How to hem your jeans

Let’s face it – no matter who you are, you probably have at least one pair of jeans in your cupboard! This versatile, hard-wearing and stylish fabric has been around since the 1800s and it’s no surprise that denim is such a popular choice. Sewing denim and hemming your jeans may seem difficult, even if you have a quality sewing machine, but it’s easy when you know these inside tips and tricks:

  1. If your jeans are new, wash them – and don’t forget the fabric softener: Not only will this take out excess dye and make the material easier to work with, it will also ensure that any shrinkage will happen well before you’ve hemmed your pants, so you don’t have to worry about them ending up too short.
  2. Use a template: Unless you have someone who can measure your jeans while you’re wearing them, then your next best option is to use a pair of your own jeans that are already the right length. Measure the inseam of both legs and mark out that measurement with fabric chalk or a fabric pen on your new jeans. Now turn up the hem on each pair to that mark and pin them in place.
  3. Try them on: Being mindful of the pins, try on your jeans with the new hem length to make sure that they are where you want them. At the same time, check that the hems are even and sitting parallel to the ground. Use a full length mirror if possible, so you can get an accurate look without bending. If you’re unsure, repeat the previous steps until you’re happy with them. Once you are, iron the new hem in place for a sharp, clean line.
  4. Cut away the excess hem: Using a fabric pen or chalk, mark a cutting line about 3cm outside the new hemline, using the ironed line as a reference. Cut away the excess hem material.
  5. Fold in the new hem: With the jeans inside out, fold the raw edge of the material up and in half again to the ironed line. Once this is even, pin in place.
  6. Sew: Stitch them hem close to the upper folded edge, using a clearance plate to level the sewing machine foot and help counter the thickness of the folded material. And you’re done!

Speak to Empisal for affordable, quality sewing machines

At Empisal, we’ve been providing high quality, affordable sewing machines, sewing kits, overlockers, haberdashery products and ironing equipment to South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa for over 35 years. Ideal for anyone who wants to learn to sew as well as accomplished crafters and professionals, our machines and equipment are reliable, precise and durable.

For more information on our sewing machines and products, please contact us today.

A beginners guide to quilting

Quilting is an ancient craft that reaches back through many different periods in history and civilisations, from China to Egypt and the Americas. No one knows quite where it originated, but this diverse, functional and beautiful art form is here to stay.

What are the different types of quilts?

  • Hand quilting: This technique uses a needle and thread, sewing a running stitch by hand across the quilt’s surface to bind the two layers together. Usually, a quilting frame or hoop is used to hold together the section that is being worked on, and quilters often use a stab stitch, rocking stitch or loading the needle to create their pattern.
  • Machine quilting: This is done using a home sewing machine or longarm machine to sew the pattern into the material and connect the pieces together. It is a popular method, as it allows the work to go much faster and smoother than hand quilting. It requires a special quilting needle to prevent puckering and bumps, as well as the right strength thread for your project.

Interesting quilt styles

  • Wedding ring quilts: Dating back to the Great Depression and using a pattern found in fourth century Rome, these quilts were a traditional wedding gift. It consists of interlocking circles pieced together with small arcs of fabric in colours and patterns of your preference.
  • Amish quilts: Made by hand and known for their very high quality of stitching, these quilts make up for their sedate patterns and colours with their incredible quality. Usually, you can find them in dark, solid colours and simple geometric patterns with little embellishment.
  • Applique quilts: This is a French technique that sews different pieces of material on top of each other in layers together to form a design. Often complex and eye-catching, these often ornate quilts are the centre of attention in any room, creating an immediate and detailed focal point.
  • Patchwork quilts: Like applique quilts, patchwork quilts use different pieces of material to create eye-catching designs. However, the similarities stop there, as the pieces of material are joined together by their edges rather than placed on top of each other.

Start quiting today with Empisal sewing machines

At Empisal, we’ve been providing high quality, affordable sewing machines, sewing kits, overlockers, haberdashery products and ironing equipment to South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa for over 35 years. Ideal for anyone who wants to learn to sew as well as accomplished crafters and professionals, our machines and equipment are reliable, precise and durable.

For more information on our sewing machines and products, please contact us today.