Today’s Patterns..Do Most Only Provide The “Shortcut Instruction Set”?

I spent the weekend before last sewing a little dress for my grand baby Charlotte. She was baptized last Sunday and my daughter thought it would be nice for her to have a special dress to wear out to eat after church so she could change out of the heirloom gown she wore for the ceremony.

So I got started by picking out McCalls M6015. She’s a little smaller than their 13-18lb pattern but we figured it would fit okay especially since there’s a sash where we could pull it up on the sides. After getting it all cut out one evening, I decided that I would sew it up on Saturday and it would be just that easy.

Since this is for a special occasion, I really wanted to do it up nice and I thought this little dress would be just perfect, but once I got into the construction, I realized that the instructions that came with the pattern were just not going to do the trick.

I remember when I first started sewing, 40 years ago, I ALWAYS followed the instructions that came with the pattern exactly. And if I strayed away at all, it was because the instructions made me do way more than I felt necessary for the use I was going to get out of the garment.

Isn't she a cutie?

Somewhere along the way things changed! It must have been gradual over the years and most people have just gone with the changes or just kept using the techniques they learned ‘way back when’. And that’s a shame for those who are just now learning to sew, as they will never benefit from the instructions included in a commercial pattern in order to learn the craft properly.

This pattern had a full lining, and for the sleeveless version, with exception of the zipper, all the seams were enclosed in the lining. However, in the version that included sleeves, instead of sewing the sleeve to the outer fabric and then slip-stitching the lining at the seam (which would enclose the seam) it just instructed me to sew in the sleeve treating the outer and inner layers as one. That left the seam exposed. It also instructed to do the same with the zipper, treating the inner and outer layers as one.

Char Char Dress INSIDE OUT!

I was horrified. First, this is for an infant, I really didn’t want the seam and the overlock treatment to rub up against her soft little skin. Second, it would have really looked bad. Now if this hadn’t been for a special occasion, maybe, just maybe, I would have followed the instructions… but for this special occasion, I just had to do it right. It took me a little longer, probably an extra 30-40 minutes to turn under the lining’s edge at each sleeve and at the zipper and then sew it by hand, but it was so worth it. That dress now looks as good on the inside as it does on the outside, if it had a two-way zipper, it could almost be worn inside out!

Other changes I made that were not covered in the pattern instructions include, french seams for the skirt and skirt lining (those were the only seams that were exposed), trimmed and overlock stitched all other seams (all these seams were enclosed in the lining), put a deep 2″ hem on the lining, as well as the skirt, making the skirt look much fuller.

I must say, it turned out beautifully and was a fabulous dress for Char Char to wear on her special day.

Do you find pattern instructions give you the “shortcut instruction set” more often than the “better clothing instruction set”? Do you make the appropriate changes when the use for the garment calls for a better version?

I’d love to hear your experiences with a pattern that you thought could be better, comment below!

Until later ~


Going Forward! Coming Soon – A New Sewing and Crafting PLR Site

sewing machine - sewing plrSo many readers gave their positive input about my idea to set-up a Sewing PLR and PLR Pattern website and I’m so glad the idea was so well received. Thanks to all who responded, your input is invaluable. The next step is to announce my decision… will I go forward with the idea or not?

Well, I’m excited to announce… YES! I’m going to go forward with the idea.

The name of the website will be revealed soon, I don’t want to give it out until it looks halfway decent. So far, I haven’t started working on the site but I registered the name over a year ago, so you can say I’ve have been planning for some time now.

There’s a lot to consider, things like which shopping cart, how will the site be laid out, what will the logo look like, will I offer more than sewing PLR and PLR patterns, how much will I charge, will it be a membership site to keep the PLR more exclusive, and on, and on, and on.

I have decided that I will offer sewing AND crafting PLR in addition to PLR patterns. I just think I will have much more to offer by expanding into the craft area as well as sewing.

I’m going to write a guide book soon that explains how PLR can be used to help you with your sewing or crafting business but first I need to get the website up and running and get my first products ready.

I’m really excited and hope you are too. I’ll keep you up to date as things progress. If you have any comments or suggestions, please speak up!

