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Cyber Sale on DIY Tissue Box Cover Pattern

Posted By on November 19, 2018

Tissue box covers make an excellent gift for just about anyone!  During our CYBER WEEK SALE we’re giving you a 15% discount on our newest pattern – covers for tissue boxes!  No coupon code is necessary – prices are already marked down.

The DIY Tissue Box Cover pattern has full size pattern pieces for all three tissue box sizes – large rectangle, short rectangle and square.

Tissue box covers can be made out of remnant fabrics, so dig into your scrap box and start creating some great Kleenex box covers.  You can make sports related tissue box covers, patriotic covers, favorite pet fabric covers (these are a HUGE success!), nursery room tissue box covers, and that’s only a beginning.

For all those that do sewing and alterations and have a customer waiting area, I would suggest you make some fall, Thanksgiving and Christmas fabric tissue box covers – put them in your customer area, with price tags, and be ready to sell a lot of them.

If you’d like to see some that I have available already made up, check out my store at Etsy.com – I have some fancy Lace Tissue Box Covers and a wide variety of Fabric Kleenex Box Covers.

Regular price for the Tissue Box Cover Pattern is $4.95, but your price during this sale is $4.21.  Download your pattern today and make some winter / Christmas tissue box covers to give to co-workers, friends and relatives – don’t forget to dress up your house this Holiday Season with one in every room!

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Super Sale On Coupon Clutch Coupon Binder Covers

Posted By on November 6, 2018

Is your coupon clutch wearing out?  Do you have friends that would really like to have one?  Now is your opportunity to get one of our fabric 3-ring binder covers on sale, PLUS get FREE shipping!

Check out the fabric binder covers at our Etsy store.  Let your friends know where to get one, or you can get it for them as a gift.  There are 2” fabric binder covers and 3” fabric binder covers available.

There are many styles to choose from, however some have a limited number available.

This sale won’t last long, so don’t wait.  NOTE: This sale and free shipping is only available to our U.S. customers.

 

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How To Sew Synthetic Leather

Posted By on October 30, 2018

Vinyl leathers are quite fashionable and may be found in all fabric departments.  These simulated leathers have a grained-leather appearance and are backed with cotton knit, which gives some stretch to the fabric.  They actually have the look and feel of genuine leather, are washable and easy to care for.  Do not dry clean vinyl.

Choose a pattern with simple lines.  Raglan or kimono sleeves are the easiest to work with.  Topstitching and self facings can be used if the vinyl is light-weight.  Jacket and coat fronts and collars may be interfaced with light-weight interfacing.  Carefully alter and fit the pattern before cutting and stitching.  Stitching, when removed, leaves marks.  Linings are optional, but add to appearance of the garment and to wearing comfort.  Be sure to choose a washable lining.

It is best to keep the synthetic leather fabric rolled until ready to cut.  Fold right sides out when cutting double layers.  Pins leave holes so only use in seam allowances.  The pattern pieces may be weighted or taped down while cutting.

For marking, use chalk or pencil.  Use paper clips or tape to hold the seam edges.  Include a woven seam binding in the seams that stretch easily, such as waist or sleeve seams.  Use a medium-long stitch, 8-10 stitches per inch.  Small stitches tend to cause vinyl to tear.  Be sure to test a scrap first.  Topstitching can be used on lightweight vinyls, 6-8 stitches per inch.  Use a sharp, medium needle, size 14.  Mercerized cotton or dacron and cotton thread should be used.  For decorative stitching, use buttonhole twist.  Use a piece of tissue paper between the vinyl and metal surface of the presser foot or throat plate to prevent the vinyl from sticking.

Darts should be tapered to a point and slashed, then finger-pressed open.  The last few stitches of the dart should be on the fold.  Do not backstitch the darts.  Each side of the dart can be topstitched if desired, or press the dart to one side and topstitch through all thicknesses.

Seam edges can be held open with a fabric glue, or when underlining is used, held down with overcast stitches caught to the underlining.

