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December 2014
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Quick And Easy Apron

Posted By on December 16, 2014

How many times have you needed a quick little gift for the hostess of a party or to use as a little thank you for somebody special?  We have the perfect quick and easy apron that could be whipped up in no time, and would be a very thoughtful gift.











Materials needed:  one hand towel or printed kitchen towel, 2 1/2 yds bias tape to match one of the colors and thread to match.

Hand towels and kitchen towels are usually 16″ to 18″ by 27″ to 32″, so pick one that will suite the person that will be getting the gift, and begin the little project.

1.  Fold the towel in half lengthwise and cut away the portions shown in the diagram — leaving 9 1/2″ at the center top.  Measure down 9 1/2″ along each side, and cut out the curving line as shown.

2.  To apply the bias tape, fold the 2 1/2 yards of tape to find the center.  Measure about 10″ each way from the center and pin this point to the upper edges of the bib.   (This measurement may be varied to fit the individual — the lower edges of the bib should be at the waistline when the strap is adjusted around the neck.)

3.  Baste or pin the bias tape along the bib to the waistline at the edge of the towel.  The remaining length on each side will be for the ties.  Beginning at the end of one tie, sew along the edge of the bias tape, continuing from the end of the tie, along the edges of the bib, up and around the neck strap and around to the end of the other tie.  Be sure to fold in a little at the end of the tie to finish the tie end.

NOTE:  Try one for yourself just to check out the tie lengths — depending on the size of the person you are making the apron for, you may need to use 3 to 3 1/2 yards of bias tape to insure that the ties are long enough.

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Posted By on November 18, 2014

It’s our biggest sale of the year at!  From Nov 18 to Nov 24 – 50% off everything in the store – from patterns to books to sewing notions.

If you’re wanting to start a home business, check out the “Business Books”.  If you’re interested in keeping your sewing machine and serger out of the repair shop, check out the “Sewing Books” category.  If you or someone else you sew for are hard to fit, check out all the pattern making and pattern make-over classes, or review the “Patterns” category for lots of great patterns you could make for friends and relatives for Christmas.  Take this opportunity to stock up on sewing notions for yourself or make a gift bag for someone just learning to sew!

50% off EVERYTHING in the store – no exceptions for one week only, use promo code BIG50.

Thanks so much for visiting the website!

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How To Make a Washcloth Doll

Posted By on November 6, 2014

This months’ project is a quick and easy washcloth doll that could easily be a best seller at your next craft fair or a favorite toy for the small children that you know.












Each washcloth doll takes one terry washcloth — use white, or peach color or brown, as you would like, small scraps of fabric for the pants and hat, and a small length of eyelet lace for the top (blouse).













Fold the washcloth in half and mark the center with a pin.  Roll the two opposite edges toward the center (fig 1).

Cut the top center line 2 1/2″ down from the top for the arms, and 3 inches up from the bottom for the legs (fig 2).  Tack down the raw edges.

Fold the top backwards on the fold line as indicated on the diagram (fig 2).  Lay a string through the top of the head; wind a string around the neck and tie firmly.  Then tighten the string at the top of the head and tie.  Tack the arms to the sides of the body with a few stitches (fig 3).

Weave the ends of the hands together and wrap the thread up from the ends of the arms about 5/8″ to form the wrists (fig 4).










Embroider the face, following the diagram above, making the eyes blue, brows and nose brown and mouth red.  Hair:  For a girl doll make yarn loops around the face in desired color; for a boy, cover the back of the head with long yarn stitches, taking a few shorter stitches in the front.

Clothing:  Cut two 5″ strips of eyelet or peasant type embroidered trimming for the blouse – cross in front and back and tack to the doll.  For boy doll, follow the chart to make a pants pattern, letting each square equal one inch.  Cut four, stitch right sides together to form trousers; turn right side out.  Fold under the raw bottom edges and crease.  Pull pants onto the doll and tack around the top.  Cover the stitches with bright ribbon sash.  For a girl doll, cut a circle 5 inches in diameter; cut a small circle out of the center and slip over the doll, tacking the skirt to the waist.  Cover the stitches with a bright ribbon sash.

