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: 6 Tips for Designing a Quilt

quilt

Are you quilting for a sewing project or just ready to dip your toe into the world of quilting? Designing a quilt can be intimidating! But, that’s where we come in with our guide of easy sewing projects. Grab your sewing equipment and let’s help you to design beautiful quilts with our handy tips and tricks.

6 Tips for Designing a Quilt:

Quick Cutting: 

Quick-cutting and piecing strips are recommended for making many sewing projects. Templates are completely eliminated; instead, a rotary cutter, plastic ruler and mat are used to cut fabric pieces.

Choose An Easy Pattern: 

Use an easy pattern as an opportunity to highlight a minimalist aesthetic. Busy patterns might look overwhelming.

Prewash Your Fabric: 

By washing the fabric ahead of time, you’re minimizing your risk of smudging the colours when you wash the finished product. Follow the washing instructions for the material you’ve chosen. Unique materials such as satin or silk might require different washing techniques.

Backstitch: 

Wear-and-tear is inevitable for quilts. Backstitches are simple, and they ensure that your stitching can survive the rigours of daily handling. 

Buy Extra Fabric: 

This is ideal for when you make a mistake with your measurement and you cut something too small. This will save you time and costs on going out and getting more fabric or using fabric that does not match your original fabric.

Use A New Needle: 

Needles need to be sharp throughout sewing. So, remember to purchase plenty before you start your sewing project. You need to change out your needle frequently, especially after each project. 

We have something for everyone at Empisal, whether you are looking to buy a first sewing machine for your first quilt project or whether you need more sewing equipment to add to your business equipment, you can expect to find a range of reliable and precision sewing machines, overlockers and ironing equipment which simply won’t let you down. For more information, contact us today!

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 project: Easy beach cover-up

Summer is in full swing, and that means long, hot days relaxing at the beach or around the pool with friends, family or just a good book! A swimsuit cover-up is a great accessory for this season, not only does it add fashionable flair, it also protects you from the sun and gives you something light and easy to wear when walking around. Here are some quick and easy sewing projects that the team at Empisal, manufacturers of the EMPISAL EES 50 were inspired by.

  • The kimono: This is an open front design that drapes over your shoulders and back. It’s very fashionable at the moment and lends itself to bright patterns and interesting trim, like mini pom-poms or lace.
  • The romper: This is a more technical project, but this shorts-and-top ensemble looks and feels great! It’s a cover-up that can be worn in in any casual setting, and – even better – it’s not going to blow up in the wind.
  • The beach towel poncho: A great cover-up for kids, this is an easy project for new or old beach towels. It provides kids with an easy way to dry off, and some sun protection.
  • The trapeze tank: If dresses are more your style, this relaxed-fitting summer cover-up is perfect for you. With wider straps and a light, breezy material, this dress is easy to throw on over any swimming costume.
  • The boho: Bring out your inner bohemian with a festival-style beach cover-up. It’s easy to make, but looks impressively complex when complete, with loose, open sleeves and a gathered neckline.
  • The tunic: Want an everyday beach cover-up that offers good sun protection? This tunic dress with ¾ sleeves is easy to make and lends itself to bright colours and patterns in light, draping materials.

Get your wardrobe ready for summer with Empisal’s affordable sewing machines 

At Empisal, we’ve been providing high quality, affordable sewing machines, over lockers, 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 EES 50, 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.

Learn to sew: The invisible zipper

Invisible Zip

An invisible zipper is one of the most useful tricks in the sewing trade, where you sew a zipper in such a way that no machine stitching is visible from the right side of the material – instead, all the stitching is behind the scenes in the seam allowances. This makes it ideal for sewing garments as well as cushions, bags and other projects. While this sounds like an advanced sewing method, it’s quite simple – especially when you’re using a EMPISAL EES 50! Here’s how.

How to sew an invisible zipper

Your machine foot: You can sew an invisible zipper either with a regular machine foot or a presser foot that is designed specifically for this job.

  1. Start with your material right side up while joining pieces are in a flat state, before they are assembled.
  2. Prepare your seam edges, finishing them and placing them side by side, right side up. Then mark 2cm from the top edges of each piece of material using a pin or fabric marking pen. This is for the placement of your zipper.
  3. Mark a second seam 1.5cm in along the seam edges.
  4. Open your zipper and press gently so that they lie flat along the seam, right side down, along the 1.5cm line, and pin in place.
  5. Stitch the zipper in place by positioning the zipper teeth under the proper groove in the foot and stitching along that line. Backstitch at the end to secure.
  6. With the joining pieces next to each other, flip the piece with the stitched zipper and position the corresponding side of the zipper, repeating the above step.
  7. Lastly, sew the seam below the zipper, placing stitching as close to the zipper as possible and making sure the zipper tail is out of the way.

Learn to sew with Empisal’s most affordable sewing machines in South Africa!

At Empisal, we’ve been providing high quality, affordable sewing machines, sewing kits, 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 EES 50, 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.

Easy sewing projects: How to make a laundry bag

Sewing projects

Making a drawstring laundry bag is a great sewing project where you can learn new skills and end up with a useful, attractive result. Here’s a tutorial from Empisal, where you can learn how to make a laundry bag on your EMPISAL EES 50 or other sewing machine and develop your channel stitching skills.