Until next time ~


PLR Sewing Patterns? I Hope It’s Not As Crazy As It Sounds

For those of you who hopped over to this blog post from my email, you’re probably ready to get on the *INTERESTED LIST* right away. To make it easier for you and so you don’t have to wade through the entire post (which is a repeat of the email), I’m putting the sign-up box right here at the top for you. If you’re interested in Sewing PLR and PLR Sewing Patterns add your name and email address in the sign-up box right now so I know who is interested.

For everyone else who may have stopped by from a Twitter post or came from Google, below is the email I sent to my list that explains what I’m thinking about doing. I hope you can take the time to leave me a comment below and if you think the ability to purchase Sewing PLR and PLR Sewing Patterns would be fantastic, sign-up for my *INTERESTED LIST* and I’ll keep you up-to-date about how things are going.

Here’s a reprint of my email that explains what Sewing PLR and PLR Sewing Patterns is:


I hope you’re doing well and sewing tons of cute stuff.

I have an idea I want to run by you.

I’ve been studying internet marketing for about 10 years now, I know a lot about it but have never tried to make a go of making money online. But I have this idea for a business and I thought I’d run it by you to see if you think it has any merit. I love sewing so whatever it is that I do as a business must have something to do with sewing. And that’s where you come in, I know you love sewing too, so I thought asking you for feedback would be the best way to vet my idea.

In the internet marketing world, it is common knowledge that you have to have tons of written content to run a business. You need content to post on your blog, to send to your email subscribers, and to use in information products like ebooks. Because the demand for written content is so high in that industry, someone way back in the early days of the internet developed a concept called Private Label Rights or PLR.

PLR is written content like articles or ebooks that is sold to multiple people with a license for use and the purchaser can use it in any way the license allows.  It works best if the purchaser changes it somewhat to fit his or her business before using it for blog posts, emails, or in a product to be sold.

PLR is actually a wonderful thing. It serves as a writing “starter”, it supplies ideas to write about, and it even teaches different tactics and concepts. Some people actually use PLR as the basis for video courses they sell.

Knowing about PLR and how it’s used sparked an idea for me… what if I offered sewing PLR for those people who have sewing blogs or websites that need content?

And that triggered another idea… what if I offered PLR Patterns?

Now you’re probably wondering, what the heck is a PLR Pattern? Well, I’ll describe it like this… I’ll create a pattern to sell, not for sewing purposes (of course you could sew it if you want), but for the person who buys it to use for whatever purpose they want… which would include selling it as their own.

No, I’m not crazy, let me explain. Here’s my vision, I hope I’m clear enough for you to understand the concept.

I will make patterns and sell them with a license that allows the person who buys them to do whatever they want with them. There will only be two exceptions, they will not be able to sell the PLR license again and they won’t be able to claim copyright.

Here’s how I envision the process, let’s say Jane is the purchaser and the PLR Pattern is my Molly Handbag:

  • Jane buys the Molly Handbag Pattern with a PLR license
  • Jane sews the handbag and throws in a little change here and a little change there
  • For example, she might add extra pockets, add some hardware, put in a zip top, or do something else to “make it her own”
  • Jane would add the changes she made to the pattern instructions
  • She would then take photos
  • Give the pattern a name
  • Create a cover or flier with her own photos
  • AND THEN she would sell pattern as her own on her website, or on her blog, or anywhere else she wanted to sell it

Jane would even be able to call herself the designer. She would be able to do anything she wanted except claim copyright and sell PLR rights.

Really when you think about it, it’s not unlike how big chain stores buy designs from small unknown designers and then put their store name on the label. Just walk through a mall and you’ll see the stores I’m talking about. Quite often multiple companies will buy the same design, but before production they will make small changes like using a different fabric or changing a neckline so they can call it their own.

In the same sense, I’ll be like that small independent designer, you’ll be able to buy my designs… then you’ll get to put YOUR name on the label. And you’ll be able to buy my writing content and show your name as the author.

So, my idea is to have a website where I sell

  • PLR sewing articles that you can use on your website and name yourself as the author
  • PLR how-to sewing reports that you can sell and name yourself as the author
  • and PLR sewing patterns that you can sell and name yourself as the designer

If you have a website, blog,  membership site, or some other business where you can use this type of content, PLR can save you a ton of time and make you a lot of money. Even if you have a physical store you can package a PLR pattern and sell it in your shop. That would be totally within your rights as a PLR licensee.