To make a topstitched seam, finger-press the seam allowance to one side of the garment, stitch 1/8 inch in from the seam line, through the seam allowance.  For a double topstitched seam, finger-press the seam open and topstitch on each side of the seam line.  Use a welt seam if desired.

Try grosgrain ribbon for the waist-band to prevent stretching and bulkiness.  On skirts that do not have a waistband, use a firm interfacing for inside facing rather than vinyl.

Bound buttonholes are easily made on vinyl fabric.  Machine made buttonholes have a tendency to stretch, so a firm interfacing must be used.

Turn the hem at the desired length and machine stitch 1/4″ from the raw edge. Hems may be glued or hand stitched by catching one or two threads in the knit backing.  Be  careful and do not pull the stitching too tight.

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BIG SALE on Lace And Trims in Our Etsy Store!

Posted By on October 23, 2018

 

We’ve lowered the prices on all lace and trims in stock in our SewWithSarah Etsy store!  We’re waiting on new arrivals, but want to give our loyal customers first priority on the lace and trims we currently have on hand (the prices marked are the new low prices).

There are lingerie laces that can be used for our popular “Custom Fit Boy Leg Panties”, lace and trims for headbands, hair ties, blouse and dress trims and much more!

Included in this BIG lace and trim sale are 9 1/2″ wide beige embroidered polyester lace, 4″ wide Gallahad Red stretch lace that, like the 9 1/2″ lace, is scalloped on both sides.  There is also 1 1/2″ wide lace, 3/8″ trims and ribbons.  Some are “end of roll” lengths, so they won’t last long!

Hurry on over to our Etsy Store and get in on the huge sale.  NOTE:  Shipping is FREE on all lace and trim orders (shipped only to U. S. customers).

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Motivation Equals Momentum

Posted By on October 4, 2018

A few posts ago we talked about how to stay motivated, and how easy it is for others, including family members and friends to rob us of our motivation.  Today we want to talk about how staying motivated can be the deciding factor in the momentum of your business.

For starters, make a little sign “Motivation Equals Momentum” and put it in your sewing room, on your refrigerator, on your computer or wherever else you can see it several times a day.

The momentum of your business (how your business is growing) is determined upon your motivation and your “stick to it” attitude.

Over the past years we’ve seen many home businesses fail and fold because the owners liked the “free time” better than working their business, and of course the business failed to grow — it simply withered and died.

On the other hand, we’ve also seen home business entrepreneurs that have had nothing but a string of bad luck and misfortune come upon them – financial difficulties, family issues, health issues – that would have closed most people down, but somehow they gritted their teeth, dug in and worked around the adversities, and have very successful businesses that are still around.

The amount of motivation and determination YOU have will set the stage for the success of your home business. There is another quotation that I have on my wall that you might want to consider putting on your wall as well —- “Faith, Focus and Follow-through = Success!”

Now is the PERFECT time to put that “Motivation Equals Momentum” thought in gear as you get ready to start up for the Holiday Season!!  Do you have some new ideas for patterns or projects or items to sell?  Go to work NOW to get those things going!  Let us all work hard to make this the best Holiday Season ever!

I’m sure many of you have stories about adversity, and how you’ve worked your way through it.  Let us know how you’ve managed to keep the momentum going in your business, in spite of difficulties — we’d love to hear from you.

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How To Make Jean Purses

Posted By on September 25, 2018


Jean purses are very easy and extremely inexpensive to make.  The next time you’re at a yard sale or flea market, look for some children’s or even adult size jeans.  You can probably get a bunch for a quarter or fifty cents each — make them into a variety of jean purse styles and you can then get a booth at a craft fair, sell them to co-workers, give them as gifts or stick them on ebay to sell.  I’m here to tell you there is MONEY to be made with jean purses.

Here’s how to make some different variations – we know you don’t want to make just one style!

Cut the legs off the jeans at the crotch line.  (You’ll notice that these jeans have a little decoration on the back pockets already, so we’re going to be using them for the fancy bedazzled purse – no fair looking ahead!)

