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. 

How to Make Handy Decorative Fabric Pots

sewing

Soft fabric pots or containers are a trendy storage solution. Use them to hold your sewing equipment, your stationery – anything really. Along with looking beautiful, creating a decorative soft fabric pot is one of the most enjoyable sewing machine projects perfect for beginners and advanced sewers alike. Here is how it is done. 

What you will need 

  • Your trusty sewing machine
  • Sewing thread that complements your choice of fabric
  • A tool for measuring
  • A hand sewing needle 

You will then need two different fabrics – one for the inside of the fabric pot and one for the outside. You will need two rectangular-shaped pieces measuring 30cm x 36cm for the inner fabric and two rectangular-shaped pieces of stylish print fabric of the same measurements for the outside. Finally, you will need two rectangular-shaped pieces of 30cm x 36cm of thin fusible craft fleece. 

How it is done 

Step one 

Start by fusing the craft fleece to the non-printed side of both pieces of your printed fabric that you will be using for the exterior portion of the fabric pot. You will then layer your pieces – the external pieces with the right sides together and the inner pieces with the right sides together. Sew the side seams on each set. 

Step two

Sew across the bottom seam on the outer piece and then the bottom seam of the inner piece, being careful to leave a 7cm opening in the bottom seam. Use an iron to press all seams open. 

Step three

You will then need to box the bottom corners of the exterior piece. Sew with a 1cm seam allowance and do the same for the inner piece. 

Step four 

Next, you will slip the inner piece into the exterior piece with the right sides together, the raw edges even at the top, and the side seams matching. 

Step five 

Prep your sewing machine for free-arm sewing and sew around the edge at the top with a 1cm seam allowance. 

Step six 

Pull the inner and outer pieces out before carefully pulling the exterior bag through the lining’s opening. 

Step seven 

Use small hand stitches to sew the bottom opening of the lining closed. Finally, tuck the inner piece into the outer piece and carefully mould the fabric pot by pushing the lining down and then pressing with an iron. Perfection!

Remember to turn to Empisal for all your sewing machine project essentials. We stock sewing equipment, overlockers, sewing machines, and more. Contact us today!

How to Sew a Crib Sheet

sewing ideas

Spending most of your time adhering to social distancing recommendations? If so, you are likely to be feeling the effects and battling the boredom by now. What better way to keep both your hands and your mind occupied than by embarking on a few new sewing projects, such as sewing a crib sheet for a baby or a toddler? Grab your sewing machine, overlocker, and your sewing equipment and follow our simple guide below. 

What you will need

  • About 1.8 meters of fabric
  • Trim to 175 cm x 115 cm 
  • 2.3 meters of elastic
  • Fabric marker
  • Fray Check
  • Large Ring Micro Tip Scissors
  • Pins
  • 4 spools
  • Overlocker 
  • Elasticator Foot

Step one

You will start by marking your corners. Take your rectangular-shaped fabric and fold one corner at an angle of 45 degrees. Measure 20 cm in from the corner and use your fabric marker to mark a line. The line should fall at a 90-degree angle from the raw edge. Pin together and repeat on the other three corners. 

Step two

Your next step is to start sewing. Use the standard tension, differential feed, and stitch length settings. Set the cutting width to 7 mm. Do the same with all of the corners and finish off by securing with Fray Check.

Step three 

Next, you will add the elastic, which will allow for a snug fit on the crib’s mattress. You will need your Elasticator Foot for maximum accuracy. Be sure to trim away the seam allowance and sew all the way around. If you have only ever tried your hand at easy sewing projects, you might want to perfect this skill using scrap fabric first. 

Step four 

Wash and use! 

Do not forget to choose Empisal as your trusted supplier for all your sewing project essentials. We can provide you with everything from overlockers to steam press options and more. Contact us today.

Find Inspiration for Your Next Quilting Project on Instagram

quilting

Cannot get enough of creative quilting projects? The best place to look for inspiration is on Instagram! Here are four of the top quilting-related accounts that you should be following from here on in. 

