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.

Everything You Need to Know for Successful Serger Sewing

serger sewing

Keen to learn to sew? If so, then you will need to delve into the art of successful serger sewing. Here is everything that you need to know in order to get started:

What is Serger Sewing? 

Serger sewing basically means sewing with the help of overlockers – a machine that expertly cuts the edges of a piece of material as you feed it through. These machines also have the ability to create a neat overlock stitch over the edge of one or more pieces of cloth. They should not be confused with ordinary sewing machines. It is a piece of sewing equipment that is used to finish off garments in the neatest, easiest way possible.

Why Serger Sewing?

Serger sewing is much more convenient than cutting material manually, and it can also leave you with a much tidier-looking and aesthetically pleasing result.

Setting Up Your Overlocker Machine

    • The first step is to make sure that the thread is able to feed freely into the machine, free from any obstructions.
    • It is also very important for the threads to be seated properly in the tension disks. You can make sure that this is the case by always raising the pressure foot lifter before you begin to thread.
    • Also, do not forget to thread the overlocker’s loopers first, followed by the needles.
    • Speaking of needles, you will also need to double check that each needle is properly seated in the needle clamp, with the left one sitting a bit higher than the right.

Those who are about to begin to learn to sew, you will need the right sewing equipment. Find the best quality overlockers, affordable sewing machines and much more right here at Empisal. Contact us today for more information on our extensive range.

5 Mistakes That Sewing Machine Owners Make

Creative woman using sewing machine to sew clothing

It is easy to make mistakes when you are just starting to sew. Sometimes it can be blamed on the sewing machine and other times, it is because we are simply human. Identifying these mistakes can help you to avoid making them in the future as well as to rectify certain mistakes. Empisal gives you a guide to the common mistakes you could be making with your sewing projects.

 

  • Choosing the Wrong Fabric 

Beginners, especially, tend to choose a fabric based on colour and appeal rather than the base of the fabric and whether it suits a pattern. Make sure to use the actual fabric suggested for the particular pattern.

 

  • Choosing the Wrong Type of Thread 

It is important to choose the correct thread for your particular sewing project. Make sure to check the label, as certain threads (such as rayon, silk and quilting thread) are not appropriate for garment construction. It is common practice that 100% polyester all-purpose thread is used on most garments.

 

  • Choosing the Wrong Type of Needle 

The sewing machine needle is the most important feature of your project. Choosing the wrong needle can result in tangled threads or bad stitches. There are different types of needles that are suitable for a particular fabric. A universal needle is good for sewing natural fibres, and ballpoint or jersey needles are best for sewing projects with knits.

 

There are different needles for stretch fabrics, metallic and leather. Make sure you also replace the needle regularly as needles tend to wear with use and after time. As a general rule, the needle size should fit the weight of the fabric and should be changed every 6 to 8 hours to provide good sharpness.

 

  • Using the Wrong Sewing Equipment for Your Project 

Not using the best sewing equipment (such as scissors and overlockers) can compromise the quality of the fabric and increase the duration of your sewing machine projects. Choosing an overlocker with self-threading and rolled-hems can save you a lot of time if you want quick, easy threading.

 

Household scissors should never be used as they cause your blade to become blunt over time. Sewing scissors should be used since it has the sharpest quality. Special seam rippers are available to use on seams rather than scissors as it is a safer option and will not damage your fabric.

 

  • Incorrect Use of Your Presser Foot 

Not using the pressure foot properly results in the fabric not being held in place, which causes the thread to get bunched up. Do not forget to put the pressure foot down. This will ensure that you always have neat stitches. An all-purpose foot comes in handy here like the Empisal Creations.

 

Empisal 

 

Whether you are just learning how to sew or whether you are an old hand, Empisal can help you to reduce mistakes when working on your sewing projects. From affordable sewing machines to overlockers, we cater for your every sewing need. Find out more about us and our products and contact us today!

How to Sew A Straight, Smooth V-Neckline

Sewing machine

The v-neck cut is a very elegant and traditional cut for a dress. Sewing a v-neck can be daunting as it naturally draws the eye, meaning any imperfections or lack of symmetry will be immediately noticed. However, with this guide and an affordable sewing machine (such as the Empisal Creations sewing machine or the Dressmaker 120A) you’ll be sewing V-necks like a pro in no time!

