Donate Your Old Sewing Machine to “Sew Much Hope”

When compared to the United States, the living conditions in third-world countries are very poor. People often do not have a way to support their families financially. A sewing machine can change all that. Donate your old sewing machine to Sew Much Hope so it will go to a family in need.

Sew Much Hope takes old sewing machines and outfits them for use in third-world countries. Some machines are modified to have hand cranks because not all areas have access to electricity. Other sewing machines are fixed up so that they work like new. If you don’t have an old sewing machine to donate, you can still help out with a cash donation to become a sponsor of a family through Sew Much Hope.

You can donate any old sewing machine to Sew Much Hope. It doesn’t even matter if the machine doesn’t work. Some old sewing machines are accepted simply for their parts. In addition to sewing machines, Sew Much Hope accepts donations of bobbins, needles, parts, and anything else related to sewing machines.

It’s easy to donate your old sewing machine. Simply box it up with bubble wrap and mail it to:

Eagle Condor Humanitarian

614 East 3900 South

Salt Lake City, UT 84107

Another place that accepts old sewing machine donations is The Sewing Machine Project.

Can I Sell Crafts Made from Someone Else’s Pattern?

Your friends loved that cute bag you made for yourself and think you should make more and start selling them for money. But, you don’t know if you’re legally allowed to do this since it was made from someone else’s pattern. The answer isn’t always clear cut. You have to read the copyright disclosures on the pattern, and possible seek permission from the owner before making items for profit.

Look for Copyright Disclosures on the Pattern

The first thing you should do is look for copyright disclosures on the pattern. If the pattern says, “For Personal Use,” you’re not allowed to sell the items you make from it. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a couple to give to your friends and family. As long as no money is exchanging hands, you’re well within your rights to use the pattern.

Some patterns say, “For Pocket Money.” This means you’re allowed to make a certain amount of items to sell. Sometimes the pattern will restrict you to 100 items, and other times the amount will be unclear. If you want to create higher quantities, you need to contact the pattern publisher for permission.

If there is no copyright disclosure printed on the pattern, this does not mean that you can go ahead and use the pattern commercially. There is an implied copyright on all intellectual property. You must contact the pattern publisher for permission.

What If I Modify the Pattern?

You can’t simply modify the size and color to get out of a copyright notice on a pattern. If you’re using any part of the pattern, the copyright still applies. However, if you make enough changes to the pattern that it is no longer recognizable, you’re probably in the clear. Just make sure that the pattern doesn’t have any specific copyrights on it, such as the way that certain notions are attached, etc.

If you ever have any questions, contact the pattern publisher.

When Is New York Fashion Week?

New York Fashion Week is September 5-12, 2013. If you’re reading this article after that date, check out for the latest dates and an event schedule. New York Fashion Week is held at the beginning of February and the beginning of September every year.

How to Get Tickets to Fashion Week in New York

Unfortunately, Fashion Week is not open to the public. You can only get tickets if you’re a buyer, designer, or member of the press. Even then, you still have to be invited to attend an event. Of course, you might be able to pull a few strings to get into one of the bigger shows if you have celebrity status… yeah right!

You can always buy tickets to Couture Fashion Week to see up-and-upcoming designers. It will give you a small feel for Fashion Week. Couture Fashion Week is typically held during the same time as the official Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, but it doesn’t get as much attention. Tickets start at $70 and go as high as $5,000 for a 3-day, VIP pass.

However, just because you can’t attend any of the runway shows in New York in person doesn’t mean you can’t see them. You can watch most of them live on the Internet. Just go to Fashion Week Online.

How Did New York Fashion Week Get Started?

The first New York Fashion Week was held in 1943, but it was called “Press Week” back then. It was organized because designers were unable to travel to Paris and Milan because of World War II. In 1994, the event was moved to Bryant Park where the runway shows are held in a series of white tents. This still happens today, but there are rumors that it may move to Hudson Yards. According to The Guardian, 232,000 people attend Fashion Week each year.

The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York is one of four major fashion shows around the world. The others include Milan, Paris, and London. An estimated $20 million is pumped into New York’s economy during Fashion Week each year. As you can tell, New York Fashion week is a pretty big deal.

