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Updated SewWithSarah

Posted By on July 20, 2015

We have done a little “adding” and “rearranging” of the top bar at SewWithSarah to make it a little more user friendly.  You will now see a category for “Pattern Making”, which is specifically for all of our pattern making and pattern changing classes.  You can see everything at a glance.

The second change is adding the drop down box and title “Sewing Patterns”,  which at this time includes our variety of craft patterns, as well as the following sewing pattern categories:

Plus Size Boys Patterns

Plus Size Girls Blouse Patterns

Plus Size Girls Nightwear Patterns

Plus Size Girls Shorts and Slacks Patterns

Plus Size Girls Skirts and Dress Patterns

NOTE:  Don’t forget all of the Plus Size children sewing patterns are now 60% off (reg. $14.95 – now $5.98), as we clear out the physical patterns to make room for downloadable plus size children patterns.  These are going fast, so if you or somebody you know sews for plus size, overweight or obese children, check out the patterns soon.

We will be adding some adult average size and adult plus size sewing patterns soon, so keep an eye out for them.

 

 

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Write an Informational Report For Your Customers

Posted By on July 15, 2015

Now why would you want to give your customers an informational handout when you can simply talk to them when they come in to your shop?

If you deal in wedding dresses, wouldn’t it be nice if you could give each customer a small booklet or leaflet explaining how to take care of the wedding dress, and how they can preserve it.  You can talk to the customer, but they’re probably so excited about the upcoming event that they won’t hear a word your’re saying, and if they DO hear it, they’ll forget what you said by the time they get home.  With the little leaflet you hand out to them, you’ll be helping them more than you can imagine.

If you work with silks or specialty fabrics, a “report” or sheet of paper telling how to wash the fabrics, how to dry them, how to remove stains, etc can really be a life saver for your customers.

It would only take a few minutes of your time to brainstorm and come up with some ideas that would be helpful for your customers, regardless of what field of sewing you’re in.  You can make one or two or even three different handout sheets to give to your customers, depending on what it is that you do for them.

Be sure to put your name, address, phone number and your website address either at the top or bottom of the sheet so they’ll know where they got it, and if they make copies to hand out to their friends, the friends will also know how to find you.

By the way, these informational sheets or reports can be added to your website as content for other readers who visit your site — you never know how much additional business you can get just because you’re making yourself an expert in your field, and the fact that you are willing to help your customers by giving out the helpful hints.

If you’re already doing this, we applaud you, and give you the “thumbs up” for excellent work.  If you’re not already doing these things, think about what YOU would like to receive if you were the customer.

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INVENTORY REDUCTION SALE

Posted By on July 13, 2015

Just in time for Back To School Sewing!  All Plus Size Children Sewing patterns now 60% off.  Regular price $14.95 – you pay only $5.98 per pattern.

We’re phasing out our entire stock of physical sewing patterns for plus size children to make room for downloadable patterns for plus size children.  Check out the many styles that are available.

Plus Size Boys Patterns - size ranges are 4-5-6, 8-10-12 and 14-16

Plus Size Girls Blouse Patterns – all patterns have size ranges 4-5-6, 8-10-12 and 14-16 — 6 different styles to choose from

Plus Size Girls Shorts And Slacks Patterns –  5 different styles to choose from

Plus Size Girls Skirt and Dress Patterns – 3 different styles to choose from

Plus Size Girls Nightwear Patterns – One style to choose from

You  can make an entire wardrobe of school clothes that will fit your plus size or overweight child perfectly.  Compare your childs’ measurements and age to the corresponding size on our patterns.  For example, our size 8 has Chest – 34″, waist – 30″, hip – 36″.  Is this similar to your plus size 8 year olds’ measurements?  Check out the various size range sizes to see how they compare to your 10 year old or 12 year old, etc.  Because all of our Plus Size Children patterns were made using ACTUAL plus size children measurements, I believe you’ll find that our patterns will fit your child.  You don’t have to “try” to get that size 16 pattern to fit your 8 year old plus size child!

The blouses and jumper dress have interchangeable sleeve, neckline and length options.  Skirts, shorts and pants have a variety of length options, so you can make a number of garments from the same pattern and have different styles for each.

Shop early and stock up – styles and sizes are limited.  No coupon code is required.  All plus size children patterns 60% off – you pay only $5.98 per pattern.  PLUS, we’re giving a FREE GIFT with every order.

