Monday, September 25, 2017

The Notions Giveaway for National Sewing Month

We have come to the final giveaways for National Sewing Month 2017.  At first I thought it would be too much to have three giveaways in one. Now I realize it's the fitting end to a month of celebrating the craft that we all love so much!

So let's get to it...

The first giveaway is the "All New Fabric Savvy How to Choose & Use Fabrics" book by Sandra Betzina.  
I am a huge Sandra Betzina fan.  I watched the sewing show she used to have on HGTV religiously. It was called "Sew Perfect."  I even videotaped it for prosperity and was sorry when the tape wore out from my repeated watchings.


When Threads reached out to me to ask me to review the book, I leapt at the chance. See I own almost all of Sandra's previous books. They've taught me many things and took my sewing to the next level. I also own both of the previous versions of this book and use them as a reference guide when sewing new fabrics.

This version is updated with new pictures and more information but it uses the same format as the older versions.  Each fabric is the title page and you get a fabric fact.  Then what garment the fabric should be used for, a few sewing tips and how to pretreat the fabric. Now it doesn't stop there - it goes out to explain layouts, how to mark, cut and interface (if necessary) what thread and needle to use. It even details what stitch length and presser foot to use. This is sewing gold!

If you've ever wondered how to sew Chiffon, Faux Suede, Leather, or Slinky Knit, the information that will help you make an amazing garment is all there. 106 fabrics are detailed with additional chapters on interfacing, presser feet, recommended tools and notions, linings and a stain removal guide.  Plus there is a glossary, a sources listing and an index. It's an amazing reference guide! And if you own the first two books, this is the completion of the set.

Now if you don't own the first two books, don't fret. Owning a copy of this book, will give you a great start and will be an amazing addition to your sewing library. So if you'd like to win a copy, leave a comment below stating "Book - 1" and I will enter you in the drawing for the book. You have until Saturday, September 30th at 11:59pm EST to enter the drawing, and I will ship this book worldwide. 


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Giveaway Number 2 - is this amazing clapper that Gaylen of GMarieSews is selling on her blog, under "Pressing Matters."  It retails for $40 and is worth every penny. I know because I own one and use it constantly. 


First let me testify for a minute! See I own a June Tailor clapper that I bought several years ago. I love that thing for getting a great crease in a garment. I love that after I've steamed a seam or a join that if I clap it down, it minimizes the seam or join. I love that it holds the steam into place in the garment.

But then I got this new clapper and I realized that I was only infatuated. My new clapper is heavier and sturdier without feeling heavy and clunky in your hand. My new clapper covers more space and allows me to press/clap a garment faster since it covers more of the garment's area. I love the edges. The pointed one gets deeper into collars, to give you a crisper finish. The rounded one I've used at sleeve heads and in corners that need to be pressed open but given a rounder, softer press.

Did I tell you that I LOVE this presser/clapper!  And now you have the opportunity to win one too! Gaylen is giving away one clapper to any sewist, anywhere in the world. Leave a comment below stating "Clapper - 2" and I will enter you in the drawing for the clapper. You have until Saturday, September 30th at 11:59pm EST to enter the drawing. 


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Giveaway Number 3 - is this cool magnetic pincushion.


I posted pictures of my magnetic pincushions on Instagram and there was a lot of interest about it. So I thought it would be great to add one to the notions giveaway for National Sewing Month. 

I love my magnetic pincushions and have three of them - one on the cutting table, one on my sewing machine table and one on my ironing board. They are the absolute best and one of the coolest notions I own. 

I also put separate pin sizes in each of my bowls, so I switch them around as I work with different fabrics. If you're interesting in winning the magnetic pincushion leave a comment below stating "Pincushion - 3". I will enter you in the drawing for the pincushion. You have until Saturday, September 30th at 11:59pm EST to enter the drawing. However, this drawing is open only to US residents. 

Now here's the codacil ~ you can ONLY leave a comment to win one notion! So choose wisely! Also, winners will be chosen from this blog post only, here on my actual blog. If you read this blog post on any of the readers, bloglovin' or feedly, comments left there are ineligible to win one of these prizes.

This is the last of the National Sewing Month celebration giveaways...good luck and I hope you win!