Image via Flickr by Art Comments

10 Ways to Make Sewing Faster

Sewing is fun, but it can also be tedious and take a long time. If you’re looking for ways to making sewing faster, these 10 tips will have you completing your sewing projects in half the time.

1. Use a Rotary Cutter and Mat

Image via Flickr by Mark Baylor

A rotary cutter and mat make sewing faster and they’re easier to use than scissors. Plus, your cut lines come out more precise and you don’t have to pin the pattern pieces to your fabric. All you do is layout your pattern pieces on the fabric, put weights on top, and then use the rotary cutter to cut them out. It’s fast and simple.

Of course, you’re only going to cut out pattern pieces faster if you have a large enough mat. The small ones that are made for quilting will only cause you more hassle. You need a cutting mat that entirely covers your table. Otherwise, you’ll only be able to cut out one piece at a time.

2. Avoid Difficult Fabrics

Image via Flickr by Alan Levine

There are hundreds of different fabrics to choose from at the fabric store. However, it’s a lot easier to sew on cotton and linen than silk and brocade. Additionally, heavy-weight fabrics can be a bit of a hassle. You’ll save time on sewing projects if you avoid fabrics that are traditionally difficult to handle. A good rule of thumb is to see how easily it slips through your fingers. If it’s really slippery, it will take more patience to sew.

3. Skip the Pinning or Use Fewer Pins

Image via Flickr by Steven Depolo

If you’ve read my earlier article, “Sewing Pins: A Love Hate Relationship,” you know I think pinning is the most tedious task in sewing. With practice, you can skip out on the pinning a lot of the time, especially if you’re using cotton or flannel fabric and other fabrics that are easy to sew on. Really, the only time you need to pin is if you are sewing curves or through multiple layers of fabric. With straight seams, you can simply line the fabric up as you move it through your sewing machine. Sewing projects do come out more precise when you use pins, but most people won’t be able to tell you didn’t use them unless they’re looking really closely at your handiwork.

4. Use Quality Thread and Notions

Image via Flickr by gina pina

There’s more to choosing thread than making sure it matches your fabric. You also need to make sure it is a high quality that will not break while you sew. I once bought a container that had 30 different spools of thread in it, thinking I wouldn’t have to buy thread again for a long time. Unfortunately, every time I tried to use it, the thread would break while I sewed. Now, I always choose a good brand, like Gutermann, when choosing thread for a sewing project. You’ll save time if you always buy high quality thread and notions.

5. Choose an Easy Pattern

Image via Flickr by Kim Love

If you’ve been sewing for a while, you know that some patterns are harder to follow than others and some take you a lot more time. So, if you want to save time on your sewing projects, don’t choose the most difficult pattern. For instance, your kid will be perfectly happy with a simple collared shirt, rather than a multi-layer blouse with shirring and puffed sleeves. The less detail you have to add, the faster the project will go.

6. Keep All Your Sewing Tools in Reach

Image via Flickr by Lisa Allen

If you haven’t already created a small sewing tote with all of your tools in it, you should do so. It should have everything you use on a regular basis while working on a sewing project. The basics include scissors, pins, a measuring tape, a seam ripper, and fabric chalk. Then, place the tote near your sewing machine so you have easy access to it.

7. Use a Longer Stitch Length

Image via Flickr by Hillary

Your sewing machine has several different stitch lengths. The longest ones are for basting and gathering and the short ones are for really tight seams. However, you can save time by choosing a longer stitch for all of your sewing projects because your machine moves more quickly. For instance, if you usually use a 2 or 2.5 stitch length, you can save time by increasing the stitch length to 3 or 3.5.

8. Attach Buttons with Embroidery Floss

Image via Flickr by Lainey’s Repertoire

Sewing buttons on is tedious work, especially if you use a single strand of thread and a needle. If you opt for embroidery thread, you can thread it through the buttons just two or three times. Just tie a square knot in the back and your buttons should never come off.

