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6 How-To Tips For The Sewer / Crafter

Posted By on May 16, 2016

Many times during the sewing / crafting process we seem to have our heads in the clouds as we fast forward through the current project.  Of course, most of us have been sewing or crafting for so long, we can just about do anything with our eyes shut.  Right?  Actually that’s where most of the problems begin — we no longer “think about” the minor things that can cause big sewing problems.  I’m going to outline just a few of the things that we take for granted, yet sometimes neglect to do.

** Always turn the hand wheel of your sewing machine toward you, never turn it away from you once the machine has been threaded.  Also never run a threaded sewing machine unless there is a piece of fabric under the presser foot; this is probably the easiest way to jam the machine, break needles and throw the machine out of timing!  To eliminate the possibility of a child doing damage to your machine, always unplug it after finishing for the day.

** When beginning or ending a seam, make sure the take-up lever is in its highest position.

** Be sure that the needle is in the center position when straight stitching.  Never straight stitch with the needle in the left or right positions (an exception to this is when using a zipper foot).

** 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.

** Back-stitching at the end of a line of machine stitching firmly fastens the end, but sometimes can cause puckering of the fabric.  To prevent this, hold the fabric taut as you continue to operate the machine, taking several stitches in the same spot in the fabric.  These several stitches will secure the thread, but use your own judgement in using this method, as you could cause damage to very fine lightweight fabrics.

** To protect your sewing machine while it is not in use, you should place a piece of fabric under the presser foot and lower the foot onto it.  Also, be sure to cover the machine, as any dust settling in and around the moving parts can cause sewing problems later on.

** Never oil your sewing machine without first cleaning it as well as you can, removing all the dust, lint, and pieces of thread from the bobbin area and throat plate area.

** There are three main points to be aware of each time the sewing machine is used:  1) Make sure the take-up lever is at its highest point when stitchine is started and when the work is being removed from the machine.  2)  Always drop the presser foot before changing the tension on the upper thread (if the presser foot is in the up position, you can turn the dial all day long, and the tension won’t change!)  3)  When winding the bobbin, always thread the lose end of the thread through the hole in the side of the bobbin.  If this loose thread end is held firmly, it will break off, leaving a smoothly wound supply of thread in your bobbin.

While most of these tips are no-brainers, it only takes a few minutes of carelessness to jam a machine, break a needle, and in the end cause a perfectly easy project to go haywire!

These hints are an excerpt from Sewing Machine Repair For The Home Sewer.  For complete information and instructions on keeping your sewing machine in tip top condition and out of the repair shop, you can check out the information at SewMachineRepair.com.   If you’re one that prefers the instant information via downloadable book, check it out at SewWithSarah.com.

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50% Off All Plus Size Kids Patterns

Posted By on May 12, 2016

We have GREAT news!!  We’re in the process of making all of our Plus Size Children patterns downloadable – to make them instantly available to everyone, whether you’re in the U.S., or around the world!!

During this transition period, we’re selling the remaining few of our Plus Size Children physical patterns at a huge 50% discounted price.  The price is normally $14.95, and while these last, we’re marking them down to $7.50 (no coupon code required).  When you get to SewWithSarah, just hover over “sewing patterns” to see all the Plus Size Children pattern categories.

Check out the following pattern categories:

Girls Blouses   Girls Skirts/Dresses    Girls Shorts/Slacks

Boys Patterns

Compare YOUR overweight / plus size boy/girl measurements to our size chart (below).  Our plus size kids patterns are all made according to REAL plus size children measurements, so in most cases the measurements of your 10 year old (example) would be right on, or very close to our size 10 size.  These patterns come in 3 size ranges:  4-5-6, 8-10-12 and 14-16.

PSCsizeChart

The above size chart came from a blouse pattern, thereby stating the amount of fabric needed — each pattern has the same sizes, with corresponding fabric requirements for that particular pattern style.

These patterns are going fast — and once the physical patterns are gone, you will have to wait for the downloadable patterns to be put online.  Remember, we’re giving you a 50% discount — no coupon code required while they last — no backorders.

NOTE:  Because of shipping costs, the  physical patterns are only available to customers within the U.S.

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What If Your 10 Year Old Has A 34″ Waist????