Freebirdquiltingdesigns 

This Australian quilter is well-known for her incredible free-hand, longarm quilting creations as well as her exceptional detailing. She definitely has a penchant for floral quilting designs and most of her masterpieces have a classic feminine look and feel. 

Quiltingjetgirl 

This US-based quilter is a great source of inspiration if you are someone who enjoys experimenting with bright and vibrant colours in your quilting projects. Her use of colour and her mind-boggling geometric designs are definitely sights to behold. 

Sassyquilter 

This American quilter has experience on her side; she has been embarking upon extensive quilting projects for over 10 years. She is known for incorporating more than one pattern into her work, often pairing two completely different motifs for an edgy, ultra-creative result. Her quilts are talking pieces, to say the least. 

Myquiltinfatuation

This quilting professional is another quilter based in the States. She has even written a book about the art of perfecting the craft. She celebrates shapes in her quilting projects, often emphasising patterns with a stark contrast between white and brighter colours. 

Lilysquilts 

This quilting professional is from the UK, and specialises in simpler and subtler designs. But, that definitely does not mean that they are any less stunning. She has also recently started making branded quilts as well as quilts that celebrate favourite TV shows, such as Game of Thrones and RuPaul’s Drag Race. 

Now that you are fully inspired, it is time to get started on a new quilting project of your very own. 

In need of new sewing equipment? Empisal has got you covered. From an affordable sewing machine and overlockers, to steam presses and embroidery machines, we have it all. Contact us today. 

How to Sew a Flag Like a Pro

sewing

Interested in learning how to sew a flag like a true professional? Whether it is going to be a creative decoration for inside your home or whether you require it for a special event, it need not be the challenge that you expect. As long as you have your trusty sewing machine and some quality sewing equipment, it should prove a straightforward and enjoyable sewing project from start to finish. Just follow our step-by-step guide below. 

Step one 

Start by choosing your fabric and having your chosen design printed on paper (to size). Most flags are around 1,90 m or 1,40 m, and you will require a lining fabric and some glitter foil for your design to make it more eye-catching.  

Step two 

If you have chosen two separate lining fabrics in different colours, you will need to stitch them together in a long piece to ensure that they are perfectly equal in length. 

Step three

Use tracing paper to transfer your chosen patterns and designs onto your selected fabric. Trace it on the back of the fabric so that any remaining marks can be easily concealed. 

Step four 

Cut out the patterns, leaving a bit of extra fabric all around to fold underneath when you sew. Get creative with your embroidery and colours. 

Step five 

Cut out a large piece of fabric to act as the background and be sure to leave space for the hem and the sleeve. 

Step six

Pin the pieces in place onto the background for a rough sample of what the finished product is going to look like. 

Step seven

Sew the pattern onto the background using your sewing machine. Hem the edge and sew the sleeve. 

Step eight 

Make use of some synthetic ribbon to fix the rings so that they can be attached to the flagpole. 

Step nine

Hang and admire your new flag! 

Remember, how to sew a flag will depend on the specific design that you want to emulate. Luckily, there is plenty of inspiration online to help get you started. Do not forget to get in touch with Empisal for all your sewing equipment, overlockers and affordable sewing machine requirements. 

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. 

Wrap Your Christmas Gifts in this DIY Drawstring Bag

Wrapping Christmas Gifts

Wrapping paper is expensive. Unless you are one of those people who carefully peel the tape from your gifts, chances are you will not be able to use that wrapping again. It can take weeks to get all your Christmas gifts wrapped and having all that beautiful paper strewn across your floor on Xmas morning is not only terrible for our carbon footprint, but it also means a sheer waste of time, effort and money. The environmentally-friendly alternative to rolls of wrapping is the DIY drawstring bag. These nifty little bags can be used at Christmas time, birthdays or any other special occasion.