So? What do you think? Do you have a need for PLR content? If you have a sewing business, I hope this piqued your interest.

I haven’t started this business yet as I don’t want to waste my time if it’s something no one wants, but if it is, I’m going to get started right away and I’m considering using the Molly Handbag Pattern as my first PLR Pattern (if you’re not familiar with Molly, click here). I’ll have to make a few changes to the paperwork and build a website, but I can probably get it up and ready for business in a short period of time.

I’d love for you to HIT THE REPLY BUTTON RIGHT NOW leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

If you don’t think it’s a good idea, I want to hear why. Don’t worry about hurting my feelings, my skin is tougher than that and I need to know before I start sinking money into a project that everyone thinks is crazy.

If you love the idea and think you might be interested when the business opens, I want to hear from you too. I’d love to hear your ideas for article and report topics, as well as ideas for the types of patterns you’d like to see, i.e., purses, children’s clothing, etc.

Additionally, I’ve created a separate mailing list for those who are interested. That way future mailings about PLR will only go to those want to get them. If you’re interested in being notified when my Sewing PLR site opens, then click here enter your name in the sign-up form below to add your name to the list.

Remember, if you have an online sewing business or a sewing blog that needs to be fed tons of content, this just may be the product you need to keep your content and offerings fresh and current.

Thanks for taking the time to read my email. You are a cherished part of my sewing blog and I love that you allow me to enter your inbox ever-so-often.

And if you are one who hits the reply button comments below and gives me your opinion, I want to thank you so very much in advance for taking the time to give me your opinion. It can make a huge difference in how I proceed with this project.

Until later,


7 Best Sewing Machine Features Ever

Janome Memory Craft 6500P

Janome Memory Craft 6500 P - not my machine but close

We all love our sewing machines. Aren’t they just wonderful? I learned to sew on my grandmother’s Kenmore, it was black iron and very heavy. It had few features that I remember except a thigh paddle that made it go, and boy did it go. It was heavy duty and would sew anything, what a great machine that was.

Many of today’s machines aren’t heavy duty but we have the luxury of having tons of features and computerized settings that make it easier to create professional looking garments.

Here are the features I love the most on my Janome Memory Craft 6600 Pro. What are your fav features?

1. Needle threader – need I say more? I really don’t know how I would function without this feature. As I get older, it gets harder and harder to see tiny things. Whoever thought of this was a genius.

2. Adjustable foot pressure – on my machine this is a knob that I have to turn and it’s tight, so it’s not the easiest thing to do. That being said, my old machine doesn’t adjust at all and when you sew purses or home dec,even pants and jeans, this feature saves a lot of broken needles.

3. Speed control – I use this more often than I thought I would. Most of the time it’s on full speed but if I have a delicate area or if I’m sewing an area that is bunched or has a lot of fabric, slowing down really helps. Moving this adjustment helps me keep an even pace when I need to slow down.

4. Easy change presser feet – I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the low shank presser feet that attach with what I refer to as “crow’s feet”. It makes it so easy to go from one foot to the other and saves so much time. I find I change feet for everything without even thinking and my top-stitching and other seams turn out nicer for it.

5. Table to make a flat sewing surface – my Janome came with a little table that wraps around the machine so I have a large surface when sewing. It is fabulous, especially when sewing large bags, home dec, or even a large garment.

6. Built in walking foot – now I know this is a luxury and I don’t even need it because I have a walking foot that attaches but since my new machine has one built-in, I’ve started loving it. I still have to change the shank and presser foot, so it’s still kind of a pain to use, but since it’s built-in it just seems to work better.

7. Needle up / down button – I grew up having to turn the wheel to move the needle up or down, but pushing a button gives you the ability to use both hands to position your piece. This really comes in handy when working with gathers or tight corners. I really have come to depend on it.

What are the favorite features on your sewing machine?  Post a comment below or go over to my Facebook page and post there.

Until later!


Heirloom Sewing – Christening Gown

Hi everyone! I’ve not posted much because I haven’t been sewing much. But I’m starting to get the bug again. I still have the purse I started at Christmas time where I was going to make a series of videos, so I think I need to wrap that up. So that is coming up soon, and alongside that I really want to make this christening gown.