After cutting off the legs, lay one of the legs out and measure a 3″ x 17″ strip.  This will be used for the purse handle.  NOTE:  You can make the handle longer or shorter, depending on the length you’d like.  Fold the strip in half with right sides together.  Sew a 1/2″ seam the entire length.  Turn right side out and press with the seam in the center.

NOW is the time to do any bedazzling or attachment of beads, studs or embroidery work on the top jeans section, if you’re going to be adding rhinestones, studs, etc.

Turn the top portion inside out as shown above.  Position the pockets away from where the sewing line will be, as indicated.  Pin the bottom opening then make a 1/2″ seam along the bottom.  Zig Zag along the seam edge, or serge the edge, so it won’t ravel.

Turn the purse right side out.  Pin the handle to the sides and stitch in place.  Use a velcro coin or two along the inside of the top opening for a closure.  Add ruffles to the bottom or handle, or fray the edges of both.  I’m sure you’ll come up with more styles once you get started and let your imagination go!

For additional fun projects and free tutorials, visit http://SewWithSarah.com.  You’ll find categories for craft patterns, pattern making classes, pattern make-over tutorials and sewing patterns for women and men, plus size boys and girls, plus much more.

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Adding Profit To Your Sewing And Crafts

Posted By on September 18, 2018

Many times it is difficult to determine the actual costs involved in making craft or sewing items.  For example, if you’re using your scraps to make aprons, beach bags, purses or toys, how would you figure the cost of the item, and therefore how much to charge for the completed item.

An easy way to “estimate” the cost of fabric used would be to determine how much total fabric is used for the project.  If you’re using left over print fabric, scraps of solid colors of fabric, and add larger pieces of muslin or interfacing material, a general rule would be to perhaps figure you’ve used a total of 1/2 a yard or 1 yard combined of all the pieces – whatever you figure you have used.  Then for a cost of the fabrics I’d use an average of what most of the fabrics would have cost me at the fabric store — perhaps $4.75 per yard, give or take, depending on what types of fabric you’re using.  You can get a good estimate of costs per project, but don’t forget your time that’s been spent because that is also part of the total cost.

Some good hints that I’ve seen on insuring that your sewing items or craft projects will be the type that people will want to buy are as follows:

** Use good materials.  Never use those “end pieces” that perhaps have little snags or holes in them and try to hide the imperfections in the seams.

** Wash your hands frequently to keep your products fresh and clean.

** Learn to make your products easily, quickly AND skillfully.  If you can get skillful enough to make an item in half an hour instead of taking an hour that it previously took, you can readily see that you can double your production and therefore double up on the profits.

** Your products must be practical as well as attractive.

** Your product must bear the stamp of your personality to be distinctive.  Don’t depend on someone else’s ideas – use your own initiative.

** Be professional — on the phone, at the craft shows and in your own home if customers come into your home for service and purchases.

If you have additional ways that you use to figure your cost of sewing or craft items, please pass them along to us and we’ll get them posted for our readers.    How to price sewing and craft items is always one of the biggest questions we hear, so anything you can pass along to help our readers would be appreciated.

If you’re wanting to find additional craft items to make, check out the many craft patterns at SewWithSarah.com.

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Tips For Sewing Specialty Fabrics

Posted By on September 11, 2018

Sometimes when we “get on a roll” with the sewing projects we’re doing, it is so easy to simply sew everything using the same type of thread, and not even think about changing the needle when changing fabrics.  We’ve collected a variety of tips that we all need to think about before changing from one fabric type to another.   Other tips help with purchasing specialty fabrics, cutting the fabrics, storing the fabric or completed garment.  There are many variables when working with those specialty fabrics.  Here are a few things to think about:

** On some fabrics it is almost impossible to tell the right side from the wrong side.  Here are a couple pointers:

A. On tricot or a sweater knit, if you pull on the crosswise “grain”, the fabric will curl to the right side.

B. On double knits, look for the small selvage holes.  They will appear to be “pushed in” on the right side.

** And speaking of fabric “curling”, single knits and tricot have a tendency to curl at the edges and make sewing difficult.  Try spray starch along the edges – the seams will lay flat for stitching.

