Monday, April 11, 2016

Your Most Frequently Answered Questions

Since adding embroidery patterns to my shop, I've been asked a lot of questions about why I am doing that and what readers, fans, and customers can expect from me.

Here are some of your questions and my answers.

1) Why did you switch to designing embroidery patterns?

It may seem like a switch but in my home, embroidery has always been a first love. I love the ME time created when I sit down in my comfy overstuffed chair with scissors, pincushion, and threads within arm's length. 

I thought, I could share this lovely space I create for myself. I could help other closet-hermits like me who spend a lot of time taking care of other people, but who need some quality ME time that allows some mental space from the world. 

2) ME time sounds luscious, but do I need a lot of supplies and space for a new craft?

One of the perks of embroidery is in the simplicity of the materials. You see knitters and crocheters who carry around a bag of wool with needles sticking out. They can haul that thing anywhere and create ME time wherever they go.

Embroidery is a miniature version of this because you only need the hooped fabric, thread, needle, and small pair of scissors. And while that may seem like more actual stuff, it's smaller and more compact stuff that can fit in any number of portable totes (see this post and this post) or even an Embroidery YOU time tote you can make yourself (see this tutorial).

3) I haven't done much embroidery. How do I get started with your patterns?

Hey, I've got you covered! You can get a great beginner pattern by entering your name above right. 

Actually, you get a pattern in two views (one that can be traced or printed, and a reverse image if you use a transfer pencil or dressmaker's carbon), a stitch how-to, a thread color guide, a description of 6 ways to transfer the pattern, AND a photo illustrated guide to printing embroidery patterns onto fabric at home. 

It's an exclusive for subscribers only.

4) I already know how to embroider, do you have anything non-beginner?

I am adding more patterns to my shop weekly. I sell not only the patterns as a PDF download, but I sell pre-printed fabric panels. Some are great for beginners, but there are several more challenging patterns also.

5) What do I get when I buy a pattern from you?

All of the patterns I sell and give are PDF downloads. There is nothing mailed to you. 

The embroidery patterns include forward and reversed images to use with the various methods of pattern-to-fabric transfer, stitch and color guides where applicable, materials list, transfer method explanations, and the all important SweaterDoll copyright use blurb. Some of them come with photo instructions for using a common stitch in an unusual way for that project; check shop listing descriptions for these.

Patterns can be enlarged or reduced depending on your need. For example, an enlarged pattern can be stitched up in wool on a cushion cover.

Of course, you are welcome to by-pass all the files and any printing by purchasing a pre-printed cotton fabric panel with the design of your choosing. 

6) What kind of pre-printed patterns are you talking about?

You may remember grandmothers and aunts who embroidered pre-printed tablecloths and pillowcases or those may be in a drawer somewhere in your family heirloom stash.

I have taken that idea into more a modern hand embroidery YOU time approach. All my pre-printed fabric panels are on A4 size (8 1/4" x 11 3/4") cotton fabric, usually white. The designs fit into a 5", 6", or 7" sized hoop. 

Some make great wall art, left in the hoop. Some work great as embroidered quilt panels or in other sewn projects.

7) What are my payment options?

Paypal. Credit card and debit cards. Australian bank transfer (AU only). Knit me some rad wool socks and I'll trade.

8) So what's the deal with this YOU time thing?

The DIY movement has been around far longer than blogs and Instagram will have you believe.

Needlework has given me refreshing ME time away from job concerns, boyfriend break-ups, full-time toddler noise for more than 40 years.

I have made something with my own two hands in the quiet moments when everyone else is asleep, or in front of an old Christmas movie, or even in a cafe with a handful of friends who have brought their needlework and their laughter. 

Don't just do-it-yourself - do it FOR yourself. Let me put something in your hands that doesn't ring, buzz, or vibrate. This is what YOU time is about.

9) Where are your projects and patterns?

I sell patterns, pre-printed fabric panels, and handcrafted wood stitchery tools in my shop on Etsy. I also have lots of free downloads here on the blog, a number of which are available on my Sew Creative and Sew Skilled pages. (same as the tabs above)

I also publish in Australian and US magazines and websites. You can find links to those sources on the Read Me page.

10) Will you continue to create dolls and toys? 

I actually have a couple of toy sewing patterns being published this year in Australia's largest sewing and stitchery magazine, Homespun. One is for a dress-up doll and the other is for a 60s style autograph dog. 

I love to make smaller sewing projects for home and children and will continue to make them available. But I will be focusing more on embroidery and mixed media stitchery art, because, like I said, it's my favorite crafty ME time!

Join me in setting aside time to simply enjoy working the hands and needing to be nowhere else. Visit the free download links I've provided or visit my shop and pick out a pattern that excites you and let me give you permission to settle into your precious YOU time. 

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