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Finding Your Niche Market by Accident

Posted By on November 16, 2017

How can you possibly find a niche market by accident, you ask?

Think about it.  When was the last time you needed or wanted something and couldn’t find it?  I can guarantee that if YOU are looking for something and can’t find it, there are many others looking for a similar item as well!

There is a quote that is definitely worth thinking about:  “Find a need and fill it”.  Looking back over the past few months or the past year, how many times has somebody asked if you know where to find a certain widget, or if it is even available.  Or perhaps you were looking for something special to complete a project you were working on, couldn’t find what you needed, so you “improvised” and then were able to finish the project.  What if you could make and market that item that you “improvised” and be able to make life much easier for hundreds or perhaps even thousands of others.

As a pattern making instructor and pattern designer for over thirty years, I had been designing clothing patterns for full figure and plus size women and hard to fit misses sized women.  After a time I started including clothing patterns for big and tall men which were welcomed by many!

Then came a request from a friend that became a passion for me!  My friends’ granddaughter was VERY overweight – at 10 years of age she had a waist measurement of 32″ and chest of 36″.   There was NOTHING my friend could find in the way of store bought clothing that would fit, plus none of the sewing patterns she tried would fit.  I made a few patterns for my friend, then realized there was a REAL NEED for clothing patterns for overweight, obese and plus size children.

For over a year we collected REAL measurements of overweight boys and girls from our customers – got them all into our database and put together actual measurements of these overweight and obese children.  Using the REAL measurements of these children, I started making clothing patterns, which we called PlusSizeChildren patterns.
Our “accidental” stumbling into this niche market because of my friends’ need for sewing patterns, we now have a big variety of clothing patterns for plus size boys, as well as plus size girls tops and blouses, plus size girls shorts and pants, and plus size girls skirt and dress category.

Again I ask, when was the last time you searched and researched for a particular item to no avail?  Assess your own skills to see if you could fill that particular market with written information, a product that would fill the need, etc.  Perhaps you could work with a friend and do some serious brain storming about the possibilities.  The opportunities are endless!

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25% Off All Craft Patterns! What Are You Sewing For Christmas Gifts?

Posted By on October 31, 2017

mermaidTail

Have you seen our Mermaid Tail Blanket Pattern and Shark and Orca Whale Tail Blanket Patterns?  By far these patterns are some of our most popular craft patterns!  When we made these patterns and blankets, my grandchildren (who you see in the photos) wouldn’t go to bed without their “tail” blankets!  They absolutely LOVE their fancy fleece blankets!

Another all-time favorite is our Children’s Portable Playhouse Pattern.  This pattern was designed to be portable, you simply place the fabric playhouse over a card table, set it up perhaps in the corner of your child’s bedroom or set it up as a temporary playhouse in the front yard.  HOWEVER, the REAL story for my grandchildren and countless numbers of our customers’ children/grandchildren – this became a semi-permanent playhouse set up in the living room.  The kids wanted to LIVE in it — play in it, eat in it, take naps in it and even poke their heads out in order to watch some TV!

There are so many wonderful stories about our craft patterns that our customers have sent in – we could write a book!

Rather than write a book, we’re going to invite you to take a look at some of the great stuff in our craft pattern section like our popular Animal Pals Back Pack Pattern, Animal Pals Sleeping Bag Pattern or Quilted Photo Purse Pattern.  Check out all these great craft patterns to see what might be the perfect item to make for someone special on your Christmas gift list — PLUS we’re going to give you a 25% discount on any craft pattern you add to your cart.  Use the promo code CRAFT25 now through November 30th on any and all craft patterns.

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Tutorial: How To Make A Robot Costume

Posted By on October 23, 2017

My Grandson looks AWESOME in the robot costume he actually made (with a little help from Mamaw, of course!)  This project is a “no-sew” creation and simple and quick to make!

Items needed: 1 large clear gift bag (for the body), 1 medium size silver gift bag (for the head) and lots of cool stickers!  First thing to do is remove the handles from the bags, since you’ll be making a robot “body” and “head”.  This costume would fit a child between the ages of 4-6 easily, of course depending on the size of the child.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s my boy – the clear gift bag on the table and his HUGE sheet of assorted stickers.  He stuck nearly all of the stickers on the front and back of the clear bag.  We then cut a hole in the “bottom” section of the bag so it would go over his head and of course cut armholes in both sides so it would fit over his body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, we took the mediuim size silver gift bag and held it up to his face to see where the eyes/nose/mouth would be, then cut out a cute little area for his face.  We then made a sign, “I Am A ROBOT”, just in case people couldn’t tell!   He also had been coloring the nice eagle picture, so wanted to put it on his robot “chest”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s my handsome robot – all ready for the big day!!!