Posted By on May 3, 2016

My friend was getting frantic!  Her 10 year old son with a 34” waist wasn’t fitting into ANY type of pants.  Even a boys’ size 14-16 pants had only a 28” waist.

She bought him a pair of 34” waist MEN’S Levi jeans, thinking that would do the trick.  Look at how they fit this 10 year old…..

JacobsJeans1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I told her we could do a perfect fit for him using our Plus Size Children Pattern 6105 – boys jeans, and use the 8-10-12 size range.  The size 12 measurements were exactly what her son needed.  Check out how the Plus Size Children pattern fit…

JacobJeans2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In case it is your 10 year old daughter or granddaughter with the 34” waist, we also have plus size children girls’ jeans pattern that will fit her.

Additional Plus Size Children patterns are available including:

Plus Size Girls Blouses, Plus Size Girls Skirts/Dresses, Plus Size Girls long pants/shorts.

Overweight boys and girls want to have comfortable clothing that fits right and looks good on them.  Plus Size Children patterns were made specifically for the overweight children, using actual measurements from plus size children.

If you’re needing pattern paper for making patterns or altering patterns, my recommendation is the Pellon Easy Pattern 830 pattern paper.  Pellon Easy Pattern 830 is 45” wide and is even machine washable.

 

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4 Reasons to Sell Your Crafts on Etsy

Posted By on April 25, 2016

Craft fairs are a wonderful way to both market and sell your crafts—but some people simply do not have the time or the money to put up a booth at such fairs. More and more entrepreneurs are beginning to sell their items online. One website very popular among small businesses and hobbyists is Etsy.com.

Here are some reasons why, like other crafters, you too might want to sell your items on Etsy:

1) Etsy is a marketplace for all things handmade.

Unlike other online marketplaces, you won’t find mobile phones, DVDs or various retail items for sale on this website. Etsy.com is a website specifically for both buyers and sellers of handmade items, vintage items, and all sorts of craft supplies.

2) You are catering to your target market.

There’s no guarantee that you’ll make a sale on Etsy—but you can at least be assured that people who browse Etsy love crafts and all things handmade and vintage just as much as you do.

3) Buying and selling on Etsy is easy.

It only takes a few minutes to set up your Etsy shop. You can even choose to customize your online store with your profile and a banner image. Uploading your product descriptions and images are easy and will not take up a lot of time.

4) You are joining a community.

By choosing to sell your items on Etsy, you are not creating just another account, but are joining a community, as well. You can ask for feedback or suggestions from other knowledgeable sellers on the Etsy forums, or even collaborate with other people on Etsy whose style or products complement your style or items.

Similarly, purchasing items on Etsy is also easy. Prices of items appear in the buyer’s local currency, making shopping convenient, fun and quick. Thousands of people shop on Etsy on a daily basis because it is the go-to online marketplace for all things handmade. If you want to start selling your crafts on the Internet, Etsy is truly the best place to start.

The above information is an excerpt from our book “How To Sell Your Handmade Items” – this book is full of information on HOW and WHERE to sell your handmade items!  We have some wonderful places to sell your products that I’ll bet you’ve NEVER heard of — and they are some great places to sell!

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How To Do Skirt Alterations

Posted By on April 21, 2016

Improper fit and unsightly wrinkles detract from the appearance of a skirt.  Most adjustments are simple and it’s amazing how much better the skirt will hang.

When deciding on the length of a skirt, keep in mind the best length for YOUR figure and what you’ll feel comfortable wearing.  The current fashionable length may not be the best for you.

Protruding hips make wrinkles on the sides of the skirt front and the grain of the fabric becomes uneven (figure 1).  To correct, raise the front hipline edge of the skirt slightly and ease the extra fullness along the upper hip part of the side seam.

Figure 1

Altering A Skirt

Narrow buttocks cause wrinkles on the back of the skirt (figure 2).  To adjust, deepen the center back waistline curve as shown below.

Figure 2

Altering a skirt

High buttocks cause the back of the skirt to be raised, making side seams slant and the back hemline protrudes (figure 3).  To alter the skirt pattern, raise the center back waistline slightly and draw in the new curve.  Also, make the second back dart a little wider and add to the hipline edges of the skirt to allow for the extra width of the dart.

