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.

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. 

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.

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.

Everything You Need to Know for Successful Serger Sewing

serger sewing

Keen to learn to sew? If so, then you will need to delve into the art of successful serger sewing. Here is everything that you need to know in order to get started:

What is Serger Sewing? 

Serger sewing basically means sewing with the help of overlockers – a machine that expertly cuts the edges of a piece of material as you feed it through. These machines also have the ability to create a neat overlock stitch over the edge of one or more pieces of cloth. They should not be confused with ordinary sewing machines. It is a piece of sewing equipment that is used to finish off garments in the neatest, easiest way possible.

Why Serger Sewing?

Serger sewing is much more convenient than cutting material manually, and it can also leave you with a much tidier-looking and aesthetically pleasing result.

Setting Up Your Overlocker Machine

    • The first step is to make sure that the thread is able to feed freely into the machine, free from any obstructions.
    • It is also very important for the threads to be seated properly in the tension disks. You can make sure that this is the case by always raising the pressure foot lifter before you begin to thread.
    • Also, do not forget to thread the overlocker’s loopers first, followed by the needles.
    • Speaking of needles, you will also need to double check that each needle is properly seated in the needle clamp, with the left one sitting a bit higher than the right.

Those who are about to begin to learn to sew, you will need the right sewing equipment. Find the best quality overlockers, affordable sewing machines and much more right here at Empisal. Contact us today for more information on our extensive range.

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.  

Cheap Isn’t Best When You’re Looking for an Affordable Sewing Machine

sewing machine project

Picking a sewing machine can be confusing! And, no doubt, you will need to do research before investing in sewing equipment. If you are just starting out, borrowing a sewing machine may be a great option. But, if that is not possible, your best bet may be to buy an affordable machine to start with.

  • Cheap Isn’t Best

You may be wondering how cheap is too cheap? If the sewing machine doesn’t at least offer a few basic features (such as a drop in bobbin and automatic needle threader), every sewing project may turn into hours of frustration and leave you overwhelmed, discouraged, and…well, ready to quit. Meaning the money you invested is wasted.

What to consider when Looking for an Affordable Sewing Machine

Here is what we recommend:

  • Buy The Best You Can For Your Budget

Remember, this an investment, so choose a machine made with quality parts – one that if it breaks, might not be worth repairing.

  • Buy From A Dealership

A dealership might not have the lowest prices; however, you will be gaining a resource – getting assistance, experience, advice and instructional classes.

  • Ask About the Warranty

What does it cover? What does it exclude?

  • Check Repair Policies

Ask about turnaround time, which can vary from days to weeks.

Ask who does the repairs. Remember, repairs made by unauthorized technicians can void the manufacturer’s warranty.

  • Room to Improve

Ask if they offer trade-ins and trade-ups. This may take the pressure off the initial purchase if you know you can get started on one and move up the line if you want.

  • Look For Sales

Sometimes, sewing machines are offered on promotions around Easter, Mother’s Day and Christmas.

Buying sewing equipment is an investment. So, don’t feel rushed or pressured. Gather as much information as you can to help you to choose an affordable sewing machine suitable for you. For more information, the best range and expert advice, 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.

5 Times Where Using Your Sewing Machine’s Zig-Zag Stitch Is Essential

Creative woman using sewing machine to sew clothing

One of the most useful, yet under used stitches available on almost every sewing machine, is the zig-zag stitch. Most people opt for the straight stitch when just starting out, as it is what the default is set as on a sewing machine. But, the zig-zag stitch allows for the creating and functioning of certain garments that the straight stitch does not allow for.

Whether you are using an affordable sewing machine like the Empisal Creations, or something more advanced like the Empisal Expression, the zig-zag stitch should be available on it. And, it is preferable to use in these situations:

 

  1. Useful For Stretch Fabric
    Knit fabric has a lot of stretch in it. Using a straight stitch on a knitted fabric is not ideal. This is because a straight stitch has no give in it, meaning it cannot stretch with the material. A zig-zag stitch is perfect for this application, however, as it allows the fabric to stretch and deform.

 

  1. Finishing a Raw Edge
    Any woven fabric will fray unless the edge is finished. There are a few stitches you can use to finish a raw edge, and the zig-zag stitch is one of them!

 

  1. Repair Holes
    A tear in your fabric will just get larger if left to its own devices. Place a small scrap of fabric behind the hole and use a zig-zag stitch to close it! Try to use a matching thread colour so your repair work does not stick out.

 

  1. Stitch On a Patch
    In order to effectively stitch on a patch, it will be best to use a wide, close together zig-zag stitch that will ensure the patch stays in place and can handle additional strain.

 

  1. Decoration
    The zig-zag stitch is inherently pretty and instrumental in creating what is known as the lettuce of a flutter edge. In order to do this, use a zig-zag stitch and sew right on the raw edge of the fabric, pulling as you go.

 

Empisal is a proud supplier to the South African Market for all sewing equipment. Whether you are looking for a sewing machine, overlockers or anything else related to sewing, Empisal is your go-to supplier. For more information, contact us today.