Happy National Sewing Month!





Sunday, September 24, 2017

Last Fabric Discount from LAFinch Fabrics

The last fabric discount for National Sewing Month is from LAFinch Fabrics! I'm really excited to partner with them. To me they've taken social media by storm, since I see so many sewists making garments using their fabrics. The collection is current, bright and colorful. Their fabric selection is aimed at giving the home sewist the quality fabrics they desire. One sure way to get me to check out your site, and to plan a purchase, is to show me what my fellow sewing sistahs are making with your fabrics.  


Since they are offering the final discount for National Sewing Month, I wanted to change up the introduction a little. So no questions...a little background on them...a few testimonials and then the discount.

About LA Finch Fabrics ~
LA Finch Fabrics is a resource to use for creating high quality apparel from the LA Fashion District. They buy small lots from many different resources. Many of the fabrics posted are from post production ~ after designers complete their line for the season.  The fabrics seen on their website are one-of-a-kind treasures. Typically you won't find these in other fabric stores but on the runway or at your local department store. They carry only first quality apparel fabric and promise to make your shopping experience a positive one! Striving to provide affordable, upscale fabric from the finest designers and manufacturers worldwide.  

Why shop with them?? 
They have a background in the textile industry working as raw material wholesale buyers and ready to wear apparel buyers...with many relationships with vendors, mills, clothing manufacturers, cutting rooms, designers, and jobbers. They are the "insiders" with savvy info to negotiate the lowest pricing and hand select only the best apparel fabric for our fashionista sewing friends!

Brittany & Josephine (owner of LAFinch Fabrics)
at the MimiG Conference in LA

Testimonies ~
Tiffany, who blogs at Tipstitched and her Instagram account
"I LOVE LA Finch Fabrics. I've ordered Liverpool knit, rayon spandex knit, ponte knit and stretch leatherette. All were amazing as was the customer service. LA Finch is on my list of favorite online fabric stores!"

Martha ~ her Instagram account
"Hands down one of the best online fabric shops I have ever ordered from! The fabric selection is diverse and the detailed information they provide for each decreases the guesswork if I am looking for a particular fabric for a specific project. I love that if I do have any questions or concerns I can reach out via email/Facebook/Instagram and get a prompt response. The awesome customer service, their great quality of fabric and their amazing selection is what keeps me and my sewing group going back to refill our fabric stash. Highly recommended!"

Also please check out the social media sites of Brittany J. Jones - her blog and her Instagram account, Amber of soisewedthis, Rosy Pena who has a blog - RosyPena.com and an Instagram account, and Carmen Fox who blogs at Carmen Sews and her Instagram account.  All of these talented sewists have made beautiful outfits using the amazing fabric selection from LA Finch Fabrics.

The Discount ~
The team at LAFinch Fabrics is generously offering a discount of 20% off all fabrics including the sale fabrics!  Just use the discount code: FANATIC when placing your order.  The code is effective today through Saturday, September 30th at midnight PST.

Conclusion ~
I really hope you will avail yourself of the discount and try this new fabric resource! Here's their social media information ~ Website, Instagram, FaceBook Group. If you've already used them and love their selection, drop a line in the comments below to let us know why! So shop until you drop, and...


Happy National Sewing Month!


Friday, September 22, 2017

The Last Tuesday of the Month + Wine & Cheese with Kashi

I'm late...I'm late for a very important date! So says the White Rabbit and me...

See I was supposed to share with y'all last week about how The New York Sewcialists, "Last Tuesday of the Month" meet-up and Wine & Cheese with Kashi is merged this year.

Group from 2016

All sewists in the NYC area are invited to come out to Metro Textiles on Tuesday, September 26th from 5:30 to 8pm.  You can socialize and meet other sewists, shop and have Kashi pull some fabrics just for you.

Group from 2015

There will be wine and cheese served AND 20% off your total order! So come out, shop, socialize and buy a couple of new pieces for your stash at 20% off!

