutely perfect . For this project I used two colours of the same fabric which is a linen and cotton blend fabric so it is very well behaved, easy to sew and easy to wear. This fabric becomes softer and softer with each wash. I have been wearing it this week in the very hot weather and found it to be cool and comfortable.
It doesn't crease much during wear and Is suitable for dresses and trousers as well as tops. What is this wonderful fabric? Well, it's all detailed on my blog post over on MinervaCrafts website, link below. Or go straight tongue fabric here Robert Kaufman fabrics



So, check out the fabric details and the pattern on this link The Style Arc Dixie Top where you will also find my review of the fabric and pattern.

Happy sewing! 

Angela 



Friday, 8 June 2018

The Simplicity 8543 Amazing Fit Dress

 A Jaycotts post. Simplicity 8543 Amazing Fit Dress

Labels

Fitting
Measuring yourself
Toile
Monogram foot
Reading a pattern
Zipper



This is a Simplicity Amazing Fit Dress if you have not made an Amazing Fit pattern before then you should.
This pattern has a choice of sleeves, a shaped midriff and a flattering neckline.
More importantly it has many different size variations within the pattern.
It comes in two choices of size ranges, 10-18 and 20-28.



The princess seams are very flattering for any figure and you have the option of sleeveless or a short sleeve - with or without a flounce.




The pattern gives comprehensive instructions on how the finished dress should look on your body, so I do suggest reading the pattern thoroughly before you get your scissors out!


The pattern has a very good guide on how to choose your correct pattern size and how to take your measurements.
There are separate pattern pieces for A to DD on the pattern size I chose which is the option for sizes 10-18. And there are also separate pattern pieces for slim, Average and Curvy fit.




Tuesday, 5 June 2018

The simplicity New Look Denim Coat and Tote bag

The Simplicity New Look Denim Coat A MinervaCrafts Blogger Network Post


Label
Hong Kong Seam

I was watching the Royal Wedding and looking closely at what people were wearing. What struck me was that the best dressed and most elegant women wore simple A-line coats over a dress. The look is understated but very classy. That got me thinking that I don't actually own a summer coat and how useful one would be.

This is one of my most favourite makes ever. It goes well with trousers, jeans or a shift dress. The pattern comes with trousers top and skirt too and the outfit can be made very smart for a wedding or more casual for everyday wear. I love how the coat has an Indian feel to it with the stand collar and slits up the side. It really is a very useful and wearable garment which I never knew I needed.



Do make one and have fun with the inside, see the post fo how to make the seams.
It looks and feels so special with the Hong Kong (bound) seams and the matching bag is pure inspiration in my opinion!

I guess you have realised that I LOVE my new summer coat! PS there is a tote bag to make too.

NB if this particular fabric is not to your taste then take a look at these alternatives, starting at under £5 A metre. Denim, plain and patterned

The rest of the post is here My Simplicity New Look Denim Coat Do read it and leave a comment


Thank you
Angela

#simplicity #NewLook #denim #coat #sewing #sewingblog #tutorial



I would love to see your version.







Thursday, 31 May 2018

My review of Prym Pressing tools from Jaycotts.co.uk

A Jaycotts.co.uk blog post all about pressing 

What is your most important sewing tool? You might be surprised!


In this post I am going to demonstrate some of the pressing equipment by Prym which you can obtain from Jaycotts and I will show you why they are as necessary as your sewing machine when undertaking any sewing project.



What do you imagine the number one rule of sewing to be? Would you be surprised to learn that THE top rule for any sewing project is to press as you go. That's every seam, every time.
You would be amazed at the difference it makes to your finished garment, it makes all your garments look Handmade (Bespoke) not the dreaded " homemade"
And what is the number one rule in pressing? Its simple, don't rush.
Notice too that I used the word pressing not ironing.When you are ironing your iron is moving back and forth over the fabric constantly, with pressing the iron is set down and then lifted up before moving to the next spot.
Every time you sit down to sew get your pressing equipment set up before you start sewing so that it is easily available.  If you leave pressing until after you have finished sewing you will not produce a quality look to your garment.