Materials you need to sew a drawstring laundry bag 

1.9m fabric that is 115cm wide

10cm of grosgrain ribbon that is 4cm wide

Sewing thread to match the fabric and ribbon

With these measurements, the bag will be 48cm wide, 74cm tall and 11cm deep. Gingham or another robust fabric is a good choice, as it will stand up to heavy use while keeping its shape without wearing out.

Instructions 

Cut front and back panel at 50cm x 93 cm each.

Cut two side panels at 13cm x 93 cm each.

Cut bag base at 13cm x 50cm.

Cut two strips for drawstrings at 5cm x 175cm.

Step one: Fold drawstring strip in half on wrong side and iron flat. Open strip and fold 12mm towards the centre on each long edge and iron. Fold in half along length with borders inside and iron to make a 12mm wide path for the drawstring. Cut each end on the diagonal and topstitch along long end of the drawstring to close. Repeat for other drawstring.

Step two: Stitch the bag pieces together. Pin long edge of the front panel to the long edge of the side panel, leaving a 1cm seam allowance and marking a seam opening 60 – 65cm from the bottom edge (this is where the drawstring will be). Starting 1cm from the bottom edge with a 1cm seam allowance, stitch the panels together. Repeat with other side panel, remembering to leave the same opening for the drawstring. Stitch the base on with a 1cm seam allowance. Iron all seams open and press seams on the drawstring allowance.

Step three: To make the drawstring channel, turn 1cm to the wrong side around the top of the laundry bag, iron and pin, and then topstitch. The, fold 17cm of the top of the bag to the wrong side. Iron this at the fold at the top and tack into place along fold and hem. Stitch around the whole of the bag 10 cm from the upper folded edge and work another line of sewing 5 cm below this.

Step four: Insert the drawstring by attaching a large safety pin into the channel and threading it through. Repeat with the other drawstring going through the opposite half of the bag. Knot the ends of the drawstring.

Get the best value for your money with Empisal sewing machines and equipment

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  EES 50 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.

Happy New Year! Make 2017 the year you learn to sew!

When making your new year’s resolution list, make sure to put ‘learn to sew’ at the very top of your list of things to do for 2017. If you do not know how to sew a button to a shirt, do not fret as there are thousands of easy sewing projects for beginners to dig their needles into!

 

Learn to sew with these helpful hints:

  • Basic sewing tools – Before you start sewing, you need the correct equipment. This includes needles, shears, a pincushion, pins, measuring tape, marking pens, thimbles, thread, fabric and a step-by-step instruction manual for the project you want to do.
  • Threading the needle – This might seem like a daunting step, but with a little practice, it can be done. Threading double threads or single threads will determine the strength of the stitches you sew.
  • Learning different stitches – There is no need to try to learn the difficult stitches first as you might get confused. Learning the basic stitching will benefit you later. There are a wide variety of different stitches that you can learn, including basting stitches, running stitches, back stitches, slip stitches as well as decorative stitches.

 

If you prefer sewing by machine, you can purchase an affordable sewing machine and start gathering potential projects such as sewing dresses or household items. Having the correct sewing equipment will benefit the outcome of your project. However, you need to be prepared to stitch and fray the fabric a few times to ensure you do it perfectly and know exactly how the stitches of your chosen project needs to be done. If sewing is something you like to do, why not go big and start selling the products you make!

 

Let Empisal make your sewing easier this New Year

 

Whether you are looking for a sewing machine, sewing equipment or project ideas, Empisal is the place to go. Here you will find a range of reliable and precision sewing machines, overlockers and ironing equipment that simply won’t let you down.

 

For more information, please give us a call today!

5 quick and easy Christmas sewing projects

The festive season is on the horizon, so if you’re planning on making your own Christmas gifts for friends and family, now’s the time to look for fun, simple sewing projects! Here are some great gift ideas from Empisal, manufacturers of the affordable EES10:

  1. Christmas stockings: Individual Christmas stockings are useful as well as great at adding some festive décor to your loved one’s homes. You can make them from a wide range of materials, including knits and quilted materials in any pattern that catches your fancy. Add embroidered names or messages for an additional personal touch!
  2. Festive tote bags: Useful for Christmas shopping, for holding gifts and carrying everything you need for your holiday engagements, tote bags are simple to make and look great! You can go with a Christmas theme to tie in to the holidays or make them up in your loved one’s favourite colours.
  3. Throw blankets: These are the perfect gift – they can be made to suit any taste and are always a welcome addition to any home! Pick colours and patterns your friends and family will love and back it with a warm, fleecy lining. Alternatively, back it with a waterproof lining to make a summer picnic blanket.
  4. Christmas tree skirt: Ideal for anyone who loves Christmas trees, these skirts hide the metal or plastic feet of artificial Christmas trees while adding some festive flair. You can make it plain or a patchwork of differently patterned materials – ideal for using up those fabric scraps.
  5. Christmas placemats: For many families, much of their Christmas celebration involves sitting around a table that is groaning with delicious food in the company of friends and family. Handmade Christmas placemats are a great gift that adds festive decoration and is practical too!

Find the best sewing machines in South Africa!

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 EES10, 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.