** After you’ve cut out a garment from your specialty fabric, make a couple of 8″ squares of the fabric that you can use later to test fusible interfacings on, to test thread colors, or to test stitch length if you’re doing any topstitching.  Also use it to make a sample buttonhole if you’ll be needing buttonholes, to check what they will look like before making one on the actual garment.

** In some types of fabric, such as chiffon, you may find the needle will drag the fabric down into the needle hole when you begin to sew.  Make sure you are using a fine needle, have the tensions set properly, and if the problem still exists, place a piece of gummed tape over the needle hole in the throat plate of the machine.  The tape will prevent the fabric from being “pulled” down, and can be removed easily later.

** The advantages of using silk thread for sewing “drycleanable” fabrics include its strength, elasticity, smooth finish and freedom from tangling.  The strength and elasticity makes for longer wear and less popping of seams at points of strain.

** When cutting any type of knit fabric, never let it hang down off the table, as that may stretch it and change the size.

** Some silks are washable – to be sure, take a small square or corner of the fabric and cover it with a damp cotton cloth.  Press the cotton cloth with a hot iron for a few seconds.  If any color shows on the cotton, the garment should be taken to the dry cleaners.  If no color shows, the best way to wash silk is in warm water, by hand, using a mild soap.

** Use extra fine pins for pinning silks – “silk” pins are too coarse for silk.

** When storing sheer or knitted silk, store it flat.  If you must hang a silk garment, pad it well with tissue paper and cover it with muslin or other cloth.

** Speaking of silk – if you let your silk garments air dry, they may turn yellow.

** Be very careful if using steam on silk – you may end up with water spots on the garment.

The above tips are an excerpt from the book 500 Kwik and Easy Sewing Tips.  This book contains so many tips, you’ll find yourself  “bookmarking” every page.  And at the super $9.95 price, this may be the most used book in your sewing library!

 

 

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Are You Using The Right Thread?

Posted By on September 4, 2018

All of us that are in the sewing, clothing alteration or crafts businesses can get a little “lazy” sometimes and neglect some of the basic rules of sewing, such as changing our sewing machine needles, or making sure we’re using the right thread for the project at hand.

Thread type is chosen for its compatibility with the fabric’s structure and fiber content as well as the type of project being worked on.

There are many types of threads – carpet thread, darning thread, embroidery thread, crochet thread, basting thread, and buttonhole twist as examples. This post will deal only with the threads that are primarily used with most projects done on a sewing machine.

The following chart shows various types of sewing thread and their usage. Where size numbers apply, the higher the number, the finer the thread – the median size is 50. Where letters indicate the size, A is fine and D is heavy.

GENERAL PURPOSE THREADS

COTTON: A medium thickness (size 50) is available in a wide range of colors, and is used for sewing on light and medium weight cottons, rayons and linens. Cotton thread is usually mercerized, a finishing process that makes it smooth and lustrous, also helping it to take dye better. The lack of “give” in cotton thread makes it an unwise choice for knits or other stretchy fabrics, as the stitches will tend to pop.

SILK: A fine (size A) strong thread for sewing on silk and wool. Its fineness makes it ideal for basting all fabric types, as it does not leave holes from stitching or imprints after pressing. Because of its elasticity, silk is also suitable for sewing any type of knit. Silk thread is recommended for tailoring because it can be molded along with the fabric in shaped areas.

NYLON: A fine (size A) strong thread for sewing light to medium weight synthetics. This is especially suited to nylon tricot.

POLYESTER: An all-purpose weight (approximately size 50) is suitable for sewing on most fabrics, but particularly recommended for woven synthetics; also for knits and other stretch fabrics of any fiber. Most polyester threads have a wax or silicone finish to help them slip through the fabric with a minimum of friction.