Last Tuesday of the Month Meet-Up/Wine & Cheese with Kashi
Tuesday, September 26th
Metro Textiles
265 37th Street, 9th flr.
New York, NY 
5:30 - 8pm



Looking forward to seeing you there!!!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Week Three - Cashmerette Patterns Winner and Discount Reminder

I know that I'm late with this post but my day job has been particularly busy this week.  I think the rest of the year is going to be equally as busy...but I digress.  You want to know who won the Cashmerette Patterns...now should I tease you or do this in order! *LOL*

Alright I'm not that mean, contrary to what some have said about me on these interwebs! *LOL* The winner of three PDF Cashmerette Patterns of their choice is:

Barb Gorman

Barb - send me an email (address in bio) and I will give you the code you'll need to download your patterns!

Next up ~ 
Jeri Savoie, you need to contact me by Wednesday, September 27th or I will pull another name to win the HotPatterns PDF pattern.

* * * * * * * * * *

Smugglers Daughter Discount ~
The 20% off your total order discount code is in effect until Saturday, September 30th at midnight PST.  Use "FANATIC" when you check out to get the discount.

I wanted to show you an outfit I made using some fabric from Smugglers Daughter last April. I originally showed it with a denim jacket I'd made but this is how I've wore it lately.




I have a few other pieces of fabric from Smugglers Daughter that are waiting to become garments in my wardrobe...hopefully they will show up here soon. I encourage you to go through the website and find a few treasures to come to your house, too!

* * * * * * * * * *

There wasn't a pattern giveaway this week because of my work schedule. So I will be offering a new notion, a sewing book and a magnetic pin cushion as the last giveaway next week.

So check back on Sunday for the next fabric discount...and on Monday for the Notions Giveaway!

Happy National Sewing Month!




Sunday, September 17, 2017

Week Three - Smuggler's Daughter and a Discount

As we continue to celebrate "National Sewing Month" the next online fabric store that I'm highlighting is Smuggler's Daughter.

A short intro before the Q & A with Susan.  I've been purchasing fabric from Susan's online store for the last three years and I've bought some amazing pieces. To me her selection is curated with a more artistic bend...fabrics that you buy when you want to sew more than a basic garment.  Not to say that she doesn't have some basics in stock but I head to her site when I'm looking for something extraordinary that will kick my garment up a notch or two.

I also had the opportunity to meet Susan at Sew Expo 2016 ~


The Smuggler’s Daughter has one of the most intriguing business names in the fabric world. Its owner, Susan Liane, is quick to tell customers that she is not a smuggler and that her online fabric store is a legal and ethical business operation. She is, however, a smuggler’s daughter. Susan uses this intriguing name for her online fabric store that carries fine fashion fabrics with many distinctive pieces from clothing designers and manufacturers. Here is what she has to say about owning and running this popular online fabric store!


What do you love most about running an online fabric store?
I love the fact that I actually touch every piece of fabric before it is selected and offered for sale at Smugglers Daughter. This is not the case at many large online stores where fabric is drop shipped from other countries. So I suppose that buying is what I love the most, but it can be stressful for any business owner to make good decisions about what will sell – what my customers will ultimately want.

What is the most important thing you've learned from running an online fabric store? 
That I’ve got to give a sewist as much information as possible about the things they feel like they would only learn if they got to touch the fabric. I have to describe the hand and the drape of a fabric and give customers suggestions on what type of garment to sew from a particular piece.

A lacy pleather and a burn out velvet I purchased last December

What is a typical week like?
The Smuggler’s Daughter adds items to the sale section on Mondays, so I start the week off looking for what I can mark down. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I sometimes add blog posts, so I may be sewing or writing on those days. Finally, I add new fabrics on Fridays, so I spend many Thursdays entering information and photos to the site. Of course, we fulfill orders and ship packages every day, and most days I like to survey what the sewing bloggers are saying – a good 
way to keep abreast of events and trends in the sewing world.


Is it important to offer international as well as domestic shipping?
I have had orders from all over the world – Israel, American Samoa, Finland, Russia, Australia and Great Britain so international shipping is an issue. I have been surprised that international shipping costs have not been more daunting to my customers.

Do you offer swatches? 
Yes, just email me at susanliane@smugglersdaughter.com and we will send swatches for free. We do limit swatches to four fabrics at a time and to fabrics that we have at least 8 yards in stock.


