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February 2017
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Make Athletic Non-Slip Headbands For Pennies!

Posted By on February 21, 2017

It’s about that time of year when it warms up enough we can get outside and run!  OR jog or walk.

But wait – it’s windy some days and even if it isn’t windy, there always seems to be a problem with our headbands.  They move around – won’t stay where you want them – so much for the hair style!

Introducing our NON-SLIP Athletic Hair Band patterns.  These headbands are super easy to make and contain one secret item that keeps the band from slipping.  The non-slip athletic hair bands can be made for pennies and you NEVER have to worry about them moving or slipping around.

The best part is that you can make dozens of bands in any width you’d like.  Make one to match each of your outfits – all for just pennies.

Hint………don’t show off all your new non-slip athletic headbands too much – all your friends will be begging you to make some for them!

Or, wait!  Does this sound like a possible super exciting money maker??? Check them out – Athletic Non-Slip Headband patterns! Only $3 for the pattern!

headbands2 (2)   headbands4

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Topstitching Is Tops

Posted By on February 14, 2017

Sometimes the little “extra” that we can do for our customer is what keeps them coming back to us.  Topstitching is one of those areas where we can recommend the extra detail to really “set off” a garment.

For style and an elegant touch of professionalism in sewing your garment, topstitching is tops! You can add this detail along a finished edge or along a seam by machine or by hand. The choices for topstitching are numerous – placement on the garment, number of rows to make, type of thread to use and the size of the needle are all to be considered.

Topstitching thread is normally identified on the spool, or you can purchase buttonhole twist. There are many types of thread that can be used for topstitching – cotton, nylon, silk, and must be selected according to the type of fabric that will have the topstitching detail.

Use a good, smooth ballpoint needle, preferably a size 18. Size 16 or smaller will suffice for many fabrics. The larger needle requirement is merely to allow the threads to pass through the needle easily.

The use of a stitching-tape enables easy placement of even rows. The tape can be separated at the desired width and adhered to the fabric in perfect position. Stitch alongside of the edge.

Ordinarily, topstitching is done on the top or right side, just as the word implies; however it can be worked from the wrong side with any special thread on the bobbin.

No advice can substitute for actually perfecting your technique on some sample swatches. Make some duplicates of the thickness of the actual fabric, lining and interlining of the garment that you’ll be topstitching, then test the threads and design of the topstitching in order to make sure the tension will be right and you’ll have a professional looking design.

Your machine manual may have some special suggestions. If your machine is built to accomodate a double or triple needle, you’ll be able to follow the directions within the manual in order to get the tension right for the topstitching.

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Grow Your Business With Customer Service

Posted By on February 7, 2017

I’ll bet you’re wondering HOW can you grow / build a business just by giving great customer service!  Think about your customers for a minute — how do they feel about you and your customer service?  Are you quick to respond to them?  Do you take care of small issues before they become big problems?

Smile!  That’s a key part of customer service!  Whether it’s in person or on the telephone – smile.  Your tone of voice IS reflective of whether you’re smiling while talking on the phone, or if you feel like you’ve been interrupted for the 10th time from an important project.

If you tell somebody you’re going to do something (try to find a special fabric, locate a pattern or check out a new trim) – DO IT!  It may be a small deal to you and very unimportant, but to the customer, it is EVERYTHING at this moment, so be sure to follow through on what you tell the customers.

Deal with questions promptly – don’t make the customer wait an hour or two or day or two for an answer.  Just last Friday evening I checked in on my computer before shutting down for the night (about 9 pm), and I’d gotten an email from a lady asking a question about an order she’d placed two days before.  I immediately checked it out and wrote her back before shutting down.  The next day I had a glowing email from the customer, saying “what FABULOUS customer service!  I figured maybe I’d get an answer by Monday or Tuesday, because of the weekend, and you took the time to answer me within MINUTES of my email!  I WILL be letting my friends know about your super customer service!”

So, there it is in a nutshell — how do you grow your business with customer service?  Your customers ARE the most important advertising your business will ever have – you just can’t pay enough for word of mouth advertising from the customers.  Customers with glowing reports about your excellent customer service will generate more new customers than you can imagine!

We have two books that give additional information on how to grow and succeed in your business:  “Jumpstart Your Business – Proven Techniques and Strategies” and “501 Tips and Strategies For Home Business Entrepreneurs”.  The books are $7.95 each and could be the best books you have on your bookshelf!

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New Pattern Designer In Our Family!

Posted By on February 1, 2017

My granddaughter, now 11 and part of a set of quadruplets, started “making things” when she was old enough to use a pair of kids scissors.

Sarah had previously made things from paper and cardboard, from very intricate snowflakes to cardboard box “stores” where she would “sell” her handmade items to her siblings and grandmother for a penny or two.