Use Your Sewing Machine to Create Lasting Drawstring Bags

Drawstring gift bags are an easy to assemble, cost-effective solution to wrapping paper. You can choose cotton, muslin, velvet – just about any fabric you fancy – for your drawstring bag. Because you are making these bags from scratch, you can select prints your loved ones will absolutely adore (think Disney princesses and Star Wars for the grandkids!). 

This Is the Sewing Equipment and Other Tools You Will Need to Create Your Fabulous Gift Bags: 

  • Safety pin
  • Pins 
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Overlocker
  • Fabric of choice
  • Ribbon of choice or string
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Cotton thread

Follow These Easy Steps:

  • Step 1: 

Fold the fabric double. Put the gift on top of it. Measure out the correct dimensions for your gift bag and cut out two identical halves, allowing 1 cm at the sides and bottom for the seams, and a 4 cm allowance for the drawstring tunnel on top.

  • Step 2: 

Line up the halves, with the wrong sides facing outward, then use your overlocker to run up the sides and bottom. Overlock the top edges separately to guard against fraying.

  • Step 3:

You can now see your bag taking shape. Fold the top sides over, allowing enough space for your ribbon and safety pin to slide through. Remember the drawstrings will be lined up double, so leave enough space and do not sew the edges closed (the tunnel must be open on either side). Use pins to hold the tunnel in place.

  • Step 4: 

Line the top of your bag up to the sewing machine. Use plain stitching to secure the drawstring tunnel, removing the pins as you go along. Use reverse stitching at both edges to secure the tunnel. Repeat the procedure on the other side of your bag as well, carefully trimming any loose threads with a scissor.

  • Step 5: 

Fold the overlocked seams open and iron them flat. Now turn the bag right side out.

  • Step 6:

Fold the short end of your ribbon in half and put the safety pin through it. Close the pin and push it into the drawstring tunnel. Thread the ribbon through the tunnel and pull it out at the other side. Now flip the bag over and stick the drawing pin into the tunnel on the other side, threading it through until both ribbon ends are sticking out on the same side. Once this is done, take out the safety pin and securely tie both ends. 

  • Step 7: 

Complete step 6, but on the opposite side of your bag. 

Once you have put the string through the top of your bag, simply pull on the sides to close it and you are done. 

You can use this video tutorial for a more detailed guide. Or, click on some of these festive designs for more inspiration.

To create a bigger bag that could double-up as a backpack, increase the dimensions, use rope instead of ribbon, add a grommet to the lower corners of your backpack, and string the rope through it and then tie a double knot. You can view a drawstring backpack tutorial here.

Like with most DIY sewing projects, you will need to prepare these Christmas drawstring bags ahead of time, but they will save you money and have a much longer life than wrapping. Your guests will be thrilled to receive their personalized, 100% reusable bag. Depending on the size, they can be used as storage space for Christmas ornaments, or slung over the shoulder when you pop out to the shops or the gym. Contact us today to learn more about Empisal overlockers and affordable sewing machines.

Sew Your Own Christmas Decorations!

sewing christmas decorations

A growing number of businesses are cutting down on paper and plastic. So, in the spirit of going green this festive season, why not use fabric for your Christmas decorations? Sewing your own decorations is not only cost-effective, but also more environmentally-friendly. There are a number of easy sewing projects to choose from allowing the entire family to get involved! 

Easy Sewing Projects to Suit Every Taste 

Making your own Christmas decorations takes a little thought and planning, but this only means the Christmas excitement starts a few weeks earlier. While you will need to shop around for the materials and embellishments, the end results are worth the effort. Never thought of sewing Christmas decorations? Here are some incredible ideas that will definitely inspire!

Ornaments

Instead of buying breakable baubles, make miniature pillows in different designs to decorate the tree. These are cheap, pretty and reusable. Depending on your choice of fabric, they’ll last for years and can be stored and moved without fear of damaging them. Use top stitching to attach various motifs, and zigzag stitches alternating with plain stitches for a ‘Christmas sweater’ effect. Just follow this simple tutorial to learn how. 