Why has online fabric shopping become such an important experience to sewists? 
Garment sewists, in particular, have a difficult time finding high quality fabrics outside of major urban areas. When I lived in San Francisco this never occurred to me, of course. I had more than one great fabric store to choose from. But when I moved to a smaller town, it became very clear that most local fabric stores carry quilting cotton and not much else. If you want to sew clothing for adult women who care about quality and fashion, you will probably have to look for fabric online.

Do you have any social media accounts?
The Smuggler’s Daughter is active on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. If you go to our Facebook page, The Smuggler’s Daughter, and “like it” you will find a code worth $10 off your next order. I love Instagram and plan to get active there soon.

What are your hopes/goals for the future of Smugglers Daughter?
I love the fabric business and I love working with people who sew. Right now I just love the fact that I can succeed by treating customers as I would like to be treated. Someday, we may have a brick and mortar store along with a school, but that is a dream right now.

Now some questions about you and sewing...

Do you sew and what type of garments do you like to sew?
I sew clothing. The quilting bug has never bitten me and I may have sewn two quilts in my life. I love taking a pattern to a place where it may have never been before by altering the design and using unexpected fabrics. Recently I made a vest from a shirt pattern and used three fabrics, one of which was an old dishcloth that I purchased in a junk store. To me, this is art.

Do you have a dedicated sewing room?
The family room in my house is my dedicated sewing room but I do share it with a dog bed for my pooch, Pumpkin.

What type of sewing machine do you use?
I have been sewing on a Bernina for about twenty years. When I first bought it, my brother and I ordered Chinese takeout to eat while we were setting it up and testing it out on my kitchen table. When we opened the fortune cookies, my fortune said “You are Going to Have Some New Clothes.”

The Discount ~
I hope you learned a few new things about Smugglers Daughter and Susan the owner.  Now for the good part, Susan is offering 20% off your total order effective today and good through Saturday, September 30th at midnight PST. Just use the code "FANATIC" on the website to get the discount.

I hope you find some amazing treasures to add to your fabric collection!

Happy National Sewing Month!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

New Look 6340 in StyleMaker Fabrics Denim

I've been saving denim dresses on Pinterest for awhile. Every now and then I go back through the file and review what I've saved.  Looking at the images in the file, I really wanted to use the New Look pattern to make a denim version of the dress with a few updates.


Fabric ~
Midweight denim with a little stretch purchased from StyleMaker Fabrics last fall. Here is one and another one similar to what I bought.

Notions ~
2 7/8" orange & metal buttons from the collection
22" blue invisible zipper

One more thing to note, everything to make this dress came from the Sewing Cave, the fabric and the notions. It thrilled me that it all was in the cave. I'm trying harder to use the items stored in the sewing cave for my fall/winter sewing.

Construction ~
The pattern alterations that I made to the pattern are the same as I made for the border print version. This time instead of making the alterations directly onto the fabric, I made the adjustments to the pattern pieces.

The hemline was lengthened for the front and back pattern pieces by 2". The shorter length works for summer but since this is a fall version, I wanted just a little more length on the dress.

Then I added the pockets to this one since I hadn't used them in the prior versions. Buttons were added to the pockets along with topstitching to highlight the pockets.


This version definitely needed the invisible zipper I added to the back. It makes getting into and out of the dress easier and the loop/button closure isn't appropriate for a fall dress, in my opinion.

Also all of the seams were topstitched except for applying the pocket to the dress and around the invisible zipper.  I used the triple stitch lengthened to a 5 on my Janome 8900 QCP. I wanted the topstitching to look similar to what's on jeans.

A few pictures of the dress ~





Conclusion ~
I love this dress pattern. My three other versions were perfect summer wears and I'm glad I was able to figure out a way to use the pattern for fall. I also loved making this one because even though it's a simple silhouette, the changes made it a more substantial sew. Also I got to work out some design issues that intrigued me creatively. Added up, all of these factors made this a favorite sew. It also fits into my work wardrobe and the style of dressing I'm sewing/wearing now.

Of course now I'm thinking of other ways I could work with this silhouette to make a few more dresses for fall. This was the first garment completed during my end of summer/Labor Day weekend sewfest.