This sale of physical patterns is exclusively for US residents – the downloadable patterns will be available worldwide.

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Giveaway’s – A Boost To Business

Posted By on July 8, 2015

One of the best business building techniques is to offer something of value for free to your customers.  We’ve all been to Sam’s Club or similar discount clubs or grocery stores where, on certain days, they have people fixing small pizzas, or a new type of meat, etc that they give samples of to the customers as they shop.  They really aren’t giving you a “free lunch” – they’re enticing you to try, then buy, their new products.

Your business, whether a sewing, alteration, crafting or sewing machine repair business can come up with ideas for something FREE for new customers, just for trying your services.  If you have an online presence, you need to come up with something free for those who might visit your site — free information of some sort, buy one – get one free, or something similar depending on what type of website you have.

At SewWithSarah.com, we have many FREE “introductory” classes.  For example, if have a basic dress or blouse that you simply love, but don’t want to make every garment the same, you can check out the free introductory “How To Change Necklines On A Commercial Pattern”.  This class gives information on not only how to change a single neckline, but also gives you “heads up” on the full blown neckline changing class that you can purchase.  Or, if you’re really tired of not being able to get store bought patterns to fit and you’d  like to try your hand at making your own patterns, you can try the free introductory class on how to make skirt patterns.  By utilizing the free “giveaway” introductory class, you can see how easy the steps are to follow, how well the skirt actually fits YOUR measurements, then you think “I can do this!”, so in most cases you’d want to go ahead and purchase the complete class.  There are many more free classes in our “tips and tutorials” section at SewWithSarah.

Do you see how the “free” giveway can help to build your business?  Spend some time thinking about what you might already have that you can rewrite or repackage into a free giveaway to potential customers.  If you’re in the sewing machine repair business, you could perhaps give away a spool of thread or seam ripper to new customers – some item that would be valuable to them, but not cost too much, as you would be buying them wholesale.  In addition, the customer you “gave” the spool of thread to might just ask if you have other thread available that she could buy because she “just ran out of white thread” and would have to make a special trip to the store to get more.   WOW!  You could just make an additional sale on top of the bill for repairing the sewing machine if you had a few extra spools of thread with you!

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Easy Tips For Efficient Sewing

Posted By on July 6, 2015

All of us in the sewing, alteration and crafting business know how valuable our time is, and that we really can’t afford to waste time on little things.  Once settled in to do some major sewing or crafting, we need to be able  to keep on the project with as few interruptions as possible.

Efficient sewing is really the name of the game when it comes to making the most of the available sewing time that we have.   Following are some things I’ve learned along the way.

* Clip the stitches from the beginning and end of each seam.  It you wait until the garment is finished, it becomes a major chore to go back and try to clip the loose threads.  And to just “let them go” makes a totally unprofessional look.  Be sure to have a waste basket handy or tape a small lunch bag to the side of your sewing machine table in which to toss the threads after clipping.

* Pressing the seams during the sewing process will produce a more professional looking garment, and will make 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.

* Sew as many seam lines as possible by finishing one seam, have another ready to sew in order to cut down on the loose thread ends.  By doing this you can simply clip the little stitch that’s between the two seams, move the previous pattern piece out of the way, and work on the next one in line.

* Clean the sewing area after each project.  With several projects on my table at the same time, it’s very easy for me just to start stacking things up – left over fabric, pattern pieces, etc.  I have a little sign behind my sewing machine which reads “a place for everything and everything in its place”.  The sewing room DOES look more inviting with everything organized rather than a messy, piled up area with just a “path” to the sewing machine.

What are some of the little things that you do to help keep your sewing time running smoothly and more efficiently?  We’d love to hear from you!

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$50+ Worth of Sewing Notions For $15.95 – Limited Quantity – Only 4 Left!

Posted By on July 6, 2015

Get more than $50 worth of name brand sewing notions for only $19.95 $15.95!  An assortment of top quality new, off the shelf, sewing notions that will be valued at over $50.  Examples of items that may be included are interfacing, machine and hand sewing needles, thread snips, pins, pin cushions, pattern paper, magnetic seam guides, elastic, bobbins, seam rippers, thread pullers, thread and much more!  Great for adding to your sewing notions stash, or super for someone learning how to sew.  Excellent for gift giving!  No two value packs are exactly the same.  Limited quantity.