 

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Quit Buying Patterns – Redesign Ones You Already Have

Posted By on October 10, 2017

CollarNeckSleeves

As in a lot of different areas, we have to be creative in thinking of ways to save money.  One of the best ways I’ve found to save money for myself as well as customers I sew for is to change the style of the patterns already in use rather than buy new patterns just to get a different neck style, or different types of sleeves or collars, among other things

By using ONE basic pattern that you know fits well, you can make more clothes than would ever fit in your closet by just learning how to change the neckline into different styles, or how to change the basic sleeve into 10 different styles, or how to make collars to add to the basic pattern.

If you’ve just found out you’re pregnant, don’t go out and try to find nice looking maternity patterns – once again, simply use the patterns you have in your sewing room and convert them into maternity styles.

By doing pattern makeovers on the patterns you already own, you will be able to save probably one hundred or more dollars over the course of a year.  After all, the more you save by not buying patterns, the more money you’ll have to buy fabric!

All of the above mentioned pattern makeover and pattern changing classes are available in three different size ranges:  Petite, Average Size, and Full Figure/Plus Size.

Check out all the pattern making and pattern changing classes at SewWithSarah.com – you’ll be amazed at how many clothing styles you can make from just ONE BASIC pattern that you know fits you perfectly!  And, from now through October 25 ALL the pattern making and pattern changing classes will be discounted 50% by using the code change50.

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60% off Last Few Sewing Repair Books

Posted By on September 26, 2017

sewing_book_trio_spiral

SewWithSarah is converting all of our “physical” books to downloadable ebook format, so the LAST FEW print copies of Sewing Machine Repair For The Home Sewer, Serger Repair For The Home Sewer, and The Complete Guide To Treadle Sewing Machines books have been marked down 60% — regular price $24.95, now $9.98 – while they last!  Hurry before they are gone!

Check your Christmas gift list for those who sew, quilt or craft – these books would be a perfect gift for them, and at a super price for you!  These would also be a great addition to your sewing room bookshelf.

HURRY – the 60% discount is good only for the few physical print copies we have left of the Sewing Machine Repair Book, Serger Repair Book, and Complete Guide To Treadle Machines book.  When these are gone, SewWithSarah will have the downloadable ebooks only.

While you’re in the sewing book shop, we have a huge bonus for you!  The Profitable Clothing Alteration Business manual is also discounted 60% — regular price $39.95 now $15.98.  We have only a few of the print books left at the 60% discount price.  When these last print copies of Profitable Clothing Alteration Business manual are gone, the price will go back to $39.95 and will be a downloadable ebook.

Now is your chance to get print copies of our best selling books at a 60% discount – no promo code necessary!  These prices are available only to our U.S. customers.

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50% off Sewing Repair Books

Posted By on September 19, 2017

sewing_book_trio_spiral

SewWithSarah is converting all of our “physical” books to downloadable ebook format, so the remaining print copies of Sewing Machine Repair For The Home Sewer, Serger Repair For The Home Sewer, and The Complete Guide To Treadle Sewing Machines books have been marked down 50% — regular price $24.95, now $12.48 – while they last!

Check your Christmas gift list for those who sew, quilt or craft – these books would be a perfect gift for them, and at a super price for you!  These would also be a great addition to your sewing room bookshelf.

HURRY – the 50% discount is good only for the last few physical print copies of the Sewing Machine Repair Book, Serger Repair Book, and Complete Guide To Treadle Machines book.  When these are gone, SewWithSarah will have the downloadable ebooks only.

While you’re in the sewing book shop, we have a huge bonus for you!  The Profitable Clothing Alteration Business manual is also discounted 50% — regular price $39.95 now $19.95.  We have only a few of the print books left at the 50% discount price.  When these last few print copies of Profitable Clothing Alteration Business manual are gone, the price will go back to $39.95 and will be a downloadable ebook.

Now is your chance to get print copies of our best selling books at a 50% discount – no promo code necessary!

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BERNINA Announces WeAllSew Sewing Room Photo Sweepstakes

Posted By on September 14, 2017

In celebration of National Sewing Month sewists can share sewing room photos; Grand Prize winner will receive a BERNINA 215 Simply Red sewing machine.

Bernina215SewMachine

 

AURORA, IL–(Marketwired – Sep 12, 2017) – BERNINA of America, the world’s premier manufacturer of sewing, embroidery and quilting machines, is pleased to announce that in celebration of National Sewing month, its WeAllSew blog is offering the BERNINA Sewing Room Photo sweepstakes, a contest where sewists can share up to twelve photos of their sewing room. To enter, sewists upload photos on the WeAllSew Community section for a chance to win a BERNINA 215 Simply Red (B 215 Simply Red) sewing machine. Photos should include a description of the unique sewing spot. One Grand Prize winner will receive a B 215 Simply Red. The Second Prize winner will receive Tula Pink Scissors and the Third, an OLFA Ergonomic Rotary Cutter. The sweepstakes will end on September 30. Winners will be chosen by members of the BERNINA of America team and recognized in early October.  Read more…..

