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March 2017
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5 Keys To Success

Posted By on January 2, 2017

There is no such thing as “luck” when starting, building or running a business.  Just because you’ve decided to open your business in your home doesn’t mean that you can just “float” and the business will succeed.  There are some serious things for you to think about, plan and execute in order to have the best possible chance of success.  As we start another New Year, there’s no better time than NOW to print this page, put it on your wall and refer to it often!

1.  GOALS:  Set specific goals – no more wishing, dreaming or hoping!  Put a date on when you will reach the goals.  Can you state right now what it is that you want out of life, and what you want your business to be like a year from now?

2.  STRATEGY:  Plan your work; map out your day-by-day, month-by-month progress.  Each individual small goal will work up to the major objective.  I’ve heard it said that those who fail to plan, plan to fail.

3.  DESIRE:  A burning desire is the greatest human motivator of all.  Desire and determination are key elements in achieving success!  The more you think about your goals, the more enthusiastic you become.  Enthusiasm turns your “desire” into a “burning desire”.

4.  BELIEF:  Develop an overwhelming belief and confidence in yourself.  Don’t even consider defeat – YOU ARE A WINNER!  Remember, “whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it CAN achieve”.

5.  PERSEVERANCE:  Make a commitment to follow through on your plan and strategy regardless of the obstacles or set backs.  “Winners never quit, and quitters never win!” is an absolute truth.  Perseverance will take you to the top.  Your “stick with it” attitude will make you the winner you want to be.

It is said that there are THREE KINDS OF PEOPLE — Those who MAKE things happen, those who WATCH things happen, and those who  WONDER what happened.

Make up your mind right now to be among the first category of people who MAKE things happen!

For additional information on getting your business headed in the right direction, check out our new book “Jumpstart Your Business with Proven Techniques And Strategies”.

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

Posted By on November 1, 2016

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






Why use the Shape-A-Dart tool? 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. The Shape-A-Dart tool 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 SewWithSarah.


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Girls Size 16 Plus Patterns Won’t Fit 9 Year Olds! Get The Right Fit!

Posted By on October 25, 2016

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.

Send this information along to any friends or relatives you know that also have problems fitting plus size children and overweight children, or check out our “Sewing For Plus Size Children as a Home Business” if you’d like to get into a hot market for seamstresses!


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Advertise for PENNIES ….. Make THOUSANDS

Posted By on October 18, 2016

It makes no difference if you have an internet site, brick and mortar store, or a work at home business, it is a fact that none will succeed if nobody knows you’re there.

Advertising IS the key to success; however advertising doesn’t have to cost a fortune!  Of course, the big display ads cost advertisers many thousands of dollars, and “pay per click” advertising on search engines can add up to big dollars very quickly if you’re not carefully targeting proper key words and keeping track of the results of your advertising dollars.

There are many ways that we can promote our businesses literally for PENNIES, that can rake in THOUSANDS of dollars in sales.  Listed below are just a few ideas that work well, and I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with additional ideas once you start working with these.

** FREE AD ON YOUR ENVELOPES.  You can either use labels, or glue or tape one of your “mini-flyers” on the back or front of each envelope and package you mail out.  There is no way of knowing how much “free” advertising these mini-flyers will generate – after all, you’re mailing the letters and packages anyway, so why not take advantage of that and give your advertisement a “free ride”.

** ENCLOSE SALES LITERATURE in all outgoing orders.  If you already have a business where you send out orders, NEVER send out a “naked” package!  If you simply enclose the customer’s order and receipt and mail the package, you are missing out on one of the very best sales tools available!  Any additional sales literature you can enclose in the package (other items you offer for sale, information on another website to visit, etc) could bring you extra sales.  It is a well known fact that if a customer buys from you one time, they’re more likely to buy again and again, if they are satisfied with your service and products that they bought in the beginning.

