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Quick And Easy Gift Ideas

Posted By on December 17, 2015

There aren’t too many days left before Christmas, so I’m thinking that whatever gifts we still have time to make need to be some nice, but quick and easy gifts to make.

The first idea that comes to mind are washcloth slippers – you’ve probably seen them on our PatternsThatFitYou site, as well as our Patterns2Go site.

Free Washcloth Slippers Pattern

Either place you want to visit, the pattern instructions are FREE, easy to follow and very quick to make.  The washcloth slippers are a super gift to give to those in nursing homes, in hospitals as well as anybody else on your gift list.

The second idea for a cute gift is the “anything goes” quilt.  This pattern is also free and available from Patterns2Go.

Super Easy Anything Goes Quilt Pattern

The idea here is to use a length of fabric according to the quilt size you want to make – the fabric should have some designs on it, as shown above, but not be “too busy” with designs.  You will sew the fabric to a backing, put quilt batting on the inside, then do your quilt stitching either around the designs, if they are large enough, or do hand quilting stitches around all or part of the designs to complete the quilt.   This type of quilt is great for children’s quilts or for little girls for doll quilts.  If you have the right type of decorative fabric, this also works very well as a wall hanging to make as a gift.

For additional gift ideas you can check out the patterns at SewWithSarah.com.

Do any of you have any other ideas for quick and easy gift ideas????  I’m thinking that a lot of us who really like to make Christmas gifts are getting to where “quick and easy” would sound really good!

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Are Low Sales Affecting Your Self Esteem?

Posted By on December 16, 2015

Are your Holiday sales as high as you’d like them to be?  Are you making sales at all, or are you getting only a few customers per week?

The advantage of working out of our homes is that we don’t have rent to pay on a store building, or spend our days at the store pacing the floor wishing someone would walk through the door.

Some days it’s very hard to keep an optimistic point of view when it appears that we don’t know when the next dollar will come in.

Even though  the economy is taking a hit on all of us, we begin think we are all alone, and start wondering if our work is good enough or perhaps customers no longer like what we make, etc.

A good case in point is something that just happened in our town.  Last weekend our town held  an annual 3 day event and one of the biggest festivals in the entire area.  This festival has been going on for years and gets bigger each year.   According to the paper there were over 200 vendors (artists) coming from all across the country to attend the festival and over 150,000 people expected to attend.   I’m sure the artists all thought they were gonna go home afterwards with wads of dollars from sales!

After the festival ended, the newspaper interviewed several of the vendors/artists to get some feedback on how it went.  First of all, they didn’t get anywhere NEAR the crowd that they were expecting, and those who did attend were “lookers” and not “buyers”.  One artist who had come from another state said she sold ONE painting on Friday, NONE on Saturday and TWO on Sunday.  She had paintings that ranged from $200 to $2,000 — and the three that were bought were all in the $200 range.   Were her paintings poor quality?  Were the paintings something that nobody would want?  Absolutely not!!!  They were beautiful!  One would-be customer came up and wanted the $2,000 painting so badly, but said she just didn’t have the money right now, but would “take a business card” and get hold of her (the artist) later.  The artist said “later never comes”!

Now I would have to say that this particular artist, as well as probably the majority of the rest of them, COULD begin to go into a “low self esteem” slump just wondering why their stuff didn’t sell like it did last year or the year before.  Perhaps even start to think they need to get out of this business.

Now is the time for an ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT!  Yes, the economy stinks, and people are hanging on to every dollar they can.  However, there IS something that you can do, especially if your self esteem is ready to hit rock bottom.

Consider this:  we all have the same 24 hours each day.  We all wake up with the same day ahead of us.  What we decide to do with those hours is up to us individually, not up to the weather, not up to the stock market reports or up to how many sales we made yesterday.   Today is a NEW day, and we need to determine within our own heart that we WILL do something that will make a difference.

If customers are not coming to you, perhaps you could go to them.  I’m sure there are many shut-ins that would appreciate someone coming to them to get their measurements, or to pick up their alterations that need to be done.  If you are making craft items, perhaps you could consign them to a local fabric store where people traffic would be greater than to your home.  Consider what it is that you’re doing and spend a little time thinking about what you could do to add more customers, or get the word out a little more about what you have.  Perhaps you could make a little gift basket of items that you deal with and talk to some local stores about doing a Holiday Raffle — you can get raffle tickets easily, cover an empty peanut butter jar or something similar and make a nice decorative “holiday raffle — $1.00 per ticket” sign.

