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May 2018
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Easy To Make Pockets

Posted By on February 20, 2018

Pockets can easily be added to most of the garments you make, regardless of whether or not the original pattern has pockets, or you can add patch pockets to purses, tote bags, beach bags – whatever you’d like.

Many variations, kinds, and sizes can be made, once you know the basics of how to make pockets.  Today,  we’ll cover one of the most basic of all – the Patch Pocket.


For a professional looking patch pocket all edges must be true and even.  The best way to accomplish this is to make a pattern for the pocket.  After cutting the pocket out, cut two or three small notches along the rounded corners of the pocket so the seam will lie flat (Figure 1).  Turn and press all edges of the pocket and baste if necessary (Figure 2).

In order to get the right angles folded under on a pocket, you could make a cardboard pattern the “actual” pocket size (Figure 3).  Place the cardboard pocket pattern on top of the pocket piece and press the seam allowances over the cardboard edge.  You can leave the pocket plain or add a decorative trim to the top of the pocket by sewing four or five rows of stitching (Figure 4), or by adding seam binding to the top edge after it is turned, but before attaching it to the garment or bag.

To attach the pocket to the garment you can stitch close to the edge or up to 1/4″ away from the outside edges, whichever you would prefer.

The second pocket we’ll cover is an easy and quick way to make a side pocket for skirts, dresses, pants or shorts.

Normally, those patterns that have side pockets will have you cut out the pocket separately and attach them to the sides of the garments.  An easier and quicker way to make the side pockets is to pin the pocket piece to the front and back pattern pieces and cut it all in one.  When you sew the side seams, you’ll simply sew up TO the pocket, sew around the pocket, and continue sewing the rest of the side seam.

Clip into the corners (diagram 2) so the pockets will easily turn to the inside of the garment.

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60% off Last Few Sewing Repair Books

Posted By on February 13, 2018


SewWithSarah is converting all of our “physical” books to downloadable ebook format, so the LAST FEW 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 60% — regular price $24.95, now $9.98 – while they last!  Hurry before they are gone!

Get your machines in top shape and serviced before you get started on spring and summer clothing.  Don’t waste time with your sewing machine or serger at the shop – do the servicing yourself following the step by step instructions included in these books.

HURRY – the 60% discount is good only for the few physical print copies we have left 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 60% — regular price $39.95 now $15.98.  We have only a few of the print books left at the 60% discount price.  When these last 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 60% discount – no promo code necessary!  These prices are available only to our U.S. customers.

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Tutorial – Easy To Make Colorful Hair Ties

Posted By on February 6, 2018

Items Needed:

Pony Tail Bands; Ribbon 3/8″ – 7/8″ wide


You will need 3 colors (co-ordinating printed or solid) ribbon and 1 pony tail band for each hair tie.

Cut the three co-ordinating color ribbons in lengths of 22″ – 24″ long.


Fold the 3 ribbon pieces in half and put through a ponytail band.  Tie the ribbons to make beautiful ponytail ties.




Check out the other craft patterns at  In addition you will find many children’s and men/women’s sewing patterns as well in the “sewing patterns” section.

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How To Make Pleats

Posted By on January 30, 2018

Pleats can be rather daunting at times, and if you’re not familiar with the terms knife pleat, box pleat or continuous pleats, it might be scary when you know you want pleats of some kind in a garment or in a craft item.

Pleats are folds in the fabric that provide controlled fullness.  Pleating may be a single pleat, made as a cluster, or around an entire garment section.  Basically each pleat is folded along a specified line, normally called the foldline, and the fold is aligned with another line, called the placement line (see the diagrams below).  Patterns will vary as to what these lines are actually called and how they appear on the pattern.