For the bonnet, cut two hat pieces (for the pattern enlarge the chart above, letting each square equal one inch),  Join the bonnet at the ends with whipstitches and tack the hat to the head at a jaunty angle.  Tie a ribbon at the neck to resemble a scarf.


Read the particular pattern to see how big each square should be — the ones used for this pattern should equal one inch.  On a sheet of paper, rule off the same number of squares in the same arrangement as shown on the chart, according to the scale given.  These crossing lines guide you to drawing in the scale.  Put all lines in the same positions on the large squares as they are in relation to the small squares on the chart.

An easier way to enlarge a chart to one inch squares is to copy the chart that needs to be enlarged and use a photocopier to enlarge the pattern until the squares equal one inch squares.  The pattern will be ready to cut and you don’t have to draw in the lines.

I’ll just bet if you make several of these dolls to sit in various spots in your customer waiting area (with price tags on them) – you’ll be busy with all the orders you’ll be getting!

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In Sewing……Pressing Matters

Posted By on October 30, 2014

To achieve the professional look in sewing, it is absolutely essential to press as you sew. In addition to the iron and ironing board, it is helpful to have pressing cloths and a tailor’s ham.

Fiber, texture and thickness of the fabric determines how the fabric is pressed. Fiber content dictates the temperature of the iron, and texture dictates the method of handling the fabric.  The iron must be set at the right temperature for the fabric content  Always try a test swatch before pressing your garment.

Press each piece and seam as the garment is constructed. Use pressing strokes – an up and down lifting motion of the iron.  This avoids stretching or distorting sections of the garment.  Steam can shape the fabric and eliminate fullness.  To set creases and press permanent press fabrics, use a press cloth.

Pressing the seams during the sewing process makes it easier to sew the seams that will “cross” any of the seams already sewn. Gently open the seams and press flat.  You will save time if you sew several seams, then press them all at once, before moving on to the next step.

Always press on the wrong side to guard against shine. Remember not to over-press. This results when too hot an iron is used, leaving the iron in one place too long, too much moisture or using an inadequate press cloth.

Remove pins and basting stitches before pressing. Pins mar the fabric and soleplate of the iron; basting stitches may leave an imprint.

When pressing the details of a garment, press the entire piece and not just the area around the dart, or particular detail you are working on. When the entire garment is finished, give it another pressing to get out any wrinkles that may have formed while you were sewing.

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Easy Ways To Change Your Blouse/Dress Pattern

Posted By on October 23, 2014

If you’re like the majority of us, buying a pattern is the easy part.  Getting that pattern to FIT properly is the hard part.  The “problem areas” can be as different as night and day, but whether the hips are too tight if the top fits, the shoulders are too wide if the bust area fits, or “there’s no way I can get this waist to fit” – the bottom line is that it can take considerable time to get that new pattern to fit properly.  Once all the kinks are worked out and we can do the “happy dance” because the pattern FINALLY FITS – the next issue pops up.  The first dress looks great, but who wants every dress from this day forward to be the same style?


INTRODUCING – pattern makeovers!  That perfectly fitting basic blouse or dress pattern can now be changed into dozens and dozens of new styles simply by making different sleeve styles, different necklines or changing the darts in the pattern.  The pattern make-over classes give complete instructions on how to make TEN different sleeve styles from 1 basic sleeve, how to make EIGHT different neckline styles from 1 basic neckline, a complete instruction kit for making and changing the darts in the pattern to different locations, or add a dart or take a dart out of the pattern.  The pattern makeover classes are available in average sizes and full figure/plus sizes.

Now for the great news!!  The complete course for neckline make-overs and sleeve make-overs costs $9.95. The how to alter darts and Converting Maternity Patterns cost $14.95.  You can get a whopping 40% discount on each of the 4 complete courses now through October 31 by using the code MAKEOVER.  The sleeve and neckline changing classes will be $5.97 and the altering darts and converting maternity patterns classes will be $8.97 through midnight October 31.

