craft business, Quilting, Travel

My Singer Featherweight Must-Haves

In this post, I’m referring to the original vintage 221 Singer Featherweight. 

  •  A name. I’m one of those folks who names my cars, but didn’t really think to  name my sewing machines. When I joined the FW FB group, many posters had given their beloved machines a name.20190101_001219Juliette, my FW, is named for the fiercely independent, diminutive,  80-something years young woman who burst into my life so many years ago.
  • Modern accessories that really make sewing on this vintage machine a pleasure:
    • Scant 1/4″ foot with seam guide
    • Flat mount Thread Cutterz
    • Thread stand (to use with cross-wound spools like Aurifil – makes a difference!)
    • LED light bulb (personal preference is the warm light)
    • Electronic foot control
      Comments:  I always use a scant 1/4″ seam when I piece – regardless of sewing machine used. Some people prefer to use the original Singer presser foot and an acrylic seam guide. I like to use clips/pins to hold my sections together when I sew. The screw down seam guide gets in my way.  The electronic foot control preserves my original Bakelite foot controller, plus I find it WAY more comfortable to use when sewing.
  • Updated Travel Case – Many FW users I know love to take their machines with them whenever possible to sew-ins, classes and quilt retreats. Your options include  replica cases, wheeled bags and/or padded carry totes. If you don’t want to buy a bag, consider making a tote/padded cover for your original case. It will help protect it. I frequently travel with a sewing machine and prefer a padded tote with a shoulder strap. This cute project bag from Blue Fig is a great size for the FW (or any 3/4 size sewing machine) and has a bit of room leftover to hold your project and supplies. I took the bag to a recent sew-in and was able to carry a small folding cutting mat, wool press mat, SteamFast travel iron and my precut project in the same bag as the FW.  The bag will also fit in the overhead bin on an airplane and supposedly fits under most seats.  We shall see!

Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with any of the companies linked in this post. I am merely a satisfied customer sharing which products add value to my vintage FW sewing machine experience. 

craft business, Kid's Sewing, Quilting, Tech Editing

Check out this super cute pattern!

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Meet Josefina and Jeffery!

Ira Rott is a well-known designer in crochet circles, but decided to translate one of her most popular crochet patterns into a sewing pattern.  This is the result!

Although rated for intermediate sewists, an advanced beginner would be fine with this pattern. It does introduce some techniques with which you might not be familiar, but it’s all part of the learning process, right?

And yes, yours truly assisted by tech editing this delightful pattern.

It’s available in her Etsy shop as a pdf download.  Get yours here.

Happy sewing!

craft business, Kid's Sewing, libraries, Quilting, summer camp, Travel

Fun Stitchy Things to Do With Your Kids & Grandkids This Summer

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That’s right!  The Row by Row Junior experience is back for 2018.  If you like to shop hop, be sure to take your mini-me along for the ride!  Your little one(s) will be able to enjoy Row by Row activities geared just for them. Go here for more details.

 

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Designed for kids and adults, this weekly downloadable sew-along-series starts at the very beginning. Week 1 covers sewing machine basics, sewing vocabulary and simple stitches. Week 2 features a really cute popsicle project that can be made in an afternoon. Be sure to visit the Janome summer camp site each Monday for a new activity.

 

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Finally, be sure to check out your local library to see what crafty activities are scheduled as part of the Summer Reading Program.  Maker Space and Crafternoon programs are very hot right now in libraries!  Best of all – most are absolutely FREE!  (Oh, and if your library has one – be sure sign up to read to the READing dog if your ‘lil stitcher is in grades 1-6).

craft business, Quilting, Tech Editing

Psst – Pattern Designers – Hire a Tech Editor to Edit Your Patterns!

As a quilter whose “sew for me” time is a precious commodity, nothing is more AGGRAVATING than sitting down to start a project only to discover I have issues with a pattern I downloaded as a pdf file.  I mean, at least in the store, I can open the pattern up and look through it before purchasing.

Four friendly suggestions from this tech editor for quilt pattern designers:

  1. Format the pattern so that there are no pages with only a single line of text and the rest of the page is blank.  At the very least, insert a statement like [THIS SPACE IS INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK].
  2. Patterns with lots of half-square triangles and other intricate bits of piecing require using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance.  Put a reminder in the general directions section near the beginning of the pattern. [Use of a scant 1/4″ seam allowance is recommended for best results.]
  3. If your pattern makes use of a special notion or technique – say HSTs using triangle papers – clearly state this on the pattern envelope IN LARGE PRINT.  If offering the pattern as a pdf download, make it clear in the description that triangle papers are needed for this project – especially if fabric requirements, cutting directions and piecing directions are written exclusively for the use of triangle papers. (You may also consider putting an errata sheet on your website listing modifications for sewists who use a different HST construction method.) Putting an asterisk and mice type at the bottom of the fabric requirements grid suggesting triangle papers for HSTs doesn’t really help.
  4. There should be at least 3 photos in an online ad:  front of pattern envelope, back of pattern envelope, and a snippet from the sewing instructions featuring any specialty tools or techniques used in the pattern.