BCC-49Most pleats are formed by folding a continuous piece of fabric onto itself.  Typically patterns will have arrows showing the direction of the fold for the pleats, as you can see on the left hand illustration above.  Pattern sections that are to be pleated will normally be cut out as a single layer

Each pleat is folded along its foldline, as you can see in the right hand illustration above, then brought over to align with its placement line.  The folded section between the fold and the placement line is called the pleat underfold; while its fold is referred to as the backfold of the pleat.

There are several styles of pleats, the most common being the knife pleat and the box pleat, as shown below.  Pleat folds can be soft or sharp, depending on how they are pressed, but any pleat will hang better if it is folded on the straight grain.

As shown in the drawing above, knife pleats have one foldline and one placement line.   All the folds are turned in the same direction all around the skirt.  Some garments may have one cluster of knife pleats facing one way and another cluster facing the opposite way as a decorative detail of the garment.


Box pleats have two foldlines and two placement lines.  The two folds of each pleat are turned away from one another, as shown above.  Some garments may have “inverted” box pleats, where there are two fold lines and one common placement line in front, so that the actual box pleat is hidden and only the under portion is showing.  Any type of pleating process will have directions on the pattern package to let you know how to make their specific type for that particular pattern.


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EASY Reversible Headband And Ear Warmer Pattern

Posted By on January 23, 2018


This has been a very cold winter stretching all the way into “sunny” Florida, where temperatures have been dipping into the teens.  Help!!

Protect your ears with this easy fleece headband/ear warmer combo.

Follow the easy step by step instructions and make several of the headband/ear warmers in no time at all!  Very easy to make and flattering to wear.

The headband/ear warmer takes only a small amount of fleece – you can make them all one color or reversible for two colors to go with more of your outfits.  With the pattern price of only $3.00, you can be ready to head outside and keep your head and ears warm in short order.

I even wear my headband/ear warmer if I’m wearing a hooded coat – keeps the breeze (aka cold air) off my ears! I’ve made a couple reversible ones for myself and love that I can easily change up my cold weather look without taking up a bunch of space!

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Six Success Tips for Sewing Businesses

Posted By on January 16, 2018

1) Find Your Niche

Some people think that focusing on a niche is thinking too small, but having a niche product line is actually a wonderful thing!  If you really want to compete with Sears and Toys ‘R Us, you can do that by offering better customer service or by providing more guarantees, but it is much easier to compete in a specialized niche.  Plus, when you focus on a niche you encourage repeat orders and referral business.

2) Skills & Abilities

You don’t have to be good at every aspect of business in order to be successful, but you do need to be realistic about what your abilities are.  If you’re not very computer literate then take an online class or buy a book, if you’re not very good with numbers and records then hire a part-time bookkeeper, and if you’re not great at writing ads or other sales materials then hire a freelance writer online at Elance.

3)  Use Technology

You don’t have to be a technical wizard to benefit from advances in technology.  Make it easy for your customers to contact you via email, create (or pay someone to create) a website that works for you 24/7, use Google Calendar to keep track of your life on the go, use a fax to email service so you can keep digital copies of everything, and use the Internet to learn about how to enhance your skills and market your business.

4)  Create a Website

Since you can get a domain name for about $10 a year and a website for around $5 a month, there is really no excuse not to have your own website.  Many word processor programs will create HTML pages from documents you’ve typed, and lots of good domain name registrars (we use and recommend GoDaddy) supply website templates that literally allow you to setup your own site over night, without the need for any web design skills.

5)  Positive Thinking

Napolean Hill wrote the all time best-selling business book “Think and Grow Rich” during the Great Depression in 1937.  Over 30 million copies have been sold because of its powerful message about how our thoughts control our successes and failures.  Simply put, whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right!  So look at any setbacks as learning opportunities, be persistent, and stay positive and you will be successful!

6)  Build Relationships

Advances in technology like cell phones, handheld games and the Internet tend to take the focus off of people, for example you can order a pizza online or use a board at a fast food restaurant to order then pay with a credit card without ever speaking to a person.  On the other hand, consumers like to feel that they’re being heard.  Build relationships with your customers by giving them the ability to communicate with you through a variety of methods such as via email, through your website, Facebook or Twitter.  By genuinely listening to your customers you will build bonds of loyalty and trust with them, which will only increase the success of your business.