My grand baby is due on June 3rd. We’re past the shower and my daughter is all ready for her little bundle to arrive (little does she know what it will really be like, she *thinks* she’s ready).

Anyway, I’m considering making the christening gown and I just love the one pictured to the left. I found it on Ginger Snaps Designs website. It’s going to be quite a challenge and I think I’m up for it.

Some of the skills I’ll have to learn include:

  • tucks or pintucks
  • working with lace
  • working with fine fabric

I’ll keep you updated, at this point I need to get the pattern, fabric, lace and ribbon ordered and purchased. Once I get everything I’ll post pics, I’m even considering a video.

Oh, one more thing, check out some of these finished christening gowns on the Ginger Snaps website, they are absolutely beautiful.  Ginger Snaps Christening Gown Trunk Show

Until next time,



What A Beautiful Diaper Cake!

Hi everyone! I know it’s been a while since I posted, I guess I just needed a break as it’s not just that I didn’t post, I also haven’t done anything creative to post about. That is until now. It’s not sewing but it was fun none the less.

We had a shower yesterday for my oldest daughter Stephanie and I just wanted to show you the diaper cake I made for the shower. It turned out gorgeous and it’s was a hit at the shower.

Since this isn’t something I do everyday, I searched the internet for inspiration and instructions. There were so many different ways to make a diaper cake so my first problem was to decide which method I would use. I finally decided on what I call the “swirl” method and I found the instructions on YouTube. The video provided by Becca at Diaper Cakes by Becca ( on YouTube at this link – Diaper Cake Video was perfect to get me going.

Below are a few pics from my assembly. The most genius thing (at least I think so) was how I put the words “BABY” on the cake. I hot glued a long pin to the back of the letter, the pin was on of the long ones with the yellow flower on top. Then I just stuck it into the diapers. Lastly, to keep the baby angel on top, I used (again) long pins. I didn’t use hot glue anywhere that would touch the diapers but I did glue the bows and duckies to the green silk leaves so they would stay in place.

Oh also, the base is just a thick foam core board I bought at Michaels. Then I wrapped it in some cute wrapping paper. It was the perfect size. I first thought I would buy a cake base but none of them were big enough, I think this is cuter anyway.

I know this isn’t a complete tutorial but I wasn’t thinking to take pics. Go to Becca’s YouTube vid to get details.

Layer 1 held together with scrap ribbon



Changing My Strategy – Not Just Purses Any More

I’m not sure if you noticed last week but I didn’t send out my normal weekly recap. Reason is, there were no posts during the prior week. My mother-in-law was visiting and I preferred to spend time with her to writing on my blog. Plus my youngest daughter was getting ready to leave for Europe and since she is living with us, helping her get ready to go was quite time-consuming as well.

However, grandma and daughter both left on Sunday January 8th and I still haven’t sat down to write a post until today. Instead I’ve been exploring and analyzing how I want to earn a living for the rest of my life. I decided the new year is a time of renewal and as good a time as any to reflect my circumstances and make decisions for moving forward.

I found this wonderful blog called written by Jennifer Gresham and she writes about finding what you love to do and changing your career to match. By following links on her site, I found myself at her website called and it just so happened that she was opening her training program the day I found the website. So, after watching her video, I decided to join.

I love Jen’s enthusiasm for her work and listening to her history was very interesting. The method she uses to help people find careers they love made total sense to me, and after being a member for less than a week, I am not disappointed. Right now I’m learning how to find the crossroads of what makes me proud, my core values, and what motivates me. Quite an enlightening process.

Anyway, this whole process got me looking at what I’m currently doing. I work a 40-45 hour week as an Accounts Payable Supervisor, my department pays the bills for my company which is an oilfield services company. It’s quite a good job, I am well paid, work with smart intelligent people, have a great boss that trusts me to run my department, I have input, and my employees are the best. At night and on weekends I like to sew, surf the internet, get things done around the house, hang with my hubby, and relax. For the last 6 or 7 months I’ve been working on turning my sewing hobby into a business, trying to figure out how to make money with sewing. I kind of thought I might do training videos to sell.