Hiring a tech editor doesn’t guarantee a 100% foolproof pattern – but it does mean another set of experienced eyes has reviewed your pattern and lessens the likelihood of glaring errors that will significantly impact your customer’s sewing project.

A fun time and successful result using YOUR pattern increases the chance that the customer will buy ANOTHER pattern from you.

So, hire a tech editor to help make you look good in print!

In case you were wondering, I am now accepting tech editing projects for January 2018. Easy to intermediate patterns require 2-4 hours to edit and have a 1-2 week turnaround time.   Email:  teresa@comestitchwithme.com

 

 

 

 

craft business, Quilting

Shopportunity

 

Come Stitch With Me, LLC is expanding its retail offerings!

Soon, you will see specialty sewing items for sale in my Etsy sho20160406_172242p.

Only those items that I absolutely, positively use and love will be offered for sale (and very few of said items are available at the big box stores!).

Calling all stitchers! It’s time to get those Christmas wish lists started!

Competitive prices, speedy shipping and you’ll be helping a child R.E.A.D. with Boomer!

 

 

 

craft business, Crafty STEM, Kid's Sewing, Quilting

Kid’s Classes Now Available

 

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You asked! Classes are scheduled for the month of July, 2016. 

Location:  All classes will be held @ Stitch N Quilt in Mableton.

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July 7th , 10-11:30 a.m. Crafty STEM/Electric Bracelet.  Learn about e-textiles/soft circuits as you make your very own LED bracelet.  You choose the color of bamboo felt, stitch your circuit and bling to your heart’s content. Class Fee:  $15.00, includes all supplies.  Hand sewing.

July 7th, 1:00-3:00 p.m. T-Shirt Pillows.  Become a part of the upcycling crowd as you turn one of your t-shirts into a pillow.  Note: this is not a class for absolute beginners. You need to be able to sew a straight seam without sewing your fingers together. Class Fee:  $15.00.  Kit Fee: $10.00 (optional, but provides your choice of fabrics and a 14″x14″pillow form.) Machine sewing.

July 13th – 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Snap Bags. Make & Take.  Come as you are and make your very own version of one of these clever snap bags which incorporates  metal tape measure pieces to make the bag “snap” shut. For kids and adults.  Class Fee: $10.00, includes tape measure parts. Machine sewing.

July 19th  & July 21st – 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Kids Quilt. Come view the samples on display in the shop and choose to make either a Windmill or a Simply Blocks quilt top. If you buy your fabrics at SNQ, the staff will precut all your fabrics so that you can start stitching right away. Class Fee:  $35.00  Optional Kit & Pattern Fee: TBD.  Machine sewing.

 

 

craft business, Quilting

Should You Consider Buying Wholesale?

For me, the answer has quickly become a resounding, “YES” for 3 reasons:

  • My go-to Hancock Fabrics store near me is about to close.
  • Joann’s is consistently out of stock on bolts of SF101 when I need it for projects and online orders have meant Wonder-Under arriving at my doorstep instead of SF101. This is especially aggravating when it means approximately 1-1/2 hours of time wasted plus the gas to get to the store and back or time spent trying to educate the customer service rep on the difference between Shape Flex and Wonder Under.
  • When I reviewed my biz financials and saw the total I spent last year on supplies for t-shirt quilts, sewing camps/classes, and stitching club at school, I KNEW I could meet the annual minimums required by several wholesale sewing vendors.

Most wholesalers are geared toward retailers. However, if you look, you will find a handful of companies that cater to cottage businesses. EE Schenk and Checker Distributors are two that I suggest you try if you need a company that supplies a little bit of everything.  Should I decide to start vending sewing notions in my Etsy shop, it will be an easy transition for me as I already have a wholesale supplier set up.

Buying wholesale means you save on a per yard basis on the fabric you buy, but you are required to buy an entire bolt. That could be 10-15 yards of fabric, depending on the manufacturer.  That’s enough for  at least 2-3 quilts.

Will I buy wholesale for everything? Of course not!  My approach to fabric & notions purchasing will mimic how I spend the library budget at my day job. I often visit the local bookstore to preview unfamiliar titles before I commit to buying them with library money. I’ll likely by a yard or two of fabric from my LQS to see if it’s worth springing for the entire bolt.  Or I need a FQ of a particular college sports team to use in a baby quilt. Or I need a single spool of a particular color/brand of thread I don’t have on hand.  I’ll still support my LQS, but wholesale purchasing will allow me to be more profitable in terms of $$ spent on supplies and in time spent sourcing frequently used materials in my business.