As I stated before, the fabric for this dress was purchased from Style Maker Fabrics. Michelle has a great selection of denim in various weights. You can see her denim selection here. I've purchased a few more pieces of denim from them so look for more garments this fall/winter made using Style Maker Fabrics.

If you're interested in purchasing any of the amazing fabric from Style Maker Fabrics, use the discount code - DIARY17 - to receive a 10% discount off your order. Don't forget that Michelle is matching discount amounts to give to local charities for hurricane relief. The discount is good until Saturday, September 16th at midnight PST.


HAPPY NATIONAL SEWING MONTH!





Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Week Two - Hot Patterns Winner & Discount/Giveaway Reminders

This is just a quick post to let you know who won the HotPatterns PDF Pattern and to remind you of the discount and this weeks giveaway.

First the Giveaway ~
There were 102 participants in the giveaway for the HotPatterns PDF Pattern. I used the Random Generator to select a winner. 


So the winner of the PDF pattern is:



Jeri Savoie


Congratulations Jeri!  Contact me at my email address located in my profile and I will send you the code to download the pdf pattern of your choice.

Reminders ~

First the discount code from Style Maker Fabrics:
Go to Style Maker Fabrics and check out their selection. I know you will find something awesome to purchase...and to help you along Michelle is offering a 10% discount off your total purchase. Use the coupon DIARY17 to get the discount. The discount is good until Saturday, September 16th at 11:59pm PST.


Michelle reached out to let me know that everyone who uses the 10% discount offered this week, she will match the discount amount and donate the funds to local charities. Charities that will assist people challenged by both Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. 

If you've been wanting to do something to help the families impacted by the hurricanes, this is a fantastic way!  You can purchase fabric you need or want AND a donation will be made to charity. With the amount of destruction that's been visited upon the families in Houston and parts of Texas, Louisiana, and the Florida Coast in the last couple of weeks, I'm sure all donations are appreciated!

Second the Pattern Giveaway from Cashmerette Patterns:



If you're interested in winning THREE pdf Cashmerette patterns of your choice, please leave a comment on the original post ONLY. The giveaway will end on Monday, September 18th at midnight EST. All comments must have a name attached to them. If you log in as "Unknown" but don't leave a name with your comment, it will be deleted. Also comments must be left on that post to be considered, any left on the post at bloglovin' (and a friend has told me that there are quite a few there!) they are ineligible.  Good luck!

Next up on the blog is a dress that I made with some amazing denim fabric that I purchased from Style Maker Fabrics.


HAPPY NATIONAL SEWING MONTH!



Monday, September 11, 2017

Cashmerette Patterns Giveaway for National Sewing Month

I don't even have to say this...y'all know that I absolutely ADORE Cashmerette Patterns. ABSOLUTELY.ADORE! So of course, I asked my girl Jenny if I could have a pdf pattern to give away for National Sewing Month...and being the awesome person that she is...she offered THREE!

Seriously, three...one person will win three pdf patterns from Cashmerette!!!


I honestly believe that this pattern line has given plus-size, curvy, large-busted women the ability to wear a button down shirt or a t-shirt...and several amazing dresses without having to make FBAs, add space or worry about how to fit our bodacious biceps into a sleeve.

The pattern line is sized for women who wear 12-28 with cup sizes C-H.  There are presently 11 different patterns online at Cashmerette.com. If you haven't used a pattern and why haven't you? There are 160 reviews of the patterns on PatternReview to show you some finished garments.

...and I've made a few myself...


I've made the Concord Tee - shown above, several Turner Dresses and a Lenox ShirtdressOkay I'm embarassing myself by the fangirling! *LOL* 

If you're interested in winning THREE pdf Cashmerette patterns of your choice, please leave a comment below ONLY. The giveaway will begin today and end next Monday, September 18th at midnight EST. All comments must have a name attached to them. If you log in as "Unknown" but don't leave a name with your comment, it will be deleted. Also comments must be left on this post to be considered, any left at bloglovin' are ineligible.  Good luck!


Happy National Sewing Month!




Sunday, September 10, 2017

Style Maker Fabrics ~ Second Discount for National Sewing Month


I love Style Maker Fabrics. I love the assortment, the website and how it's organized, the amazing customer service, the quick shipping and Michelle, the owner of Style Maker Fabrics. Michelle and Style Maker Fabrics are participating in my National Sewing Month celebration for the second year in a row. 