Well, after taking a good hard look at what I’ve been trying to do with this blog and my hobby of sewing, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not really right for me. I love to sew but I’m trying to turn that into a job. I’ve been working really hard to find things to post about and cranking out projects so I can get experience with setting things up to sell. Quite honestly, turning a hobby that you love into a way to make money isn’t as easy as it looks. It kind of takes the joy out of the hobby and to me that’s just a little tragic.

You see, everything I’ve learned about selling on the internet says to focus, focus, focus. Find a niche and narrow it as much as possible. So, since sewing is such a huge area, I decided to choose one item I like making and focus on that, purses and handbags.

Well, in my zeal to create handbags for the website, I’m neglecting all the other things I want to sew. My daughter recently told us she’s going to have a baby and I’d love to make the christening gown. That’s a whole different set of skills with smocking and heirloom sewing techniques. I’d love to make a few dresses for my youngest daughter. I’ve seen some really nice patterns that I’d love to try but when would I have the time?

You see, there’s just more to what I like to do than just making purses.

So after deep reflection, I’ve decided to not turn my sewing hobby into a business. I’ve also decided that trying to make posts here on this blog just so there will be something to send in the weekly email is not something I will continue to do.

That being said, I will however, continue to keep the blog and the list. I will post when I think there’s something that will interest my audience, but that may only be every other week, or once a month, or maybe twice in one week, it will depend on what I’m working on. The recap will go out on the Tuesday after there is a post, but that may not be every week.

You may also see me post about things other than purses, I may decide to post about other projects I’m working on at the time. I will keep the Molly Handbag Pattern available for download exactly as it is now where anyone who wants it will need to add their email to my mailing list because, who knows, I might change my mind later. Please feel free to unsubscribe at any time if this new strategy does not meet your needs and desires.

Lastly, I want to mention that I will continue to find a way to make a living on the internet. I want to create a way to earn money aside from my job so that I can fund our retirement and maybe have a business that will help support us for the rest of our lives. I’m leaning toward something in the internet marketing realm, I have a lot of training in this field and just need to find a proper way to present my knowledge. I will post here to let you know what I decide to do and if you want to follow me in that endeavor I’ll share the info with you.

Thanks to everyone who follows my blog. Like I said above, I’m not going anywhere, I’m just changing how I’m going to do things. If you want to share any of your sewing projects with me, or if you have made the Molly Handbag, please send me a pic or link to your blog and I’ll post it. I love seeing what others are doing.

Until next time,

[email protected]

I’m In The Movies! Intro Video: How To Make A Purse Using Simplicity 2685

Well, I got the first video done! It’s live on YouTube!

It was much harder than I thought it would be. I thought I could just “wing it” with the intro but after about 15 takes I ended up writing a script and even making a cue card of sorts. It’s going to take some time to get used to being in front of the camera, but I think I’ll get there (probably with every pound I lose I’ll get more and more comfortable!).

I needed video editing software that wasn’t too expensive so I searched Google and found It’s only $29.95 for 1 year or $59.95 for unlimited lifetime. I chose the lifetime since I plan on doing this for a while. The software is very comprehensive for the small amount you pay. I was able to do lay-overs, text, and transitions, and you can add audio overlay too. I imagine if I want to get “really” in to video editing I would need more but this will do me for now. Oh, and with the unlimited subscription you can download all their software. In addition to the video editing software, yesterday I used their video file format changer. It worked great to change my MP4 to a WMV. If you need a good, but inexpensive video editing program that’s easy to use, give it a try. Below is the link, I signed up for the affiliate program but don’t have the link yet – when I get it – I will change the link to be my affiliate link.

Anyway, here’s my debut…

I’m going to try to get the next video done tomorrow, maybe edited too. I’ll post if I do. I tried today but I’m using a Flip Video and it ran out of juice. It takes 3 hours to charge and I ran out of light. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

In the next video I’m going to cover how to cut out the fabric. My fabric has a design that needs to match at the seams so I’m going to cover that as well.

Please let me know what you think…I can take it. Critiques make my products better. Oh, and I know this one is a bit boring, I’m sure I’ll get better with time (and weight loss!).

