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Don’t Avoid Success By Trying To Avoid Failure

Posted By on August 15, 2017

What a strange title for a post you might be saying.  As I’ve learned from previous experiences (my own and those we deal with on a day to day basis) – it is very EASY to talk about what we’ve done in the past that has helped bring our businesses to the point they are today, but have you ever heard somebody tell about those “failures” that they’ve had along the way?

It is very interesting that we all want others to see us as someone who “succeeds”, but not someone who has “tried and failed” with a few ventures.

Look at Thomas Edison – how many times did he “fail” before he actually got a working model of the light bulb.  Or how about Henry Ford or Einstein!!!  So don’t put yourself down because of a few failed attempts to try something new.

The whole issue is this — the only time you “fail” is if you fail to get up to try again!

We’ve had patterns that we worked hard at creating that just didn’t go over so well, and we ended up taking them off the market.  Then there are the patterns that we thought “I’m pretty sure people might like this one”, and ended up selling thousands of the pattern.  You just don’t ever know what there is in YOUR business that just might be the hit of the day / month / year!

When you come up with an idea for a new project, or new direction to add to your business, don’t just dismiss it because you’re not sure that it would work.  Try to work out the details of what would need to be done in order to make it work, then GO FOR IT!  It could be your million dollar idea!  Of course it could also be one of the ideas that doesn’t quite put the dollars in the bank, and if that’s the case, see how your idea could be revamped or redone (think Thomas Edison), and TRY AGAIN!!

We have three fantastic books that could just be perfect for helping your business grow — “501 Tips & Strategies For Home Business Entrepreneurs”, “How To Sell Your Handmade Items”, and “Jumpstart Your Business….Proven Techniques And Strategies”.

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Does Your Business Have A Website Presence?

Posted By on August 8, 2017

A friend of mine has been doing alterations as a home business for a number of years, and has a pretty good business.  About six months ago while having lunch I asked her if she had a website.  Her immediate answer was “of course not — how would I get alteration business over the internet?”  She has a computer, orders some of her supplies through the internet, prepares shipping labels through Fed Ex online, but never felt like she needed a website herself.

WOW!  I couldn’t believe my ears!  First of all, she’s been teaching classes at various women’s groups about lingerie, how to make various garments, what to look for in knits, spandex, etc.  She passes out information sheets to the attendees and does all the right things.

I started telling her why she can’t afford NOT to have a website!  Even if it didn’t bring alteration customers to her, and it very possibly could reach some of the hometown folks, she could surely set up a simple website page and start to sell some craft items and use up some of the scraps she has.  In addition she buys some types of tricot in bulk for her sewing, and gets it much cheaper that way — duh!  Another item she could put on the website to sell.

And, I mentioned to her that all that information she’s been giving out to the classes she’d been teaching could be written up and submitted to the various article directory sites.  These articles, while not getting immediate dollars for them, could send readers to the site and create sales.

Another method of getting traffic to the site is through two way linking, or reciprocal linking.  She knows that I have a website, so I could be the first one to do a reciprocal link, and she has other friends who also have websites.

Another thing I told her is to look up some sewing / alteration forums and register with them.  There are always categories that would fit just about any area of information that she, or you, would have knowledge about and could answer questions, pose your own question or give information in general about.  Many times your email address or website address are in your “signature” at the forums, so people could readily click on it and visit the website.  In addition, forums are normally spidered by search engines regularly, so if somebody is doing a search regarding your business items, your website name could very well pop up and additional traffic would be sent your way.

I did let her know, however that by doing these things, she should not expect to be flooded with traffic and orders immediately.  It does take time to get the website out to the public.  There is no quick and easy method for building website traffic, however the most important lesson is simply to let the site grow overtime — put in a little time, lots of effort and never forget perservance!!

Do YOU have a website for YOUR business. Just about everyone has a computer – does a lot of “surfing”, and buys from various sites, including eBay, Amazon, etc, but sometimes it just doesn’t register that YOUR site could be making sales too.  If you don’t have one now, think seriously about getting one set up.  If you DO have one, think about the methods of getting additional traffic to the site that we discussed in this post.

While you’re “surfing”, check out our two main websites — SewWithSarah and ShopperStrategy — you’ll find lots of goodies and information at both websites!  OR if you’re in our area, or thinking of traveling to the Gulf Coast (Pensacola, FL to be exact), check out the super website DoPensacola.com – “Everything to see and do in Pensacola”!