There are only 4 value packs left, so “the early bird gets the worm” is certainly true for this giant sale of sewing notions and sewing supplies.

While you’re at the Sew With Sarah.com website, check out the other books, classes and informational articles available.

value_pack150

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Darts That Fit And Flatter

Posted By on July 1, 2015

Whether you’re sewing for yourself or for others, one of the most exasperating problems with darts on sewing patterns is to finally get the dress or blouse to fit right, but the dart ends up above the bustline or below the bustline.  We know it looks funny, with the dart not pointing TO the bustline, but rarely does the seamstress know what to do about it.  Whether you’re sewing plus size clothing, petite size clothing, or any size in between the same “dart” problems remain.

dart1

 

I have learned, with every new sewing customer, to measure their dart position, then measure the dart position on the pattern before anything ever gets cut out.  This practice has saved me a lot of grief many times, as the “problem” got corrected before it could become a real problem on the finished garment.

The following diagrams and instructions will help you get the dart position RIGHT on every future garment you make!

RAISING AND LOWERING AN EXISTING DART TO THE RIGHT POSITION ON YOUR PATTERN

 

FrDartClPix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A. To find the correct position of your dart, measure from the shoulder to the bust point and mark that distance on your pattern.  If this mark is above or below the dart on the pattern, you’ll have to move the dart.  (NOTE:  Begin the “shoulder” measurement on your pattern below the seam allowance — don’t include the seam allowance in the measurement).

B.  The easiest way to lower a dart is to measure the necessary distance and make a mark at the dart point and along the side seams.  Connect the new marks and the dart is moved – shown by dashed lines.

C.  In order to restore the shape of the side seam to its original position, tape tissue paper under the dart so it extends past the side seam as shown.  Fold and pin the dart as if it were sewn and cut the tissue paper that extends past the seam line, following the original seam line.  Remove the pins and you have your new seam line.

D.  The same method is used for raising a dart.  However, if you have to raise it quite a bit, you’ll need to angle the dart (E) so that the top line of the dart doesn’t come too close to the armhole.  When you angle the dart, you need to use the same dart width at the side seam as it previously had.  Fold and pin the dart and redraw your side seam (C).

Another challenge with commercial (store bought) patterns is that some of them have NO darts, and you feel more comfortable with darts in your blouses and dresses.  Or perhaps you’d like to change the position of the dart that’s on the pattern, and just don’t know quite how to do it, or even remove the dart from the pattern altogether.  the “Darts That Fit and Flatter” online clothing alteration and sewing class includes all the information mentioned plus much more.  The sewing instructions are easy to follow and the sewing tips that are included make this a much needed class for those whose business is sewing for others.  You can find the information at PatternsThatFitYou.com.

If you need extra help to get darts to fit because you are not quite the same as what patterns have allowed for, you can redo the darts with our Shape A Dart tool.

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Procrastination…..The Art Of Wasting Time

Posted By on June 24, 2015

WOW!  Did I push a “hot” button here????   How much time is actually “wasted” when we procrastinate?  And why do we procrastinate, anyway?

For many folks – me included – it’s just hard to get started on certain projects.  My focus isn’t just “right” or perhaps there’s the “dread” of starting something that appears to be difficult or a little out of the ordinary.  Here’s what I do …….  I’ll walk around, get a couple cups of water, maybe round up some clothes for the washer, maybe even pick up a few of the grandchildrens’ toys, check out the window to see if perhaps UPS has brought anything to the door and didn’t ring the doorbell.  Want to take a guess at how much time I’ve already “wasted” by doing my “procrastination dance”?  Don’t just sit there and smile – I know you’ve done it too!!  The “dance” may be a little different, but it’s still the procrastination that’s keeping us from moving forward.

Here’s what we’re gonna have to do —- how about if we work together on this!!

1.  GET STARTED

Sometimes the hardest part of a job (whether it’s cutting out an outfit to sew for somebody or tackle a stack or alterations or simply sit down to write an article to post on your website) is getting started.  I’ve found that if I get the fabric and pattern on the table, it seems to be easier to go from there.  Or, when I’m trying to get stuff together to work on a new pattern making class, just opening a new page in my word program and throw a title on the page is all it takes to get the ball rolling.  Do something, anything — just get the project started.

