I had this Girl Charlee sweatshirt knit sitting in my stash so when I saw the tester call, I jumped on in! All my daughter’s shorts are too small and we all know how hard it is to find girls’ shorts with any length on them!
This is a pattern you definitely want to choose your size by measurements and not by ready-to-wear size. My daughter will be 4 in July but she measured in the 24 months size! I was nervous to cut such a small size but they fit perfectly! If you are new to knits, this would be a great introduction to them, as sweatshirt fleece doesn’t have too much stretch.
This pattern comes in Baby sizing, Child sizing & Tween sizing – or you can get all the sizes here. This week only single patterns are $5.00, 2 size pack bundles are $7.99 and all three sizes are $10.99. You can make them with a ribbing covered elastic waistband, optional faux drawstring or drawstring.
Each pattern set includes long sweats with a rib knit cuff, capri length or shorts. I love that they are unisex because my son lives in sweat shorts over the summer. I cannot wait to find some sweatshirt knit to make him a few pairs!
I have had some kind of sewing business off and on since 2008. I always struggled to understand the financial side of business, but I dutifully kept my receipts and income records and gave them to whomever did our taxes each year. I took a few years off the business and when I started it up again a little over a year ago, I was a little older, a little more experienced and working from home was my full time occupation so I really wanted to try to come to a deeper understanding of it all.
Soon after starting up again, I won a really cool prize through my Etsymom Street Team – a free bookkeeping course with LS Bookkeeping Services (formerly Crafty Bookkeeping). Lisa was great and helped set me up in WaveApps.com. I got all my bank, etsy & paypal accounts pulling all the information straight into it and all I had to do was organize it into categories. But I ran into a few hiccups with duplicate entries due to Etsy and paypal bringing in the same transaction. Then when paypal or etsy deposited money into my bank account it was accounted for a 3rd time. Then I started adding my own categories and things started to get a little more convoluted. I got confused and stopped keeping up on categorizing everything in June and by the time January of this year came, I was feeling overwhelmed. I just didn’t have a grasp on the basics of bookkeeping.
I joined the WAHM Tax Group on facebook, which is a great resource! But in fear of asking a million questions and getting more confused, I started to look around for a concise, hold in my hand book that addressed my small business and helped to make sense of it all.
Somehow I stumbled upon the book Small Time Operator by Bernard Kamoroff. I was attracted to the subtitle, “How to Start Your Own Business, Keep Your Books, Pay Your Taxes, and Stay Out of Trouble” Apart from starting my business, the rest of those topics were exactly what I needed to know more about! I started to read in the evenings and on the weekends about single entry accounting, about using a pencil, ledger and calculator, and I started to understand the context of it all. I decided this year to keep my books differently, more simply. So I purchased the Dome Simplified Weekly Bookkeeping Record book.
All the standard tax categories are listed and defined in the front of the book. There is room to add your own, but I’m trying my darndest to understand & keep within the recommended categories so my CPA and I are speaking the same language next year. So far, I love the pencil and paper, weekly method because it keeps me intimately aware of what I am bringing in and what I am spending. I also came up with a method (different color highlighters and tally’s in the memo section) for keeping track of sales and use tax for next year so I am hoping for a more peaceful Jan-April 15 2016!
But back to Small Time Operator!
The first chapter of the book covers things to consider when starting a business, location and zoning for home or brick & mortar businesses, Financing, Legal Structure (Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corp or LLC, etc.), Business Names (DBAs), Licenses and Permits, Insurance and your business plan.
The next section of the book deals with setting up your books, explains the single entry system and cash vs. accrual accounting, recording income & expenditures, as well as keeping track of inventory (& COGS!).
Chapter 3 talks about issues relating to business growth – employees & a little more in depth on legal structures.
Chapter 4 is all about taxes: what really counts as a business expense, self-employment tax, retirement deductions, the IRS, Federal & state taxes.
Chapter 5 speaks specifically to the home business.
Chapter 6 discusses balancing your bank account, a balance sheet, hiring professional help, multiple businesses, importing/exporting, franchises, freelancers, pricing, contracts, websites, employee-owned businesses, collective and cooperatives, as well as managing and marketing your business.
As of the time of this post, I’m almost through Chapter 4. I’ve gone slow and implemented the recommendations as I went. Bernard Kamoroff’s writing style is very clear and makes an overwhelming topic very understandable. Now that I have been using the paper ledger & pencil method for a few months, I have a much better understanding of bookkeeping in general and find it easier to manage in WaveApps.com. So, as Bernard Kamoroff mentions in the book, the method isn’t as important as the understanding behind it. I think I will keep both going this year and use them to compare notes when next tax season rolls around. But I HIGHLY recommend this book if you run ANY type of small business. I wish I had read it back in 2008 when I started it all!
I’d love to know what you think if you pick up the book! Also, if you have any resources that have helped you in your business bookkeeping, please share! If I get a few responses, I’ll do a round up post to share with everyone!
*This post has NO affiliate links – just sharing some resources that have helped me.
Well this is a finish 8 months in the making! I’ve finally finished the airplane quilt for the newest member of the family on my husband’s side.
Looking back, I purchased the pattern back on April 11, 2014 and the fabrics at the end of April with the intent to make the quilt for Megan’s shower in May. If you follow me on Instagram, you may remember seeing some pictures of fabric and even the airplane blocks around August.
