Understanding the Nap and Print Direction of Fabrics

sewing tips

If you have recently purchased a sewing machine with the sole purpose of making items of clothing or quilts, there are a few important considerations to address before getting started. Once you understand how to operate your sewing machine and when exactly to put your sewing equipment to good use, you should start learning all about the fabric itself. 

Most of the time, especially when making clothes for wintertime, the fabric in question will have what is called a ‘nap’. Furthermore, when working with patterned fabrics for dresses and shirts, for example, you must be aware of how to manipulate the direction of the fabric to ensure symmetry. Here is a breakdown.

What is the ‘nap’? 

The nap of a piece of fabric refers to the raised, fluffy side which is traditionally placed on the inside of the garment for maximum comfort and warmth. However, some sewing professionals choose to do it the other way around, keeping the smoother side on the inside and embracing the softer effect for the outside. It is a personal choice, so feel free to experiment. 

Also, keep in mind that placing the nap vertically can give the illusion of a slightly darker shade. You may opt to pair up vertical and horizontal naps for a textured effect, or you may opt to keep your garment consistent. Either way, it is important to be aware of how the nap is placed and why. 

What is print direction? 

Print direction is exactly that – the direction that the fabric print faces. Usually, you will need the print to remain consistent at all times. It is, therefore, essential that you pay close attention to this direction throughout your project, especially if you are making a quilt. 

The best way to get symmetry when making a quilt that has a square in the middle and is surrounded by strips is to cut two horizontal strips and two vertical strips. Be sure to sew them in the right order and you will be able to keep them all pointing in one direction. 

In search of a trusted sewing machine and equipment supplier? Along with affordable sewing machine models, Empisal can supply you with other must-haves, including overlockers and steam presses. Get in touch today to learn more.

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. 

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.

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. 

What Is the Best Empisal Sewing Machine for Professionals?

sewing

In search of a sewing machine guaranteed to satisfy the requirements of a sewing professional? You are certain to find it at Empisal. We specialise in affordable sewing machine models for both beginners and professionals. The question is, which sewing machine from our range is right for you? We break down your options below. 

EES200 Blue Empisal Electronic

The EES200 Blue Empisal Electronic is one of our best sellers and boasts 200 built-in stitches, a rotary hook, a free arm, 8 one-step buttonholes, a drop in bobbin, a needle threader, a removable accessory storage with flip cover and so much more. It weighs a total of 6,8 kg.

Empisal Creations Sewing Machine

This handy, affordable sewing machine comes with LED lighting and is designed to sew through heavier fabrics. It also features a 4-step buttonhole, 19 built-in stitch patterns, an oscillating hook as well as adjustable stitch length (0 to 4 mm) and adjustable zigzag stitch width (0 to 5 mm), just to name a few. It weighs 7,4 kg. 

Not happy with any of these sewing machine models? We also stock the Empisal Electronic EES10 Sewing Machine, the Empisal Electronic Sewing 50 and the Empisal Expression 889 Sewing Machine. Along with sewing machines, you can also come to us for a host of professional sewing equipment and overlockers. Get in touch today to learn more. 

5 Tips for Making Money With Your Sewing Machine

sewing machine

Have you found joy in exploring with your sewing machine? And, have you taken up sewing as a hobby with great success? Well, then you may be wondering how to take things to the next level to start making money by putting your most prized possession to good use. Here are five tips to keep in mind. 

Make Beautiful Home Décor 

Do you usually find yourself making home décor items in your free time, such as curtains, pillow cases and stylish tablecloths? There is a huge market for affordable, custom home décor if you know how to reach your market. Plus, it is really easy to upsell your customers. After all, if they order custom-made pillow cases, they will almost certainly be open to ordering matching curtains and a duvet cover. 

Make Designer Clothing 

Who can resist the promise of designer clothing at a much cheaper price? If you enjoy making clothes, you can turn it into a profitable business. You could make everyday fashion, bridesmaid and prom dresses, children’s clothing, the list is endless!

Offer Repairs and Alterations

Money is tight for a lot of people these days. So, there is a push for everyone to be more sustainable in any and every way possible. Hence, the reason why many will opt to have their favourite clothing and home décor items repaired rather than simply replacing them. No wonder that alterations have also become a common requirement.

Teach Sewing Classes 

Spread the joy by teaching others to sew. You would be surprised at the high demand that there is for this particular skill at the moment. People of all ages are becoming interested in learning the art of sewing.

Make and Sell Crafts 

If you use your sewing machine and sewing equipment to make unique and special crafts, why not sell them? You could do so on social media, create a website for your small business or book a stall at a craft or farmer’s market. 

In need of an affordable sewing machine, overlockers or sewing equipment for your brand new business venture? If so, look no further than Empisal! Get in touch with us today for more details about our range. 

How to Organise Your Sewing Space

sewing space

A tranquil, well-organised sewing space is sure to be conducive to more enjoyable and successful sewing machine projects. As such, here are five helpful tips for organising your sewing machine and equipment space like a real professional. 

Organise Your Patterns 

Begin by placing all of your patterns, whether they are printed patterns in PDF format or pattern envelopes, according to category. Start by sorting them into general categories, such as patterns for women, patterns for kids, and so on. If they are still quite difficult to work through, take it one step further and sort according to different garment types within those categories, such as patterns for blouses, dress patterns, patterns for quilts, and the like.

Organise Your Fabric 

You will need to organise your fabric according to colour for the best results. In order to ensure that you can find a specific one for a specific use, consider storing the fabric in wire baskets or see-through plastic drawers. 

