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. 

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. 

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.

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.

How to replace a broken zipper on pants

Do you have a great pair of jeans or pants that are a perfect fit but with broken zipper? We feel your pain! Don’t worry – you don’t have to abandon your favorite pants! We have a good sewing machine project to revive your pants by replacing the zipper. Grab your sewing machine and take a look at these tips.

Steps to replace a broken zipper with your sewing kit

  • Remove the old zipper: Remove the zipper without undoing the pants’ topstitchings, and slide a new zipper into place. You will need to stitch one side to attach it invisibly.
  • Remove the stitches holding the original zipper in place by using a seam ripping. On the fly underlap, create a slot between the jeans front and the fly shield. On the overlap, pick out the stitches. At the waistband and bottom of the fly, cut the zipper tape to release the zipper.
  • Make sure to not unstitch the waistband.
  • Grab your sewing equipment! With the zipper right-side up, slide one side of the tape into the opening you created between the fly shield and the pants front. Fold the top of the tape under. Pin your tape in position and stitch the zipper close to the edge of the pants front.
  • Sew from the top of the zipper as far down the tape as you can.
  • Close the zipper by working from the inside of the jeans. Pin the free tape in place on the wrong side of the fly overlap. Align the tape along the original stitching line, and make sure to fold the top of the tape under.
  • Open the zipper. Using a good needle and a double strand of thread, backstitch the tape to the jeans and ensure it is firm. Stitch through only the inner layer of fabric so that no stitches show on the outside of the jeans.
  • Use ironing equipment or a steam press to straighten your pants or jeans into place.
  • Put on your jeans or pants and show off in style!

Do you need more tips and tricks? We have something for everyone at Empisal, whether you are looking to buy a first sewing machine or need an affordable sewing machine, contact us today for your sewing machine project!

Learning To Sew? 10 Sewing Terms Every Beginner Should Know

sewing accessories

Sewing is one the most useful and fulfilling skills that one can learn. The ability to create garments and toys is both practical for everyday use and ideal for personalised gifts. It is actually very simple to learn to sew, but there are always things one can do to improve your pieces and make your projects look professional – even with an affordable sewing machine like the Empisal Creations. Here are 10 sewing tips to give your projects that special edge:

  1. How to Backstitch
    In order to secure a line of stitching, you need to backstitch it. This is done by running the machine in reverse, making one to three stitches over the already existing stitch line, securing it in place.

 

  1. Baste
    Sewing a baste is really important, as it allows you to hold the piece in place while you are sewing the final stitch. The baste is essentially a long stitch done to hold the fabric in place, and is removed after the final stitch is in.

 

  1. Clip
    When sewing a curved seam, you can flatten the material by snipping it along the inside of the curve; make sure you don’t accidentally cut your stitch.

 

  1. Finishing Seams
    Sewing in a finishing seam stops the fabric from fraying. There are multiple stitches you can use to finish a piece, depending on the fabric used. For the best results, consider using the Empisal Overlocker EOL4D.

 

  1. The Difference Between Knit And Woven Fabrics
    Knit fabrics have a lot of stretch, and will unravel – but not fray. Woven fabrics will have directional stretch, and will both unravel and fray.

 

  1. Cut a Notch
    Cutting a notch in pieces that you have to overlay will aid in aligning them correctly.

 

  1. Grade Your Seams
    Seams need to be graded to reduce the bulk created from having multiple seams.

 

  1. Gathering Stitches
    To make your fabric appear fuller, use a gathering stitch. Leave long thread trails which you can pull to adjust the folds before you sew.

 

  1. Edge Stitch
    To edge stitch, add a second row of stitches very close to the seam line on the right side of the fabric. This is usually sewn to keep pressed seams in place.

 

  1. Stay Stitch
    Use a stay stitch around a curve to prevent distortion of the fabric.

From ironing equipment, to a steam press to sewing kits, Empisal has all the sewing equipment you need to learn to sew. For more information, contact us today.

5 Must-Have Sewing Accessories to Buy This Christmas!

sewing accessories

Whether you’re treating yourself or buying gifts for a savvy sewer who is very dear to your heart, there are a few sewing accessories that you simply cannot do without regardless of what your next sewing project may be. The good news is that these must-have sewing accessories make excellent Christmas gifts, too!

1.Seam Ripper 

While most beginner sewing kits come with a seam ripper, they are very rarely good quality. If you want to make your sewing project easier, it is often better to invest in a much nicer one. Look for a seam ripper that allows for a good, comfortable grip and that is very sharp.

2.Steam Press 

Sewing is impossible if fabrics are creased. Hence, the need for a high-quality steam press. Ideal for before and after finishing touches!

3.Glass Head Pins 

Most sewers use plastic head pins by default – but glass head pins really make all the difference. Not only do they glide into fabrics a lot smoother, they also won’t melt from the heat of an iron or steam press and are also immune to rust.

