How this site is funded

Thank_you-Thank_you_fridge_magnetsI've been so surprised and delighted that this site has grown and grown.  When I first started, and wrote about my first ever sewing project, it was only ever intended as my online personal diary and I didn't think anyone would ever even find it or read it.  Now I love the sewing community we have here, and all of your comments and advice, to me and to other readers as part of the Readers Questions series.

I don't know if you've ever read my ‘About Me‘ page, but I briefly explain how I got into sewing in the first place, after I'd had a stroke, lost a lot of my memory and other abilities, lost my job and my insurance and needed a hobby to help me rehabilitate and concentrate again, on an island with no neurologist and no stroke rehab program or treatment.  With mounting medical bills to pay, I later turned to earning a little money from my site with a few adverts.  Over time, as readership has increased, so my earnings from the site have increased from sidebar adverts, from the sale of my own designs of sewing patterns and the Pattern of the Month Club, and also from commissions from Craftsy.  Thank you to everyone who has supported me in these ways.

Save money and get to sew a lot! I'll be signing up at So Sew Easy to get a sewing pattern each month.

Pattern of the month club

So when a job opportunity came my way earlier this year, hubby and I discussed it and decided I didn't need to try go back to a ‘real job'.  I loved sewing and writing for my site, and it earned me enough money that So Sew Easy officially became my ‘job'.  And honestly, it's the best job I've ever had!  Obviously, he's the best husband in the world too.

small__14373653798Things have been going great, but then I got some bad news that impacts on the future earnings for the site.  The majority of my earnings come from Craftsy, and their scheme is about to introduce some dramatic changes.

At the moment, let's say for example that you read one of the reviews on my site for a class I've taken.  You like the sound of the review and want to learn more about the class so you click through to Craftsy and read more about the class and maybe add it to your wish list.  But you don't buy right away.  Later that month, Craftsy has a sale and you go through your wish list, get reminded of the class you wanted and buy it, plus maybe another class too.  Under the current scheme, I get a commission for referring you to that class.  It doesn't cost you any more to buy it, but the income keeps me in business.  Thanks to you and Craftsy.

Under the new scheme, unless you click through and buy that class right away, no commission is paid if you then decide to buy it later in the month.  You still pay the same price, but Craftsy keeps all the money.  Good for them, not so good for this site.

My reports show that nearly 90-95% of you don't buy immediately when you click through from the site.  You take a look, wait a while and buy later on.  So, effective from 4th August, I'll lose 90-95% of my commission.  Which means, I'll need to give some serious thought to looking for a ‘real job', instead of writing for this site. 🙁

Obviously I don't want that to happen, I love it here.  So I'm going completely out of character and sharing about how the site works, how I can spend so much time working on the content and free patterns each month, and what it needs in order to continue the same way.  It needs you and your help!

I've set up a new link on the site – at the very top of the sidebar on the right hand side, under the welcome message.  It says, “Support this site by buying your Craftsy class and products through THIS LINK“.


All I ask, if you go to Craftsy, maybe during a sale, or at any time and you want to buy a sewing class or some fabric or one of their new sewing kits, that you drop back to So Sew Easy and click through from this link above before buying.  It just tells Craftsy where you would like the commission for your transaction paid.

I feel bad about asking, and I sincerely hope no one is offended or upset.  If you are, my apologies.  It's optional of course, but helps me continue to work on offering you free sewing patterns every month.

You can also support the side bar advertisers, by visiting their sites. I don't earn any commission from these sponsors adverts, but if they can see visitors coming from this site, they may be more likely to renew their advert for next month.  Every little helps.

Thank you for your understanding.  If you have any questions, please leave a comment or send me an email.  If you want to shout at me and don't understand why I need to earn any money and can't just do all this for free, you might also find this article interesting – ” Can full time bloggers live off rainbows and hugs” .  But you can still shout too.

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88 Responses to How this site is funded

  1. cdahlgren2013 says:

    Thanks for sharing Craftsy’s new rules. I too am home because I’m unable to work due to health issues. I mainly do quilting as it’s quite cold in North Dakota, USA during the winter! I have been following your site for quite some time now, and you should be proud of what you’ve done. It’s too bad other’s decisions are hampering your ability to make a modest living. I too am unable to afford to buy many patterns due to income loss, but do treat myself to classes from Craftsy occasionally. From today on, I will come back to your site and link through your site so you get the commission. I only wish I could do more, as I wish I were more like you. I don’t want to start a blog as I don’t design a lot of quilt patterns(only one so far), and I don’t want to spend the time on it when I can’t get income from it. Congratulations on not letting your health issues keep you down, and hoping you can continue working from home on your blog. NEVER apologize for something you have to do, and keep on letting us know how we can help you.

    • Deby Coles says:

      Sorry to hear things have been tough. You are right to concentrate your time and efforts on money-making activities. Do you sell your quilts or take commissions for them? I’m terrible at that sort of thing, but I know that beautiful handmade quilts can see for quite a bit of money. Maybe a way to put your skills to work for you.

  2. Jacqueline Drewitt says:

    Well done how you have come through all this and to get this site up and running I think you are marvelous. I have put all your newsletters into a folder and go through them occasionally. I am Australian and it is not feasible to buy fabrics from overseas. I have downloaded patterns but will make sure they go through your site from now. Best wishes for the future.


    Wow, Deby! There’s nothing more I can add so I “DITTO” what everyone else has said. Sure hope you are able to keep this “job”!!!