2.  DO THE MOST DIFFICULT  JOB FIRST

We all have numerous items on our “to do” lists, so I’ve found if I tackle the major one first, it just feels soooooo good to get it done and marked off.  Otherwise, I can spend all day doing the small tasks, and at the end of the day I’m right where I was at the beginning of the day — procrastinating on that big / difficult job.

3.  DON’T PANIC

Get yourself organized and ready to start that major project.  Be sure you have all the necessary items so you won’t be stuck half way through and have to make a trip to the store to purchase something in order to get it finished.  Once you’ve made sure you have everything you need, simply begin —- lay out the pattern on the fabric,  get the outline ready for the article you need to write — whatever the project is, you’re started now, so calmly get to work.

4.  TREAT YOURSELF

Hey! I’ll go along with this!!!  After I’ve worked my way through a huge project or two, I feel like I’m ENTITLED to a reward!  And you should be too.  A friend of mine likes to “reward” herself by taking an afternoon off and going to a movie.  I’m not really a “movie” person, and don’t feel like I want to take that much time, however I certainly don’t mind taking a break and catching up on some reading or doing a little surfing of the net to see what I can find.  Think about your reward, and work for it.  You’ll be glad you did!

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Children’s Sewing Cards On Sale – $4.95 per set!

Posted By on June 22, 2015

Children’s sewing cards have two distinct functions at our house!  First and foremost, they are laying the groundwork for teaching children to sew, which will result in a lifetime of pleasure and/or income for the children.  Secondly, they are wonderful for letting kids think they are “helping” me sew while I’m trying to do a little catch up work with the grandchildren here.  Now is the perfect time to stock up on sewing cards and give those “bored” kids something to do.  Each set contains 6 sewing cards designed to keep children “sewing” for hours!  Let them share their cards with siblings or even have a friend over to “sew”.  Now through June 30 you can get each set for just $4.95 each!  (Normal price is $7.95 each).

The children’s sewing cards come in a variety of shapes and categories, ranging from general items to specific things like cowboy cards, farm cards, circus cards, etc.   Sewing cards are simple to make –  just download the set you’d like, (white cardstock is the best to print them on), then, using a single hole puncher, punch all the black dots all around.  You can then use assorted colored pieces of yarn (about 18-24 inches long, or carpet thread, or old shoe strings) for the child to sew.  (You can put a self-adhesive clear laminating sheet on each one if you’d like)   Here are a couple samples from the E-Z Sew Sewing Cards website page.

Assorted E-Z Sew Sewing Cards                         Circus E-Z Sew Sewing Cards

There are six different sets and each one of them is sure to please the children!  The “sewing” aspect of these cards helps with hand / eye coordination with toddlers and young children,  and lets them think they are working as hard as the person who is actually trying to get a sewing or craft project done.

For the older children, you can start them on some hand sewing projects from the Learn How To Sew book, then move on to learning how to use the sewing machine.  The Learn How To Sew Book is on sale for $14.95 until June 30 – Regular price is $19.95).  This book is downloadable, so you’ll have it immediately to start working with!

learnToSew

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Buttonholes For Profit

Posted By on June 17, 2015

With the economy as it is, many people are now wanting to learn how to sew in order to cut expenses, as well as wanting to learn how to do alterations so they can “keep” their current wardrobe as long as possible.

As an experienced seamstress, there can be a lot of profit for YOU because of the growing trend of increasing numbers of home sewers.

Those who are “learning” how to sew would gladly come to those of us who already know how to sew for instruction.  You can easily hold sewing classes in your home or in a community center for those who want to learn, and earn extra cash for yourself.

The next idea is this — those individuals who are learning how to sew will NOT be an expert in making buttonholes.  In fact they may try their best to stay away from any type of garment that takes buttons (or even zippers).  YOU could make the buttonholes for those “new” sewers and they would be able to finish the rest of the garment.

Take a picture of several types of buttonholes and make a flyer describing them, and what you would charge for making them, then put the flyers up at local fabric stores, at the post office, laundramat, and other places that allow flyers to be placed on their walls.   Let your friends know what you’re doing – maybe even get a few inexpensive business cards made to pass out.

Buttonholes are the most intimidating part of sewing, and I know for a fact that when I  talk to people, they all say that when they were just learning how to sew they would GLADLY have paid someone to just do the buttonholes!

As we’ve mentioned before, the possibility of increasing business for your shop is there, we just all have to think a little bit in order to come up with those ideas of HOW to increase the business.

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