If you have other ideas, please let us know so we can pass them along to our readers.

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Books Make GREAT Christmas Gifts!

Posted By on November 30, 2015

Today is the perfect day to get your Christmas gift list out and see who all would LOVE to get a book this year!  They’ll be thanking you all year long as they use their new book over and over again!

Those on your list that sew or craft would love you forever for picking one of these super helpful books for them:

Sewing Machine Repair For The Home Sewer

Serger Repair For The Home Sewer

500 Kwik And Easy Sewing Tips

Complete Guide To Treadle Sewing Machines

If your friend or relative has talked about getting into a home business of their own (or perhaps YOU or your spouse), check out these complete business manuals:

How To Start And Operate A Profitable Clothing Alteration Business

Sewing Machine Repair As A Home Business

Sewing For Plus Size Children As A Home Business

Or for the ones on your list that love to wear scarves:

How To Make Scarves and 101 Ways To Tie Them

All of the above books are spiral bound so the gift recipient can easily find the pages necessary for completion of their projects.

Order early and don’t get caught in the Christmas rush!

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How To Organize Your Holiday Gift List

Posted By on November 23, 2015

Normally this space is dedicated to information to help those of us in the sewing business with various sewing / alteration / crafting topics.  However, today, we’re going to talk about helping YOU get organized for Holiday gift giving.

For those of us who enjoy making gifts for family members, friends, children’s teachers, neighbors etc, now is the time to gt organized and figure out exactly what you want to make for each of them.  Each gift must be personally chosen for the recipient, and be something they would actually USE, not just something to be tossed aside later.

Begin your gift making process by writing a list of everybody you want to make a gift for and then list their hobby, what they do for enjoyment or something about their job that they’re very proud of.

After completing my list, I always go to my favorite website, Patterns2Go.com and see what all is available there that might work for some of the people on my list.  There is such a wide variety of patterns in all categories that I usually can find most of my patterns there. You can also head over to SewWithSarah.com to check out the downloadable patterns available.  If there are some chubby girls on your list that you’d like to make a cute blouse for or other items, check out the Plus Size Girls patterns.  The patterns have been made using REAL plus size children’s measurements, so you know the fit will be great for her.  The plus size boys / girls patterns are actual patterns with easy directions to help you make the garments.

After completing the gift list and items to make, it’s time to dig into the sewing room and see what fabrics and notions I have available in order to get started on some of the projects immediately.  As I assemble the necessary items for each project, I put the fabric, notions and pattern into a zip lock bag with the name of the receiving person on the outside.   (If the fabric and notions are too big for a zip lock bag I simply place them into a larger plastic grocery store bag, tie the top and put the name on the outside).  The person’s name is then marked off my list.  I then put the zip lock bags into a small box where they are ready to start working on as I have extra time.  After assembling all I can from my sewing room, I take the remainder of the list to the fabric store to purchase the necessary items for the gifts.  The newly purchased materials are then divided up for the individual gifts, and again I place the pattern and materials into a zip lock bag with the receiving person’s name on the outside.

Within a day or two I have organized and assembled all the necessary items for each person’s gift, and am ready to sit down and start putting it all together.  By starting early I have time to get all the gifts completed between my other sewing projects and ready for gift giving.

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500 Kwik & Easy Sewing Tips – sew faster, better and easier!

Posted By on November 17, 2015

Learn to sew faster, better and easier with this 500 Kwik & Easy Sewing Tips book.  Many of these time savers are so simple, you’ll wonder why you never thought of them before.  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!

500 Sewing Tips

D. Bloss, MD wrote to us saying “I was looking through your ‘500 Kwik and Easy Sewing Tips’ book for a particular item, but found so many things I needed that I started putting sticky tabs on the pages of hints I knew I’d need for my next projects.  I have so many sticky tabs throughout the book that I’m wondering how I got along all this time without your terrific book!  Thanks for putting these hints and tips together – they’re great!”

Don’t let another day go by without this valuable time saving and money saving book.  You’ll have the corners turned down on nearly every page so you won’t forget the tips and hints on those pages – or have a book full of sticky tabs like Ms. Bloss does!

“500 Kwik & Easy Sewing Tips” is just $9.95 and is spiral bound so you can get to the tips easily.

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Angel Gown Made From Nightshirt/Pajama Pattern

Posted By on November 12, 2015

Look what I made from our Unisex Nightshirt/Pajama Pattern……

Nightshirt/Pajamas PatternChristmas Angel Gown

The gown is for a Christmas play.  I used the nightshirt pattern, changed up the neckline so the opening would be in the back rather than in the front, and here it is!  For a closure at the back neck I used a small square of velcro hook and loop fastening.