So, let's discuss which products you need, and I do mean need. The basics are

  • A good quality heavy steam iron
  • An ironing board with a padded cover. Avoid the teflon coated covers as they reflect heat into the back of fabrics and can cause shine and problems with interfacings
  • A pressing cloth 
  • A Tailors ham and/or sleeve roll
  • A sleeve board


My collection of pressing tools 



Saturday, 26 May 2018

The Brother Adjustable Bias Binding Foot

A mini blog all about this incredibly useful and easy to use foot.

The Brother adjustable Bias Binder Foot


Labeks

Bias binding foot
Hong Kong Seams 


This is my favourite foot at the moment, I love the way it makes adding a binding to an edge so incredibly simple. I have had a binder foot before, but nothing so easy to use as this one, so if you want to treat yourself I really recommend ordering one.  The Brother adjustable Bias Binder Foot   is available from Jaycotts, the current price is £24.99.


If you are making your own bindings as I normally do then ensure that the finished width is between 5 to 20 mm. Any wider and it will not fit into the foot.

Once you have made or purchased your binding simply press it in half.




Feed the tape through the guide with the folded edge to the right. Then turn the screw on the foot and align the edge of the tape with the left side of the guage. You may also want to adjust your needle position so that the stitches are as close to the edge of the binding as possible. Don't forget to tighten the screw.
When you are happy then pull an inch or so of the binding through to the back .

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Using the Fringe Foot to embellish almost anything

The Brother Fringe Foot


Label

Fringe foot


I was going to use this foot to embellish a dress but I changed my mind and want to decorate ithe dress another way, but I still thought it worth while demonstrating how to use this foot as I absolutely love it. I fully intend using it to embellish a Chanel type jacket where the fringing will look fabulous.


The foot I used is the Brother FRINGE FOOT  (Ask Jaycotts for other makes)
This foot is not only perfect for embellishing pockets, lapels, table linen etc but also sews tailors tacks in a jiffy. This is fabulous for tailoring projects when I want to sew tailors tacks down all of my seams, it is much quicker than doing them by hand. Ask me if you want to know how to adjust the settings for tailors tacks.
You can see that there is a raised bar down the centre of the foot which you need to  zigzag over to form loops which are then cut into a fringe.


It is so  easy to use. Snap the foot in place, select a wide zig zag stitch and select the settings. You need a very wide stitch but make sure that the needle position is such that it does not hit the metal foot anywhere. Try the stitch very carefully to make sure it is ok.
Then you need to select a very short stitch length because you need the stitches to be very close together so set the stitch length to about 0•6  then loosen your tension to 2 or 3.
Stitch a row of stitches  - or a pattern ( heart, flower, etc) and fasten off.

Then take your normal foot and a short straight stitch and sew the fringe down close to the top.
With your sharpest scissors snip the threads on the reverse and then using your finger nail loosen the threads on the right side
The fringing can be trimmed if necessary

You can make several rows or just one, you can make a frame for an initial or emblem, above all this foot is FUN so treat yourself to one and have a play with it, it is so very easy to create eye-catching and different effects with it.



There is a video on my YouTube channel showing you exactly how to use it, the link is here The Brother fringe foot if you subscribe to my posts by email.

Whilst you are in my page do subscribe. I fully intend making a lot more video's for you to watch as I think it is always much nicer if somebody shows you how to do something.

Don't be afraid to experiment with your sewing, there are a lot of different feet available to fit most sewing machines, doing something a bit different really adds to the fun of sewing and you will be surprised at how quickly you become expert.


For details of sewing machines, feet, or indeed anything sewing related do contact Jaycotts. They are extremely knowledgeable and friendly and enjoy explaining how to use their products.

Please Contact Jaycotts here or just give them a call during opening hours on 01244 394099

Thank you for reading this post

Angela


#sewing #sewingmachine #machinefeet #fringefoot #embellishing

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

The Sew Over It EVE dress.

A MCBN post for MinervaCrafts

If you are new to sewing then a wrap dress is a great place to start. This one , the EVE dress by Sew Over It has no darts, no zip and no buttons. Perfect.



It is a very pretty feminine dress with plenty of swishy movement in the skirt. The beautiful cotton Lawn fabric makes the whole thing very elegant looking .

