How to sew a cell phone cover

sewing idea

When you leave your cell phone lying around, it can get dirty quickly, or even worse, damaged. Cell phone covers are quick to make, and with a bit of creativity, you can easily sew your own customised cover that is stylish, functional and keeps your phone a little more protected. Learn how to do just that in this innovative and fun sewing machine project with step-by-step instructions to guide you through the entire process. Happy sewing! 

Here is what you will need to get started: 

Step 1 

Choose three unique types of fabric. One will serve as the main pocket of your cell phone cover, and the two layers will be for your cards and earbuds. Cut the main pocket to be twice as wide as your phone, plus about 2-3 inches. The other two pocket layers will be 2-3 inches plus your phone size.

Step 2 

Cut three pieces of felt the same size as your phone. Pin one to the back of each piece of fabric, with the long edges pinned over to add an extra layer of protection.

Step 3 

For what will be the two smaller front pieces, fold the two layers diagonally and sew along the top edges. Keep the larger back piece unfolded for now.

Step 4

Stitch the two front-pieces along each side at one edge of the back piece. Fold over the back piece to cover the entire case.

Step 5 

Sew along the bottom and sides. After you have finished sewing, cut off any extra fabric from the sides. Turn inside out to reveal.

Step 6 

Grab your cards, cell phone, and earbuds. All done!

Empisal is a leading supplier of sewing machines, overlockers, ironing equipment, and haberdashery items. At Empisal, we are not only a trusted sewing brand on the market, but more so your creative assistant. We provide top quality and affordable sewing machines for novice and more advanced sewers. For more information, contact us today and let us know what you need, and we will present you with a range of viable options.

Go green with reusable grocery bags

grocery bag

Are you keen to scope out some new, easy sewing projects? How about sewing your own reusable grocery bags? These grocery bags, perfect for fresh produce, are gorgeous and functional, all the while helping you to reduce waste and save the environment, too. Follow our simple step-by-step guide here. 

What you will need

The sewing equipment required includes:

  • Your affordable sewing machine
  • Your overlocker 
  • A pretty fabric of your choice (78cm x 35cm, seams included)
  • 2 colourful cords (80cm long)
  • Iron
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Fabric marker
  • Safety pins

Step one

Start by folding your chosen fabric in half, with the right-hand side in the fold. Pin the side seams by placing your pins crosswise, and sew. Remember to secure the stitches on both sides of the seam. 

Step two 

Next, overlock the cut edges of the seams using your overlocker to reduce the risk of fraying. Turn the fabric inside-out. 

Step three 

Fold over the open side by 1,25cm, and again with the same size fold. Pin in place and press the folded upper side with an iron. Sew to create a tunnel for your cord. Place the safety pin through the cord and slide it along the tunnel. 

Step four

Iron and enjoy! Feel free to get creative by including a buttonhole to make your grocery bag even sturdier. You can also choose to embroider the front portion of the bag if you wish. 

Looking for the right equipment for your sewing projects? Look no further than Empisal. Contact us now for more details regarding our sewing equipment, affordable sewing machines, and overlockers. 

Learn to Sew Elegant Lavender Sachets

Sew Elegant Lavender Sachets

Lavender is an aromatic plant used in arts and crafts and in this step-by-step guide you will learn to sew beautifully-scented lavender sachets for your wardrobe. Some people have lavender readily available and growing in their gardens. The sachet will be a small aromatic bag fashioned out of cloth filled with fragrant ingredients or herbs. You will place your sachet in your wardrobe or drawer leaving your clothes smelling fresh.