I interviewed Michelle last year. You can find the post here if you'd like to learn more about how Style Maker Fabrics came to be.


So hop on over to Style Maker Fabrics and check out through their selection. I know you will find something awesome to purchase...and to help you along Michelle is offering a 10% discount off your total purchase. Use the coupon DIARY17 to get the discount.

I knew when I was putting together the discounts & giveaways for National Sewing Month this year, that Michelle & Style Maker Fabrics had to be a part of the celebration. I really knew my decision was right after a discussion with Michelle this weekend.

Michelle reached out to let me know that everyone who uses the 10% discount offered this week, she will match the discount amount and donate the funds to local charities. Charities that will assist people challenged by both Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. 

If you've been wanting to do something to help the families impacted by the hurricanes, this is a fantastic way!  You can purchase fabric you need or want AND a donation will be made to charity. With the amount of destruction that's been visited upon the families in Houston and parts of Texas, Louisiana, and the Florida Coast in the last couple of weeks, I'm sure all donations are appreciated!


So the 10% discount is in effect from today, Sunday, September 10th until Saturday, September 16th at midnight PST. Let's all shop til you drop for a good cause! 

Happy National Sewing Month!



Thursday, September 07, 2017

Week One ~ Discount & Giveaway Reminders

Just a reminder that the 15% off discount for your total order from Emma One Sock expires on Saturday, September 9th at 11:59pm EST.


So if you haven't placed your order yet, surf on over to their website and get shopping! Here's the discount code again: "EOS-FANATIC15-2017"


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  


Presently there are 72 sewists in the running to win a pdf pattern of their choice from HotPatterns. Are you one of them?  If not, why not?  You never know this might be your lucky day! To enter leave a comment on this post only. Don't forget that comments left on bloglovin, aren't eligible for this giveaway. The comments section will be closed at 11:59pm EST on Sunday, September 10th. Winner to be announced on Wednesday, September 13th.

So do you feel lucky?

Finally, a new fabric discount and another pattern giveaway will be announced next week...so stay tuned!


Happy National Sewing Month!

Monday, September 04, 2017

HotPatterns Giveaway for National Sewing Month

Continuing with the fabric discounts and pattern giveaways for National Sewing Month celebrations, the first pattern giveaway is from HotPatterns.


A little about HotPatterns ~
HotPatterns is an independent sewing pattern company, started in 2005, and run by two Londoners who have somehow found themselves living and working in the steamy southwest of Florida.

It's a small family business that enjoys working hard to create the best high-fashion sewing patterns in the world. All of their products are designed and produced in the USA.

Trudy does the designing, pattern drafting and all of the creative stuff.  She's been in the garment trade for a long time, and is just a little bit obsessed with fashion.  Jeremy is the brains of the outfit; he deals with the business side, as well as keeping an eye on the production schedule. Trudy & Jeremy work with a small team of helpers, or Folding Fairies as they like to be called, plus random sample makers, and pattern testers.
...Info is from the HotPatterns website

I've followed HotPatterns from their inception. I love that they have always interpreted the latest fashions and made them into patterns for the home sewist. I own quite a few of them in my own pattern collection. The patterns are very popular since there are over a 1000 reviews of them on PatternReview.


The Giveaway ~
The HotPatterns team is offering one pdf pattern of your choice from their pdf pattern selection, click here for USA/Canada & Mexico and here for the rest of the world. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post only by Monday, September 11th at 11:59pm EST, stating which pattern you'd like to win and why. Responses left on bloglovin' won't be included! This giveaway is open to all my blog readers. I will be announcing the winner of the pattern on Monday, September 25th.


Good luck and Happy National Sewing Month!




Sunday, September 03, 2017

First Discount for National Sewing Month is from Emma One Sock

As an introduction, I've been shopping from Emma One Sock for at least a decade. I love Linda's beautifully curated collection. While it's a little more expensive than some of the other online sites I shop, the quality of her fabrics is unbeatable. The customer service is OUTSTANDING, she ships quickly and is available to answer questions promptly via email. You can't go wrong with a fabric purchase from Emma One Sock.

