Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Belt Loop Tutorial

One of my favorite things to wear is a skirt. It can be dress down casual or off to a dinner date with a quick change of accessories. One of the quickest ways to make your look more dressy is to tuck in your shirt and wear a belt. That is why I have created this little tutorial on how to make your own belt loops.
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Sometimes you create a pair of pants, shorts or skirt, and it does not come with belt loops. Here is how you can create your own.
1.) Cut five pieces of fabric measuring 3" X 2".
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2.) Fold and press each piece wrong sides together 1/4" along the short edge side. Then press and fold each piece in half, wrong sides together, long ways. Finally fold and press each long raw edge toward the center crease.
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3.) Sew the loop tab 1/8" around the edges.
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4.) Place the first loop at the back center seam. Measure around the waist line and evenly pin the other loops in place.
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5.) Sew the belt loops at the top and bottom to secure them to the garment. Now you can wear your garment with a belt!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Working with Sewing Pattern Companies, Getting Published

Wow! I was completely surprised to see on my detailed royalty report I had another Simplicity number for the Tailgate Teammate Tote, "It's So Easy, It's Simplicity #1190". It looks like they rebranded the tote and now are selling these two pattern designs together. 
I am still a newbie and my only problem with this is, one they did not let me know ahead of time and there is no "Sew Spoiled Logo" on the cover. 

If you are a pattern designer and you are wanting to work with a major pattern company you might want to know a few things first.

  1. Your pattern design is usually contracted for two years. If you sell a lot, then you might be asked to go on another 2 year contract. Or they might produce your pattern on a new number to refresh the branded look, seen here.
  2. The percentage you make as a newbie is usually under 10%, don't go under 5%. That means you have to sell well over 10,000 to make a $1,000 profit. However, they do sell your pattern around the world and translate it in different languages.
  3. Simplicity and most major companies pay you twice a year. End of February and again in August.
  4. You have to look at the long term return. If you are looking for a quick buck, this method is not for you.
  5. Simplicity does allow you to sell PDFs of your patterns, even though they are selling the printed versions. They see it like this, "We have two different readerships.", that is so true. This is a huge plus, most magazines do not see it that way and once you publish with a magazine you are asked not to share it any other way. 
  6. I was discovered on Etsy. They contacted me after seeing that my sells where good. Selling PDFs on Etsy or Craftsy or anywhere online can gain you exposure. That is a wonderful!
  7. You need to try to create a set. Major sewing pattern companies like there to be a common theme and more than one item in one sewing pattern. Especially if you are an accessories designer. My first design set was the "Ladybug series" and my second set was the "elastic double pocket design".
  8. You will have to make the item so they can take pictures of it. They will reimburse you for you supplies and time, with a "dress maker stipend".
  9. When making your cover product choose fabrics that the stores who carry your patterns will have. 
  10. This process of sending in your pattern and materials, to actually seeing your pattern in the stores takes a half a year to a year.
Disclaimer your experiences might be different from my own. These are things that I have found to be true. I could not live off the money I make from only royalties but if you have a diverse profile, meaning this is one of the many ways you make money designing sewing patterns, you could do very well. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Kids Sew; American Girl Doll Simplicity Pattern Clothes

My daughter received these adorable sewing kits for her American Doll. Simplicity has created some every cute dresses and accessories for her doll. We traced the patterns so we would be able to make more dresses. As you can see in the next picture the fabric is printed on with the template of the dress in outlined in black. I let Miss K set to work. She was able to cut everything out herself. 

After cutting everything out, I helped with ironing the dress and setting up the sewing machine. Miss K began sewing. We worked on straight stitching and tacking the ends. This dress has curved arm holes so I helped her with stitching in a curve. Everything was simple to put together.

Doesn't Grace look great! My daughter added a belt to draw in the waist line. This is definitely a dress pattern we will make again! 

The pockets are real little pockets! We made the purse too! We are looking forward to making more beautiful clothes for her American Girl Doll. The next Simplicity pattern pack came with 5 templates and a small book with instruction. We like to choose our own fabric, so that is one advantage. Miss K is great at color combinations and adding trims.

This is a side view of Grace's new dress. Hope you give this a try!


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Everyday Cardigan in Turquoise

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Once I find a pattern I like, it is common for me to make many items from the same design. The first time, is usually a test run and I find out new techniques. The second try is almost always better! I can make it faster and can zip through the process. This knitting pattern is called the Everyday Cardigan Lisa Clarke. I adore the button band however this time my button band wants to turn in. It might be because of the type of yarn I used, Red Heart Super Saver Yarn. It is very economical only costing $5 per skein. I also only needed 3 skeins. Which is very cost effective, however my first Everyday Cardigan which was made out of wool did a better job laying flat after blocking.
Red Heart Super Saver Yarn is an all-purpose medium worsted weight yarn that is ideal for afghans, sweaters and accessories. It is machine wash warm, tumble dry low, do not use bleach, do not iron, dry cleanable. It is 100% acrylic, Dye-Lot. #0512 Turqua.
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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Monogrammed T-shirt

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I love embroidery! You would think that it would get old being able to monogram anything to my hearts content. You might think all of my clothes, pillows, towels, etc. are monogrammed. I monogram mostly for others. Today is a selfish sewing day and I am going to monogram this t-shirt. It is a cute shirt that has a message on the back but no lapel design, so I am going to monogram the front.
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I have these dots that help with the placement of the design. They are called target stickers I received them in the Perfect Placement Kit I received for Christmas as a gift. Honestly, at first I thought I would never use the kit at all but it has been an extremely helpful tool!
The kit comes with...

  • 11 Perfect Placement templates for linens
  • 4 Perfect Placement plastic templates for wearables
  • 30 Target Stickers
  • a CD tutorial guide

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I have found that when embroidering a knit shirt you need to use heavier stabilizer. I used Pellon 808 or 809. There are probably better choices but this is what I had on hand. I also did not have any sticky spray so I used double sided tape above and below the design.
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After I placed my shirt on top of the hoop,  I took off the sticker and let the machine start to embroider.
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I always use a baste stitch around the design to hold the fabric to the hoop.