4 Great Accessories and Gadgets for Your Sewing Machine!

sewing

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!

sewing

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.

3 Ways to Make a Closure for a Pillowcase

sewing

Are you having a problem in how to sew a closer for your pillowcase? Then you can start to worry less because this article will give you a guideline on how to solve that problem.

Different Ways to Make a Pillowcase Closure

If you have a pillowcase sewing machine project, the following are tips on how to make the perfect pillowcase closure:

  • Slip-Stitched Pillowcase Closure

A slip-stitched closure is the simplest and most comfortable style in which to sew your pillowcase. The style closes the cover with an invisible seam after the pillow is inserted. This style of closer is meant for a permanent pillow, which is not made to be washed. Therefore, if you ever need to remove the pillowcase, then you will have to have it dry or vacuum cleaned.

  • How to slip-stitch the closure:
    • Add up to one inch of the height and length inserted for the seam allowance.
    • Pin together the right sides facing. 
    • Add marks at the bottom on the right and left side every three inches. 
    • Pinch the corners and turn it inside-out.
    • Press the edges of the pillow and slip stitch the opening shut.
  • Envelope-Backed Pillow Closure

Creating a pillowcase to an envelope-backed shape is easy. On the back of the pillow, one overlapped fabric is sewed at the back that is used as pillow closure.

  • How to make envelope-backed pillow closure:
    • Measure the size of the pillow to determine the size of the rectangle back pillowcase closure.
    • Fold the left and right side in.
    • Pinch the bottom and the top part and over-lock them using the appropriate sewing equipment.
  • Zippered Pillowcase Closure

Making a pillowcase closer with zipping makes it versatile. Moreover, you can easily remove the inside fabric or stuffing to wash it. And, you can also easily wash the pillowcase cover. A polyester zip is advised for the pillowcase closure as it is soft and smooth.

  • How to make a zippered pillowcase closure:
    • Measure the length of the pillow to have a zip with the same measurements.
    • Sew the zip on the inside of the pillowcase.
    • Turn the pillowcase inside-out and insert the pillow stuffing into the pillowcase.

Are you in need of making a pillowcase closure? Empisal has the very best sewing equipment available. For more information, do not hesitate to contact us today.

Essential Troubleshooting Tips for Your Sewing Machine

Sewing Equipment

Have you been having problems with your sewing machine recently? Worry no more! We have compiled the following tips on how to troubleshoot your machine:

Tips on How to Troubleshoot

If you have a sewing machine project and you recently had some problems, then the following will help you:

    • Thread that Bunches under the Fabric

First, unplug the sewing  machine, and you need to thread  it again. This allows the machine to receive the thread correctly and it refreshes the tension system. Then, raise the needlebar  to the highest level possible, and proceed to use the machine to sew to confirm if it is the correct tension.

    • Skipping and Uneven Stitches

The problem is commonly caused by a broken, damaged or bent needle. The tip to troubleshooting this challenge is by replacing the needle with a new one. The other reason for this challenge can be, during sewing, when you bow down when handling your fabric. This quickly causes skipped and uneven stitches and at some point, even a damaged or broken needle. The solution to this is to place your fabric where the machine can feed itself when sewing. 

    • Frequent Needle Breakages

If your machine is encountering frequent needle breakages, it can be very annoying. While this may look like a big issue, it is usually not. The primary cause of frequent needle breakages is ignoring the needle-use guidelines. The solution to this problem is using the right needle for the right fabric. Simply use the smaller needle sizes for lighter fabric and the big needle sizes for a sturdier fabric. 

    • Shredding Threads

The primary cause of this problem is a poor quality sewing machine or an old sewing machine. A worn-out needle can also cause this problem as well as a wrongly styled needle. The solution to this problem is to ensure that the thread freely passes through the eye of the needle. Or else, purchase an affordable sewing machine that is of a good quality.

For more information on tips on how to troubleshoot your sewing machine contact Empisal.

REF: https://www.singer.com/troubleshooting-tips

Tips and Tricks for Matching Up Seams

seams

Sewing patterns and pieces come in all kinds of unusual shapes. Sometimes it can be a challenge to figure out how they match up. We have some tips and tricks to share the golden rules for matching up seams.

 

  • Match The Stitching Line

 

When you match up the edges at the precise point where the stitching line lands at the edge of the fabric, the two patterned pieces of fabric will match up perfectly.

 

  • Match The Most Visible Seams First

 

Making sure that the centre of the front pattern pieces of the material match should be your first priority. Be careful of placing prints directly at the apex of the bust on women’s garments. When working with uneven plaids or vertical stripes, place a dominant stripe down the centre front. Make sure to keep it as straight as the edge of a razor.

 

  • Match Up Two Sides Of A Design

 

When you need to sew a seam that goes through the middle of a design, you first need to allow extra fabric for sewing the seam (around ½ inch or 1,27 cm extra on each side). Determine this when you calculate where the seam will go.

 

  • Choose A Good Pattern

 

Choose a paper pattern or PDF that will work well with a patterned fabric. One easy way to be certain that the pattern of your garment is suitable for stripes, plaids or large-scale images, is if the illustration provided shows that the model is wearing a finished garment cut from a piece of patterned fabric.

 

  • Buy Extra Fabric

 

Buy extra fabric when matching prints, plaids and stripes. The general recommendation is to buy an extra half yard (or half a metre) for separates and an extra yard (a metre) for dresses. This, however, is dependent on the complexity of the garment design and the scale of the pattern.

 

  • Cut One Piece Of Fabric First

 

The most commonly used method for pattern matching is by cutting one piece of fabric first. For this method, lay out your fabric in a single layer with the right side up. For each piece that requires cutting two, lay out one piece with the paper pattern right side up, and place the grain line marking on the grain line of the fabric. If you are matching two different pieces, lay them out next to each other, keeping a straight line running across the bottom of the pattern pieces. Drawing the pattern on the patterned piece of material will work for any pattern matching.

 

  • Use Good Sewing Equipment

 

When sewing seams on garments that you are matching for the pattern, then remember to use more pins than usual and to pin more carefully, checking carefully for the patterns to match up.

Need more tips and tricks for sewing seams? Whether you are looking to buy a first sewing machine or an affordable sewing machine, Empisal has everything from overlockers to ironing equipment. Contact us now!