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May 2015
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Increase Sales – Sew For Big Husky Men

Posted By on April 6, 2015

From time to time we try to give updates and information on how to increase your sewing business.  Expanding the sewing and craft business is necessary in order to “increase the bottom line”.

How much sewing do you do for men?  If anybody answered that they actually DO sew for men, how difficult is it to get the patterns adjusted for those “not so average” sized men? I’ve been there and done that!  Even if you have a nearly average man, there may be extra broad shoulders, longer than average arm, and other not so average challenges to deal with.  Then we move on to the big, tall and husky men!  These men may be tall, BUT there also are short, stocky and the type whose chest has fallen and now has “dunlopped over the belt” (that’s my brother’s story, and he’s sticking to it!).  In other words, the big bellies!

We do now have available a pattern making class for big husky men that we believe could help dramatically increase your sales for the  year!  After reviewing and learning the steps to make patterns according to the individual measurements of those super hard to fit men, you will certainly have the corner on the market in that area.

Look around the next time you’re out and about and see how many men fit into the husky, overweight and super hard to fit category.  These are all potential customers.  It would not be difficult to bring in dozens of new customers — just get the first customer, make some clothing garments for him and soon the whole town will know about your sewing skills!

Even those men who appear to be “average” have fitting issues with broad shoulders, long torsos or other fitting issues.   You can make patterns easily to fit those men also by checking out our  pattern making class for “nearly average” men.

Start now and see how quickly you can raise your bottom line by venturing into new areas of sewing!

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How To Make Patch Pockets

Posted By on March 23, 2015

Pockets are useful and can add a decorative touch to any garment, or can be added to a cloth handbag.  Many different kinds and sizes can be made, once you know the basics of pocket making.  In this project, we’ll cover one of the most basic of all – the Patch Pocket.












For a good looking patch pocket all edges must be true and even.  To achieve this it is a good idea to make a pattern for the pocket.  After cutting out the pocket, cut two or three small notches on each of 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).

To be certain of getting the right angles folded under on a pocket, you could make a cardboard pattern the “actual” pocket size (Figure 3).  Place the cardboard pattern on top of the pocket piece and press the seam allowances over the cardboard edge.  You can 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.

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.

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Are You Looking For A Special “Unique” Pattern?

Posted By on March 19, 2015

Are you looking for a pattern for a special occasion?  Patterns for unique items for craft shows or just items to make to dress up your house or a simple cute playhouse for the kids.  Check out the patterns at where you’ll find a wide variety of patterns available.

Check out the patterns below – “Love” Table Runner, Placemat and Coaster Set, Beautiful Photo Purse, Children’s Hooded Bath Towels, or Country Apron Twins and lots more!  Get your creative juices flowing and start on a new project!  You’ll LOVE the assortment of patterns available at SewWithSarah!




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50% Discount on All Business Books at Sew With Sarah

Posted By on March 17, 2015

From now through March 31, use the promo code “BUSINESS” (without the quotes) and get any or all of our downloadable business manuals at a 50% discount!

Are you in need of a little extra cash?  A LOT of extra cash?  Or just want to make some extra money for a dream vacation or some things that have been on your “wish” list?  Check out the following list of  downloadable business manuals we have available and see what might interest you.  Now might be just the perfect time for you to get started in your own part time or full time business – and at a 50% discount!

Profitable Clothing Alteration Business

Sewing For Full Figure and Plus Size Women As A Home Business

Sewing For Plus Size Children As A Home Business

Sewing Machine Repair As A Home Business

Sewing Machine Embroidery As A Home Business

Sewing With Leather As A Home Business

As you can see by the various titles, there is literally something for everybody.  The “Profitable Clothing Alteration Business” and “Sewing Machine Repair as a Home Business” have been our all time best sellers.   HOWEVER as the population of plus size children and full figure/plus size women has been expanding, the two manuals “Sewing for Full Figure and Plus Size Women as a Home Business” and “Sewing For Plus Size Children as a Home Business” have been hot items!