You can get additional information from two of our Business Books —– Jumpstart Your Business….Proven Techniques & Strategies and 501 Tips & Strategies For Home Business Entrepreneurs.   Get your business going this year and make this your most best year ever!

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How To Repair Burns In A Carpet

Posted By on January 9, 2018

This is the time of the year that those of us with woodburning fireplaces can have problems with flying sparks that burn small holes in the carpet near the fireplace.  OR, even those who smoke can drop hot ashes from the cigarette and again singe or burn a hole in the carpeting.  Actually these small burn areas are not difficult to repair.

The first step in the repair job is to use sharp scissors and cut away all of the damaged pile, or loop, depending on the type of weave.  Snip the pile off as near the rug backing as possible.

Figure 1 shows a cross-section view of the burn before the damaged pile was removed.  Figure 2 illustrates a cross-section view of a burn after the damaged pile has been removed.

If you are fortunate enough to have scraps left from the time the carpeting was laid, you can cut pile from this for repairing.  If not, the pile can be cut from a corner in a closet where it would not be noticable.  The pile to be used for mending should be cut off in the same manner which was used to remove the damaged spot – by snipping it off just above the backing.  Cut the pile in small sections, just two or three tufts at a time.  After cutting, lift them with tweezers and lay each tuft carefully onto a plate or shallow pan so they may be easily carried to the location of the spot to be repaired.  If your rug has several shades of one color in the pattern or more than one color, be sure you cut the correct shade or color of pile to make the repair.

Glue, the type that is white in the container and dries transparent, is used for the repair.  Use a bottle with a nozzle dispenser and squeeze the glue onto the backing of the rug where the burned pile was snipped away (figure 3).  Be generous with the glue, but also be careful not to get it on the pile around the edge of the hole.   The rug backing will soak up the first application of the glue, so after a few minutes, put on another heavy application and start filling in the hole with the little tufts of pile.  Again use tweezers to handle the pile, and start filling in around the outer edge of the hole, so that the undamaged pile sill support the  tufts which are being carefully set into the glue.

Keep working round and round setting the tufts in rows (figure 4), working toward the center, until the entire exposed area of the rug backing has been covered with tufts of pile (figure 5).


It may become necessary to add a little more fresh glue as you work toward the center of the area.

Naturally, you will want to keep any traffic off the repaired spot until the glue has completely dried.  This can be done by placing a small chair, table or even a box or pan over it.

You will be happy to discover that if you repair a burned spot in your rug or carpet in this manner, it will be practically impossible to find where it has been mended and it will sithstand both wear and vacuuming.

WAIT A MINUTE!  Something tells me that this is the kind of repair job that could bring in some extra money!  Whether you actually have a burn hole or not, there are probably dozens of homes in your town or subdivision that DO have unsightly burn holes.  People tend to try to cover the burn spots with area rugs, but the burn hole is there!

The entrepreneur in me says “dig out a small piece of extra carpet, make a burn hole or two, then repair them per the instructions given and become an expert in repairing burn holes in carpets”.

After you’ve become an “expert” in repairing burn holes, put a small classified ad in the local newspaper, put little flyers in fabric shops, dry cleaners, and don’t forget to give information to the local carpet dealers as well.  Figure out how much time it takes to do the repair and charge accordingly.  Some homes may have several burn holes for you to fix, so I’d suggest that you don’t give a repair price over the phone – wait to see how many burn holes there are that need to be repaired, then figure the repair fee.

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Out With The Old – In With The New!

Posted By on January 2, 2018

Have you been satisfied with the progress your business has made this past year?  Have you left too many things “undone”?    Are you constantly trying to put two days’ worth of work into one day and end up getting very little accomplished, and mostly being frustrated?