I thought I would do an interview with Linda so that if you've never shopped at Emma One Sock or didn't know the proprietor behind this online fabric shop you would get to know her a little better.

1. I've been purchasing fabric from your online store for years now. For those who are just becoming acquainted with EmmaOneSock would you please share the story of how Emma One Sock came to be?
That's a long story!  Yes we were one of the first online fabric stores, having started out about 17 years ago.  To make a long story a bit shorter...my college training was in music (piano performance and music theory, back in the dark ages, ha ha) and after a career as a musician throughout my 20's I finally settled down and got married (to Eric!) in my early 30's.  I have always enjoyed making things, and taught myself to sew, knit, crochet, etc. when I was in high school.  When my kids were born (they are now in their mid to late 20's) I was inspired to make them little hand knit sweaters and sewn outfits. This quickly developed into a children's clothing line that was sold all over the US (Emma One Sock, named for my daughter Emma and my son Aaron, whose nickname as a baby was "one sock").  It was all produced locally with upscale European fabrics. After six years and lots of growth, I decided to close that business (it was quite exhausting), and had lots of beautiful fabrics left over. We began selling off those fabrics on eBay, but when we realized that there was a potentially huge market for the fabrics to which I had access, we developed our own website (thankfully Eric is a computer programmer) and over time it grew into a thriving business.  I couldn't bear to change the name so we are still known as Emma One Sock!

2. What do you love most about running an online fabric store?
Well, I do love fabric, obviously!... so being blessed with immediate access to so many wonderful fabrics is something that continues to excite me. I also very much enjoy the challenge of running a business, and striving for perfection. Our business is almost like a huge art project that Eric and I are constantly tweaking.  We are very old school ~ we both have a rather entrepreneurial spirit. There was nothing else out there when we started, no instant website programs that now make it easy for anyone with an idea to start an online business.  Our website was designed from scratch and continues to be our unique creation, complete with an internal management, messaging and inventory system, etc. etc, (all thanks to Eric).

3. What is the most important thing you've learned from running an online fabric store? 
Not sure I can narrow it down to one thing. People still want the experience that they used to get in brick and mortar stores, so we do our best to provide an online experience that is clear, visually pleasing and detailed, and we send out hundreds of swatches (for free) every week so that people can handle the fabrics. People definitely appreciate great customer service and fair prices. With any business, greed can destroy a company ~ we've always aimed for slow and steady growth and so far it has worked out well for us.

4.   What is a typical day like? 
We start out early here! I'm usually at my desk by 7 AM at the latest, and our wonderful staff starts arriving shortly thereafter. They cut and ship orders, check in new shipments, fill swatch requests, handle customer questions, and when they can come up for air they straighten up and post lots of roll ends. 

Brenden, Monica and Anita

Chrissy

Heather

I do a mix of posting new fabrics, updating the website, ordering fabric, handling customer emails, etc. Just recently Monica has taken over the photography, and that has been a big help to me! We are in the process of updating our photgraphy set up ~ just got a new camera and lighting. We're also looking into some other ways to improve the photos on the website, as well as other website functions. Eric does all of the website upkeep and programming, billing, ordering of supplies, etc. We have a small studio and everyone gets along well considering the tight quarters!


5.  Is it important to offer international as well as domestic shipping? 
Yes, we have hundreds of international customers, repeat customers ~ it's a huge part of our business, and we are very grateful for their loyal patronage! We do our best to find the best shipping rates and our international customers seem to appreciate our efforts.

6. Why has online fabric shopping become such an important experience to sewists? 
Like everything else, the convenience of ordering online has unfortunately put a lot of brick and mortars out of business, so in many cases people have no choice but to get used to ordering online. Some others enjoy having a curated choice ~  anyone can find an online fabric store that suits their taste these days, without having to leave their home! It seems pretty clear that our lives have moved online in every respect. There are many fine online fabric stores out there; people find their favorites and learn who they can trust.