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This 10-Year-Old’s $2 Million Amazon Business Is Leaving Competitors In The Dust

Posted By on September 13, 2017

HenryMakesButtons

In fourth grade, Henry Burner came up with a terrific idea. His class had a trading-post unit–focusing on “whatever the frontier happened to be at the time we had a frontier,” he says–in which students would use beads to buy goods made by their classmates. Henry’s mother, Darcy, had some hand-operated button-making equipment, the result of three failed runs for a House seat. Henry says, “I proposed, ‘Let’s make some buttons,’ because I had fond memories of when I was really good at making buttons for my mom’s campaign.”

Most kids brought in baked goods and almost no one made durable items. Henry’s buttons–with messages like “I ❤ Minecraft” and “Fall City Elementary”–were a smash. “Almost every kid bought one, meaning I ended up with like half of all the beads in the entire school,” he says. He asked his mother if this might be a real way to make money, and with her support, he started to sell buttons at farmer’s markets.

Even then, he had a unique spin: He brought a battery-powered ink-jet printer along, and would produce custom buttons on the spot. He grossed about $1,000 that first summer. That led him to wonder how well he’d do outside the farmer’s market season, and he started to distribute to local businesses and online via Amazon.

Now, in a retail storefront about 45 minutes east of Seattle, in the small town of Carnation, Washington, you can walk into Buttonsmith and find a wide selection of refrigerator magnets, brightly printed lanyards, and those retractable reels commonly used to attach employee badges. But that’s mostly just for the locals and tourists, who drop by on their way to a nearby farm to pick pumpkins or strawberries.   Read more…

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The Truth About Dickeys/Mock Camisoles

Posted By on September 5, 2017

Mock camisoles and dickeys are very popular and can greatly expand your wardrobe. However, contrary to popular belief, mock camisoles are NOT “one size fits all”!  Consider a size 32” chest compared to a size 58” chest.  No way would the same mock camisole fit both!

Our mock camisole patterns come in two size ranges S-M-L-XL and 1X-2X-3X-4X-5X.  What size patterns do you use?  I’d say you probably need the same size in the mock camisoles as well.

Do you have some button down the front shirts that don’t fit like they used to, but you still want to wear them?  Good news!  Just button the lower 2 or 3 buttons, add a mock camisole and you’re ready to go!

Do you really like wrap tops or v-necks, but they show more than you’re comfortable showing?  Just add a mock camisole and problem solved!

Make mock camisoles out of wide lace, nylon or jersey fabrics.  Make them colorful or in solid colors to match your blouses and tops.  Make them for yourself or make them to sell!  Quick and easy to make and tons of potential customers want to buy them.

By using our S-M-L-XL or 1X-2X-3X-4X-5X patterns you will have mock camisoles that will fit you and all your customers perfectly.  Our Mock Camisole patterns are only $3.95 for each size range.  Depending on whether you’re sewing for yourself or for others, grab one size pattern OR both patterns.

Visit SewWithSarah and check out the mock camisole pattern and dozens of other patterns and pattern making classes!

camisoleMock1

 

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Easy Gym Bag Tutorial

Posted By on August 30, 2017

Those in the crafting business will love this post; however I believe the rest of us could use this information to help teach our children and grandchildren a little bit about sewing and crafting.  These quick and easy projects could easily be done by middle school age children, AND give them something they would be proud to use!  Now that school is starting, this Easy Gym Bag from outgrown jeans will be perfect!

EASY GYM BAG
GymBag

Materials Needed:

Outgrown jeans or pants and thread to match

Cut the legs off the jeans at the crotch line.  Open the legs at the inside seam and cut one half of the bag from each leg, making the length of the bag a length of your choice.  The side seam of the jeans will be the middle of the front and back of the gym bag.

With right sides together sew up the sides and bottom.  Turn the top edge down an inch and stitch in place.  Run cording through the top where you turned the edge down to make a handle.

Iron on appliques can be added for extra decoration.
QUICK COIN PURSE – to use inside a girl’s gym bag!

Materials Needed:
1 10 x 12 or 9 x 12 piece of felt (your choice of color)
Felt scraps for trim
Co-ordinatinating color of yarn
1 snap

Cut a pattern for the coin purse 8″ high and 4″ wide.  Divide the lower two sections into 3″ segments, leaving the top 2″ for the flap.  Draw in the circular “top” of the flap.  Fold the lower third up to make the pocket.  Stitch around both sides with the yarn, then hand stitch around the top of the flap using the same yarn.  Fold the top flap down, then sew a snap closure on it.

If you’d like, you could braid several pieces of the yarn into a 12″-16″ length — stitch it to one side of the coin purse, and stitch the other end to the inside of the gym bag, so it will be handy to use whenever you use the gym bag.

For additional craft patterns, visit SewWithSarah and see what you would like to make next.

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