** BUSINESS CARDS are one of the cheapest methods of advertising that I know of.  Many times, people will have 1,000 or more business cards made, then put them on a shelf and never use more than a dozen or so.  If you have a business or website and don’t have business cards – GET THEM!  Hand out the business cards to prospective customers, leave one on the table at the restaurant when you go out to eat.  Many restaurants and other businesses have a location where you can put a small business card holder with several of your cards in it for future customers to see and pick up as they pay their bill.

** SCREEN PRINTED SHIRTS.  This also is a “one time” purchase that will last for years, and will be read by people wherever you are walking – through stores, standing in line at a check out register, etc.  These don’t have to be fancy, just “to the point” so people reading them will know what they represent.  I saw one a few days ago that simply had a pair of glasses on it (the logo of the website) and the words “” — everybody knows to put the http:// in front and in this case I wrote it down just so I could go there and see what it was (and this will work the same way for you).  You can make enough of these shirts for you to wear, or perhaps some of your family might want a “free” shirt (they will be advertising your website when wearing it), or you always have the option of selling or giving them to customers as a free gift for placing an order.

As you think about these suggestions, I’m sure you’ll be coming up with additional ones that you can use.  Remember, advertising is a MUST for any business, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune!

The tips are just a few from our book, “Jumpstart Your Business With Proven Techniques and Strategies“!  Check out the book – read the table of contents – then see how YOU can get your business moving ahead.

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How To Alter Skirt Patterns For Plus Size/Overweight Children

Posted By on October 11, 2016

Regardless of what size pattern you buy for your plus size/overweight child, there are always changes that need to be made.  Sometimes a single change will do it, and other times there may be 2, 3, 4 changes necessary before the store bought pattern will actually fit the plus size child.  We are starting a series of alterations to patterns that may be needed in order to get the fit you want for your plus size child.

The first clothing garment we will work on will be the skirt.  Many of the overweight children have a large protruding stomach, so we’ll start with that issue.









LARGE ABDOMEN (stomach) – the skirt will be too short and will ride up in the front.  Draw a horizontal line across the fullest part of the abdomen on the pattern as indicated.  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 shown.  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.











A.  WAIST/HIP – check your child’s waist and hip measurements and compare them to the measurements on the pattern.  If the amount of change is the same for both, make the necessary change at the center front and center back lines.  draw in the new skirt lines as shown with dashed lines.

B.  LARGE WAIST – To make just the waist larger, extend the front and back waist line each 1/4 of the total necessary amount.  Draw in the new waist to hipline curve as shown with dashed lines.

These alterations to store bought patterns is an excerpt from the book “Altering Store Bought Patterns For Plus Size Children”.  Additional pattern making classes (for boys and girls) and full size clothing patterns for plus size children can be seen at Sew With (pdf/downloadable patterns in “sewing patterns”) and for patterns already printed and ready to mail out.  If you have a lot of plus size children in your area, you might want to consider going into a business sewing for them – check our our Sewing For Plus Size Children As A Home Business manual.


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Be Creative With Children’s Clothing

Posted By on October 4, 2016

Whether you’re making new clothing items, altering outgrown clothing or just want to add something “extra” to a childs’ garment, we have a few suggestions for you.

When my daughter was in elementary school I made “patchwork” pants for her as well as a “patchwork” jacket.  Her friends LOVED her special clothing, and immediately I started getting calls from the mothers asking if I could make their daughters “patchwork” clothes like my daughter had.  These are easy to make and can use up some of your scraps!

patchwork skirtpatchwork jacket

Cut your skirt, slacks or jacket pattern out of muslin and sew in any darts.  Next, arrange your fabric scraps to cover the muslin pieces (begin at the top and pin the scraps as you go, overlapping them as you work your way to the bottom).  When the muslin pieces are covered with fabric scraps, take it to the sewing machine and do a satin stitch all around each piece, securing it to the muslin.  After securing all the fabric pieces on the muslin pieces, sew the slacks, skirt or jacket pieces together.  Add a zipper, waistband and hook/eye closure as needed for that particular garment.  Children love these “patchwork” garments!