What you will need for this project 

  • Sewing equipment
  • An affordable sewing machine
  • An overlocker
  • Scissors
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Pins
  • Paper
  • Teaspoon
  • Fabric offcuts (this should be light in weight)
  • Satin ribbon (if you want to use it)
  • Matching thread
  • Dried lavender

Step one 

Once you have gathered all your sewing equipment together, draw a square using a pencil on a piece of paper measuring 10 x 10cm and then cut it out. The allocated seam area is 1cm and has been included in the previous measurements. Therefore the finished sachet will be a 9 x 9cm square. You can change these dimensions should you wish. Cut out the pattern as many times as you like depending on how many sachets you want to make. Each sachet requires two pieces of the pattern.

Step two 

Pin the two pieces of pattern together with the right sides facing inwards. On the outside of the sachet measure 2,50cm from each side and mark it. This will be the opening where you will stuff your sachet with dried lavender.

Step three

Having an affordable sewing machine available to stitch your sachet using your sewing equipment and the thread is very handy. Start 1cm away from the edge, from one side of the opening to the other. Strengthen the start and end-point by sewing back and forth. Overlock the one side of the outward-facing piece using the three or four thread overlock stitch. Using overlockers will be worthwhile in investing in, for this project.

Or on your sewing machine use reverse-pattern foot number 1, plain seam number 1, and then stitch length 2. 

Step Four 

Using your scissors cut away the corners, carefully. Turn your bag inside out. Ensure that the corners look good. 

Step Five  (This step is optional)

Some people like their sachets to hang in their wardrobe so you can use a 1cm wide satin ribbon or anything similar to attach to your sachet. Cut the ribbon to 20cm in length. Pin the end pieces of the ribbon to one corner on the right side of the sachet then pin the other part on the right side facing inwards. The sewing equipment you gathered at the outset of this project, make it easier to be organised and get the job done smoothly.

Step Six

On one side of the sachet mark the opening using a pencil and stitch it using your sewing machine. 

Step Seven

Turn the bag inside out and press it out.

Step Eight 

This step involves filling the sachet with lavender. You can dry fresh lavender or buy it dried. Fill the sachet with 5-6 teaspoons of dried lavender.

Step Nine 

Once you have completed filling the sachets you can stitch the openings closed using a sewing machine. Having an affordable sewing machine at your disposal means you can get the job done easily. Use Edgestitch and foot number 10,  plain seam number 1, the stitch length 2,5 on the sewing machine. The needle will be on the far left side. You can use overlockers in this step to complete an overlocking stitch. You need to stitch the sachet all the way around and repeat this for each sachet you make.

Your lavender sachet sewing project is now complete and you will have fragrant smelling clothes from now on! It’s a simple project that has a wonderful end result. We hope you have enjoyed the learn to sew elegant lavender sachets step-by-step guide.

It is easy to learn to sew when you have handy sewing equipment available to you. For sewing machines, overlockers, sewing equipment and more, get in touch with Empisal today. 

4 Great Accessories and Gadgets for Your Sewing Machine!


So, you have invested in an affordable sewing machine, as well as the basic sewing equipment, and you have loved every minute of the sewing projects that you have undertaken ever since. Now it is time to take things up a notch and treat yourself to an array of accessories and gadgets. Here are four of the ones that you will definitely want to add to your wish list. 

Magnetic Seam Guide 

If you are new to the sewing world, you will have noticed just how challenging it can be to keep a straight seam. That is where the magnetic seam guide comes in. Secure the gadget onto your needle plate and line it up with the required seam allowance. Then use it to guide the fabric through the sewing machine. Effortless!

Mini Iron

Mini irons are incredibly versatile sewing accessories because they can be used to not only iron out seams but also to experiment with applique. Its compact size means that there will not be a single crease in sight – not even in those little corner nooks. 

Slip Reduction Mat 

A slip reduction mat will help to reduce the risk of any sewing mishaps by – you guessed it – preventing slips. They come in especially handy if your affordable sewing machine is quite small or lightweight. They dampen the machine’s vibrations, reduce noise and help to protect the surface on which you are working. 

Pattern Notcher

Anybody who uses their sewing machine to make items of clothing will absolutely adore the little gadget that is the pattern notcher. It saves time by marking key locations on your chosen pattern. It does this by cutting tiny notches into the edges of paper patterns.