Looking forward to hearing from you – until later ~


Mod Metrics Result In Cute Purse

I made a trip out to Hancock Fabrics today to see what’s new. I ended up shopping their marked-down upholstery fabric as they really had a nice selection. I could have bought enough fabric for five or six purses because there was so much cute stuff and I was only looking at the marked-down items.

I ended up getting the cute mod geometric fabric in the picture for $7 a yard, yeah, I said $7! And it’s 60″ wide too! I found the cream fabric to match for $5 a yard. There was only one yard but hey, that’s plenty. The other fabric is a quilting cotton for the lining, it was $4 something. And check out that cute button! It matches the feel of the fabric perfectly.

I was going to make an Amy Butler pattern but decided to take a look through the pattern books. They had McCalls patterns on sale for $1.99 but I didn’t see anything I liked so I splurged on a Simplicity that wasn’t on sale. I don’t normally do that, I usually wait until they are on sale but I really wanted to get this started while I’m on vacation. The pattern I picked is Simplicity 2685 and I’m going to make View D. They show it made in only one fabric but I’m going to use a combination with the mod geometric pleated on the bottom and the cream on the straps and the band around the top. It’s really going to be a cute one.

Today I tried talking in front of the video camera. It was quite shocking to see myself on camera. I’m definitely going to need to lose some weight in order to get comfortable. But who said I need to be comfortable? After adding make-up and about 15 tries, I think I got a good intro done. But it was still testing, I didn’t know what to say so I didn’t say anything right. but I think I got to the point where, if I prepare before turning on the camera, I could get out some instructions.

So, after talking it through with my hubby, and showing him my ‘takes’, I decided that I’m going to make this purse on video. I’m going to sew a little each day, not every day, but several days each week, and do a sew along on video. This will be my test run before I start making more professional sewing instruction videos to teach how to make purses and handbags using various patterns.

I’d love for you to follow along and make the purse with me. I’m not sure when I’ll post the first video, I’m going to try to do some tomorrow but I’ll need to edit the video and all. I’ll post it as soon as I get something that you can follow and at that time I think I’ll be able to post a schedule. Wish me luck! I’ll let you know how I do tomorrow.

Also, I hope everyone had a blessed holiday and I’m really looking forward to this new year. I’m planning on growing this website with lots of info, video, and instruction and love that there are great people like you who follow along. I’d love for you to post below anything you want me to cover here or tell what you’ve enjoyed in the past.

Lastly, I want to share a great pic I took of my kitty. She really loved Christmas with all the paper, bags, and boxes on the floor. She just couldn’t stay out of them. She’s such a toot!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Until later ~


Merry Christmas!

Christmas is finally here, well, almost…today is Christmas Eve but in our house we start Christmas in the evening of Christmas Eve.

Today will be a busy day. Our tradition is to have some kind of soup and appetizers for a late dinner. My poor hubby works for a large liquor store chain and they don’t close their doors until 9:00 p.m. He left this morning at 8:00 a.m. and will be serving customers until they close their doors tonight, so we’ll see him about 9:30. One of my daughters lives with us and she will be helping me today. The other, along with her hubby, will come over later, like 6 or 7 this evening.

Before we go anywhere to do some last minute shopping I want to make the soup. We chose Emeril’s Tortilla Soup. It’s a great recipe and will be delicious tonight. Brittany and I went to Whole Foods last night and picked up a ton of cheese and crackers. We also bought a wonderful baked brie that has cinnamon and walnut praline inside and is wrapped with pastry. We’ll bake it tonight and serve it hot, it’s sooooo good.

Tomorrow we’re having Martha Stewart’s Perfect Roast Chickens, another fabulous recipe. We’re going to keep it simple with mashed potatoes for the gravy and fresh green beans. We have cheesecake for desert. And there’s a ton of cookies, we have sugar, oatmeal, and we’re baking some peanut butter today.

We’re hoping to do a Skype video call with my hubby’s family tonight if everything works out. Isn’t it wonderful that families can share time face-to-face even when there’s many miles between them. It’s so cool.

Merry Christmas to all. And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a Super Happy Holiday Season.

Somehow, not only for Christmas,
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others,
Is the joy that comes back to you.
And the more you spend in blessing,
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart’s possessing,
Returns to you glad. 

- John Greenleaf Whittier

Until next time ~