4.Dressmaker’s Sheers

Yes, you can use ordinary scissors for sewing equipment when working on your sewing project. However, investing in a pair of sharp dressmaker’s scissors will make your job endlessly easier.

5.Rotary Mat and Cutter 

A rotary cutter makes it easier to cut through multiple layers of fabric and is simple to use once you get the hang of it.

Are you looking for sewing equipment and accessories that are affordable and of a high standard? Then you need to shop at Empisal. We specialise in sewing kits, overlockers, ironing equipment and affordable sewing machines at their finest. 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.

Your Guide to The Different Types of Quilts

There is a great list of quilt types that combines both traditional and modern types of quilts. These may be of importance to you if you are new to quilting or curious about this exciting hobby. Empisal has a guide to the different types of quilts that can be used with any affordable sewing machine.

 

  • Amish Quilts 

Amish-style quilts are quilts that involve traditional colours, blocks and patterns. It also contains beautiful nature themes, such as leaves and flowers that are tied into the quilt patterns.

 

  • Appliqué Quilts 

Appliqué quilts have symmetric shapes, usually formed inward out. For these quilts, floral and tropical images are created using applique techniques and styles. It can be achieved easily by outlining the appliqué, sticking it to the fabric and then using your iron equipment or a steam press on it. You can use a zig zag stitch for this.

 

  • Baby Quilts 

This is ideal for baby’s first own quilt or blanket. Baby quilts can be used during their early years or gifted during baby showers. They are usually simple patterns that can be kept as a memento as the baby gets older. Natural fibres are used and 100% cotton material for the baby’s quilt. The use of bright colours and durable fabric are encouraged, as the quilt is likely to be dragged around.

 

  • Christmas Quilts 

What better way to celebrate the season of joy than with a Christmas quilt that offers warmth and festivity. These Christmas quilts are usually red, green and white, and they not only look fantastic but give a very welcoming and homely appeal. These are created by using a plain white background and adding festive colours to it.

 

  • Patchwork Quilts 

Patchwork quilts are historical quilts that were introduced to America by immigrants. The pieces of patchwork on quilts can be cut in many different shapes and sizes and are then sewn together to make a pattern or to create blocks of patterns. These quilts are a great way to get rid of scraps of materials that are left over from other materials of fabric and sewing projects.

 

Empisal 


Whether you are just beginning to learn how to sew or whether you are an old hand, Empisal has everything you need for your sewing machine project. From sewing equipment to overlockers to an affordable sewing machine, we cater for your every sewing need. Find out more about us and our products and contact us today!

 

What is the best sewing machine for beginners?

Purchasing a first sewing machine is an exciting step for beginners when starting their new hobby or venturing into a creative new world. As a beginner, you are likely to want a sewing machine that is the most basic and easy to use like the Empisal Expression 889 Sewing Machine or Empisal Creations. Here at Empisal, we have a quick guide of factors to consider when purchasing the best, affordable sewing machine for a beginner.

Automatic sewing machine for good usability 

Computerised sewing machines are of the highest quality in terms of usable sewing machines. It may look a bit advanced but it has the best features that are easy to use for beginners who have basic knowledge of sewing. These machines come with multiple feet set and button hole options (like the (EES50) Empisal Electronic Sewing 50). These automatic features are designed to make it easier for newbies who are serious about taking on sewing as it has automatic senses to create professional clothing designs and styles. With a special LED light, needle threader and the option to sew with or without foot control, there is no easier way for entry-level sewing.

Manual sewing machine for reliability 

The reliability of your sewing machine depends on the features and type of material you want to sew. Manual machines are a great choice as they are sturdier and help to teach beginners proper techniques for sewing any type of fabric. Basic, yet reliable manual machines (like the Empisal Expression 889) have plenty of stitching options and allow for professional, easy stitching. These are also lightweight and portable making it a good investment in the long run. Manual sewing machines are the most reliable machines as it is designed with simplicity in mind and there’s less than could go wrong.

Affordable sewing machine 

Cost shouldn’t be a strong focus when purchasing your first sewing machine as you should be careful not to choose a cheap machine that will break down easily. However, if it is necessary to find an affordable sewing machine, the sewing machine should have a good selection of stitch functions that include buttonholes, be user-friendly and come with a good guarantee. The Empisal Expression 889 is a good example here.

When selecting sewing machines, machines of the best quality should be chosen so that beginners can be inspired to sew more and not be disheartened by a poor machine. Beginners need to also consider other sewing equipment when purchasing their machine such a sewing kit with needlework, sewing threads, ironing equipment, etc.

Empisal 

For over 35 years, Empisal has been supplying sewing equipment to Southern Africa that caters to every sewing project need. From overlockers to a steam press, we have it all. For the right sewing machine for your sewing machine project, contact us today.