When looking for an affordable sewing machine, a steam press, overlockers or the best sewing accessories  look no further than Empisal. Contact us today for more information regarding our products.

5 Tips for Making Money With Your Sewing Machine

sewing machine

Have you found joy in exploring with your sewing machine? And, have you taken up sewing as a hobby with great success? Well, then you may be wondering how to take things to the next level to start making money by putting your most prized possession to good use. Here are five tips to keep in mind. 

Make Beautiful Home Décor 

Do you usually find yourself making home décor items in your free time, such as curtains, pillow cases and stylish tablecloths? There is a huge market for affordable, custom home décor if you know how to reach your market. Plus, it is really easy to upsell your customers. After all, if they order custom-made pillow cases, they will almost certainly be open to ordering matching curtains and a duvet cover. 

Make Designer Clothing 

Who can resist the promise of designer clothing at a much cheaper price? If you enjoy making clothes, you can turn it into a profitable business. You could make everyday fashion, bridesmaid and prom dresses, children’s clothing, the list is endless!

Offer Repairs and Alterations

Money is tight for a lot of people these days. So, there is a push for everyone to be more sustainable in any and every way possible. Hence, the reason why many will opt to have their favourite clothing and home décor items repaired rather than simply replacing them. No wonder that alterations have also become a common requirement.

Teach Sewing Classes 

Spread the joy by teaching others to sew. You would be surprised at the high demand that there is for this particular skill at the moment. People of all ages are becoming interested in learning the art of sewing.

Make and Sell Crafts 

If you use your sewing machine and sewing equipment to make unique and special crafts, why not sell them? You could do so on social media, create a website for your small business or book a stall at a craft or farmer’s market. 

In need of an affordable sewing machine, overlockers or sewing equipment for your brand new business venture? If so, look no further than Empisal! Get in touch with us today for more details about our range. 

How to Organise Your Sewing Space

sewing space

A tranquil, well-organised sewing space is sure to be conducive to more enjoyable and successful sewing machine projects. As such, here are five helpful tips for organising your sewing machine and equipment space like a real professional. 

Organise Your Patterns 

Begin by placing all of your patterns, whether they are printed patterns in PDF format or pattern envelopes, according to category. Start by sorting them into general categories, such as patterns for women, patterns for kids, and so on. If they are still quite difficult to work through, take it one step further and sort according to different garment types within those categories, such as patterns for blouses, dress patterns, patterns for quilts, and the like.

Organise Your Fabric 

You will need to organise your fabric according to colour for the best results. In order to ensure that you can find a specific one for a specific use, consider storing the fabric in wire baskets or see-through plastic drawers. 

Organise Your Ribbon and Trim 

One of the smartest ways in which to store and organise ribbon and trim is by wrapping each item around a clothespin and storing them in a large glass jar. 

Organise Your Buttons 

You should store your buttons according to colour or size. Large glass jars make for the effortless button storage too. 

Organise Your Sewing Machine Odds and Ends 

When you own a sewing machine, you are likely to have a wide array of sewing equipment, from thread to pins, needles and machine feet. How do you store these smaller odds and ends? You get creative! For instance, think of using old pill boxes for needles, ice cube trays, labelled bead boxes, and more. 

Looking to invest in a new sewing machine or sewing kit before tackling a sewing machine project? Perhaps you have noticed that you are missing a few essentials after organising your sewing space as per the advice above? Either way, you are sure to find everything that you need at Empisal

We specialise in sewing machines and equipment, overlockers, ironing equipment, steam press models and much more. Contact us today for more information or for suggestions on buying an affordable sewing machine. 

6 Important Factors to Consider Before You Buy a New Sewing Machine this New Year

Sewing machine

Your good, old faithful sewing machine (handed down from your great grandmother) has decided to finally call it quits during the December holidays and you need to purchase a new sewing machine. So, exactly what do you need to look for in a new sewing machine? And, how do you know if it will be the perfect fit for you?