Remember, from March 17 – March 31, you can get a whopping 50% discount on any or all of our downloadable business books, as listed above, using the promo code BUSINESS.

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Sew With Sarah —- 1975-2015

Posted By on March 10, 2015

Sew With Sarah is celebrating our 40th Anniversary this year!

As many of you already know, I learned the Oriental Method of Pattern Making while on a military tour to Taiwan with my husband and family.  A young Taiwanese woman we met at church offered to help me get registered at a local pattern making school and attended the classes with me as my interpreter (you can read all about it here).










Sarah started her “Sew With Sarah” business in 1975.  Starting with just  one book, “Sarah’s Key to Pattern Drafting”, and a long list of people wanting that book, Sarah now has over 35 sewing, pattern making, pattern make-over, craft, quilting, embroidery, sewing machine repair and general how-to books available.

Sarah Doyle, author of “Sarah’s Key To Pattern Drafting” has taught pattern drafting classes all over the country, to the general public as well as “for credit” classes for home economics teachers.  She then made the classes available by mail order so those who could not attend her classes would also have the opportunity to learn pattern making.

With the internet explosion, a fast paced society, and so little time for organized classes, Sarah once again filled a real need for the sewers around the world by painstakingly setting up and making available online every class, book and pattern she has available.  Online classes are convenient – simply download the class of your choice and work on it at your own pace and in your own place!  The variety of pattern making, pattern make-over and sewing/craft/quilting classes and patterns that are available will keep you busy for quite some time.  Choose whichever class you want and never have to worry about the class being cancelled or problems with your own schedule that won’t allow you to take part in the class.

We would like to thank all of our customers and loyal supporters for allowing Sew With to be your pattern and pattern making headquarters all these years.  We look forward to serving you for many years to come.

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Buttonholes By Design

Posted By on March 5, 2015

Making buttonholes can be rather intimidating, but when it comes to making them in a suit or fancy outfit for a customer, it’s all the more stressful.  I don’t know about you, but once I finish the buttonhole portion of the project I feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief – the rest of the project should be pretty easy from here!

Throughout the years I’ve run across a few good tips and hints for sewing those daunting buttonholes, so thought I’d share a few with you.

** By using “fray check” on your buttonholes, the threads won’t ravel from use.  Give your customers the added benefit of helping keep their buttonholes looking nice.

** If you’re working on more than one garment at a time – if the thread colors match, make ALL the buttonholes at one time and get that part of the project out of the way.  Whew!  The rest should be easy from this point on.

** An easy way to prevent cutting past the buttonhole when clipping the buttonhole open is to place a straight pin at each end, or even better have a pair of buttonhole scissors on hand.

**Buttonholes are easier to make if you use a backing of “Stitch ‘n Tear”.  The buttonholes won’t get out of shape, and the backing will tear away easily after the project is finished.

** Vertical buttonholes work best when sewing with knits, as they will stretch less than horizontal buttonholes.

** The easiest way to mark evenly spaced buttonholes is to use an expanding gauge.  Open the gauge so that the points are the correct distance apart, then mark the positions for the buttonholes.





** If your sewing project includes big or fancy buttons, remind your customers to cover them with aluminum foil before washing to protect them.

If you have any additional hints or tips for working with buttonholes, please pass them along — we as well as all of our readers will be ever so grateful!

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Make Memory Quilts

Posted By on March 5, 2015

Add New Dimension to Your Sewing — Make Memory Quilts!









Memory quilts, like the one above, can be done several ways.  The finished size of the wall hanging memory quilt shown is 23″ x 32″ tall, and has loops at the top in order to use a dowel for hanging.

This particular one has fabric pieces of various sizes sewn together, with colors and print ideas chosen by the mother of the little girl.  The pictures were all made by scanning them and printing them on printable fabric (fabric by June Taylor) in an ink jet printer (you can’t use a laser printer for these pictures because the ink will rub off).  You can see that the pictures are not in any type of sequence, but rather just as a collage.  The lower left square has two little pictures in it, with a decorative butterfly applique.  The middle right picture has been made to appear like it is in a picture frame, with lace edging surrounding it.

