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.  

Sewing Projects: Inspirational Ideas for Your Next Quilt

quilt

Autumn has quietly crept up on us. And the chill in the air and longer nights call for snuggling up under a quilt with a cup of hot cocoa and your favourite series. Wait… Did I say “quilt”? Does the mere mention of the word leave you with a guilty pang about unfinished sewing projects! Well, it is time to stop blaming the sewing-project muse for abandoning us mid-project. With these inspirational ideas for your next quilt from Empisal, your creative juices will turn into overdrive!

  • “Scrappy” Quilt

If you have a lot of small fabric pieces left over from other sewing projects, a “scrappy” quilt can be just the project to use them. This can be the perfect project to emulate the falling autumn leaves outside.

  • Imitate Autumn

Another take on the “scrappy leaves” quilt idea, and just perfect to brighten up dreary days; why not reproduce autumn’s rich and bright colours. This is the perfect project to tackle for those meditative moods, as it will require several dozen copies of the same panel – repetitive, yet creative work.

  • Gratitude is Great

If you are up for a “quickie”, instead of a large quilt, why not make a table topper.) or a bed runner with a gratitude theme? Not only will it remind you of everything you have to be grateful for, but it’s also a novel way to decorate a table or finish off your bed. You can even hang it against a wall!

  • Down Memory Lane

Another great idea is to immortalise a late loved one with a remembrance quilt. You can use their favourite pieces of clothing as your material (better than keeping it in a musty suitcase or discarding of it). Why not become really creative by depicting a much-loved spot or theme in your design – your imagination can truly run free.

Empisal has been supplying top quality and affordable sewing machines to the market for more than 35 years. We have something for everyone – from sewing equipment to expert advice, support and even inspirational ideas for your next quilt.  For more information contact us today.

Tips On How To Sew Adaptive Clothing For Seniors

sewing

When learning how to sew for seniors, it is worthwhile to focus on learning how to create adaptive clothing so that the wearer can obtain the maximum level of comfort and make the most of their wardrobe. Here are some helpful tips on how to sew adaptive clothing for seniors, courtesy of the sewing experts at Empisal.

Choose The Right Materials 

Adaptive clothing should be soft, pliable and easy to put on and take off. Soft denim is a great choice, as is cotton and other soft fabrics.

Place Zippers Strategically 

Especially when sewing pants for disabled seniors, it is important to consider zip placement. Instead of simply placing a traditional zipper in the front or opting for buttons, why not consider sewing a zipper that provides a frontal opening from the entire waist to both knees for easy changing.

Get Creative

Not only should adaptive clothing be comfortable, but it should also be convenient to wear. Get creative in order to achieve this goal. For instance, place magnetic closures on shirts, as opposed to buttons. Velcro closures for trousers can also make a massive difference when it comes to ease of wear.

Use A Quality Sewing Machine 

Sewing adaptive clothing is not always easy, so you will want to streamline the process as much as possible to avoid making the job more challenging than it needs to be. A quality sewing machine can help with this and may work in your favour to attend sewing classes if you are feeling a bit lost.

Here at Empisal, we can provide you with affordable sewing machine models, overlockers and sewing equipment ideal for making your own adaptive clothing for a loved one. For more information about our range, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Sewing Machine Tutorial: Making A Wine Holder

sewing ideas

Show up to the next dinner party or event in style, sporting a beautiful bottle of bubbly or mouth-watering wine in a hand-made wine holder bag. Create your own in a flash by following our simple, step-by-step sewing machine tutorial below.

  • Sewing Equipment And Materials That You’ll Need 

  • 1 fat quarter main fabric
  • 25,4 cm (10″) square contrast fabric
  • 0,23 metre (1/4 yard) lining
  • fusible fleece
  • 50,8 cm (20″) ribbon; 1,9 cm (3/4″) to 2,54 cm (1″) wide
  • 50,8 cm (20″) of contrast binding
  • Appliqués of your choice
  • Basic sewing tools
  • Getting Started 

Once you have your sewing machine, sewing equipment and tools at the ready, you can begin your wine holder project by cutting the material.

  • From your main fabric, you will need to cut two rectangles of different sizes:
  1. The first rectangle should be 19 cm x 20 cm;
  2. With the second one measuring 19 cm x 39 cm.
  • The square contrast fabric should be 19 cm x 22 cm.
  • The lining and fusible fleece should both be cut into rectangles measuring 19 cm x 79 cm.
  • Sewing Machine Instructions 

Now the exciting work begins!

  • Using your sewing machine, you’ll want to stitch the right sides of the smaller piece of the main fabric together with the contrast fabric. Press a seam allowance (0,6 cm) towards the contrast.
  • On the opposite side of the contrast fabric, join the larger rectangle of the main fabric with the right sides together. Press the seam allowance towards the contrast. The end result is a unit measuring 19 cm x 79 cm.
  • Place the unit with the right side facing down and fuse the fleece into place. Apply the lining on top and finish off with topstitching/quilting.
  • Follow the instructions on the package and fuse the applique designs in place. Use a pressing cloth to protect your iron.
  • Fold the ribbon in half and baste it in place approximately 11 cm below the top edge on the long rectangle.
  • Match the right sides together, fold in half lengthways and sew with a 1,3 cm seam allowance.

There you have it! Remember, for all affordable sewing machine models, overlockers and sewing equipment, look no further than Empisal. Contact us today!

What is Appliqué?

applique

So, you are keen to take on the challenge of new and exciting sewing projects. Want to try something different? If so, you have probably been investigating appliqué and how it works. We have the information you have been looking for below, along with some helpful tips for mastering the technique.

So, What Is It? 

What is appliqué, you ask? In short, appliqué is all about intricate needlework, making it an option for experienced sewers. You basically use a special needlework technique to create patterns by attaching smaller pieces of fabric, beads or sequins to a larger piece of fabric. You can create pictures, scenes, words, simple elbow patches… pretty much anything with appliqué. It is guaranteed to give your garments an entirely new aesthetic and dynamic. In addition, it is the perfect opportunity to get creative!

What Sewing Equipment Do I Need?

While traditional appliqué is done by hand with the help of a classic sewing kit and needle, it is possible to use an affordable sewing machine to get the job done too. The only reason not to use a sewing machine for appliqué would be if you want to make your needlework visible.

Here are some tips for appliqué using a sewing machine:

  • Always use an open toe appliqué foot
  • Write down your settings
  • Use the FIX function

With a bit of patience and the right sewing equipment for your sewing project, the result is sure to be breathtaking.

Allow Empisal to assist you in getting your hands on the right pieces for your easy sewing projects. From overlockers to ironing equipment and a steam press, we have everything you could possibly need. Contact us today to learn more.