Sew over it are vintage inspired and if that's your style this pattern is for you. Do read the whole post on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network The Eve Dress
I used this fabulous fabric  Beautiful Lady McElroy Fabrics but there are other choices of cotton lawn on their website

Is also made the short sleeve version, using a stretch jersey again from MinervaCrafts





I would love your feedback and questions

Angela



















Sunday, 29 April 2018

The Brother Multi-Purpose Screwdriver

Introducing the Brother Multi-purpose Screwdriver


I love Machine embroidery on my Brother machine, but I have been having problems hooping my fabric and stabiliser .

This is a story about how a tiny gadget saved my sanity.




I  love machine embroidery, who doesn't, but  the results I was getting were so disappointing, all this puckering, it just doesn't look nice.


It is just spoiling the effect of my designs. All that work I put in and the results are not good. What is happening?
Have you ever experienced this?



Everything starts off fine, the fabric and stabiliser are stretched tightly across the hoop, but then after a while it all starts to look wrong.

I tried everything and in the end I asked Brother themselves what I was doing wrong.

The solution they gave me was so simple! I don't know why I didn't see it for myself!


You see, these are the tools which typically come with Brother machines. They are used to tighten screws, change needles, tighten embroidery hoops and a zillion other uses. They work fine for most people yes......
But they are so tiny! I struggle to use my hands so  I cannot grip them properly Maybe you have this problem too ? I know my friend has arthritis in her hand and I have Parkinsons, so trying to hold  such a tiny object and fiddle with tightening screws is an almost impossible task. As I have grown older my fingers are less nimble too making it doubly hard work.

It is important that the fabric to be embroidered and the stabiliser under it are secured very tightly in the hoop otherwise the fabric will move around resulting in the puckering shown in the above  pictures. The lack of grip in my hand meant I was not tightening the screw in the hoop sufficiently, giving very poor results.
 So, what is this mystery solution?


It is this utterly brilliant and simple Multi-purpose screwdriver! Who would have thought that such a tiny object would revolutionise not only my embroidery but make little jobs on my sewing machine so much easier too!
The metal screwdriver part is easily rotated to make it suitable for all your needs.

The first position shown in the picture above is so useful for jobs on all your Brother machines. Embroidery machines, overlockers and sewing machines all have screws that need to be tightened.


Take my   BROTHER Innov-is 1300    for example. Sometimes I want to remove the foot attachment and swop it for a different one.  Old screwdriver? Fiddly to hold.
Same with changing the needle, a bit fiddly too.


But with the multi purpose screwdriver set at position 1 both of these tasks are a breeze.



Sometimes there are screws in hard to reach places and I find  the little round gadget which came with the machine so hard to grip.  The result of which was that something which should have taken me seconds to remove was taking forever



But put the multi purpose tool in position 2 and it is so easy to access even the most awkward screw!


Now this is the bit I like best. Rotate the screwdriver bit untl it is inside the rounded end and you will be astounded at what it can be used for.


Just insert it into the tightening screw on your embroidery hoop and turn, keep on turning and suddenly your embroidery hoop is tight and secure and all this without struggling to use a fiddly little tool. I have the BROTHER Innov-is 800e embroidery machine from Jaycotts



Your stabiliser and fabric will now stay put because it is so very easy to tighten the screw properly - no effort required!
And that is the secret of smooth embroidery - keeping the fabric firmly in place in the
hoop without it moving at all.




No puckering around the embroidery on this little pillow! 


And perfectly flat pockets




No puckering to spoil the applique on this pillow either!


You will now be as excited as I am and be wondering how to purchase this wonder tool!
It is called The Brother Multi-purpose Purpose Screwdriver and it is available from your nearest Brother outlet priced £14:99 and worth every penny!

So go on Jaycotts website or call in store and treat yourself. Brother Multi purpose screwdriver

Any queries? Contact Jaycotts for help and advice on any of their products

Honestly, it makes life so much simpler, not only for people whose hands don't quite work as well as they once did, but for everyone.

Who would have guessed that I was struggling for so long but that there was a simple solution just waiting to be discovered



Thank you for reading this post

Angela