We’ve listed six important factors for you to consider before purchasing a new sewing machine:

Mechanical or Electronic?

Here is a view of the pros and cons of Mechanical and electronic sewing machines:

  • With a mechanical sewing machine, you’ll need to turn the dials manually to achieve the stitching you want, whereas, with an electronic sewing machine, it will make the adjustments for you. 
  • An electronic sewing machine will allow you to work with several layers of material – not just two layers as with a mechanical sewing machine. 
  • Electronic sewing machines are also much easier to operate if you intend on working with heavy materials such as leather, denim or canvas. 
  • However, electronic sewing machines are more expensive than mechanical sewing machines. 

Your Budget 

With a figure in mind of how much you’d like to spend on a new sewing machine, the endless options may leave you feeling overwhelmed and weighing the various pros and cons of each product. For instance, a high-quality mechanical sewing machine, such as our Empisal Creations Sewing Machine can come in at just under R2 000-00.

When buying a sewing machine, you need to choose the right product for your exact needs. If your hobbies include sewing, you don’t want to ‘over buy’. If, however, you use your sewing machine mostly for running a sewing business, we would recommend that you look at a higher-priced, professional sewing machine that can withstand continual use. A good option in such an instance would be our Empisal Electronic EES10 Sewing Machine at a price of just over R3 000-00.

The Weight and Size of the Sewing Machine 

Will your sewing machine accompany you to each craft market you are exhibiting at? Or, will it remain neatly tucked away in your sewing corner at home? These are two very important questions to consider when reviewing the various sizes and weights of sewing machines. 

If you plan to travel with your sewing machine, consider purchasing a small portable machine instead – try lifting the machine before purchasing it. If you plan to only use your sewing machine at home, then a heavier sewing machine may be more suitable as these are mostly made of metal instead of plastic. 

The Extra Features 

Essentially, you want a sewing machine that will meet all your requirements. Some sewing machines offer features that can be installed or added later, should you need to use them. Although the extras are a ‘nice to have’, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself by buying a machine that can be complicated. 

Service and Warranty 

Before making the final purchase decision, be sure to ask the sales assistant about the warranty as well as what it covers. For instance, will you be able to get your sewing machine serviced through the retailer you purchased it from, or will you need to send it away elsewhere? 

Research, Research, Research! 

You need to do your own research about choosing the ideal sewing machine which will be the perfect fit for you. Quality is always more important than the added features. 

For advice on which sewing machine will best suit your needs, contact us today for more information.

Starting a Sewing Club for Children in 2020!


If you have a passion for sewing with some free time on your hands, consider starting a children’s sewing club this year aimed at the age groups who would love to learn to sew. There’s nothing more rewarding than teaching others these fun and hands-on skills in a relaxed and creative environment. 

Where Do I Start? 

You need to decide on which age groups your sewing club would appeal to. A group of twelve-year olds will complete a more complex project faster than a group of six-year olds.  Keep the groups small to focus on various projects, even if you decide on hosting more than one age group at different times during a week. 

You need to ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Are you going to offer your sewing club for free? 
  • Or have you decided to charge a small nominal fee per child to cover the costs of the sewing equipment? 
  • Will this small fee provide for a bit extra to compensate you for your time?
  • Are you going to do small hand-sewn projects or are you looking at purchasing a few affordable sewing machines? 

Where Are You Going to Run Your Sewing Workshops From? 

A setting in a public space may be the best option for hosting various groups of children at different times as opposed to your own home, specifically from a parent’s safety concerns, namely ‘stranger danger’. Reach out to the churches in your area and the public library, both of whom may be willing to let you use their facilities a few times during the week for free or for a small donation. The venue cost is another factor to consider when deciding on whether to charge a cost per head. 

