Book Review: Sewing To Sell

I love to enter sewing giveaways. Back in 2008 when I first started blogging I won a Michael Miller fabric set and I was hooked! I’ve scarcely won anything since, but I recently hit the jackpot winning this book by Virginia Lindsay of Gingercake Designs. It’s called Sewing To Sell: The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Craft Business.

Sewing To Sell | Review by JaimeSews

In many ways I’m not a beginner, but I’ve recently felt a little directionless. I feel somewhat stuck in between a hobby & a real business so I tried to sit down with this book with the eyes of a beginner to see if I could find some direction one way or another. I was not disappointed with Virginia’s smart & practical advice!

I sometimes find my head spinning from all the opportunities presented by the crafty business world. There is so much variety and so many possibilities and paths one could walk down. Right off the bat, Virginia encourages readers to stick with their own personal style. This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to get so inspired by everything around me that I feel I need to mimic what I see, instead of being true to myself. I can see some definite growth in this area since I started sewing to sell in 2008 after the birth of my son. I wasn’t choosing fabrics that inspired me in an effort to keep costs down and found myself unhappy very quickly. After I went back to work full time, I set the sewing business aside until the last year or so and this time I’ve endeavored to sew what I love.

In another section, Virginia discusses some business tips including changing the way you look at purchasing fabric & supplies. I definitely related to her examples and confessions and plan to make changes in this area myself. Other topics discussed (and shown beautifully) are how to photograph and package your product and for online and craft fair sales. Sewing to Sell also discusses pricing your product, organizing your patterns and sewing space and explains how to identify your customer.

Sewing To Sell | Review by JaimeSews

And then, to top it all off, there are 16 Starter project patterns included to get you started in your own sewing business. I confess, in a world with Pinterest and unlimited web resources, I hardly ever buy a book for projects anymore. But there was not one project in this book I wouldn’t want to make and many of them are a blank slate with which Virginia encourages the reader to make their own! And super extra bonus?!?! There’s a price range suggestion included at the top of each project pattern!

Sewing To Sell | Review by JaimeSews

Overall I found the advice in this book was exactly what I needed to hear. I should have known that when I felt lost, it would be best to follow the advice of Vince Lombardi and go back to the basics. So if you are a new to the craft business, save yourself some trouble and grab a copy of this book. And if you are a seasoned craft business owner looking for a little direction, you should also grab a copy of this book and remind yourself about the basics of Sewing to Sell!

Thank you so much to Virginia of Gingercake Designs for generously offering Sewing to Sell as a prize and thank you for supporting the handmade community with your practical, straight forward advice! I know I will be using the patterns included to add cute new products to my etsy shop this coming year!

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Handmade Christmas Pajamas

Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog as a part of the Ruffle Pajamas Tour by Once Upon A Sewing Machine!! I’d love to get to know you and keep in touch so don’t be afraid to leave a comment or chat with me on facebook, twitter and/or instagram!

Traditions are a great way to celebrate the holidays. When I was little, my grandma always put a swimsuit in our Easter Baskets and I know many people give PJs on Christmas Eve. The Ruffled PJs pattern, available in sizes 12 months through size 6, is a great choice for continuing or starting this tradition!!

Ruffle PJs Pattern by Once Upon A Sewing Machine | JaimeSews

When the kids and I went to F&M Fabrics (online at TheFabricMarket.com) to look for flannel to make these PJs, the choice was made for us as soon as we saw this adorable camping animals print. A helpful employee pointed out this cute pink coordinate, which we thought would be perfect for the small bodice ruffle and the pant cuffs. (Side Note: My daughter is 3 and consequently is going through a phase where she MUST have her sleeves rolled up and don’t even mention the word elastic. Hence, our sleeves have no elastic and they are rolled up. The original pattern design has cute elastic gathered sleeve hems)

Ruffle PJs Pattern by Once Upon A Sewing Machine | JaimeSews

My daughter’s measurements landed right on the 3T in the chart provided in the pattern so that is what I cut, even though I was worried it might be too small. The top is very roomy, as described in the pattern description, “for movement and twirl” so every little girl will love that. I wish the pants were a smidge longer but they fit perfectly otherwise. To make room for the cuff option in size 3T, I was instructed to cut 3″ off the pant leg so next time I may just cut 1 or 2″ instead.

Ruffle PJs Pattern by Once Upon A Sewing Machine | JaimeSews

The instructions were clear with photos to illustrate each step. The only thing I did differently was use the cuff to, in essence, hem the pants (maybe this affected the length somehow?). Let me show you what I mean.

First I sewed the side seams and the inseam of the pants.

Ruffle PJs Pattern by Once Upon A Sewing Machine | JaimeSews

Then I sewed the cuff pieces together at the side seams (the instructions recommend sewing each one to the pant leg before assembling the pants).