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Back To School Sale On Plus Size Children Sewing Patterns – 50% Off

Posted By on August 1, 2017

Just in time for school sewing, we are having a super 50% Discount sale on ALL Plus Size Children Sewing Patterns.  Now through August 15 only, take advantage of this huge sale – use promo code SCHOOL and fill your shopping cart.  We have plus size and obese boys patterns and plus size and obese girls sewing patterns.

Check out the variety of patterns we have in the following categories:

Plus Size Boys

Plus Size Girls Blouses

Plus Size Girls Slacks and Shorts

Plus Size Girls Dress and Skirts

Plus Size Girls Nightwear

Check the measurements of YOUR plus size / overweight boys and girls and I’m sure they will match our sizing, as all of our patterns are made using REAL plus size childrens’ measurement.

Each of the patterns come in two size ranges – 8/10/12 and 14/16.  If your child has a 32” waist, for example, you would need to use the size 10 pattern.  If your child has a 36” waist, you would need to use the size 14 pattern.

Check your childs’ measurements to these sewing pattern measurements:

Size 8 10 12
Chest 34 36 38
Waist 30 32 34
Hip 36 38 40
Size 14 16
Chest 40 44
Waist 36 38
Hip 44 46

Each pattern comes with several variations that you can make, giving you many styles that can be made from each one.

Hurry – this Back To School sale only goes through Aug. 15.  Use promo code SCHOOL to get the huge discount price!

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Sale on Treadle Sewing Machine Leather Belt

Posted By on July 25, 2017

We have been amazed at the number of “Complete Guide To Treadle Sewing Machines” books we have sold in the past few months!  It seems like the old/antique treadle sewing machines are making a comeback, and immediately the new buyers want to know more about the machine and how to get it back in working order, if it isn’t currently working.

I learned how to sew on my mothers’ treadle sewing machine, and I wish I had it now.  It would be fun teaching my grandchildren how to work the good old treadle machine!

For all those who are buying the treadle sewing machines, you may find out quickly that you need to get a new treadle belt.  The belt is probably one of the most important aspects of getting the machine to run properly.  The belt can’t be too loose or too tight.

We carry the premium leather treadle sewing machine belts – 72″ x 3/16″, with the connecting hook.  For a very limited time, we are putting them on sale – regularly $10.00 each – now $5.95 each, and they come with instructions on how to attach the belt.

If you have a treadle sewing machine or know someone who does, pass this information along – the sale is for a limited time.

TreadleBelt

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12 In 1 Magic Ruler Sale Extended One More Week!!

Posted By on July 18, 2017

The Twelve In One Magic Ruler is a complete set of measuring devices all in one easy-to-use see-thru adjustable tool.  And it’s all done with the twist of a knob!!  This  is the absolute BEST tool in my sewing room!

magic_ruler

The obvious uses of this amazing 12 in 1 Magic Ruler tool are:

  1. Yardstick
    2. 35″ Scallop Template
    3. Corner Maker
    4. L-Square
    5. T-Square
    6. 45 degree Angle
    (or any angle from 10 degree to 180 degree)
    7. Inside Triangle Template
    8. Outside Triangle Template
    9. Inside Scallop Block Template
    10. Outside Scallop Block Template
    11. 4″, 5″, 6″, 7″, 8″ & 9″ Square Template
    12. 13″ Square Template

The only see-thru adjustable measuring tool that can be used for altering commercial patterns, making quilt blocks, square templates for craft projects, scalloped edges on skirt and dress hems, quilts, pictures, placemats and other crafts.  Quickly locate fabric’s true grain with the 45 degree angle – a must for properly draped garments.  Easily locate bias for cutting bias strips.

The 12 in 1 Magic Ruler comes with a 15 page “Idea Book” that is complete with illustrated instructions PLUS ideas and instructions for a variety of projects.  Whether you prefer sewing, quilting, crafting or woodworking, the 12 in 1 Magic Ruler will become the most frequently used tool in your work room.

The 12 in 1 Magic Ruler sells for $19.95 and we’re EXTENDING the sale price for another week (through July 24)!  We have marked the Magic Ruler at a 25% discount ($14.95) and have had DOZENS of customers order this ruler.  This is the absolute BEST tool in my sewing room!  Grab your 12 in 1 Magic Ruler and get started using this easy-to-use see-thru adjustable tool! No promo code necessary!