Buy one or several of the classes and you can use that one perfectly fitting blouse/dress pattern and make literally DOZENS of new styles!


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Teach Your Child To Sew

Posted By on October 20, 2014

Now that cold weather is upon us, it is a perfect time to bring out some scraps and teach your child to sew.  Or, if you have young children, sewing cards would be a great way to get them started sewing, while you’re busy at your sewing machine. The e-z-sew sewing cards come in 6 different variations.  You simply print them on cardstock, then with a single hole puncher, punch out the spots marked, add a length of yarn, and presto!  Your child has a set of cards to sew.  You might want to make several sets so their friends can also try their hand with them.









For the older children, I’d recommend the Learn How To Sew book –  If you already know how to sew and need help teaching a child, grandchild or friend.  Look no further!!  “Learn How To Sew” is the book you need!  Whether you’re a pre-teen, teenager, senior citizen or anywhere in between, this book will teach you how to sew!











I have boxes of assorted sizes and colors of scrap fabrics, and my grandchildren LOVE to look through the fabrics to make pillows for their dolls, or decorations for a box that they’re using for their “stuff”.  Just take a little time with your child or grandchild and let them be creative!  You might be surprised at what all they’ll come up with!

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SimFlex Expanding Sewing Gauge

Posted By on October 16, 2014

The SimFlex Expanding Sewing Gauge gives you fast and accurate measuring.  It is quick and easy to use.







At first glance, you’d think it might only be for measuring button/button hole spacing.  While it is PERFECT for measuring accurace spaces for buttons and buttonholes, it has many other uses.

The SimFlex Expanding Sewing Gauge is great for use in shirring and smocking.  Simply flex the gauge to the distance desired between the gathers when shirring or smocking, mark the sewing lines with chalk or washable marker.

This sewing gauge can also be used for measuring pleats, tucks and gathers in draperies and skirt and dress pleats.

For the quilters, this gauge can be used to mark several bias or straight strips at a time.

This sewing tool costs $15.95 and is available from  The sewing tool comes with complete instructions for the various uses of the product.
I would highly recommend this tool.  The time saved by getting instant and accurate measuring distances for such a variety of applications makes it well worth the money spent on it.


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Girls Size 16 Plus Patterns Won’t Fit 9 Year Olds! Get The Right Fit!

Posted By on October 1, 2014

My friend has a 9 year old daughter who has a 36″ chest, 34″ tummy and 38″ hips.  Buying pre-made clothes for her is impossible since a skirt that fits in the waist has a length that goes past the feet, and long sleeves hang several inches below her fingers in order to get a size that fits in the chest and shoulders.  My friend decided to try making some clothes, only to find similar problems with patterns.  Thinking the new “plus” sizes would fit, she was disappointed to find that, while a 16 Plus would fit the chest, the “waistline” hung about 2-3 inches below her waist, the skirt length was way too long, the neck and armholes were much too large and the shoulder width fell way off the shoulder.  After all, the measurements used in the store-bought patterns are for a “chubby” 16 year old, they’re not designed for an extra chubby/overweight 9 year old.

The solution to altering store bought patterns for overweight children and plus size children is to learn how to do “spot” altering on the patterns.  “Spot” alterations, as shown in our “how to alter patterns for overweight children” tutorial series covers main problem areas such as large abdomen, larger than normal waistline and large chest and upper arms.

The “spot” alteration tutorial series are an excerpt from the book, “Altering Store Bought Patterns For Hard To Fit Children”.  This book contains 70 pages and covers the alteration process for nearly any garment you want to make for boys and girls.  Each alteration process is complete with step by step instructions and diagrams.

Altering Store Bought Patterns For Hard To Fit Children retails for $14.95, but from now until October 15, you can grab the book for a 40% discount with the promo code GOODFIT, making the price $8.97.  Send this information along to any friends or relatives you know that also have problems fitting plus size children and overweight children.


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Altering Store Bought Patterns For Overweight Children – Abdomen

Posted By on September 23, 2014

Large abdomen (stomach) is one of the main problems with plus size children, overweight children and obese children.  A large abdomen will cause skirts and pants to be too short in front and cause skirts to ride up in the front.