9. Only Sew One Line of Gathering Stitches

Image via Flickr by lululemon athletica

Most patterns recommend that you sew two or three lines of gathering stitches, but you really only need one. The only time you need more is if you’re sewing curtains or on heavy fabric. Why waste the time on two or three lines of stitches if you’re not going to use them?

10. Invest in a Serger

Image via Flickr by juana manuel

Sergers are great because they sew stitches and finish seams at the same time. If you can afford to buy one, it will save you tons of time on your sewing projects. You will still need a sewing machine for top stitching, zippers, and other small things, but you can do most of the main sewing with a serger. Plus, sergers can sew a lot more quickly than sewing machines.

These are our favorite ways to save time while sewing. Do you have any other tips? Leave a comment below.

4 Easy Bottle Cap Crafts for the Kids

Invite your friends and their kids, because it’s craft time! These crafts will entertain a variety of age groups and you will end up with fun badges, art, jewelry and magnets. The first two are great for younger kids while the last two are better suited for older children and crafty parents.  You can easily do all four during a craft party!

bottle caps

Half of these crafts require punching holes into bottle caps, so I recommend that you invest in a bottle cap hole-punch if you want to go the easy route. Or you can heat the back of the bottle cap with a lighter, and then stab it with something sharp (like a skewer.) First, gather some supplies. You will need bottle caps. They are easy to save from soda or beer bottles, but I like to buy them in cool colors and at a great price here, from HairBow Center.

1.     Old-Fashioned Badges All Around

For this cute, kid worthy craft, all you have to do is punch two holes in the sides of the bottle cap so that you can put a safety pin through the holes. After you insert the safety pin you can have the kids draw on paper what they want to have inside the bottle cap. Then put a thin layer of glue inside the cap and press the paper in.

2.     Get Artsy with Wall Art

This is the probably the easiest bottle cap craft of all. Tell your crafting buddies to bring a picture frame (I like stock up when I see them at thrift stores). Gather some buttons, glitter, coins, bottle caps, printed pictures and anything else that calls to you. Glue the pieces in a pattern, or just at random. It is great for decorating the kid’s bedrooms and around the house.

3.     Beautiful Bottle Cap Jewelry and

4.     Easy Bottle Cap Magnets


This craft is for the older kids and the parents. It would be a hit with any child around ten years and older. For this craft you will also need Mod Podge, measuring cups, popsicles (or just the sticks), resin, items you want in the bottle caps, jewelry pliers (I love these from Wubbers), and a chain or string if making jewelry. If you want to make the magnets as well, buy some magnets and industrial style glue.

First, the jewelry makers will want to make a hole in the side of the bottle cap then thread the chain or string into the hole for necklaces or bracelets.

Second, find images you want to use that are about one inch wide. Cereal boxes, newspapers, and old hallmark cards you’ve received work wonderfully.

Now cut them out.

If you don’t have a one inch circle punch, you can easily trace a circle around the bottom of the bottle cap and cut it out, like the kids did for their badges.

Mod Podge the heck out of the paper.

Coat all sides of it so it doesn’t get stained from the resin you will be pouring in. While you wait a few minutes you can give the kids popsicles (with sticks) and tell them to keep the sticks when they are finished and cut one end straight. Put the paper inside the bottle caps, and layer on a little more Mod Podge.

bottle caps (3)

Image from Athena Workman (hers are cuter than mine!)

The next part is my favorite:  Once the Mod Podge is dry add more decorations! Add glitter, beads, 3-D paint, sprinkles or whatever your heart desires. Let everything dry completely.

Finally, it’s time to mix the resin!

Take everything outside along with your resin, measuring cups and Popsicle sticks with one end cut straight. Make sure you have enough fresh air, because this part can get stinky! Read the instructions on the resin box mix it and pour into the bottle caps.

Next, remove air bubbles by letting out a warm breath on them; the kids love this part!  You just have to let them dry overnight, add magnets or jewelry clasps, and you are done! Happy crafting everyone!


Angela Johnson loves writing, crafting with her four year daughter, and sewing everything from clothing to quilts. It’s more than a hobby to her; it’s a way of life! She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her family and her three dogs.