This past year she has been learning to sew – both hand sewing and machine sewing.  She LOVES creating and her “I do it myself” attitude (first words out of her mouth when learning to talk!) gives her the confidence to try things and figure out how to complete her projects.

The Narwhal stuffed toy (done entirely without help) is the first pattern and project she has agreed for us to put up for sale for her.  She drew every pattern piece, cut the fabric and handstitched the toy without asking for, or accepting, any help!  She has asked us to put any and all dollars she makes from the sales of her patterns into a college fund for her.

Narwhal stuffed toy

What do you think about the newest addition to our family of pattern designers and her Narwhal Fleece Stuffed Toy Pattern?

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AWESOME New Patterns Now Available

Posted By on January 24, 2017

We have some AWESOME new patterns in our pattern store that you won’t want to miss out on!

Just for starters, we have patterns for the ever popular “sea creature tail” blankets, including the Mermaid Tail Blanket, Shark Tail Blanket and Orca Whale Tail Blanket.  Look at the picture and decide which one you’d like to make first!


Shark Tail Blanket

Mermaid Tail Blanket

AND, we’re going to give you a 25% discount on any and ALL patterns from our craft pattern store, now through Jan 31 (one week only, so you must hurry), using the code January25.

Because Valentine’s Day is coming up quickly, you may want to make a Mega Heart Pillow for your favorite valentine girl or boy!  Or, you may want to give the new Mega Pineapple Pillow a try (the Mega Pineapple pillow pattern also includes a “mini” pineapple pillow pattern).

Fill your cart and don’t forget to use the code January25 for your 25% discount.

We have more new and exciting patterns coming up, so we encourage you to check back regularly.

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Save Your Receipts

Posted By on January 17, 2017

Well, it’s too late to start accumulating write offs  for taxes LAST year, however there is plenty of time to think about what to keep THIS year for tax purposes.

I don’t know if you will end up getting a refund of some sort or will have to pay, however the business receipts you keep can make a huge difference in the final totals on your taxes!

Keep and file ALL business related expense receipts.  You’ll be amazed at how those 47 cent stamp receipts add up over a years’ time.  Any fabrics/notions that you purchase for business use can be a tax deduction.  Also, if you haven’t already done so, get a small pocket calendar that you can keep in the car for business miles.  When you run to the fabric store for more fabric, write down the miles for that day.  If you’re making a run to the post office to get some orders mailed, write down the beginning and ending odometer reading so you’ll have the miles for that trip. At the end of the year that calendar becomes part of my tax information box to keep in case it’s ever needed.

If you’re looking at a new computer, printer or other office equipment, they can be written off as well.  Be sure to add in the cost of paper, printer cartridges and any other office equipment or supplies.

Ask your tax preparer about home office deductions – you could even write off part of your power bill, cable bill and telephone bill.

Take advantage of all the ways you can help yourself at tax time.

I keep an expanding file that is labeled for postage, inventory, office supplies, etc where I keep all my receipts filed during the year, then at the end of the year all I have to do is add the receipts in each category for totals to put on the tax forms.

If you’ve already set up a system for keeping receipts, bravo to you — if you haven’t already set up a filing system, it is not too late to start right now.

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5 Keys To Success

Posted By on January 2, 2017

There is no such thing as “luck” when starting, building or running a business.  Just because you’ve decided to open your business in your home doesn’t mean that you can just “float” and the business will succeed.  There are some serious things for you to think about, plan and execute in order to have the best possible chance of success.  As we start another New Year, there’s no better time than NOW to print this page, put it on your wall and refer to it often!

1.  GOALS:  Set specific goals – no more wishing, dreaming or hoping!  Put a date on when you will reach the goals.  Can you state right now what it is that you want out of life, and what you want your business to be like a year from now?

2.  STRATEGY:  Plan your work; map out your day-by-day, month-by-month progress.  Each individual small goal will work up to the major objective.  I’ve heard it said that those who fail to plan, plan to fail.

3.  DESIRE:  A burning desire is the greatest human motivator of all.  Desire and determination are key elements in achieving success!  The more you think about your goals, the more enthusiastic you become.  Enthusiasm turns your “desire” into a “burning desire”.

4.  BELIEF:  Develop an overwhelming belief and confidence in yourself.  Don’t even consider defeat – YOU ARE A WINNER!  Remember, “whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it CAN achieve”.

5.  PERSEVERANCE:  Make a commitment to follow through on your plan and strategy regardless of the obstacles or set backs.  “Winners never quit, and quitters never win!” is an absolute truth.  Perseverance will take you to the top.  Your “stick with it” attitude will make you the winner you want to be.