Organise Your Ribbon and Trim 

One of the smartest ways in which to store and organise ribbon and trim is by wrapping each item around a clothespin and storing them in a large glass jar. 

Organise Your Buttons 

You should store your buttons according to colour or size. Large glass jars make for the effortless button storage too. 

Organise Your Sewing Machine Odds and Ends 

When you own a sewing machine, you are likely to have a wide array of sewing equipment, from thread to pins, needles and machine feet. How do you store these smaller odds and ends? You get creative! For instance, think of using old pill boxes for needles, ice cube trays, labelled bead boxes, and more. 

Looking to invest in a new sewing machine or sewing kit before tackling a sewing machine project? Perhaps you have noticed that you are missing a few essentials after organising your sewing space as per the advice above? Either way, you are sure to find everything that you need at Empisal

We specialise in sewing machines and equipment, overlockers, ironing equipment, steam press models and much more. Contact us today for more information or for suggestions on buying an affordable sewing machine. 

Need a Beginner Sewing Project? These Are the Best Sewing Books to Buy!

sewing

 When taking on a sewing project as a beginner, you might run into a few snags along the way. With these great resources, you can easily find solutions to your problems and get inspired with ideas for your next sewing project at the same time.

Our List of Books to Get You Started on Any Sewing Project:

  • New Complete Guide to Sewing (by Reader’s Digest Association)

This book is a must-have resource for sewing enthusiasts of any skill level. It’s a comprehensive guide to learning the skills, techniques and fundamentals of construction. It features an extensive collection of photographs, illustrations and instructions as well as practical step-by-step guides for various projects to try. It is a handy reference guide to refer to whenever you find yourself struggling. And, it will give you years of use.

  • Sewing For Dummies (by Jan Saunders Maresh)

Part of the “Dummies” series, this book is a fantastic resource for absolute beginners who have never threaded a needle. It has extensive instructions on different techniques and gives you information on the different sewing equipment you might need. There are instructions for practical sewing projects like hemming and seaming clothing, adding buttons and zippers, and even shaping clothing to fit better.

  • The Sewing Book (by Alison Smith)

Another fantastic addition to your sewing library, this book has beautiful, high-resolution photographs and annotated instructions that help you to really grasp the technique that is being explained. There is a handy section on mending clothing that will help you to understand exactly why a specific technique is preferred. It also comes with a collection of projects to help you practice many of the skills described in the book. It focusses on the proper ways of executing techniques, which may be a little in-depth for some users. But, all-in-all, it is an incredible teaching tool.

  • First Sewing – Simple Projects for Beginners (by Cheryl Brown)

If you want to skip all the techniques and teaching and just get down to a project, this book is perfect for you. It has a collection of over 20 projects from simple decorated blankets to curtains, dresses and more. Each project has a beautiful, clear photograph as well as instructions that are easy to follow.

If you’re looking for a sewing project to take on with your new Empisal sewing machine, this collection of books will get your fingers itching.

Learn to Sew: How to Find the Best Sewing Machine for Beginners

Sewing Equipment

 When you first learn to sew, the thought of buying a sewing machine can be overwhelming. Making the right choice in buying your first sewing machine is important. Not only to ensure that you enjoy the learning process, but also to ensure that you don’t get derailed by a frustrating machine.

We’ve got some tips to help you choose the right sewing machine for your experience, budget and intended projects. 

How to Pick the Best Machine When You’re Learning to Sew:

  • Budget

Your budget may be the most important factor in picking any sewing equipment. It is, therefore, important to work wisely with the budget you have to choose a machine that can take you from beginner to intermediate level. You want to pick the best machine you can afford to ensure that you don’t overspend or that you’ll need to buy a better machine in the near future.

You might be able to get a good machine second hand, but if you don’t buy from an accredited dealer, you won’t have any guarantee on the machine.  Our advice is to buy directly from a reputable dealer to get top-quality, value and support.

  • Intended use

As a beginner, you shouldn’t get distracted by machines that have all the bells and whistles if you don’t need all those extra features. If you want to use the machine now and again for simple projects, go for a basic model from a trusted brand, like Empisal.

As long as the machine has the basic features and attachments, you’ll be able to take on many projects without the added frustration of getting to know a complicated machine. For basic use, you don’t need 300 different stitch types. A straight stitch and zigzag stitch are perfect as long as you can set the length and width of the stitches.

If you are planning on sewing heavy fabrics for items such as curtains, you need to invest in a machine with a solid build and strong motor. Just bear in mind that the stronger motors often make more noise when in use.

  • Overall design

Design is so often overlooked, especially in the lower-end models. Be sure to take a thorough look at how the machine is designed before you make your choice. Are the important features easy to access? Can you quickly change the bobbin, machine foot and rethread the machine? Does it come with a light so you can see small stitches properly? Does it have a free arm that will allow you to easily manipulate sleeves and tricky parts of the fabric?

If you skip this step, you might end up with a beautiful machine that is impractical and frustrating.

  • Attachments

Additional attachments like feet won’t necessarily be useful in the beginning, but as you progress in developing your skills, attachments can easily make your machine more useful. When picking a machine, determine if it can accommodate extra attachments, how easy they are to find and to attach. By switching out a foot, you can go from straight stitches to buttonholes, blind hems and zippers. It will give you many more years of use from your beginner machine. 

Empisal has journeyed with countless sewing enthusiasts as they learn to sew. We’ve got an extensive range of sewing equipment for every project. So, contact us today for any of your sewing needs.