Figure 3

altering a skirt

Too much of a curve along the hipline causes wrinkles along the sides of the skirt (figure 4), so the hipline should be altered slightly as shown in the following diagram.

Figure 4

altering a skirt

In addition, protruding abdomens make the front of the skirt pull up and the hem move forward.  To allow for a large abdomen, raise the center front waistline of the skirt as necessary and add extra width along the hipline.

Many times it seems like there are too many alterations to make to a pattern, that you wonder if it’s worth the trouble.  Most times I’d say yes, take the time to do it right and get a good fit.  If you are one of those that nothing seems to fit right, I would like to invite you to try your hand at making your own skirt pattern!  You only need a few simple measurements and follow the step by step instructions and diagrams to get a perfect fitting skirt.  We have skirt pattern making classes available for plus size women, average size women and petite women.

If you don’t have pattern paper to make your own patterns, my favorite is Pellon East Pattern 830.  This pattern paper is non-woven, easy to write on and can even be machine washed and dried!

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5 Tips To Organize Your Fabric Stash / Sewing Room

Posted By on April 20, 2016

If you’re like me – can’t pass up super sales on fabric – and over time have drawers, boxes, bags and shelves full of all types of fabrics – there comes a time when all this stash needs to be organized!  Not long ago I did just that – organized my stash!  I started out by getting some clear plastic bins, like the ones pictured, then very methodically did the organizing.

Clear Plastic Containers

I divided up all my fabrics in the following manner:

1. Separated all lengths 1 yard or more

After separating the long lengths, I divided them by colors — greens in one container, blues in one container, reds/pinks in one container, and so on.  This makes it very easy to get to the correct color for your next project.

2.  All fat quarters in one bin.

Fat quarters are usually a variety of colors/shades, and in most cases the items I make from them are very colorful and I don’t stick to just one color or shade.

3. All scraps and less than a yard in one bin.

This is a big one for me, as I use tons of scraps for small projects.  This is also my go-to bin when my grandchildren are wanting to be creative and need some pieces of fabric!

4.  One bin for old outgrown or worn out jeans

This is also a big deal for us – never “throw away” a worn or outgrown pair of jeans!  We love making aprons from jeans, gym bags, jeans purses, and tons of other items.

5. Don’t throw away “used” zippers, buttons and trims.

This requires a smaller box, but if you’re throwing away torn clothing garments, ALWAYS take off the buttons, hooks and eyes, zippers and other trims that can be reused.  Keep these items together in a box.  There have been many times that I’ve found just the right buttons for something I was making, and of course when my grandchildren need buttons for eyes on that little animal they’re making, or lace to decorate a small pillow,  we always head for this box.

Once you get your stash organized, you’ll be ready for whatever project is next in line!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Make A Child’s Wardrobe From Your Old Clothes!

Posted By on April 13, 2016

Children like nothing better than to dress up in their parents’ clothes. Now you can put those old clothes that no longer fit you to good use by creating a whole new wardrobe for your child, and save yourself lots of money at the same time! Use the ideas and instructions in this revolutionary book to create girl’s dresses from men’s shirts, jumpers from slacks, cardigans from sweatshirts, dresses from skirts and knit shirts, jackets, skirts and hats from sweaters, hooded vests and backpacks from sweatshirts, and much, much more. Plus, once you get the hang of renovating your old clothes into new outfits, you’ll be able to create a multitude of styles and designs from your own ideas!  Make A Child’s Wardrobe From Your Old Clothes is a wonderful way to repurpose your old or outdated clothing.

Make a child's wardrobe from  your old clothes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page Topic
4 Introduction
5 Taking Your Child’s Measurements
7 Girl’s Dress From a Man’s Shirt
10 Girl’s Jumper From a Man’s Slacks
13 Child’s Cardigan From a Sweatshirt
16 Dress From a Wraparound Skirt
19 Girl’s Mini-Dress From a Knit Shirt
21 Jacket, Skirt and Hat From a Sweater
23 Sweatpants & Cardigan From Contrasting Sweatshirts
26 Girl’s Jumper From a Woman’s Dress
28 Boy’s or Girl’s Sweat Suit From Sweatshirts
31 Backpack From a Sweatshirt
33 Vest From a Sweatshirt with Optional Hood
35 Recommended Resources

Make A Child’s Wardrobe From Your Old Clothes is a super deal at only $12.95 — you’ll save that much or more on the first garment you make from your no-longer-needed clothing item.