When Megan and Brian found out they were having a boy, they chose a really great grey, white, navy and orange airplane themed crib bedding set. I started looking for a quilt pattern but quickly noticed a majority of the airplane quilt patterns were applique. I do not like applique. I was determined to find a pieced airplane quilt pattern so I kept looking and found this one by onebeelane on etsy.
I had a few problems with the pattern, but I can’t say whether the problem was the pattern or me! There were template pieces for the plane parts but I had never made anything with templates before. I mean, I get the general idea, but it wasn’t a method familiar to me. I did notice, though, that the measurements of the pieces were on the template drawings so I used my rotary cutter and tried to cut them out that way. After chatting with Kitty of One Bee Lane on etsy convo (she was very helpful, by the way), I realized my block ended up being a little smaller than intended. But it was square and I thought it was cute so I just went with it!
In many ways I’m not a beginner, but I’ve recently felt a little directionless. I feel somewhat stuck in between a hobby & a real business so I tried to sit down with this book with the eyes of a beginner to see if I could find some direction one way or another. I was not disappointed with Virginia’s smart & practical advice!
I sometimes find my head spinning from all the opportunities presented by the crafty business world. There is so much variety and so many possibilities and paths one could walk down. Right off the bat, Virginia encourages readers to stick with their own personal style. This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to get so inspired by everything around me that I feel I need to mimic what I see, instead of being true to myself. I can see some definite growth in this area since I started sewing to sell in 2008 after the birth of my son. I wasn’t choosing fabrics that inspired me in an effort to keep costs down and found myself unhappy very quickly. After I went back to work full time, I set the sewing business aside until the last year or so and this time I’ve endeavored to sew what I love.
In another section, Virginia discusses some business tips including changing the way you look at purchasing fabric & supplies. I definitely related to her examples and confessions and plan to make changes in this area myself. Other topics discussed (and shown beautifully) are how to photograph and package your product and for online and craft fair sales. Sewing to Sell also discusses pricing your product, organizing your patterns and sewing space and explains how to identify your customer.
And then, to top it all off, there are 16 Starter project patterns included to get you started in your own sewing business. I confess, in a world with Pinterest and unlimited web resources, I hardly ever buy a book for projects anymore. But there was not one project in this book I wouldn’t want to make and many of them are a blank slate with which Virginia encourages the reader to make their own! And super extra bonus?!?! There’s a price range suggestion included at the top of each project pattern!
Overall I found the advice in this book was exactly what I needed to hear. I should have known that when I felt lost, it would be best to follow the advice of Vince Lombardi and go back to the basics. So if you are a new to the craft business, save yourself some trouble and grab a copy of this book. And if you are a seasoned craft business owner looking for a little direction, you should also grab a copy of this book and remind yourself about the basics of Sewing to Sell!
Thank you so much to Virginia of Gingercake Designs for generously offering Sewing to Sell as a prize and thank you for supporting the handmade community with your practical, straight forward advice! I know I will be using the patterns included to add cute new products to my etsy shop this coming year!
Traditions are a great way to celebrate the holidays. When I was little, my grandma always put a swimsuit in our Easter Baskets and I know many people give PJs on Christmas Eve. The Ruffled PJs pattern, available in sizes 12 months through size 6, is a great choice for continuing or starting this tradition!!
When the kids and I went to F&M Fabrics (online at TheFabricMarket.com) to look for flannel to make these PJs, the choice was made for us as soon as we saw this adorable camping animals print. A helpful employee pointed out this cute pink coordinate, which we thought would be perfect for the small bodice ruffle and the pant cuffs. (Side Note: My daughter is 3 and consequently is going through a phase where she MUST have her sleeves rolled up and don’t even mention the word elastic. Hence, our sleeves have no elastic and they are rolled up. The original pattern design has cute elastic gathered sleeve hems)
My daughter’s measurements landed right on the 3T in the chart provided in the pattern so that is what I cut, even though I was worried it might be too small. The top is very roomy, as described in the pattern description, “for movement and twirl” so every little girl will love that. I wish the pants were a smidge longer but they fit perfectly otherwise. To make room for the cuff option in size 3T, I was instructed to cut 3″ off the pant leg so next time I may just cut 1 or 2″ instead.
The instructions were clear with photos to illustrate each step. The only thing I did differently was use the cuff to, in essence, hem the pants (maybe this affected the length somehow?). Let me show you what I mean.
First I sewed the side seams and the inseam of the pants.
Then I sewed the cuff pieces together at the side seams (the instructions recommend sewing each one to the pant leg before assembling the pants).
I pressed the tubes in half, wrong sides together.
And placed them on the pant leg, lining up the raw edges of both pieces.
Then I sewed, serged and pressed the cuff down. There we go – no additional hemming!
Hey all – I hope you had a great day yesterday with family & friends and that the joy and gratitude remain throughout the season! I wanted to let you know about a sale I’m running today through midnight (PST) Cyber Monday in BOTH my shops!
This past weekend, Grammy & Papa took us all to the pumpkin patch! We had a great time riding the train, navigating the corn maze, taking the hayride out to the patch to pick our pumpkins, watching the dog and hog races and more! In California’s central valley, it’s still pretty warm in October so it was the perfect occasion to slip my girl in her Spooky Maggie Mae for some memorable pics.
The Spooky Maggie Mae can also be worn over a long sleeved shirt if it’s cold where you are. Celebrate the season in style in sizes 6/9 months, 12-18 months and 4T in the shop.