To correct the store bought (commercial) pattern, draw a horizontal line across the fullest part of the abdomen on the pattern.  Cut the line, beginning at the center front and cut to within 1/2″ from the side seam.  Separate the pieces the necessary amount and tape in place, as indicated.  Redraw the center front line, as indicated with dashed lines, from the bottom to the top, keeping the original line straight.  This correction will make the waist larger so you will have to make the “fullness” into a small amount of gathers, which would give a little extra fullness for the large tummy.

For more in depth information about altering patterns for overweight children, plus size children and obese children, check out our book “Altering Store Bought Patterns for Hard To Fit Children”.   This book contains 70 pages and covers the alteration process for every garment you’d want to make for boys and girls, including large abdomens, large hips and derriere, larger than normal chest, adjusting the crotch length and much more.  Each alteration process has step by step instructions and diagrams.

If you’d like to try your hand at making your own patterns for overweight children, plus size children and obese children, we have classes available for both boys and girls!  Simply take the measurements of the one you want to sew for and follow our step by step instructions on how to make dozens and dozens of patterns.

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How To Establish Yourself As An Expert

Posted By on September 18, 2014

We all know a little about a lot of things, and I would venture to say that we all know a lot about a few things.  It is those “few things” that we could learn even more about and truly become an “expert”.

There are almost unlimited opportunities awaiting anyone who desires to become an expert in his or her sewing field.  It just takes some preparation, a bit of imagination and effort to get started.  It is so easy to become an “expert”, one would wonder why people would want to know “just a little” about a subject they’re interested in and trying to earn a living from.  The following steps can get you started.

1.  Realize that what you already know is valuable to others.  Many times we believe that if we know something, everybody else must already know it.  What you know in your field of crafting, sewing, pattern making, alterations, etc may be second nature to you, but others that are wanting to learn find those things hard to figure out.  Sometimes it’s the minor things that we know that others would never think about.

2.  Research your topic to find more information in order to broaden your knowledge.  Do some research on the internet or go to your public library’s reference section and get all the information you can on your desired subject.

3.  Generate visibility and publicity.  Volunteer your services to groups in your community.  If your expertise is in the area of crafts, for example, you could volunteer to be a guest speaker at various club meetings, presenting general information, or by giving instructions on how to make a certain item.  By becoming known in your own community and later branching out into other areas, your name and face will become known, which will bring additional opportunities for you, as well as an increasing amount of profit for your home business.

4.  Share your knowledge with others.  All the information in the world is of no value if not shared with other people.  Be generous with what you know.  Realize that by investing your time and talents now, you will reap the financial rewards and recognition later.  Fall in love with your subject and share your passion.

5.  Write a pamphlet, tip sheet or booklet about your subject.  Take a piece of paper and make a list of important thoughts and ideas relevant to your subject.  Don’t worry about sentences right now; just phrases and thoughts.  After writing all the important points, lay the list to one side for a day or so, then come back to it and add any additional thoughts you may have.

The next step is to organize those thoughts and ideas into categories.  You may have a category “supplies needed”, “getting started”, etc.  Arrange your categories into a “how to” sequence starting from the very beginning to a closing where the whole thing is complete.  You’ll find that all the words, phrases and thoughts you’d listed will just about do the “writing” of the pamphlet or booklet.  All that’s necessary now is to make complete sentences and paragraphs from the ideas and thoughts you’d previously written and presto! your pamphlet is written.

You can use the pamphlet or booklet as a handout to increase public awareness about your business, or you may want to consider putting the booklet on the market to sell.  You could also put the article (pamphlet) onto a website, if you have one, as “free content” for those who visit your site.  If you have enough ideas and thoughts that you could come up with two or three different articles to add to the free content on your website, you will see visitors coming back to see what is new on the site.  It is a definite fact that whatever area you’ve become an expert in, is an area where other people are looking for information.

Success in your area of expertise is yours for the taking.  Begin today to “establish yourself as an expert” in your field.

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