  1. Handle Your Pattern with Care
    Due to the symmetrical nature of the v-neck, any pulling or re-arranging of the pattern pieces will likely cause it to slip out of shape. Ensure that your pieces are always laid flat and handle them as little as possible.
  2. Make a Template of the Neckline
    Using paper; make a template for the neckline. Fold a piece of paper in half and cut out half the design (starting at the tip of the V). This will create a perfectly symmetrical template for you to cut out and tailor your fabric to.
  3. Stay Stitch the Garment
    Use a stay stitch on the neckline where the v-neck will be attached. This will reinforce it and prevent it from pulling or warping when you sew the neckline onto the main garment. An overlocker, like the Empisal Overlocker 760D, is ideal for this application.
  4. Use the Template to Align Everything
    When combining the main garment with the v-neck, use the paper template as a guide and adjust it to fit the garment. This will ensure the v-neck that is still attached to the template is what moves and not the garment, keeping it symmetrical and unwarped.
  5. Clip precisely and Use an Open-Toed Presser
    Being precise when sewing the v-neck to the garment ensures it sits neatly in the middle. Maintain a steady hand and look at the garment as a whole before clipping. When sewing, use an open-toed presser foot. The normal foot obscures the workpiece slight and it is easy to sew off pattern. Use an open-toed foot to ensure accurate stitches.

Empisal

For 35 years, Empisal has supplied sub-Saharan Africa with the best and most affordable sewing machines, overlockers and general sewing equipment. Our products are trusted by amateurs and professionals alike to deliver consistent quality and reliability over the years. If you’re looking for a particular sewing machine, contact us. Otherwise, find out more about Empisal.

7 must-have items for when you learn how to sew

sewing machine project

Like any craft, sewing requires that you have a few basic foundational items when you first start out. This can, of course, be expanded on to accommodate new techniques and tools, but your everyday items are often still the most important. Here are some essentials, recommended by Empisal, makers of the EMPISAL CREATIONS SEWING MACHINE for beginners.

  1. The right sewing machine: There are a huge range of machines out there, and beginners require something that is reliable, affordable and easy to use. Look for a good quality brand that is within your budget, that offer the right beginners stitches, accessories and sewing feet for the projects you are interested in.
  2. Fabric scissors: These shears are designed specifically for cleanly cutting through fabric and should never be used on anything else or they will get blunt. Large shears are ideal for bigger pieces of fabric, but it’s a good idea to have a second, smaller pair for close work.
  3. Seam ripper: Even the pros mess up a seam now and then, so this tool is a life-saver that will last through all your projects as you build up your skills. Unlike scissors, this tool helps you rip through seams without damaging material.
  4. Soft tape measure: Ideal for any project, especially clothing, a soft tape measure is essential for getting the right measurements around curves and shapes.
  5. Good quality needles: Your sewing machine will be working hard even on simple projects, and that needle needs to be able to stand up to it else you’ll be dealing with skipped stitches and broken needles all the time. We recommend Schmetz needles, as they are very high-quality and durable, and come in a wide range suited to different materials and projects.
  6. Pins and pin cushion: You’ll need plenty of pins to plan out your project, and a pin cushion will keep them both easily available and safely out of the way. You can even get pin cushions that attach at the wrist for even easier access while pinning a pattern or gathering a skirt hem.
  7. Fabric marker: While pins are useful, fabric markers are often a better bet for certain jobs, like marking out a pattern or a seam line.

Find the perfect sewing machine and equipment with Empisal

At Empisal, we’ve been providing high quality, affordable sewing machines,  overlockers, steam presses 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 EMPISAL CREATIONS SEWING MACHINE, 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.

Where to find the best fabrics in South Africa for your sewing machine

Finding the perfect fabric is pivotal to the success of any sewing project, but finding a great store with the range you need can be challenging. Here’s advice from Empisal, manufacturers of the affordable EES50 on some of the best fabric stores in South Africa:

  • The Fabric Warehouse: Located in Centurion, this fabric company specialises in fabrics for clothing (including bridal fabrics), upholstery, curtains and blinds.
  • Biggie Best: You can now buy Biggie Best fabrics online and have them delivered through the post office to you in a matter of days. With a huge range of colours and patterns, all made to a high standard of quality, these fabrics are ideal for upholstery and home projects, including curtains, cushions and chair covers.
  • Skinny la Minx: Located in Cape Town itself, these unique and artisanal fabrics are available in store and online. International designs with an African chic touch, these fabrics are perfect for bags, cushions, upholstery and other home projects.
  • Waste Centre Fabrics: Visiting this warehouse in Durban is anything but a waste! With a huge range of dress, curtaining, bedding and upholstery fabrics as well as hessian, fleece, felt and more, this is the best place to go for some inspirational shopping.
  • Benjamin Woollens: Looking for something a little different? This is the fabric store for you. Rich and luxurious cashmeres, wool suiting, boiled wool, brocades, silks, Egyptian cotton and linens, this Johannesburg store has a beautiful range of high-end, high quality fabrics for special projects.

