Friday, May 11, 2018

Free Weekend Watchathon for Mother's Day

Just a heads up!  Sewing, knitting, photography, art, cooking baking and more. They are free this weekend for Mother's Day. Share and discover an old skill or learn a new one. I love Natalie Chanin, she has some great hand sewing classes! (affiliate link, Thank you!)

Mother's Day Free Weekend Watchathon at! <ul> <li>Stream 1,300+ classes free this weekend. Unlock FREE Access to Every Craftsy Class through 5/13/18 11:59pm EST.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

How to Change the Needle in an Industrial Sewing Machine

In this video I show you how to change your needle in an Industrial Sewing Machine using my lockstitch Pfaff 563. It's important to note that all Industrial Machines do NOT use the same needles. You must do some research to figure out which ones will work in your Make and Model. You can support my efforts by using this affiliate link to purchase needles here. Used needles can be discarded with your recycling. I store mind in an envelope on my bulletin board until I have a small pile, then throw them in a tin can and recycle.

How to Change the needle in a Domestic or Home Sewing Machine

Changing the needle in your sewing machine often is important, but easy. If you'd like to support me through this affiliate link, you can purchase home sewing machine needles here. Remember to get a few different sizes and styles to use on different fabrics. If you aren't sure if your needle is damaged, bent or has a burr it's a good idea to change it anyway.  Used needles can be discarded with your recycling. I store mind in an envelope on my bulletin board until I have a small pile, then throw them in a tin can and recycle.

Monday, April 30, 2018

My Top 3 Rules for Successful Sewing (or How to NOT Break your Sewing Machine!)

What I tell my students or anyone else who will listen. 

Successful sewing tips. 

1- bobbin case
2- handwheel
3- DON'T touch that tension!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

UCCCteamsellers Pinterest Board Information

The UCCCTeamSellers is the Upcycled Cloth Collective Sellers Etsy Team. We are a natural offspring of the Up-Cycled Cloth Collective Facebook group created by Melanie Brummer.

You can also support us in our creative endeavors at the Upcycled Cloth Collective Etsy Sellers Team Facebook page.

This blog post is to introduce team members to our new Pinterest boards!

If you don't already have a Pinterest account, you can create one. If you already have one, feel free to use it! There is no need to create a new Personal or a Business account.  If you need help creating an account, I found this tutorial about creating a Business account.

When your account is set up, please head on over to the UCCCTeamSellers Board. Then FOLLOW any boards you would like to be invited to collaborate on (except the Melanie board and the #UCCC Team Sellers featured boards) and SEND ME A MESSAGE (using the message button in the upper right hand corner of the page. It looks a little like a cartoon bubble)) asking to be added to that particular board. Please be patient with me and understand that Pinterest can take a moment to show changes.

Please , remember to tag your Etsy items with #UCCCTeamSellers (as one of your 13 Tags in your Etsy listings). I will be using the tag to add Pins to the Featured Boards on the Pinterest profile. If you would like to be featured on the sliders, please make your photos clear and appealing. I will be choosing the most attractive photos for these boards.

While you can feel free to post to your collaborative boards as often and as much as you like, I've read that staggering your posts over days, rather that all at once is more beneficial to your stats. I use Board Booster on my Pinterest. It is a Pinterest scheduler that allows you to sit down monthly or weekly and have pins going to your boards regularly throughout the month. I schedule a few pins per day with Boardbooster and about 56% of my traffic to my etsy shop comes from Pinterest.

I learned about Boardbooster (<= Referral link that will benefit the UCCCTeamSellers Pinterest! ) from Renae Christine. I haven't been able to implement everything from her Pinterest training, but I'll keep improving slowly as I move forward!

---Edited 6/22/18. I'm now using Tailwind on the UCCC group Pinterest. If you use the link in this paragraph, you will get to try Tailwind for 1 month free and both of us will get a 15$ credit toward a paid account. Tailwind is extremely user friendly and its also an approved scheduler for Pinterest.

Please feel free to ask questions here or in the Facebook Group!

How to create a Rich Pin directly from your own Etsy shop is in this video starting at about 3:38 minutes. (yes! I see the typo!)

Another helpful video by Sara about how to use Rich Pins in Pinterest.

More Pinterest info. Her youtube channel.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Recycled Denim Jacket with Circle Appliques

(this post contains affiliate links. Thank you!!)

 So, I've been recycling denim jeans for a while now. I'm working on creating a website, but for now the etsy shop will have to do. I'm selling in galleries and the response has been fantastic! I'm always looking for ways to make my denim more interesting and I stumbled upon the idea to add circles to my jacket and bags.

I started out cutting all the circles by hand, with a cardboard template and scissors, but you know that got old fast! Then I found these OLFA Rotary Circle Cutters and I thought I found what I needed to cut all of my circles! Nope. That too got old, and my fingers got sore. I tried many different hand held and automated cutters with frustrating results.

Finally, I tried GO! Baby Fabric Cutter . THIS was the equipment I was looking for. I still use the GO! Baby for the circles because I have two dies with various sizes, but as they get dull I will upgrade to the dies for the Accuquilt Studio Fabric Cutter.
Yup, I purchased the Studio Cutter. I had to! I use strip cutters with the Studio Cutter. It has enabled me to use up my scraps much more efficiently and cut down on the time I spend processing the jeans. 

I can get the GO! Baby to cut through two layers of denim and sometimes three if I stack it correctly. The Studio Cutter doesn't even notice four layers. I do have a Star Die and a small Flower Die for the Baby as well. They haven't gotten as much use yet, but I know they will. I also look forward to trying different styles as my business grows.

The Accuquilt website states "You may use the output (i.e., the cut shapes) resulting from the use of the die shapes Accuquilt licenses from third parties, as well as the output resulting from the use of Accuquilt proprietary die shapes, for any commercial or private purpose".  I LOVE this. Not only does the company acknowledge that their cut shapes are usable for any commercial or private purpose, they make it easy to find the information on their website.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Taking Better Product Photos

I've been working hard to improve many parts of my business. I even took the plunge and bought this. I am also doing the website building training. It is SO much info that I have a little bit of overwhelm going on. She says "How do you eat an elephant?, One bite at a time."
One of my biggest barriers to success is my product photos. My products do great in their brick and mortar locations, but online the photos are the single most important way for customers to view what they are looking to buy.
I made a couple purchases to increase my ability to take better pictures. I made my own little photo room. (affiliate links, thank you!)
First a backdrop. I use an old white sheet on the floor when I need to get a bigger view.
I sewed a casing in the piece I purchased, put it over the roll it came on and attached it to the ceiling with wire.

I also purchased a low cost kit with lights, stands and umbrellas. I did have to purchase brighter lights and they came with a diffuser, so I'm not using the umbrellas. I suggest you purchase the most expensive set up you can afford.

Photos can still be a struggle, but I think I have upped the quality with a small cost. Here is a photo of my unisex recycled patchwork poncho that is currently in the etsy shop.
Just so you know, I'm *not* good at photos. I only recently even got a smidgen of understanding about how lighting works. You can't sell online if you can't show your product in a good light. Watch videos on youtube, read a book on it. Get Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 and The Photoshop Elements 15 Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter) to go with it. Learn all you can, I am. It hurts my brain sometimes, but its worth it!