Ruffle PJs Pattern by Once Upon A Sewing Machine | JaimeSews

I pressed the tubes in half, wrong sides together.

Ruffle PJs Pattern by Once Upon A Sewing Machine | JaimeSews

And placed them on the pant leg, lining up the raw edges of both pieces.

Ruffle PJs Pattern by Once Upon A Sewing Machine | JaimeSews

Then I sewed, serged and pressed the cuff down. There we go – no additional hemming!

Ruffle PJs Pattern by Once Upon A Sewing Machine | JaimeSews

The Ruffled PJs Pattern is on sale for just $5 this week!

Ruffle PJs Pattern by Once Upon A Sewing Machine | JaimeSews

So go get your copy and don’t forget to check out the other stops along the blog tour! (just click each name below)

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Black Friday Through Cyber Monday Sale!!

Hey all – I hope you had a great day yesterday with family & friends and that the joy and gratitude remain throughout the season! I wanted to let you know about a sale I’m running today through midnight (PST) Cyber Monday  in BOTH my shops!

JaimeSews Black Friday - Cyber Monday Sale!

So head on over to www.jaimesews.etsy.com or www.jjssupply.etsy.com and please share & tell a friend!

Introducing Ginger House Designs!

Happy Monday!  Today is the day to check out the bloggers I tagged in the blog hop from last week! Lindsay of Sew Lindsay, Sew!, introduced last week, and Teresa of Navy Blue Threads. Teresa is from Manchester, in the North West of England and works part time as an English teacher in secondary school. She was kindly given a sewing machine for her 40th birthday, three years ago and thus, her love of sewing began. I know you will enjoy getting to know each of these ladies so be sure to click through!

And now, I am excited to introduce you to a new brand of PDF patterns, Ginger House Designs. I’ll let Darcy explain it all below:

Hello! I’m Darcy from Ginger House Designs Blog and Jaime invited me here to talk about my new pattern line, Ginger House Designs!  This past Friday, I released my first ever digital pattern, the Emerson Dress.

A little bit about myself. I’ve always had a need to create and craft and in high school, I picked up sewing as a hobby.  I mostly sewed simple dresses and vests for myself. After college, when I was engaged, I sewed all of my bridesmaids handbags as gifts. I also started my husband a Lucius Malfoy costume (which I never finished but he still asks for it so this may be a future project?!). Upon having my first (and currently only) child and becoming a stay at home mom, I began to take the time to really study and learn sewing and pattern drafting. I took many courses, some local and some online and read as many books as I could get my hands on at the local library.


Emerson Dress Pattern by Ginger House Designs | JaimeSews

I was born and raised in Charleston, SC and am now living in Upstate South Carolina.  All of my patterns (one out right now and three more in the works) are named after Charleston places and things that I grew up around, some known and some unfamiliar to most.

Emerson Dress Pattern by Ginger House Designs | JaimeSews
The Emerson Dress, which I have already mentioned is my first pattern, is named after the street that I grew up on, Emerson Street.  We were the only house on Emerson Street.  I felt like Emerson would be a good place to start my patterns, since it is my beginning!

Emerson Dress Pattern by Ginger House Designs | JaimeSews

This pattern comes with many features that are great for customizing and making it your own!  The front bodice pieces together, so the sky’s the limit for colorblocking and pattern mixing-and-matching.

Emerson Dress Pattern by Ginger House Designs | JaimeSews

Emerson Dress Pattern by Ginger House Designs | JaimeSews

The skirt piece includes cutting lengths for dress and shirt.  And it can be made sleeveless or with flutter sleeves.  The arm hole is big enough for layering underneath with a long sleeve shirt to bring us into fall and winter (spoilers: one of the patterns I’m working on right now might be a long sleeve ruffled t-shirt)!  Who doesn’t love a dress that can keep working for you into multiple seasons!

Emerson Dress Pattern by Ginger House Designs | JaimeSews

I have set up a flickr group for Ginger House Designs so everyone can share their wonderful creations! I really can’t wait to see what people do with this pattern!  To buy the pattern, head over to the Ginger House Designs Etsy shop!

Emerson Dress Pattern by Ginger House Designs | JaimeSews

Thank you for having me over here today!  If you want to see more of my doings and things in the works, head over to Ginger House Designs Blog!  I have some tutorials in the works that will be up on the blog soon!

Uptown/Downtown Dress

Welcome to one of three stop on today’s Sew Straight Patterns Blog Tour! We are celebrating of the release of The Uptown/Downtown Dress Pattern! Be sure to read all the way to the bottom to learn how you can enter the giveaway AND get 30% off the Uptown/Downtown Pattern now through August 16th!

Uptowndowntownptgraphic

If you follow my facebook or instagram feed, you saw I posted a picture of my serger admitting that it was time to use it to it’s full potential. Well here’s what I made with it!