Decide on a Sewing Project Programme 

This is where the fun begins. You can pick and choose various themes and possibly one project per theme – the options are endless. It is always a good idea to tie these themes in with the various holidays throughout the year. 

Spread the Word! 

Once you have finalised the nitty-gritty details, start spreading the word. Post an advert in your local community Facebook group or local parents’ groups. Put up posters and flyers at the schools, library and other various free notice boards available to the community. 

For a wide range of quality sewing machines to kickstart your children’s sewing club, contact us today for more information. 

Sewing for Charity

Sewing is a lot like cooking in that is a pastime that enables us to demonstrate care to others. If you haven’t sewn anything for a friend or family member yet, you have most probably received a sewn gift from somebody else. The beautiful thing is that the caring and comfort in sewing can also be extended to strangers in need.

Sewing is a great way to give back while also developing your creative and technical skills. Here are some gifts that you and your sewing machine could create to help make the lives of others a little better:

Quilts for Children in Need

If you’re a quilter, you can add a touch of creativity and beauty to charity blanket drives. Instead of buying standard blankets, quilt a comforter of your own design to bring that little bit of extra warmth to a child in need.

Hats for Chemotherapy Patients

Take a variety of clothes and create hats and turbans to be donated to a nearby oncology ward for them to give to their patients. There are a number of good patterns and instruction guides available online.

Pillowcases for Nursing Homes

Pillowcases are relatively easy to make and always in demand. Hospitals, nursing homes and children’s hostels can never have enough of them. This is a great opportunity for you to create something simple and necessary. There is also room for creativity here, as you can change up the colours as much as you like, and maybe even throw in a bit of patchwork here and there.

Clothing for the poor

If your skills are more advanced, you can try your hand at sewing shirts, dresses and other items of clothing for various charities, instead of just digging the used clothing out of your wardrobe. Clothing can be a remarkably multifaceted gift: not only is it a necessity, it also carries style and dignity with it. There are probably people living near you who not only could use replacements for their threadbare garb, but would also enjoy the little boost in confidence that your efforts can provide.


Need more advice on the right equipment for your charitable sewing? Contact us.

Traditional vs. Modern Quilts – What’s the Difference?

Do you know the difference between traditional and modern quilts? Over time, two distinct approaches to the art have developed. If you’re an experienced quilter, it’s possible that you’ve done work in both styles without knowing exactly how to refer to them. So, what exactly is the difference?

1. Traditional Quilts

The old style of quilting, which remains very popular, is one that is characterised by symmetrical, repetitive patterns with various combinations of blocks and grids. This is what you would have seen on your grandmother’s quilts: squares within squares, and straight orderly lines. The traditional style represents the quilt as generations have come to know and love it.

2. Modern Quilts

Towards the end of the 20th century, a more relaxed, improvisational style of quilting developed. This modern style threw out the symmetry, uniform squares and careful sashing in favour of variable shapes, a more free-flowing approach to stitching, minimalism and less emphasis on intricate patchwork.

Modern quilts tend to use bolder colours, often in contrasting combinations, various shapes and sizes of patches, and negative space. Essentially, modern quilting first rewrote the traditional rule book, and then threw it away entirely.

Beautiful quilts can be created in both styles. It’s really a matter of preference, as well as one of the individual’s sewing skill level and equipment. Traditional quilts tend to be easier as everything runs in straight lines, making for more straightforward stitching. However, since modern quilting can often feature stitching that runs in all sorts of patterns, it can make the process of sewing a little more complicated. But, there is also a lot of leeway in modern quilting because there is not so much focus on tight, uniform stitches.

As far as equipment is concerned, there is not much difference in terms of which sewing machine is better suited for modern or traditional quilting. For both, you need a machine with a relatively wide throat to allow you to manoeuvre sizeable quantities of cloth. You might even want to consider an extension table if you are really serious about your quilting.


Need more advice on the right equipment for your traditional and modern quilts? Contact us.