Invest in an affordable, reliable Empisal sewing machine for your next project

At Empisal, we’ve been providing high quality, affordable sewing machines, sewing kits, over lockers  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 EES50, 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.

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.

6 must-have tools for your sewing room

No sewing room is complete without these essentials, say Empisal sewing machine specialists:

  1. Measuring tape: You need one or two good quality measuring tapes. They come in a variety of lengths and sizes (with 150cm being the most popular choice) as well as combinations (cm and inches, just cm or just inches). Be sure to buy a new measuring tape every few years, as they can stretch.
  2. Point turner: This is essential for sewing corners and collars. It allows you to turn over fabric without damaging it, to create sharp creases and push out corners, and unfasten basting stitches easily.
  3. Erasable markers: It’s best to never use anything else than an erasable marker when tracing out patterns. These will make clear outlines that last while you are assembling the finished product but will completely disappear when washed. You can also get chalk pens and wheels, which are great for marking out darts and pleats.
  4. Cutting tools: These include dressmaking scissors (these are used for sewing and making clothing, and are available in right and left-handed versions), pinking scissors (for neatening edges of cottons and non-fray fabrics), needlework scissors (for snipping into seam allowances and clipping threads when handling small work areas) and seam rippers/unpickers.
  5. Fabric glue: This product prevents fraying where the fabric is clipped close to the stitching.
  6. Interfacing and stabilisers: Available in light, medium and heavyweight for different types of fabric, these are needed in pockets and collars and can be ironed on before stitching.

Affordable, high quality sewing equipment 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. 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.

Maintenance tips for your sewing machine

Your sewing machine is an integral part of your crafting hobby or profession, so it makes sense to keep these hardworking machines operating at their very best! With some basic, quick maintenance, your machine will keep purring along, project after project.

Before we begin, you should first check your manual. It will have plenty of information on whether your machine needs oiling or not, tricks for getting the needle plate off correctly and other tips that are specific to your particular sewing machine.

  1. Always use your cover: Whenever your machine is not in use, be sure to put on its cover. This stops lint, dust, dirt and even pet fur from getting into your machine and causing a build up. If you don’t have a cover, use a clean pillowcase or you can even make a pretty material cover as your next project.
  2. New needles: Needles can quickly become blunt, resulting in skipping stitches, broken threads and loops. It’s best to change out your needle after a big project or 8-10 hours of sewing.
  3. Regular cleaning: After a big project, your sewing machine should be gently cleaned. First, run a piece of muslin cloth between the tension discs to remove fibres. Then, remove the throat piece, bobbin and bobbin case and use a small brush to dust around the bobbin area. You can also use compressed air to remove any dust or lint, just be sure to angle it away from the parts you are cleaning so that you don’t drive the dust deeper.
  4. Annual services: A good service once a year will ensure that the tension on your machine is correct, all of it’s parts are properly tuned and that any more difficult to reach areas are properly cleaned.

High quality, affordable sewing machines from Empisal

At Empisal, we’ve been providing high quality, affordable sewing machines, sewing kits, overlockers, steam presses, haberdashery products and ironing equipment to South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa for over 35 years. Ideal for anyone who is learning to sew as well as accomplished quilters, 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.

4 pieces of essential sewing equipment

Whether you’re learning to sew, designing your home sewing room or setting up a professional sewing studio, there are certain sewing products and equipment that you can’t afford to be without.

  1. Your sewing machine: Choosing a new sewing machine can be a daunting process, especially if you are new to the craft or are replacing a piece of equipment that has become outdated. A good idea for finding the best sewing machine is to choose an established brand, as they will guarantee the quality of their machines and parts. They will also be able to best assist you with servicing or repairing your machine if needed.
  2. Haberdashery: Your haberdashery covers everything from measuring tapes and bobbins to pins, scissors, spools of thread and even sewing kits. Having a well-stocked haberdashery means that any sewing or quilting project is within your reach and that you won’t have to keep breaking focus to try find the right tools and accessories at the store.
  3. Overlocker: An overlocker is a piece of equipment that is attached to your sewing machine, allowing you to quickly and neatly edge, hem and seam your project. These attachments can do a variety of stitches, including heavy-duty edging and decorative stitching.
  4. Ironing equipment: Having a steam press is the perfect way to finish off your latest sewing project, whether it’s a dress, a new duvet or new curtains. Rather than struggling over a regular steam iron, big projects are quickly and easily pressed into shape, ready for action!

Affordable sewing equipment from a brand you can trust – 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. 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.