UptownDowntownFront

The Uptown/Downtown dress, available in sizes 2T – size 10! Isn’t it adorable? I made the entire dress on my serger using a 5-thread safety stitch and the cover stitch, but the good news is, you don’t need a serger to make this adorable knit dress! UptownDowntownSide

The Uptown/Downtown dress goes together in a flash and makes a comfy and adorable back-to-school and every-day dress. You can make it sleeveless, with cap sleeves (shown here) or with half sleeves.

UptownDowntownBack

Elise’s measurements fell under the 2T size in the chart so that’s exactly what I made with no alterations. She loved the dress immediately and didn’t want to take it off. She just had to wear it to church the next day!UptownDowntownSideSmile

All the pattern pieces wen’t together perfectly! I chose the binding method, but there are also instructions for using a lining for sheerer knits or just for warmth. Overall I’d say it was a win and a pattern we’ll make over and over!UptownDowntownG

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit the Straight Stitch Pattern Company to see the rest of today’s tour stops!

Now for the giveaway details!

Sew Straight Patterns Tour & Giveaway | JaimeSews

One lucky person will win:

So click below to be whisked away to the Rafflecopter widget and enter away (now through August 11th)!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

AND – if you don’t win, don’t worry. Terri Lin has set up coupon code uptowndowntowntour to use for 30% off the Uptown/Downtown Dress Pattern now through August 16th!

 

Sew Straight Patterns Blog Tour & Giveaway!

I’ve “met” another great new pattern designer you all need to know about! Her inaugural pattern is a staple you’ll want to sew up again and again! Allow me to introduce to you Terri Lin of Sew Straight Patterns who has just released the Uptown/Downtown Dress! AND You’ll get to see all the variations this week in the Uptown/Downtown Blog Tour! I’ll reveal my version on Thursday, but you’ll want to check in to the Sew Straight & Gather blog each day to see all the other versions of this great dress!  
Uptowndowntownptgraphic

Not only will you be inspired, you can enter to win an amazing prize bundle!!! One lucky person will win:

So click below to be whisked away to the Rafflecopter widget and enter away now through August 11th and be sure to visit the Straight Stitch Pattern Company to see each day’s tour stops!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sew Straight Patterns Tour & Giveaway | JaimeSews

AND – if you don’t win, don’t worry. Terri Lin has set up coupon code uptowndowntowntour to use for 30% off the Uptown/Downtown Dress Pattern now through August 16th!

See you Thursday!

Beginner (Baby) Quilt and Ultimate Bib

Happy Monday! This past weekend I attended my cousin’s baby shower. Josh & Natalie are having their first bambino, a boy they’re naming Riley! I love to give handmade gifts, so when their registry revealed a monkey nursery theme, I was super excited to get shopping. I just got my Kam Snaps plier kit and was anxious to try it out, so I knew for sure I would be making the Ultimate Catch-All Bib, a free pattern from Peek A Boo Pattern Shop!

PAB Ultimate Baby Bib | JaimeSews

I took Amy’s recommendation and and ordered from Laminates on Etsy. She has an amazing selection of laminated cotton and this Monkey print perfectly fit the theme. The Ultimate Catch-All Bib is great because it opens flat to wipe clean, but snaps up to catch all the food that doesn’t quite make it into baby’s mouth.

PAB Ultimate Baby Bib | JaimeSews

My son and I had a great time figuring out the Kam Snaps (it’s not hard). Mostly we just giggled at how quickly they went in and how cool it was that they worked! Here’s a picture from the back showing the one side snapped and the other side open. I had a bib similar to this one when my kids were bib-wearing age. It was hands-down our favorite bib. I hope Josh & Natalie get great use out of it!

PAB Ultimate Baby Bib | JaimeSews

The same day I ordered from Laminates, I also found a cotton fat quarter of the same monkey print! Wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, but gathered I could figure that out later. Well after a trip to the local store to match fabrics, I came home with the goodies to make a Beginner’s Quilt!

Beginner's Quilt | JaimeSews

Instructions for making this quilt can be found here. I love how quickly it comes together, but also like the size. It measures 45″ x 60″ so it will last for as long as Riley still loves it (assuming he will).

Beginner's Quilt | JaimeSews

Without question, I was in the mood for meandering, so I just stitched a big version of it all over. It’s not perfect, but I love how it turned out.

Beginner's Quilt | JaimeSews

I put an alphabet flannel on the back for warmth and a soft feel. And quite possibly the smallest quilt label ever.

Beginner's Quilt | JaimeSews

This week is a busy week, but I hope to work on my Peek A Boo Pattern Shop Swap outfits (Here’s the post from last year’s swap). This year, I’ll be sewing for a boy and girl in Hawaii and she’s sewing for my two! Can’t wait to see how everything turns out and will be sure to share!