COTTON-WRAPPED POLYESTER: An all-purpose weight (approximately size 50) for sewing on knits or wovens of synthetic or natural fibers or blends. The polyester core gives this type of thread strength and elasticity, the cotton wrapping gives it a tough, heat resistant surface.

HEAVY DUTY THREADS

COTTON; POLYESTER; COTTON-WRAPPED POLYESTER: These are coarse threads (approximately size 40) used where extra strength is required for sewing of heavy vinyl, coating or upholstery fabrics.

Regardless of the project you will be working on, it is very important to purchase a good quality thread. The “5 spools of thread for a buck” is not a bargain. The fibers of the “bargain” thread splits easily while you’re sewing and can cause knotting of the thread, breakage of the thread and can also cause a build-up of lint in the bobbin area and along the thread line from the spool to the needle. If you hold a length of the bargain thread up to a light you can readily see the frayed edges and roughness of the thread.

When buying thread for your project it is recommended that you select thread one shade darker than the fabric in order for it to blend in harmoniously. If the fabric is a plaid or multi-color print, select that color that is most dominant.

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Are You Using The Right Sewing Machine Needle?

Posted By on August 28, 2018

As we get caught up in trying to get sewing projects completed and move on to the next one in the limited time available it is so very easy just to jump from project to project without giving any thought to whether or not we have the right needle in the sewing machine.

It can be a costly mistake to simply use the same needle for everything you sew until it breaks.  The size of the needle you use depends upon the size of the fabric yarns in the fabric.  The finer the yarns, the finer the needle needs to be.  In general, a needle should be fine enough to penetrate the fabric without marring it, yet have a large enough eye that the thread does not fray or break during the sewing process.

Needle types related to fabric structure are sharp point (regular) for woven fabrics, ball point for knits, and wedge point for leather and vinyl.

The REGULAR SHARP POINT NEEDLE is ideal for all woven fabrics because it helps to produce an even stitch and causes a minimum of fabric puckering.  This needle is not recommended for knits, as it has a tendency to “cut” yarns and cause skipped stitches.  This needle comes in a wide range of sizes from the finest size 9 to a
heavy size 18.

The BALL POINT NEEDLE is specifically designed for knit and elastic fabrics and has a “rounded” point rather than a sharp point.  This needle pushes between the fabric yarns rather than “cutting through”
the yarns.  This needle comes in sizes 9 to 16 and the larger the needle size, the more “rounded” the needle point is.

The WEDGE POINT NEEDLE, which is designed for leather and vinyl, easily pierces these fabrics to make a hole that will close back upon itself.  This eliminates unattractive holes in the garment, and also reduces the risk of the stitches tearing the fabric.  The wedge point needle comes in sizes 11 to 18.  The size 11 needle is designed for soft pliable leathers,while size 18 is designed for heavy or multiple layers of leather or vinyl.

In addition to choosing the right TYPE of needle, it is also important to know the proper needle SIZE for the type of fabric being used.  As a general rule you can utilize the following fabric category/needle size information when choosing the needle for your next project.

DELICATE fabrics such as silk, chiffon, voile, fine lace and organdy would need a fine “size 9” needle.

LIGHTWEIGHT fabrics such as synthetic sheers, batiste, taffeta, velvet, stretch fabric, tricot and plastic film would need a “size 11” needle.

MEDIUM WEIGHT fabrics such as gingham, poplin, linen, muslin, chambray, wool crepe, flannel, knits, jersey, wool, chintz, satin, raw silk, wool suiting, stretch fabric and drapery fabrics would need a “size 14” needle.

MEDIUM-HEAVY fabrics such as sail cloth, gabardine, heavy suiting, tweed and heavy drapery fabrics would need a “size 16” needle.

HEAVY fabrics such as denim, overcoatings, ticking, upholstery and canvas fabrics would need a “size 18” needle.

One final needle pointer is always replace dull, bent or nicked needles.  If you hit a pin, you should immediately change the needle.  A bent needle, even if only “slightly” bent or nicked can cause skipped stitches and can easily cause damage to your fabric by tearing the fabric yarns.

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