7.  How has social media changed the day to day running of an online fabric store?  
It hasn't really changed anything for us in terms of day to day, although I did notice a boost in sales when I started an Instagram account this past January. As I said, we've been around a looooong time, and we keep running our business the way we always have; our customers seem to appreciate it. I do keep up with Instagram and Facebook, and enjoy figuring out new things to post each day. But I have to keep from getting totally distracted by my iPad, posting photos and checking everyone else's!  It can be a huge time eater, and I try hard to keep it under control so that I can get my work done! :-D


8.  What are your hopes/goals for the future of Emmaonesock? 
Well, I hope we continue to grow and flourish! Eric and I are in our (early) 60's, and while we are still going strong at this point, we are thinking ahead and giving our staff more and more responsibility. The fabric world has changed dramatically over the years. There are probably hundreds of online fabric stores now, whereas you could count them on one hand when we started. We just keep going with the flow, providing the best fabrics we can find, and the best service we can muster, to our cherished customers. 

Now because we're all sewists and love to know more about other sewists sewing machines, fabric collections, etc. here are a few sewing related questions and answers.

a.  I know that you sew but what type of garments do you like to sew? 
Honestly I haven't bought an article of clothing in a store in maybe 5 years or more! I make my whole wardrobe, but often opt for quick and easy knit projects, due to time contraints and the ease of sewing with knits.  Most recently I am working on patternmaking though, and am trying to tell myself to be patient and not to only make things that I can finish in a couple of hours.  That gets boring after a while. So, I'm turning my attention to working with wovens, perfecting fit, perfecting my basic patterns, so that I can make more tailored garments that may take a much longer time to complete. I hope to learn more about draping too, so that I can design more innovative garments.

b.  Do you have a dedicated sewing room? 
Yes! When my daughter moved out, I moved in…to her room. 

c.  What type of sewing machine do you use?  Are you a brand loyalist? 
I just upgraded about a year or so ago to a Bernina 710 (discontinued but similar to the 720) and a Babylock Imagine overlock. I chose Bernina after doing a bunch of research, and bought a floor model 810 which happened to be half price at the time (!), but I'm sure there are other great machines out there.  It also makes it easier when I go to Kathryn Brenne sewing workshops because all of her machines are Berninas so there's no period of adjustment. I do love it. The differential feed is a huge plus ~ I had it on my old machine (Pfaff) and wasn't willing to give up that feature. I gave my old machines to my daughter so they have a good home and are being used!

d.  Who or what inspires your personal sewing? 
I'm inspired by all kinds of things… I'm often inspired by what my customers make, by some of the amazing sewists who I follow on Instagram, and of course by my colleague Kathryn Brenne. Often I wake up sewing and designing in my head…I'm obsessed! I'm definitely inspired to strive to be less "slap dash" and more refined and meticulous by working with Kathryn. There is so much help and inspiration online now, and there are so many sewing retreats, workshops, schools…I have way more plans and ideas than I will ever have time to execute. Inspiration is plentiful, but finding the time can be a challenge, as I'm sure is the case for everyone!

Here are Emma One Sock's social media sites ~
Fabric Store
Instagram
Facebook

Now to the part everyone has been waiting for the discount. Linda is offering 15% off your total order from today, Sunday, September 3rd through Saturday, September 9th, 11:59pm EST. To get the discount, use this coupon code "EOS-FANATIC15-2017"  

Please remember that Linda will apply the coupon code when she bills your credit card and she doesn't bill it until after the fabric has been cut and is ready to be shipped. So if you place your order and don't see the discount that's why!

I hope you will head over to Emma One Sock's online fabric store and check out her amazing wares.


Happy National Sewing Month!











Saturday, September 02, 2017

Happy National Sewing Month!

Happy National Sewing Month!



I know I'm a day late but I wanted to participate in the #sewphotohop that's currently happening on Instagram.

I guess I'm starting an annual tradition of celebrating the art of sewing during National Sewing Month! Last year's celebration was pretty involved for me. There were a bunch of giveaways, some fabric discounts, special guest bloggers and interviews with some of my favorite sewists.

While I'm celebrating this year, because who wouldn't celebrate an artform that we love so much, I've scaled it back a bit. This year every week will give you a discount at an online fabric store and the ability to win either a pattern or sewing tool.

That's what I have in store for the blog.  I hope you'll check back in tomorrow to see the first online store fabric discount being offered.

...as always more later!

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