 

 

 

 

 

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Introducing The 12 In 1 Magic Ruler

Posted By on July 11, 2017

The Twelve In One Magic Ruler is a complete set of measuring devices all in one easy-to-use see-thru adjustable tool.  And it’s all done with the twist of a knob!!

magic_ruler

The obvious uses of this amazing 12 in 1 Magic Ruler tool are:

  1. Yardstick
    2. 35″ Scallop Template
    3. Corner Maker
    4. L-Square
    5. T-Square
    6. 45 degree Angle
    (or any angle from 10 degree to 180 degree)
    7. Inside Triangle Template
    8. Outside Triangle Template
    9. Inside Scallop Block Template
    10. Outside Scallop Block Template
    11. 4″, 5″, 6″, 7″, 8″ & 9″ Square Template
    12. 13″ Square Template

The only see-thru adjustable measuring tool that can be used for altering commercial patterns, making quilt blocks, square templates for craft projects, scalloped edges on skirt and dress hems, quilts, pictures, placemats and other crafts.  Quickly locate fabric’s true grain with the 45 degree angle – a must for properly draped garments.  Easily locate bias for cutting bias strips.

The 12 in 1 Magic Ruler comes with a 15 page “Idea Book” that is complete with illustrated instructions PLUS ideas and instructions for a variety of projects.  Whether you prefer sewing, quilting, crafting or woodworking, the 12 in 1 Magic Ruler will become the most frequently used tool in your work room.

The 12 in 1 Magic Ruler sells for $19.95 and for ONE WEEK ONLY (7 days – July 11 to July 17) we are marking the Magic Ruler at a 25% discount ($14.95).  Grab your 12 in 1 Magic Ruler and get started using this easy-to-use see-thru adjustable tool! No promo code necessary!

 

 

 

 

 

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Restoring Old Slips – Make Them Like New!

Posted By on July 5, 2017

Have you ever noticed how the body of your slip outlives the lace and elastic?  Not quite sure how to salvage the slip, so you end up throwing it away?  We can help!  Here are some suggestions.

Problem:  Lace is disintegrating, coming off slip.

Suggestion #1:  Remove the old lace and brighten it up with new lace in the width you desire.

Suggestion #2: As so many of the skirts are shorter today, cut the slip to the length for your skirts and then give it a lettuce edge on your serger or a shell edge from your regular sewing machine.  Both of these are very attractive and easy to do.

How to do a “lettuce” edging:  Use the rolled hem feature on your serger, place the slip edge under the presser foot and as you start sewing gently pull the fabric towards you.  You will notice that you are getting a curled decorative edge.   The more you pull the fabric, the curlier the edge gets, resembling a lettuce leaf.

How to do a “shell” edge:  You will need a zigzag machine for this.  Almost all zigzag machines will have a stitch that looks the opposite of the blind hem stitch.  Set your machine to sew this stitch.  Now, as you fold under 1/4″ on the slip bottom, sew just close enough to the edge that when the needle moves outward it catches the bottom of the fabric, drawing it in towards the other stitching, making little shells or scallops.

Problem:  Elastic lost its stretch or coming away from the slip top.  There’s nothing worse than walking and all of a sudden you feel your slip falling down.  Believe me, I know!  It happened to me ONCE!

Suggestion:  Replace the elastic!  Not sure where to start?  Follow the step-by- step instructions given below, and presto!  you’ll have a “new” half slip!

1.  Remove the old elastic, being careful not to tear the slip.

2.  To determine the length of new elastic you’ll need, measure your waist and deduct an inch from that measurement.

3.  Choose a “soft elastic” (plush backed, picot edge, fold-over, stretch lace elastic) so that it will feel good against your skin.  Cut the elastic to the measurement in step 2.

4.  Sew the ends of the elastic together.

5.  Divide elastic into fourths.  Place straight pins to mark your “fourths”.

6.  Divide the top of the half slip into fourths.  The seams on the slip already mark the “halves”.  Simply bring the seams together, keeping them together.  Now run your fingers along the edge – when you get to the end, you have another part of the “fourth”.  Repeat this on the other side to get the remaining “fourth”.  Again, mark the “fourths” with straight pins.

7.  Now all you have to do is match your pins and pin the elastic to the slip.   As you sew, stretch the elastic between the pins..  I use a multiple zigzag stitch on my regular sewing machine, with the width usually set at 4 or 5 and a short length.