It is said that there are THREE KINDS OF PEOPLE — Those who MAKE things happen, those who WATCH things happen, and those who  WONDER what happened.

Make up your mind right now to be among the first category of people who MAKE things happen!

For additional information on getting your business headed in the right direction, check out our new book “Jumpstart Your Business with Proven Techniques And Strategies”.

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Shape-A-Dart – Fits Patterns to YOUR Cup Size

Posted By on November 1, 2016

For a fit that flatters – use the Shape-A-Dart on commercial patterns to adjust the cup size to YOUR cup size.






Why use the Shape-A-Dart tool? Misses size patterns are made with a standard “B” cup and half sizes are made with a standard “C” cup. If you wear a Misses size pattern and wear an “A”, “C” or “D” cup bra, your bodice will be baggy (A cup) or tight with wrinkles (C or D cup). The same thing applies to half sizes that wear an “A”, “B” or “D” cup bra. The Shape-A-Dart tool has PRE-MEASURED dart widths to correct darts on all commercial patterns, beginning with size 6 and going through 24 1/2, and includes sizes 38 to 46. Simply find your pattern size and PERSONAL bra cup size on the Shape-A-Dart and make the correction. Every pattern will give you “a fit that flatters”!

Do your blouses, dresses and jackets look like the “before” pictures? Simply adjust the dart on the pattern with Shape-A-Dart, following the easy instructions that are included, and you will have a perfect fitting garment and a “fit that flatters”!

Do your customers a favor and have one of these handy tools available in order to be able to adjust the cup size on the garments you’re sewing for them.

 Exclusively from SewWithSarah.


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

Posted By on October 25, 2016

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.

Send this information along to any friends or relatives you know that also have problems fitting plus size children and overweight children, or check out our “Sewing For Plus Size Children as a Home Business” if you’d like to get into a hot market for seamstresses!


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Advertise for PENNIES ….. Make THOUSANDS

Posted By on October 18, 2016

It makes no difference if you have an internet site, brick and mortar store, or a work at home business, it is a fact that none will succeed if nobody knows you’re there.

Advertising IS the key to success; however advertising doesn’t have to cost a fortune!  Of course, the big display ads cost advertisers many thousands of dollars, and “pay per click” advertising on search engines can add up to big dollars very quickly if you’re not carefully targeting proper key words and keeping track of the results of your advertising dollars.

There are many ways that we can promote our businesses literally for PENNIES, that can rake in THOUSANDS of dollars in sales.  Listed below are just a few ideas that work well, and I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with additional ideas once you start working with these.

** FREE AD ON YOUR ENVELOPES.  You can either use labels, or glue or tape one of your “mini-flyers” on the back or front of each envelope and package you mail out.  There is no way of knowing how much “free” advertising these mini-flyers will generate – after all, you’re mailing the letters and packages anyway, so why not take advantage of that and give your advertisement a “free ride”.

** ENCLOSE SALES LITERATURE in all outgoing orders.  If you already have a business where you send out orders, NEVER send out a “naked” package!  If you simply enclose the customer’s order and receipt and mail the package, you are missing out on one of the very best sales tools available!  Any additional sales literature you can enclose in the package (other items you offer for sale, information on another website to visit, etc) could bring you extra sales.  It is a well known fact that if a customer buys from you one time, they’re more likely to buy again and again, if they are satisfied with your service and products that they bought in the beginning.

** BUSINESS CARDS are one of the cheapest methods of advertising that I know of.  Many times, people will have 1,000 or more business cards made, then put them on a shelf and never use more than a dozen or so.  If you have a business or website and don’t have business cards – GET THEM!  Hand out the business cards to prospective customers, leave one on the table at the restaurant when you go out to eat.  Many restaurants and other businesses have a location where you can put a small business card holder with several of your cards in it for future customers to see and pick up as they pay their bill.

** SCREEN PRINTED SHIRTS.  This also is a “one time” purchase that will last for years, and will be read by people wherever you are walking – through stores, standing in line at a check out register, etc.  These don’t have to be fancy, just “to the point” so people reading them will know what they represent.  I saw one a few days ago that simply had a pair of glasses on it (the logo of the website) and the words “” — everybody knows to put the http:// in front and in this case I wrote it down just so I could go there and see what it was (and this will work the same way for you).  You can make enough of these shirts for you to wear, or perhaps some of your family might want a “free” shirt (they will be advertising your website when wearing it), or you always have the option of selling or giving them to customers as a free gift for placing an order.

As you think about these suggestions, I’m sure you’ll be coming up with additional ones that you can use.  Remember, advertising is a MUST for any business, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune!

The tips are just a few from our book, “Jumpstart Your Business With Proven Techniques and Strategies“!  Check out the book – read the table of contents – then see how YOU can get your business moving ahead.

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