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September 2017
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50% off Sewing Repair Books

Posted By on September 19, 2017


SewWithSarah is converting all of our “physical” books to downloadable ebook format, so the remaining print copies of Sewing Machine Repair For The Home Sewer, Serger Repair For The Home Sewer, and The Complete Guide To Treadle Sewing Machines books have been marked down 50% — regular price $24.95, now $12.48 – while they last!

Check your Christmas gift list for those who sew, quilt or craft – these books would be a perfect gift for them, and at a super price for you!  These would also be a great addition to your sewing room bookshelf.

HURRY – the 50% discount is good only for the last few physical print copies of the Sewing Machine Repair Book, Serger Repair Book, and Complete Guide To Treadle Machines book.  When these are gone, SewWithSarah will have the downloadable ebooks only.

While you’re in the sewing book shop, we have a huge bonus for you!  The Profitable Clothing Alteration Business manual is also discounted 50% — regular price $39.95 now $19.95.  We have only a few of the print books left at the 50% discount price.  When these last few print copies of Profitable Clothing Alteration Business manual are gone, the price will go back to $39.95 and will be a downloadable ebook.

Now is your chance to get print copies of our best selling books at a 50% discount – no promo code necessary!

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BERNINA Announces WeAllSew Sewing Room Photo Sweepstakes

Posted By on September 14, 2017

In celebration of National Sewing Month sewists can share sewing room photos; Grand Prize winner will receive a BERNINA 215 Simply Red sewing machine.



AURORA, IL–(Marketwired – Sep 12, 2017) – BERNINA of America, the world’s premier manufacturer of sewing, embroidery and quilting machines, is pleased to announce that in celebration of National Sewing month, its WeAllSew blog is offering the BERNINA Sewing Room Photo sweepstakes, a contest where sewists can share up to twelve photos of their sewing room. To enter, sewists upload photos on the WeAllSew Community section for a chance to win a BERNINA 215 Simply Red (B 215 Simply Red) sewing machine. Photos should include a description of the unique sewing spot. One Grand Prize winner will receive a B 215 Simply Red. The Second Prize winner will receive Tula Pink Scissors and the Third, an OLFA Ergonomic Rotary Cutter. The sweepstakes will end on September 30. Winners will be chosen by members of the BERNINA of America team and recognized in early October.  Read more…..

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This 10-Year-Old’s $2 Million Amazon Business Is Leaving Competitors In The Dust

Posted By on September 13, 2017


In fourth grade, Henry Burner came up with a terrific idea. His class had a trading-post unit–focusing on “whatever the frontier happened to be at the time we had a frontier,” he says–in which students would use beads to buy goods made by their classmates. Henry’s mother, Darcy, had some hand-operated button-making equipment, the result of three failed runs for a House seat. Henry says, “I proposed, ‘Let’s make some buttons,’ because I had fond memories of when I was really good at making buttons for my mom’s campaign.”

Most kids brought in baked goods and almost no one made durable items. Henry’s buttons–with messages like “I ❤ Minecraft” and “Fall City Elementary”–were a smash. “Almost every kid bought one, meaning I ended up with like half of all the beads in the entire school,” he says. He asked his mother if this might be a real way to make money, and with her support, he started to sell buttons at farmer’s markets.

Even then, he had a unique spin: He brought a battery-powered ink-jet printer along, and would produce custom buttons on the spot. He grossed about $1,000 that first summer. That led him to wonder how well he’d do outside the farmer’s market season, and he started to distribute to local businesses and online via Amazon.

Now, in a retail storefront about 45 minutes east of Seattle, in the small town of Carnation, Washington, you can walk into Buttonsmith and find a wide selection of refrigerator magnets, brightly printed lanyards, and those retractable reels commonly used to attach employee badges. But that’s mostly just for the locals and tourists, who drop by on their way to a nearby farm to pick pumpkins or strawberries.   Read more…

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The Truth About Dickeys/Mock Camisoles

Posted By on September 5, 2017

Mock camisoles and dickeys are very popular and can greatly expand your wardrobe. However, contrary to popular belief, mock camisoles are NOT “one size fits all”!  Consider a size 32” chest compared to a size 58” chest.  No way would the same mock camisole fit both!

Our mock camisole patterns come in two size ranges S-M-L-XL and 1X-2X-3X-4X-5X.  What size patterns do you use?  I’d say you probably need the same size in the mock camisoles as well.

Do you have some button down the front shirts that don’t fit like they used to, but you still want to wear them?  Good news!  Just button the lower 2 or 3 buttons, add a mock camisole and you’re ready to go!

Do you really like wrap tops or v-necks, but they show more than you’re comfortable showing?  Just add a mock camisole and problem solved!

Make mock camisoles out of wide lace, nylon or jersey fabrics.  Make them colorful or in solid colors to match your blouses and tops.  Make them for yourself or make them to sell!  Quick and easy to make and tons of potential customers want to buy them.

By using our S-M-L-XL or 1X-2X-3X-4X-5X patterns you will have mock camisoles that will fit you and all your customers perfectly.  Our Mock Camisole patterns are only $3.95 for each size range.  Depending on whether you’re sewing for yourself or for others, grab one size pattern OR both patterns.

Visit SewWithSarah and check out the mock camisole pattern and dozens of other patterns and pattern making classes!



