How to sew a blanket and brighten a room

Whether you want to make a lovely gift for a baby, get a head start on your Christmas presents or simply want to brighten up your own home, a blanket is a great sewing project – especially if you have an Empisal ESS 50! Here’ a quick and easy tutorial.

What you need for your blanket sewing project 

  • Batting: Most material stores allow you to buy batting off a big roll, so you can get the exact size you’re looking for. A baby blanket should be anywhere between 91cmx 91cm and 132cm x 13cm as a guide, based on whether you want it to be used in a crib or as a play mat, etc. For other uses, you can go as big or small as you like!
  • Top layer of material: Depending on the look you are going for, this is usually where you add your pattern. You may want to match it to home décor, a cute theme if it is for a baby or make it contrast to your current décor to create a vibrant pop of colour. Be sure to get a piece of material that will cover your batting sufficiently, or combine two or more contrasting pieces for a patchwork look.
  • Fleece for the bottom layer: A plush fabric like fleece is ideal for the backing of your blanket, as it is soft, warm and easy to care for. You can choose a plain or patterned material, but be sure that it is wide enough to match your top layer and batting in size.
  • Thread: General application thread in the colour you prefer is needed to bring it all together.

How to sew your blanket 

  • Wash your top and bottom layers of material to prevent later shrinkage and get any dye loss out of the way.
  • Line up all three layers of material on a flat surface and trim away any excess. Measuring is important, but precision results aren’t really necessary as this isn’t a structural piece like a dress or shirt.
  • Layer your materials in this order: Batting, print material with right side facing up and plush on top with right side facing down.
  • Sew a straight stitch around the edges of the blanket, leaving a small gap for turning the blanket right side out. The size of the gap depends on the size of the blanket, but 15cm is ideal for a baby blanket, as a guide.
  • Trim the excess away from the seam and press the seams to make open, flat edges.
  • Turn your blanket right side out and hand stitch the turning gap closed using an invisible slip stitch.

Sewing simplified with the high quality, affordable ESS 50 from Empisal!

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.

Whether you’re learning to sew or a professional, Empisal has the right sewing machine for you. With the ESS 50, you’ll be able to take on new projects with ease and get the most out of your sewing skills.

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

Use up your spare ribbon with these creative sewing machine ideas!

If you love sewing, chances are that you have collections of scraps in your craft room, from material offcuts and samples to lengths of ribbon. In this article, we’re taking a look at some great ways to use up spare ribbon in some pretty and creative sewing ideas and projects.

Firstly, it is important to know what type of ribbon you’re dealing with before you pick a project. Popular ribbon types include grosgrain, satin, silk, embroidered, velvet, petersham and printed ribbons – and each type of ribbon has its own properties.

  • Wide satin ribbon: This has the structure and strength to be a great addition to an outfit in the form of a sash. Placed just below the bust line at the narrowest part of the waist, this feature is slimming and adds interest with a vintage feel.
  • Grosgrain ribbon: Add interest and strength to a button down shirt by sewing a length of ribbon along where the buttons will sit. This adds support for the buttons that helps keep them fixed and stable while making a pretty piping effect.
  • Narrow ribbon: Ideal for corsets and lingerie, ribbon adds interest, colour and romance to any design.
  • Bridal projects: A touch of ribbon in a bridal outfit is as pretty as it is practical. Wrapping a hair comb in ribbon will hide the plastic and help it fit in with the colour scheme, whether it is used to fit a veil or as part of a hairstyle. Ribbon is great for edging the veil itself as well as wrapping the ends of bouquets and adding a finishing touch to wedding favours.

Some tips for sewing with ribbon

  • If you are sewing the ribbon onto a fabric, be sure to prewash the material first or else any shrinkage will cause the ribbon to bunch up.
  • Iron polyester ribbon at a low temperature as they are more likely to scorch. It’s best to use a pressing cloth and iron the wrong side of the ribbon as an extra precaution.
  • A sharp, fine machine needle is essential when you’re sewing with ribbon to prevent snags and visible holes.

Sewing with ribbon is easy on the affordable ESS 10 from Empisal!

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.

Whether you’re learning to sew or a professional, Empisal has the right sewing machine for you. With the ESS 10, you’ll be able to take on new projects with ease and get the most out of your sewing skills.

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