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!

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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 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!

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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.

Essential Troubleshooting Tips for Your Sewing Machine

Sewing Equipment

Have you been having problems with your sewing machine recently? Worry no more! We have compiled the following tips on how to troubleshoot your machine:

Tips on How to Troubleshoot

If you have a sewing machine project and you recently had some problems, then the following will help you:

    • Thread that Bunches under the Fabric

First, unplug the sewing  machine, and you need to thread  it again. This allows the machine to receive the thread correctly and it refreshes the tension system. Then, raise the needlebar  to the highest level possible, and proceed to use the machine to sew to confirm if it is the correct tension.

    • Skipping and Uneven Stitches

The problem is commonly caused by a broken, damaged or bent needle. The tip to troubleshooting this challenge is by replacing the needle with a new one. The other reason for this challenge can be, during sewing, when you bow down when handling your fabric. This quickly causes skipped and uneven stitches and at some point, even a damaged or broken needle. The solution to this is to place your fabric where the machine can feed itself when sewing. 

    • Frequent Needle Breakages

If your machine is encountering frequent needle breakages, it can be very annoying. While this may look like a big issue, it is usually not. The primary cause of frequent needle breakages is ignoring the needle-use guidelines. The solution to this problem is using the right needle for the right fabric. Simply use the smaller needle sizes for lighter fabric and the big needle sizes for a sturdier fabric. 

    • Shredding Threads

The primary cause of this problem is a poor quality sewing machine or an old sewing machine. A worn-out needle can also cause this problem as well as a wrongly styled needle. The solution to this problem is to ensure that the thread freely passes through the eye of the needle. Or else, purchase an affordable sewing machine that is of a good quality.

For more information on tips on how to troubleshoot your sewing machine contact Empisal.

REF: https://www.singer.com/troubleshooting-tips

Get to Know Your Sewing Machine’s Stitches

sewing machine stitches

People who are new to the art of sewing probably will not be aware of the fact that there is an abundance of different types of stitches to choose from. Each stitch can transform the entire aesthetic of the garment that you are working on. Because of this, it is important to get to know a sewing machine’s stitches when buying a new one so that you know what you have to work with. Some sewing machines will have a wide assortment of options, while some may only have a handful. There is, after all, only one way to find out!

Here are some tips on how to experiment with the various stitches before getting started on any new and exciting sewing machine projects:

Refer to the Manual 

This is the easiest way to find out how many different types of stitches your new sewing machine has to offer. If you bought the machine second-hand and do not have access to a manual, the stitches will also usually be displayed on a dial, an LCD display or on the body of the machine.

Disappointed with the Number of Options? 

Fear not! You can alter the look and feel of basic stitches just by changing their length or the width between each one. By changing the length, you can make a row of stitching look more or less dense. By changing the width, the row of stitching will appear wider or narrower.

Use a Twin Needle

This is a simple way in which to add some variation and character to your stitching. Do not forget to experiment with spacing the needles closer together and further apart for even more disparity and creative freedom!

Looking to invest in a new sewing machine with plenty of stitching options? Here at Empisal, we stock everything that you could ever need for your sewing machine projects from sewing machines and sewing equipment to overlockers and steam presses. Contact us today to learn more!

Sewing Projects: How To Sew A Laptop Case

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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.