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Easy Gym Bag Tutorial

Posted By on August 30, 2017

Those in the crafting business will love this post; however I believe the rest of us could use this information to help teach our children and grandchildren a little bit about sewing and crafting.  These quick and easy projects could easily be done by middle school age children, AND give them something they would be proud to use!  Now that school is starting, this Easy Gym Bag from outgrown jeans will be perfect!


Materials Needed:

Outgrown jeans or pants and thread to match

Cut the legs off the jeans at the crotch line.  Open the legs at the inside seam and cut one half of the bag from each leg, making the length of the bag a length of your choice.  The side seam of the jeans will be the middle of the front and back of the gym bag.

With right sides together sew up the sides and bottom.  Turn the top edge down an inch and stitch in place.  Run cording through the top where you turned the edge down to make a handle.

Iron on appliques can be added for extra decoration.
QUICK COIN PURSE – to use inside a girl’s gym bag!

Materials Needed:
1 10 x 12 or 9 x 12 piece of felt (your choice of color)
Felt scraps for trim
Co-ordinatinating color of yarn
1 snap

Cut a pattern for the coin purse 8″ high and 4″ wide.  Divide the lower two sections into 3″ segments, leaving the top 2″ for the flap.  Draw in the circular “top” of the flap.  Fold the lower third up to make the pocket.  Stitch around both sides with the yarn, then hand stitch around the top of the flap using the same yarn.  Fold the top flap down, then sew a snap closure on it.

If you’d like, you could braid several pieces of the yarn into a 12″-16″ length — stitch it to one side of the coin purse, and stitch the other end to the inside of the gym bag, so it will be handy to use whenever you use the gym bag.

For additional craft patterns, visit SewWithSarah and see what you would like to make next.

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Six Creative Marketing Techniques

Posted By on August 22, 2017

Home sewing / crafting entrepreneurs are always on the look-out for new ways to promote their products or services.  It makes no difference if your business is just a local one or an online venture, advertising is a MUST in order to keep our names in front of potential customers.

Some of the following ideas have been used by us for years, and I would hardly consider them “new”, but I’m amazed at the number of people who say “I would never have thought of that!”  Whether you choose one or a combination of the following ways to promote your business, the most successful methods can be incorporated into your year-round promotional strategies.

1.  MAKE “MINI-FLYERS” – One of my personal favorites are “mini-flyers” that contain advertising messages about your products or services.  Mini-Flyers are made 6 or 10 to a page (depending on what size you want them) and contain basic information such as a catchy phrase about your product or service, followed by “FREE information” or “FREE catalog”, a website address if you have one, and your name and address.  The “mini-flyers” can be made easily in Microsoft Publisher, or similar software, that can be saved and reprinted as needed, as in the following example:

We make our mini-flyers 10 to a page and use the Publisher format for Avery labels.  The mini-flyers can then be made on the labels or printed on regular paper to be cut apart and used.

The first thing to do with your mini-flyers that have been printed on regular paper is to put one in every bill you pay (electric bill, gas bill, newspaper bill, telephone bill, credit card bills, etc).  Remember that the clerks who open these envelopes must surely get bored with the job, and when they open your envelope and the mini-flyer falls out, you can be assured that it will be read.  It will probably also be passed around to others working in the same area.   The mini-flyers that are on labels can be stuck to every package you mail out – right next to the mailing label.  These will catch the eye of some of the postal employees along the way who will make a mental note of the website address, etc and perhaps check it out later.

2. REBATES.  Almost any business you can think of can benefit from giving rebates.  Rebates are usually associated with large purchases such as automobiles, computers, etc, but can easily be adapted to smaller businesses.  We’ve had great success with offering a “rebate” to customers who refer their friends to us.  When one of the customer’s friends makes a “first time purchase” from us, the customer receives a rebate certificate that can be used as a discount on their next purchase.

3.  GROUP RATES AND DISCOUNTS can be used by many businesses.  For example, a seamstress can contract with a community theater to do all of the alterations for an entire season, and give a 10% or 15% discount on alll the work.  School cheerleader alterations, repair work and sewing could be handled in the same way.

4.  HOLD FREE SEMINARS, workshops or lectures for people interested in your type of product or service.  If you’re in the crafts business, you could teach interested people how to make one or more of your craft items.  After the “mini-class” you could have a table of crafts, projects and/or books for sale.  Women’s clubs, sewing clubs or home extension clubs would be great places to start – they’re always looking for “program” ideas for their meetings.

5.  SUBMIT A PRODUCT, PATTERN OR YOUR WEBSITE to individual websites, such as this one, for “review”.  Naturally you’re not guaranteed that every site will do a review, but the ones that do will be putting your name and website name on the review, which will then be a permanent link to you, which could be read by potentially thousands or millions of people who may be interested in what you have to offer.  Remember, if you don’t ask (or submit your item) your answer is already a “no” — so do yourself a favor and do some submitting.

6.  MAGNETIC CAR SIGNS can be a wonderful way to increase your business.  For “local” sewing / craft businesses, be sure to do the sign with a catchy phrase about your business – “Cathy’s Quick Turn Around Alteration Service” and your phone number.  If you do the majority, or even a little, of your business online put your website address on the sign —   — and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the increased traffic to your site.  Also, don’t forget – if you’re taking a vacation, be sure your magnetic sign is on the car.  It’s amazing how many people along the travel route will see your sign and check out the website.

For additional information and books to help you get started in a business or push it forward faster, visit our “Business Book” shelf and see for yourself the many ways you can make additional money with your business/website.


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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 – “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.


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