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Quilting Solutions

Posted By on April 7, 2016

I love to quilt!  My grandmother taught me how to quilt, my daughter is a quilter and we’re teaching my granddaughters how to quilt.

As I was growing up I remember my grandmother spending her evenings handstitching quilts together.  Two of my favorites that she made (and that I’ve made for my children) are the Beautiful Butterfly Quilt and the BowTie Quilt.   My daughter’s favorite is one that she made while in college – her famous Patch “Puff” Quilt.  Wow – she could have started her own quilting business when her friends saw and felt that wonderful soft puffy quilt!

The important question is – what kind of  special quilting tools/supplies/notions do you use most?

I have my own little “quilting” corner where I keep all my quilting tools/supplies in one place (except my fabric scrap stash which is in another cabinet!).  These are the items I use ALL the time:

The Fiskars Rotary Cutting Set — this  one set includes a rotary cutter, 18″ x 24″ cutting mat and a 6″ x 24″ clear acrylic ruler

3-Piece square cut ruler set – this set has 3 different size squares – 6 1/2″, 4 1/2″ and 3 1/2″ – made of heavy acrylic, and is perfect for most of the quilting squares that I make.

Pyramid cutting ruler – I use this ruler for my quilting patterns that need a precise triangle measurement.  This ruler is designed to cut triangles from 1″ to 6″.

Quilting Glass Head Pins – I like the heads on these pins and, you guessed it — they STAY in my quilting “corner”, so they don’t get mixed in with my regular sewing pins.

Quilt Halo – free motion quilting tool – This tool is designed for free motion quilting, but it is also very useful for the free motion embroidery that I do to personalize items for the grandchildren.  Very useful tool!

I like to hear what YOUR favorite quilting items are, and let me know if you are also passing your quilting skills down to the next generation of quilters.

The above items are the specific quilting items that I use all the time,

 

 

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Where Do I Find Pattern Paper???

Posted By on February 18, 2016

This question has been asked of us a lot lately.  I have said previously that you can use old newspapers or cut paper grocery bags and spread them out to make the patterns.  Then, one day I was out of town at my cousin’s house working on a pattern for a member of the family.  Without any pattern paper handy, I tried what I’ve suggested – tried the newspapers — YIKES!  I could hardly tell where my lines were with all the newsprint.  So, we cut and taped together paper grocery bags – that was a little better, but took a bit of doing to get enough bags cut and taped RIGHT so I could make all the pattern pieces.  I’m here to tell you — as I told my cousin — the ONLY pattern paper I use, and now recommend it to everyone (don’t want anymore of you going through what happened at my cousins house)!  I use Pellon’s Easy Pattern 830 pattern paper.  It is 45″ wide and is even washable and dryable.  Once your pattern is made you can keep it forever as this pattern paper doesn’t tear!  Here is what it looks like:

Pellon Easy Pattern Paper

I love Pellon products, and figured I would answer everybody that has the “where do I find pattern paper?” question at the same time!

And while we’re on the subject of making patterns – you’ll also need a “curved” tool.  You can use a French Curve if you have one, but our Curved Ruler was made specifically for pattern making projects.

Happy sewing and pattern making!  I’m hoping these two items will make your projects much easier!

Posts may contain affiliate links.

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50% off ALL Business Books!

Posted By on February 9, 2016

Get your year (and finances) off to a great start!  You can start a new business or kick your current business into high gear with this big sale.  No coupon code required – all business books are already discounted.  Sale ends Friday, February 26.

Check out some or all of the following business books, load your cart and the downloadable books will be available immediately upon payment.

Each business manual has all the information you need to start that particular business.  If you or someone you know needs some extra cash, you’re at the right place to get started.

In the “Jumpstart Your Business” book, one chapter alone “Free Advertising…Yours For The Asking” (a case study) can give you $10,000+ worth of advertising for the price of a stamp and envelope. Follow our success strategy and be on the road to financial freedom!

If you are into crafts and make items that everyone would LOVE to have, the “How To Sell Your Handmade Items” will give you specifics on where you can sell them online – and I’ll bet we know some hot spots you haven’t heard of before!

This sale is only through Friday, Feb 26 – no coupon code required!

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