Now is the time to sit down and think about what is is that you really want?  What is the meaning of success to you?  “Success” is an individual thing, and each person has their own definition of success.  Are you trying to get every customer in town?   Do you try each day to do more alterations or sewing than the day before, or make more craft items in one day than you’ve ever done in the past?  Are you mentally, and physically, pushing yourself over limits that you’ve set for yourself in order to set more unachievable limits?

Perhaps we should all come back to earth and set some new and realistic goals for the new year.  We’ve all heard the statement “success is a journey and not a destination”, and the more I think about that statment the more true it becomes.  If success was the “destination” we’d never make it, however since it is the “journey”, we can set our goals, change the goals somewhat if necessary, and continue to “work our plan” and stay on course to build a solid business.

I’m in no way suggesting that we slack off, get lazy and let “whatever will be, will be” for the new year!  I’m simply saying that we really don’t need to do an overkill in the goal setting that our personal and family relationships suffer, our health suffers and in the end as we look back we have to admit that we ourselves have put so much on our plate that it’s destined for failure.

We can’t change the external forces in our lives such as the economy and personal situations that are going on right now.  However, we CAN change what is inside our head, our hearts and our souls.  We can all look deep inside ourselves and ask the question “what do I really want to accomplish in the upcoming year?”  Write down a listing of what you want to do and accomplish, then start another list breaking down those “want to do’s” with individual goals or steps to take to get you there.  You’ll see that it doesn’t have to be done overnight or within a week — slowly and surely does win the race!  One goal or step at a time will help you reach the first “want to do” on the list, then do the same thing for the next “want to do”, and so on.  Break down the major goal into smaller weekly goals, then into smaller daily goals, and before you know it you will have reached the major goal you were striving for.

Get out the “to do” and “want to accomplish” lists today so you can head into the new year with anticipation and an attitiude of “I can do it”, rather than stumbling into the new year mumbling “I hope things are better this year than they were last year!”

I’ve run across the BEST Blog Planner that I’ve ever seen!  I Love Love Love this planner and I’m already ahead of last year on what my goals are and what I’ll be working on.  I highly recommend this planner for each of you to get the year planned out — and you can easily add or take away or change things as you go on.  Here are a couple pictures of the Planner for you to check out:



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FREE Craft Pattern – Vintage Wrap Collar Apron!

Posted By on December 6, 2017

As the title suggests, the “wrap” collar is just that – a separate collar piece that attaches to the apron with the decorative buttons in the front.

This VintageWrapCollarApron is a downloadable epattern with full size pattern pieces and we’re giving it away for FREE!

This vintage wrap collar apron is a breeze to make – you can make one for yourself and several others for your friends for Christmas!

Vintage Wrap Collar Apron

Don’t forget to check out the other great craft patterns — all at a 25% discount through December 15 using the code CRAFT25.  My granddaughter has been THRILLED with the number of sales of her Narwhal Stuffed Toy Pattern, and she hopes that all the children that get the Narwhal toy for Christmas will love it as much as she does!  She also hopes that some of the children will get to MAKE their own toy.

Narwhal Toy Pattern


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Leather and Suede Projects

Posted By on November 28, 2017

I used to think about suede and leather as “impossible” fabrics to work with — hard to handle and expensive.  That was before I started using them.  WOW!  Was I wrong!  There are soooooo many things that can be done with leather and suede — plus my “Sewing With Leather” book also gives ideas of where to get leather FR*EE!  How can you beat a deal like that!

Sewing with leather does not take a special machine; however the materials do require the use of a special “leather” needle in your sewing machine.  The leather needles are easy to find, so you should be all set up to do some leather projects.


The Sewing With Leather book has patterns and instructions to get you started.  There are easy projects as well as some that are a little more difficult.  And, for those who could use some leather chaps, there’s even instructions on how to make your own chaps.

There is still time to make some leather and suede gifts for those on your Christmas gift list.

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