10 tips from the experts: How to sew with denim

Sewing with denim can be an easy skill to master if you have a little time and patience. With the right sewing machine and sewing equipment, you can easily stitch your favourite pair of jeans or design stylish denim clothing on a professional level. A useful sewing machine that has multiple functions like the Empisal Expression 889 would be ideal for this role. If you’re wondering how to sew with denim, use this guide and you’ll be creating beautiful denim pieces in no time.

Tips to help you sew with denim 

  1. Choose the right needle: The size of the needle depends on the size of fabric you are working on. Heavy fabrics like denim require a size 18 needle and size 14 for lighter denim. Make sure to change these needles occasionally if you’re going to be sewing for a long period of time as needles tend to wear out over time.
  2. Choose the right sewing machine: A standard presser foot should be just fine but consider using a walking foot to keep denim from moving around when you’re working with the fabric.
  3. Use good ironing equipment: Denim is a tough material. Using a steam press will allow your tough denim fabric to stay in place when sewing and helps you create perfect stitches.
  4. Use the best fabric for your design: It’s important to choose the right denim for your garment. Heavy denim fit for jeans and denim jackets while lighter denim would work best for dresses or skirts. Prewash the fabric before sewing to get the most out of material and to make the color pop.
  5. Use sharp tools: Sewing equipment that is sharp and strong for denim is necessary for the best cut. Use only professional sewing scissors as well as sharp rotary cutters.
  6. Topstitching: Denim fabric gets a lot of stress because of its tough material. Using heavy jeans threads or upholstery threads will help keep stitches in place. Some denim requires a longer stitch than normal fabrics.
  7. Pay attention to seams: You can reduce bulk when sewing denim as much as possible by trimming seam allowances, clipping curves, and ironing corners. It is easy to break your needle or go off base with denim so take your time and hold the fabric firmly for easy seaming. Make sure to grade and trim seams as you stitch.
  8. Use a Jean-a-majig: Prevent problems with your sewing machine by leveling off your machine foot with a jean-a-majig. This will ensure your fabrics are spaced evenly and run smoothly in the machine during sewing.
  9. Fit your denim as you sew: For the best fit, make sure to fit the material while you’re sewing so that you can determine which areas need to be worked on. Sewing one area at a time before fitting can allow you to adjust each area as needed.
  10. Take your time: Jeans are a tough fabric to sew but slow and steady wins the race here. With extra patience, you can easily complete your design in no time. Use a completed pair of jeans or denim item as inspiration as a sewing guide to what you wish to achieve.


For over 35 years, Empisal has been supplying sewing equipment to Southern Africa that caters to every sewing project need. From overlockers to affordable sewing machines, we have it all. For more information on how to sew with denim, contact us today

What is the best sewing machine for beginners?

Purchasing a first sewing machine is an exciting step for beginners when starting their new hobby or venturing into a creative new world. As a beginner, you are likely to want a sewing machine that is the most basic and easy to use like the Empisal Expression 889 Sewing Machine or Empisal Creations. Here at Empisal, we have a quick guide of factors to consider when purchasing the best, affordable sewing machine for a beginner.

Automatic sewing machine for good usability 

Computerised sewing machines are of the highest quality in terms of usable sewing machines. It may look a bit advanced but it has the best features that are easy to use for beginners who have basic knowledge of sewing. These machines come with multiple feet set and button hole options (like the (EES50) Empisal Electronic Sewing 50). These automatic features are designed to make it easier for newbies who are serious about taking on sewing as it has automatic senses to create professional clothing designs and styles. With a special LED light, needle threader and the option to sew with or without foot control, there is no easier way for entry-level sewing.

Manual sewing machine for reliability 

The reliability of your sewing machine depends on the features and type of material you want to sew. Manual machines are a great choice as they are sturdier and help to teach beginners proper techniques for sewing any type of fabric. Basic, yet reliable manual machines (like the Empisal Expression 889) have plenty of stitching options and allow for professional, easy stitching. These are also lightweight and portable making it a good investment in the long run. Manual sewing machines are the most reliable machines as it is designed with simplicity in mind and there’s less than could go wrong.

Affordable sewing machine 

Cost shouldn’t be a strong focus when purchasing your first sewing machine as you should be careful not to choose a cheap machine that will break down easily. However, if it is necessary to find an affordable sewing machine, the sewing machine should have a good selection of stitch functions that include buttonholes, be user-friendly and come with a good guarantee. The Empisal Expression 889 is a good example here.

When selecting sewing machines, machines of the best quality should be chosen so that beginners can be inspired to sew more and not be disheartened by a poor machine. Beginners need to also consider other sewing equipment when purchasing their machine such a sewing kit with needlework, sewing threads, ironing equipment, etc.


For over 35 years, Empisal has been supplying sewing equipment to Southern Africa that caters to every sewing project need. From overlockers to a steam press, we have it all. For the right sewing machine for your sewing machine project, contact us today.