Garland

For those with a staircase and who want to make a statement, opt for a Christmas garland. This festive bunting can also be strung up over the mantelpiece. Use greens and deep reds, and spell out ‘Merry Xmas’ or even string up the initials of the family members. Wool felt is used in the tutorial, but you could use silk for a more glamorous feel. Just be sure to use an overlocker on the edges to prevent fraying, and to iron out any creases with your steam press.

Cushion and Chair Covers and Table Runners

You will want to add an embroidery machine to your list of sewing equipment for these festive decorations. Any living space can be spruced up by changing the look of the décor. Buy golden embroidery floss to use in your Empisal Embroider Machine 350 and use the monogramming feature to make personalised cushions and chair covers for the whole family. This sewing machine uses USB design transfer, so you can go crazy with patterns and emblems. You can also dazzle your guests with a fabulous, yet affordable table runner. Choose coordinating colours and different textures to create an authentic piece of table art. Whether you choose cushions, chair covers or table runners, these sewing projects will provide hours of fun. 

Coasters

These little pieces are often overlooked, but they can add a special touch to your Christmas table. Let your imagination run wild and mix up the colours and designs. Felt can be layered for a sturdy feel by double-stitching the edges in a contrasting colour. Why not delight your guests by gifting them a coaster that bears their initials?

Christmas Stocking

Use plain stitching to put this age-old favourite together. Personalise them with patterns, colours and symbols that complement the personality of each recipient. Almost any sturdy fabric will do. Cut out shapes in contrasting colours and use plain stitching to affix them to the stocking. Overlocking the edges of the stocking will ensure they last at least a few Christmases (but you will probably want to donate them and design new ones for next year!).

Even if you do not own a sewing or fancy embroidery machine yet, you can still attempt some of these designs with a basic needle, thread and ironing equipment. You can purchase an affordable sewing kit from any good haberdashery, and invest in your very own Empisal once you have been hooked. Contact us today to learn more about our affordable sewing machines.

Sewing Projects: How To Sew A Laptop Case

sewing

Whether you’re in desperate need of a case to make toting your laptop from place to place easier, or whether you want to surprise your significant other with a thoughtful gift, sewing a laptop case is one of those easy sewing projects everyone should try.

Wouldn’t it be easier to buy a laptop case? Yes, if you like the ugly, boring and expensive options currently available. Sewing projects give you the opportunity to be creative and make something that you actually love.

Here’s how you can make your own laptop case:

What You Need

  • About half a metre of your fabric of choice for the outside surface of the case (cotton is recommended),
  • About half a metre of lining for the inside of the case,
  • Sewing thread, and
  • Sewing equipment, which includes a sewing machine and flexible measuring tape.
  • Optional
    • Interlockers,
    • Steam press, and
    • Velcro or buttons.
  • Instructions

Measure your laptop’s height, length and width using a flexible measuring tape. Use these measurements to determine how to cut your fabric. This should be as follows:

    • The length of the fabric = the height of the computer + the length of the computer + 2,54 cm (1 inch).
    • The width of the fabric = the height of the computer + the width of the computer +  2,54 cm (1 inch).
    • Cut two pieces of outer fabric using the dimensions obtained above. Do the same for the inner lining fabric.
    • Place the two rectangular pieces of outer fabric together with the right sides facing each other. Place one piece of the lining fabric on the outer fabric with the right side facing up. This means the wrong sides of both fabrics will be facing each other. Turn the fabrics over and repeat with the second lining rectangle on the other side.
    • Sew the edges of the fabric together leaving a 1,27 cm (half inch) allowance from the edge. Leave the top raw (unsown).
    • Turn the case right side out to reveal the right side. Tuck the lining inside and sew the hem of the mouth of the case to join the lining and the outer fabric.
  • Finishing The Case

You may want to use an interlocker to neaten and strengthen the hems on the inside of the case. The team at Empisal manufactures affordable and high-quality interlockers that you may find handy for this and many other sewing projects.

For more information contact us today.