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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.

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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!

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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.
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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 SewWithSarah.com.  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.

SAVE 40% ON ALTERING STORE BOUGHT PATTERNS FOR HARD TO FIT CHILDREN –Valid through 10/15/2014.  Use promo code GOODFIT.

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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.

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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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Seamstresses and Alterationists – Bring Out Your Scraps!!

Posted By on September 11, 2014

We’ve talked about fabric scraps previously and the need to save them and categorize them for easy access.  Today, we’re going to talk about two craft items that can be made out of your scraps — to be used by yourself, given as gifts, taken to a craft fair or put on ebay.  Anyway you look at it, scraps equal dollars!!!

Scrap Tote Bag –
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The scrap tote bag is very quick and easy to make! Cut scraps of fabric into squares and strips, as shown in the picture, and sew them into two 12” x 16” pieces. The scrap pieces don’t have to be the same length or width – just use assorted pieces to sew together.

Cut two 12” x 16” pieces of lining fabric to use as backing for the tote bag.

Make handles out of another piece of scrap fabric, cutting the handle pieces 2” wide and 18” long. With right sides together, sew each handle. Turn the handles right side out with a loop turner and press.

Match the lining pieces to the “tote” pieces having the right sides together. Position the handles into this top section, placing the handles between the tote piece and the lining fabric. Sew the top edge of each of the sets, and turn so the right sides of the tote are on the outside and the handles are in place. Topstitch along the top to keep the handles from pulling, when you use the tote bag.

Put tote bag pieces together with right sides together and sew the side seams and bottom seam. Turn inside out to complete the scrap tote bag.

The tote bag can be used to take to the beach, as a shoe carrier or knitting bag – you name it – this is a very versatile tote bag that can be made for gifts or to sell at flea markets.

Scrap Doll Quilt –

ScrapDollQuiltFor the scrap doll quilt you can use 5″ squares of assorted colored fabrics.  Sew the squares together – 3 per row, and 7 rows long.  You can either make a backing of squares as well, or use a solid color for the backing.  Sew the front piece to the back with right sides together, leaving one end open.  Turn the quilt inside out and hand stitch the open end.  To complete the quilt you can “tie” it with heavy thread or yarn at the corners as illustrated in the diagram.

For additional ideas using small pieces of fabric, visit Patterns2Go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SewWithSarah.com is Celebrating a New Look

Posted By on August 21, 2014

Help celebrate the brand new look at the SewWithSarah.com website and take 25% off any order through August 30th with promo code NEWLOOK http://sewwithsarah.com/

We specialize in patterns and pattern making classes for men, women, and children who are extra tall, short, heavy, thin or just hard to fit with regular patterns

 

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

Posted By on August 14, 2014

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

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Why use Shape-A-Dart? 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. Shape-A-Dart 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 Sarah’s Sewing Supplies.

 

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Variations Of Thread

Posted By on August 11, 2014

Thread, in all its variations of color, weight, fiber and twist, has but two ideal destinies — it should end up as the unobtrusive way to hold something else together, or it should become the conspicuous, decorative, highly visible feature of something else.  Those two extremes, with no middle-ground role, are what all the variations are all about.

When thread fails in its first role, if it fails to hold something together or if it shows when it shouldn’t, it all boils down to a lack of attention to detail on the part of the seamstress.  Hundreds of shades of colors are offered in order that a shade can be selected which will best blend with, and disappear into, the fabric – specifically, a thread one shade darker than the fabric or than the fabric’s main color.  For plaids and other designs, the trick of using a second color for the bobbin may further the goal of blending.  Transparent thread can come in handy for the impossible-to-match fabrics.

In addition to color compatibility, the thread’s weight and fiber should relate to fabric.  Polyester threads, good for all natural and man-made fabrics, are essential for knit, stretch and permanent press materials and come in 100% polyester or in polyester core, wrapped with cotton.  Mercerized cotton threads (treated with caustic soda to add strength, smoothness, luster and affinity for dyeing) are suitable for light-to-medium weight, natural-fiber fabrics.  Special purposes require special threads:  heavy duty for coating, slip-covers, draperies; top cord for canvas, awning cloth, duck; quilting for heavy thicknesses; button and carpet for buttons, carpets, upholstery; silk for silk and wool fabrics; silk buttonhole twist for hand-worked buttonholes, sewing on buttons, thread loops, machine gathering (in the bobbin only).

Silk buttonhole thread is a recommended thread for the opposite purpose — the conspicuous one — and can be used for the upper thread.  Or two threads of polyester can be used in the upper needle.  This use of thread showing, is undoubtedly as inexpensive a way as possible to glorify many a sewing project.  From the traditional double-row orange stitches on jeans, to red-and-blue stitches on a mini-skirted tennis dress, to self-color stitches on a tailored suite, displaying thread is a thrifty designer’s master stroke.

For either extreme intention, hidden stitches or flaunted ones, never settle for less than finding the right needle (the finest size the fabric and thread will take), proper tension adjustment and correct stitch length (the longest which will still look good).

See additional information from a previous SewingBusiness.com post entitled “Are You Using The Right Thread?”  Be sure to pay attention to detail when it comes to the thread in any sewing project — you’ll be happy you did, and the results will show your efforts.

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A Small Gift Can Make A Big Difference

Posted By on August 8, 2014

A small gift to a valued customer wouldn’t really sound like advertising, however it can have the same effect as advertising with much to gain for the business owner.

Effective advertising (gift giving) creates awareness and maintains a positive image of your business.  No customer is likely to forget where she was given special status, and will probably tell her friends about her “special” gift.  The gifts don’t have to be expensive ones – the monetary value of the gift is not important.  What is important is that you’re giving away something of value, and it is the act of giving that really counts.

Listed here are some ideas for your “gifts” – things that are usable by the customer and promote your business at the same time.

** Make a copy of a “fabric conversion chart”,  put your business name/address/phone number along the bottom, laminate it with self-adhesive laminating sheets (available at any office supply company), then fold it so it will fit into a small felt “pouch” (that you will also make), so it will fit into your customers’ purse as a handy reference the next time she goes fabric shopping.

** Check a novelty company to get pocket make-up mirrors with your name and address on the back.  The customer will keep this in her purse, so your company information will never be far from her.

** The same novelty company should also be able to provide you with key chains that you can put your logo on.  In this instance, just the logo would be best so the customer will actually use it and not just throw it in a drawer when she gets home.  The logo will be reminder enough that it came from you.

** Sun visors with a logo in the summer would make great gifts.  Again, just the logo will be fine, as a visor with your name plastered in bold capital letters will probably be put in a corner and not used.

** One of my very favorites that I got as a free gift is a calendar – 8 1/2 x 11 in size — across the top it says “Every day is a gift, that’s why it’s called THE PRESENT”, then it has all the months arranged around the outside with a small box right in the middle with the name of the company, address, phone number and website.  It was also laminated, so that one got stuck on my refrigerator.  WOW!  How many of YOUR customers could use something like that as a little Christmas gift this year — most computers have some kind of calendar making software that you could use and be able to print out a dozen or two to give away.  Think of all the people who will be seeing YOUR name on your customers’ refrigerator for the entire 2015 year!

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