We have a full pattern making class on how to make half slips that includes complete illustrated instructions for making several lengths as well as a variety of hem finishes.  The class comes in Misses Size – S, M, L, XL and Full Figure/Plus Size – 1X-8X.

For additional information on patterns and pattern making, visit SewWithSarah.com – your sewing, craft, pattern and pattern making headquarters!

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How To Make A Marshmallow Pillow – Tutorial

Posted By on June 27, 2017

Marshmallow pillows are easy for kids to make and you can be sure they won’t get lost because they won’t leave the childs’ side!

This marshmallow pillow is another pattern designed by one of my granddaughters (remember her first pattern, the Narwhal Stuffed toy pattern).  She is on a roll making patterns for an item, then sewing the item – I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!  We’re going to give you all the instructions on how to make this marshmallow pillow project, so feel free to print the page and plan some “crafting” time with a child you know.

SewingSiennaPillow

 

Materials needed:

White fleece – 1/3 yard

Polyester fiberfill

Thread to match

1 Dessert plate (to make the top and bottom circle pieces)

**Draw around the dessert plate on the fleece – you will need two of these circles (top and bottom of the marshmallow)

**Measure the distance around the plate (or measure the circle after it’s drawn).  Ours is 23″.

**Next, cut the “body” of the pillow – the measurement will be 23 1/2″ by 11″ long (you need ONE of these).

**With right sides together, pin the length portion (11″) and sew a 1/2″ seam along the 11″ length.  You now have a cylinder shaped piece of fabric (marshmallow body).

**With RIGHT sides together, pin the top circle of the marshmallow to the cylinder body.  Sew a 1/2″ seam to attach the top to the body.

**Again, with RIGHT sides together, pin the bottom of the marshmallow to the cylinder body, leaving approximately 3″ open.  Sew a 1/2″ seam all around, leaving the 3″ open area unsewn.

**Turn the marshmallow right side out.  Stuff marshmallow with polyester fiberfill, then pin the open area closed and hand stitch.

**You can draw the face features with permanent markers, or just leave the marshmallow pillow looking like a marshmallow.

Check out the other patterns at SewWithSarah – there are many to choose from!

 

 

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Child’s Apron Tutorial

Posted By on June 20, 2017

Children need aprons for all kinds of things — for painting, working with glue and for helping in the kitchen!  I’ve found a couple very cute aprons and how to make them at Adventures From the Sewing Studio.  Here’s a picture of the finished product and a link to the tutorial.

child's craft apron side one

The pattern is actually reversible, so please follow the link to see the solid color back sides of these cute and very useable aprons.

And while you’re in the mood for sewing aprons, don’t forget to check out SewWithSarah for some other cute apron patterns for mommy, such as the ones pictured here.  There are four pages of craft patterns, including the “Country Apron Twins”, “Vintage Wrap Apron” and the “Patchwork Apron” patterns that are featured below.

Country Twins Apron Pattern

Vintage Wrap Collar Apron

Patchwork Apron Pattern

The patchwork apron gets my vote of approval because I’ve made so many of them with left over scraps from the scrapbox, and they turn out beautifully!

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How To Decorate A Hoodie Jacket

Posted By on June 13, 2017

Sewing and crafting at our house takes many different avenues!  One of my grandsons (11 years old) told me that his first project was going to be decorating his school hoodie/jacket.  At first I was a little apprehensive, but he assured me that he’d already been planning it “in his head”, and he knew exactly what he wanted to do.  So I figured why not??    He has a solid color gray hoodie, so whatever he had in mind would “add” decorations to it.  Here’s the jacket that he made, and I’ll follow that with instructions on exactly what he did.

SewingBrandonJacket

We had some black fleece left over from making the Orca Whale Tail pattern, so he cut 12 –  1″ x 4″ strips (6 for each side) and very carefully measured and pinned them in place.  Then they were topstitched in place.  And, because he is left handed, he also wanted to decorate the left sleeve.  The top “shoulder” decoration is a 4″ x 6″ rectangle placed at the center of the sleeve at the shoulder.  The last decoration was a 1″  wide strip that goes all the way around the sleeve next to the cuff.

I’m very proud of his work, and I think he will have friends asking where he got it because they want one just like it!  Sorry!  It’s a “one of a kind”.  The good thing about sewing and crafting, is that, just like my grandson, you can make lots of “one of a kind” items, OR just simply make something according to the pattern – your choice.

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