By the way – the shorts and shirt aren’t ONLY for pajamas — the pattern can be made into awesome “basketball” shirt and shorts.  There are many uses for this pattern, which comes in 2 different size ranges.  You can get the S-M-L-XL pattern or 1X-2X-3X-4X size range.  Patterns include all patterns pieces to make the various sizes mentioned and comes with easy instructions for making the items.

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Advertising Opportunities and Strategies on the Internet

Posted By on November 10, 2015

Today’s consumers are much more informed about new products than ever before.  Whenever a new product “hits the marketplace”, there seems to be a buzz about it throughout the internet.  Whether the product is being talked about in the social networks (Twitter, FaceBook,  etc), or written about in the various blogs, you can be assured that it IS being talked about, whether in a positive or negative manner.

If you are considering introducing a new product, we would highly recommend that you start by searching the internet for blogs or forums related to the type of product that you want to sell.  You can be reading the blogs and forums to see what people are saying about related products.  You might even want to do some posts about what you have that you’re wanting to introduce.  The readers of the blogs and forums will be quick to give you some of their opinions on your topic —- some may want to jump on whatever it is that you’re going to offer, while others may be a little more leary about it.  Get some feedback, answer any questions that they may ask, etc.

By “testing the waters”, so to speak, you might get some great ideas on how to advertise your item so that the advertising itself will answer the questions that have been asked.

When you are ready to do the official launch of your product, be sure to present solid facts about it, give a very positive image of your product, and try to implement some of the opinions that were expressed in your internet research.

If you don’t already have a blog, we would recommend that you do set up your company blog — invite reader comments and make regular posts to it.   Let others in the social networks know about your blog and invite them to check it out.

By using blogs, forums, and the social network systems, you’re basically introducing your product to a large audience with minimal effort and at no charge to you for the advertising.

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Sewing Notion Value Packs Make Great Gifts!

Posted By on October 29, 2015

With the Holiday Season coming right up, many of us are already making lists of what to get those friends, family and co-workers for Christmas. Consider the Sewing Notion Value Packs for those who sew, quilt, do crafting, or those who are wanting to learn how to sew.  Do you have a $25 limit on gift price — the Sewing Notion Value Pack is just right!  Actually, you will be getting FIFTY DOLLARS worth of brand new, off the shelf sewing notions and supplies!  Wouldn’t that be a nice surprise for that sewer, quilter, crafter friend or relative?

Sewing Notion Value Pack

 

 

Check your list and order early as this super deal won’t last long!  Check them out at SewWithSarah.com.

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Spooktacular $100 PayPal Cash Giveaway!

Posted By on October 20, 2015

Halloween Cash Giveaway

It’s a Spooktacular giveaway brought to you by some ghoulish blogger friends! Enter for your chance to win a $100 PayPal cash!

I know how hard it can be on your wallet to supply all your little ghosts and goblins with those amazing Halloween costumes. Not to mention the cost in supplying your neighborhood with full sized candy bars! So to help a little I’ve teamed up with a few other bloggers to give you a treat this Halloween.

One reader will be receiving a $100 deposit into their PayPal account to say thank you for making your kids Halloween so awesome. It’s easy to enter! Now through November 3rd use the form below and remember to share with your other Halloween Superheroes!

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Fun With Furry Footballs….Make Them Yourself!

Posted By on October 19, 2015

We’re right in the midst of football season, and what would be better for the little guys than a football?
We figured this furry fake fur football would be perfect for the little boys to toss around, but who knows — their Daddy might have a little fun with it as well.

Football

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Materials needed:

Short Pile fake fur
12″ wide x 14″ long main school color
12″ wide x 14″ long second school color  (purple / white, or red/white, etc)
Polyester stuffing

Cut out four pieces of short-pile fake fur in the colors of your local high school football team, using the shape as shown.   The rectangle is 14″ long and 5 1/2″ wide, and the football pieces are drawn on the inside.

On one of the light color pieces you can applique the school initials with 2 or 3 inch letters cut out of another color fake fur.  This is optional, so suit yourself whether you want to do the initials or not.

With right sides together, sew the four pieces together alternating the colors and leaving an opening for the stuffing.  Turn right side out.  Stuff with polyester or chipped foam rubber filling, until the football is firm.  Sew the opening closed and you’re all ready for the football games!

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