I have seen memory quilts that have been made for a particular child as a gift when the child heads off to college.  The one in particular that I’m thinking about had pictures of the child all the way from Kindergarten to high school senior made on the printable fabric.  As the quilt was pieced together, squares were added that had a poem that the child had written in the 6th grade, an art picture that was made in middle school, a copy of a cute Mother’s Day card that had been made at school, etc.  This type of memory quilt was indeed a full size quilt, but I rather doubt that the daughter ever actually used it on her bed.

Quilting is a bit time consuming, however people are willing to pay for these timeless treasures if they can only find someone who will do the work for them.  The memory quilt wall hanging took several months to complete, as the seamstress worked on it a little at a time, as she did her other sewing projects, in order that her main business of sewing and alteration work could still be completed in a reasonable time.

With a little imagination there is no limit to what can be done with memory quilts.

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Pass Along Your Love of Sewing – Teach Children How To Sew

Posted By on February 26, 2015

What a wonderful feeling it would give you to teach someone about your passion of sewing!  Not only would you feel proud of that person’s accomplishments, the person doing the learning would feel “on top of the world” to have created something unique and useable.

If you’re wondering where you could begin, start with some children – your own children or grandchildren or friends or neighbor’s children.  I would say around 5-8 would be a good age to begin teaching them the basics of sewing.  I started my grandchildren on the very basic stitching by using sewing cards (here’s an example of a set that I used).

Assorted E-Z Sew Sewing Cards

After they got the hang of doing even stitching around the sewing cards I brought out my Learn How To Sew book and turned to the hand sewing projects.  After picking a few of the hand sewing projects and making them, the children were HOOKED on sewing – they were so proud of the things they made they could hardly wait to get them home to show their parents.

By doing hand sewing projects first I could introduce them to various stitches for them to practice while actually making something, as well as getting them used to using, threading and being careful with needles.

When the time came for moving on to using a sewing machine, the same book, Learn How To Sew, has very clear pictures of the various parts of the sewing machine that the kids need to know, then it moves on to practice pages for beginner sewing – learning how to sew following  straight lines, circles, and slightly more complicated stitching designs.  For very beginning sewers, we recommend that you make the practice sewing projects out of pattern paper for ease of use, then let them follow the stitch lines without thread in the machine.  After they get the feel of how to start / stop / turn on the machine, it is time to add thread and use the same practice designs before moving on to making an actual clothing or craft item.

There are many ways to set up sewing classes for children — go “one on one” with a child, or if you’re going to teach older kids (8-10-12 year olds), you could set up the classes in groups of 4 per class or 6 or the number you feel like you could easily handle.

In order to teach actual sewing machine skills, you will need to have a sewing machine for each student.  We have found that going to flea markets and yard sales, we’ve found good sturdy older machines that just need a little bit of cleaning, oiling and adjusting and it was ready for use.  Of course you’ll need a little more room in order to put in the number of machines you’re anticipating that you’ll need for the number of students you want, so again, what we did was set up an area against a wall in the garage for the machines and it worked perfectly.

A couple of notes need to be mentioned here – first, be aware that there are also many adults that would LOVE to learn how to sew, so once the word gets out that you’re teaching sewing, you may have more than just children for your classes.

A second note is to let you know that the Learn How To Sew book was written by my husband and me.  When we wanted to start teaching our grandchildren how to sew, there simply wasn’t anything available for a teaching aid, so we wrote the Learn How To Sew book in order to cover all the aspects of sewing, and that it could be used for children and for teenagers and adults.

Teaching someone how to sew doesn’t take very much time – perhaps an hour once or twice a week, depending on how often you want to do the classes.  The sewing classes will make some extra money for your business in addition to giving you a good feeling about passing along your love of sewing to someone else.

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DARN That Hole!

Posted By on February 24, 2015

Oh No!  My favorite and most expensive wool skirt got snagged and left a hole – is there any way you can fix it for me?  Have any of your customers called and asked you that question?  And what did you tell them?  “Sorry, but I can’t fix holes in woolen garments.”  That little hole in the woolen garment is going to grow and grow unless it is darned right away.  Once the repair has been made, the garment has a whole new lease on life!  Let me pass along some information about darning holes in wool garments.