** A “different” way of lengthening a child’s skirt or dress is to cut OFF the hem, then insert a wide band of lace or trim and sew the hem back on under the trim.  You might want to add a piece of the same lace or trim on a pocket, or make a design out of the trim to place somewhere else on the skirt or dress to make it look like it “belongs” there rather than being an addition.

** When making elastic waist skirts, shorts or slacks for children, if you sew a small square of contrasting colored fabric at the center back casing (where tags would be if the garment was purchased), it will be easy for the child to tell the front from the back when dressing.

**Don’t give away your old clothes when you clean out your closet.  Your “last year’s” styles and designs are not worn out – maybe just outdated.  Use these clothes to make a wardrobe for your child.  See the book “Make a Child’s Wardrobe From Your Old Clothing” for a multitude of ideas.

**If you’ve made a fancy dress for that “special occasion” picture of your child, try making a padded fabric picture frame from the same fabric.  This special photo makes a great gift for grandparents.

** To help prevent loss of buttons on purchased clothing for children, reinforce the buttons with dental floss BEFORE the children wear the garment.  The buttons will NOT disappear from the garment.

** And speaking of buttons, there is nothing written in stone that says you HAVE to sew four hole buttons a certain way.  Especially in children’s clothing, try sewing them on “decorator” fashion – see samples below:

decorator buttons

The above tips are from the 500 Kwik & Easy Sewing Tips book.  Check out the “sneak preview” of other tips in the book and what people are saying about it.


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Tips For Sewing Specialty Fabrics

Posted By on September 19, 2016

Sometimes when we “get on a roll” with the sewing projects we’re doing, it is so easy to simply sew everything using the same type of thread, and not even think about changing the needle when changing fabrics.  We’ve collected a variety of tips that we all need to think about before changing from one fabric type to another.   Other tips help with purchasing specialty fabrics, cutting the fabrics, storing the fabric or completed garment.  There are many variables when working with those specialty fabrics.  Here are a few things to think about:

** On some fabrics it is almost impossible to tell the right side from the wrong side.  Here are a couple pointers:

A. On tricot or a sweater knit, if you pull on the crosswise “grain”, the fabric will curl to the right side.

B. On double knits, look for the small selvage holes.  They will appear to be “pushed in” on the right side.

** And speaking of fabric “curling”, single knits and tricot have a tendency to curl at the edges and make sewing difficult.  Try spray starch along the edges – the seams will lay flat for stitching.

** After you’ve cut out a garment from your specialty fabric, make a couple of 8″ squares of the fabric that you can use later to test fusible interfacings on, to test thread colors, or to test stitch length if you’re doing any topstitching.  Also use it to make a sample buttonhole if you’ll be needing buttonholes, to check what they will look like before making one on the actual garment.

** 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.

** The advantages of using silk thread for sewing “drycleanable” fabrics include its strength, elasticity, smooth finish and freedom from tangling.  The strength and elasticity makes for longer wear and less popping of seams at points of strain.

** When cutting any type of knit fabric, never let it hang down off the table, as that may stretch it and change the size.

** Some silks are washable – to be sure, take a small square or corner of the fabric and cover it with a damp cotton cloth.  Press the cotton cloth with a hot iron for a few seconds.  If any color shows on the cotton, the garment should be taken to the dry cleaners.  If no color shows, the best way to wash silk is in warm water, by hand, using a mild soap.

** Use extra fine pins for pinning silks – “silk” pins are too coarse for silk.

** When storing sheer or knitted silk, store it flat.  If you must hang a silk garment, pad it well with tissue paper and cover it with muslin or other cloth.

** Speaking of silk – if you let your silk garments air dry, they may turn yellow.

** Be very careful if using steam on silk – you may end up with water spots on the garment.

The above tips are an excerpt from the book 500 Kwik and Easy Sewing Tips.  This book contains so many tips, you’ll find yourself  “bookmarking” every page.  And at the super $9.95 price, this may be the most used book in your sewing library!



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7 Kwik And Easy Sewing Tips

Posted By on August 31, 2016

Sometimes when we’re sewing or crafting,  just the smallest tip can be the AHA! moment that either can make our projects go faster or help us improve in an area that needs some help.  I’m always on the look out for tips that I can readily put to use.  As with most of you, my time is limited for all the projects that I have lined up, so any bit of help is appreciated.

** The easiest way to mark evenly spaced buttonholes is to use the Simflex expanding gauge!  Open the gauge so that the points are the correct distance apart, then mark the positions for the buttonholes.  This can also be used for hemming, shirring, pleats and many other things.


** An easy way to mark the position of a snap — sew on the pointed half first then rub chalk on the point and lay the fabric to where the snap should be.  The chalk will rub off in the exact location for the other part of the snap.

** It will save a great deal of “total working time” on a project if you will take care of the thread ends as each bit of stitching is completed. If you fail to do this, it will take extra time when the project is finished to trace out each loose hanging piece of thread in order to clip it.  If you just leave the loose pieces of thread hanging, it will detract from the overall professional look of the garment.

** When you purchase fabric for a specific pattern, but cannot make it up right away, store the fabric, pattern, zipper, thread and any trim or buttons TOGETHER, preferable in a zip-lock bag.  By doing this, the sewing project will go much faster and be much more enjoyable when you do get to it, than if you have to start searching for the notions.

** Periodically go through ALL your stacks of fabric just as a reminder of what you do have available.  Some new ideas may come to mind as to what you can do with pieces you already have, as opposed to running out to buy something new.  This one tip has helped me MANY times as I’m teaching my grandchildren how to sew.  We look through the fabric I have to see if something might be useful for the project they’re wanting to work on.  We have saved many trips to the fabric store by using fabric that I already have on hand.

** For all your measuring at the machine needs (hems, borders, trims, etc), the EZ HEM GUIDE is perfect.  The adhesive backed measuring guide fits perfectly in the throat area of the sewing machine, resulting in accurate measuring on everything you sew.

EZ Hem Guide


** As with other facets of life, sewing will be done better if you set some GOALS.  Decide when you start a project when you want to complete it – write the date down – cut out date, 1/2 finished date, completion date, etc, then FOLLOW THROUGH with the goal!  You’ll feel great when you’ve accomplished it.  By setting the goals for each project, you’ll find that you will be able to get more done with much less procrastination.

This article is an excerpt from the book, 500 Kwik And Easy Sewing Tips, written by Sarah Doyle.  500 Kwik & Easy Sewing Tips contains the best of customer hints and tips accumulated over 25 years.  Spiral binding makes it easy to turn to each tip you need at the moment.  This could be the best book in your sewing room!



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Look What We Found!!!

Posted By on August 24, 2016

While moving our office, we found some vintage copies of Sarah Doyle’s first book, “Sarah’s Key To Pattern Drafting”.



“Sarah’s Key To Pattern Drafting” book includes step by step instructions and diagrams for custom making your entire wardrobe – slacks, shorts, skirts, blouses and dresses.  This is our original book with patterns and designs for women – whether you are tall, short, heavy or thin, this book is for you!  You can check out the table of contents here to see everything that’s in the book.

Our loss is your gain!  We’re marking these books down from the original $24.95 to $14.95.  Supplies are extremely limited and when they’re gone, there will be no more.

No coupon code is necessary – books are marked with the sale price.  Grab your copy soon as these super popular books won’t last long!

NOTE:  Because of the high cost of international shipping, this book is available only to customers within the U.S.

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Plus Size Children Patterns Are NOW Downloadable!!

Posted By on July 25, 2016

Just in time for back to school sewing, we’re excited to announce that all of our Plus Size Children patterns are now downloadable for immediate access!  The very best thing is that there are no longer any shipping fees to pay AND you can get started on your sewing projects right away!!

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 children’s’ measurements.

Each of the patterns comes 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 based on the included chart.  If your child has a 36” waist, you would need to use the size 14 pattern.


Each pattern comes with several variations that you can make, giving you many styles that can be made from each one.  The children you sew for will thank you for making them clothes that fit and flatter!

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