If it is possible to pull ravelings from a seam or the edge of the hem, or a like piece of material, these should be threaded into a needle and used for darning.  Use the ravelings that come from the length of the cloth for the lengthwise darns, and the ravelings from crosswise of the cloth for the crosswise threads in the darn.  Try to imitate the weave of the material, that is if it is a loose material do not put the darning threads too close together.  If it is closely woven material, make a tight darn.  Do not make knots in the thread.  Always work on the right side of the material to see how the darn is going to appear, but start and end the threads on the wrong side and leave loose ends of about half an inch of thread on the wrong side when starting and finishing off a thread.

If there are ravelings, try to match the material with a thread of the same size as that woven in the material and the exact color.  If the shade cannot be matched exactly always use a shade of thread a little darker than the material.  And always use dull thread for darning.

A good idea when darning is to put the material into a small embroidery hoop.  This will keep the area from puckering while holding it and keep the darn nice and flat.  If the darn is pulled too tight it will pucker when finished.  If it is too loose the finished darn will puff out.

After finishing the darn, shear off any small threads sticking up on the right side of the garment, but leave all loose ends on the wrong side.  Press on the wrong side, and brush up the nap slightly on the right side.

Sometimes, when it is impossible to match the color of the thread exactly, it is possible to find a fabric crayon or regular wax crayon, that does just match the color of the material.  Always try it out by marking a few strokes on the inside of a seam.  If it exactly matches, warm the crayon a little by putting it in the sun or in the oven for a very short time.  then mark back and forth over the darn on the right side.  Then put it between two pieces of wrapping paper and press with a warm iron.

Try this, and see how you do.  This is another area that you can specialize in – advertise it, and watch your business will grow.

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How To Make Fringe

Posted By on February 19, 2015

Fringe can be put on just about anything, from home decor items such as pillows and table coverings to clothing garment items like head scarves, jean jackets, sweaters and more.  Oh, I know you can buy some types of “fringe” by the yard, but it doesn’t come in every color under the sun, and most importantly, it wouldn’t be “hand made” by you.

Fringe is not hard at all to make — granted it is a little bit time consuming, but just like other things that take time, it will be well worth the extra time spent!  Give it a try today!













Cut 6 or 8 strands of thread or yarn (length depending on the article to which the fringe is added).  Double the strands to form a loop (Fig. 1).  Insert a crochet hook through the stitch at the edge of the article (Fig. 2), pushing the crochet hook through the back to the front of the garment, and draw the loop through (Fig. 3).  Pull the loose ends through the loop as shown (Fig. 4), then pull the ends down tight to make a knot (Fig. 5).  Repeat this process all around the article, making the fringe 1/8″, 1/4″ or 1/2″ distance apart, depending on whether you’re using thread or yarn, and how close together you choose to make the fringe threads.  Trim tne ends evenly.








Cut 6 strands of thread or yarn the desired length and make a row of plain fringe, following the instructions given previously for plain fringe.  This is the base row for the double knotted fringe.

Next pick up 6 strands of the first fringe and 6 strands of the second fringe and make a knot (fig. 6), 3/4″ to 1″ down and in the center between the two previous knots.  Pick up the remaining 6 strands of the second fringe and the first 6 strands of the next fringe and make another knot.  Continue in this manner all around the article.  Trim the lower fringe evenly.










Cut 8 strands of thread or yarn about 16 inches long and make a row of plain fringe, according to the instructions given for plain fringe.  This is the base row for the triple knot fringe.

Now make a row of double knot fringe following the instructions given above for double knot fringe.

Next work another row of knots by taking half of the first group of fringe and half of the next group of fringe and knot together about 3/4″ from the second row of knots (Fig. 7), keeping the knots centered with the ones above, as shown in the diagram.  Continue all around the article.  Trim the fringe evenly at the bottom.

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