  4. Lois Hall says:

    Thanks for the heads up. I do buy classes every so often so I will definitely order from your link. 🙂

  5. Angela says:

    Thank you for sharing how you make a living. I was wondering if you had thought about charging a fee to be able to download your fee patterns. I know that sounds silly but, what I mean is a sort of club that get any of your free patterns or maybe a limited amount of them in addition to being able to the ones you load on craftsy. Another idea is to ask for a donation to keep your site open. I have downloaded some computer games that I really love and the people always say to get updates or the full program, a person must send a fee or a donation. Sometimes it is a specific amount, other times it is a specific one. I would be more than willing to donate or pay. What do you think?

    • Deby Coles says:

      You are a sweetie Angela! I’m still committed to providing as much content for free as I can, and there is always the Pattern of the Month Club for those who want extra patterns. So there is a way to pay a little more and get an extra 15 patterns for 2014. I know times are hard for a lot of people and money for sewing patterns is a luxury that some can’t afford right now, so I’ll still be making something new for free each month, and hopefully if people like the free ones, when the time comes they have a little extra, people can feel comfortable investing in one of my paid patterns having tried me out before.

  6. Mary says:

    Thanks for letting me know how this works. I have greatly enjoyed your site and look forward to your weekly email. I made your free pattern-chiffon halter top…..but, modified it into a night gown, so comfortable and hubby thinks it’s sexy…go figure!
    Anytime I order from Craftsy; I’ll be sure to order from you. Thanks so much, love your story, as a rehab therapist I am amazed at your recovery, Way to go!

  7. Barbara Stopa says:

    I think craftsy is being ‘the Big Guy’ and not helping the individual home based business. Thanks for the info and I will be sure to use the ‘correct method’ when purchased your patterns!

  8. Sunshine says:

    Thank you for sharing how it works. I’m happy to return to this link so that you earn your fair share. You deserve it for all of your hard work.

  9. Kimberly crooms says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your site! I look forward to seeing your site every day. I love your patterns and all the other good stuff you post. I take care of my 80 year old mom and am looking for inspiration for items I can make my own and hope to make a dollar from to! Don’t go anywhere! I would be so sad! !! Thanks for the heads up though. I can’t afford to buy a class or much of anything right now since I can’t work outside the home. But I will spread the word! And i do buy all my zippers from the same site on ETSY. Love them!

    • Deby Coles says:

      Working at home either in family duties or in your own small business is just as important and valid as a ‘proper job’. Having time to make and sell your own handmade crafts is a great way to keep busy, and make a small income without having to commit to regular days and hours if circumstances don’t permit it. I wish you the best of luck.

  10. Carla says:

    I am not in the best of financial situations, so I don’t often get to buy from Craftsy, but I do have a wish list, there. If I go to Craftsy via your link, and it still counts for you, if I buy from my wish list, then, I am happy to help!
    Your patterns and tutorials/instructions have helped to change my previously (VERY) negative attitude toward sewing, so much that I’ve dragged out my machine, table, & all the accouterments, and am sewing again! My wardrobe is, for the first time in many years, something I can be proud of, and you are partly responsible for that. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  11. Suki says:

    I’ve just downloaded a free pattern of this cute little wrap dress. Strangely enough I’m in EXACTLY the same situation as you are after the stroke & job loss. I am a former nurse. I never realized that money can be made doing this. I will STRONGLY support you when I need something that you have on your site when I can afford it. I have placed you on my desktop as a shortcut. I DO truly thank you for the FREE patterns you offer since I can’t even afford to purchase them unless I find one from second hand stores. I’m impressed by what you & your husband have done to keep you busy & still able to make a few dollars as income after the strokes. Oh, & you are the first person who actually makes clothing that I would wear. I really love the styles!Thank you Debbie & God bless you in your endeavors.

    • Deby Coles says:

      Well no one would usually call me ‘stylish’ but comfy and casual is my style out here in the islands and hopefully its something that translates well where ever you are. I’m wishing you a very speedy recovery Suki.

  12. marla says:

    I hope you find new revenues to replace the Craftsy income. Good luck

  13. I’ve never read your story and it was wonderful to hear how much sewing has helped you. I will definitely go through your site to get to Craftsy from now on. Congrats on your rehabilitation and thanks for sharing your story!

    • Deby Coles says:

      Thank you Karen. I don’t like to share too much personal info on the site – people come here to read about sewing, not about me, but I’ve been delighted at all the kind comments and words of support, like yours, that have come in today.

  14. Connie says:

    I’m glad to know how your site works, you haven’t spoiled your blog yet with too much advertising and promotion and I do hope you can avoid it. I wanted to comment on one of your makes, the Eva dress in black knit. I think the dress design lines are interesting and your make is good and fits you very well. The only problem i see with it is that it is black. I don’t think black flatters you and that is why you don’t like this dress. Try making it up in a pretty colorful print, I’ll bet you would love it.

    • Deby Coles says:

      I know what you mean about the Eva. It should look elegant and classic and yet it makes me feel as if I’m on my way to a funeral when I wear it. Sigh – ts still hanging there waiting for a re-style one day.

  15. Karen J says:

    I would so much rather recognize and reward someone that is honest and hard working that big business that does whatever they do. Keep on keeping on and wishing you blessings and great success not to mention good health.

  16. Margie says:

    Deby I am so happy to see that you are recovering/recovered from your stroke. So young to have had that happen. I have you bookmarked and will remember to go through you to buy another class. I have so many I may have to wait awhile to purchase another one but will definitely be back here to do it. I have a couple of your free patterns. Clothes sewing is not really my thing but maybe one day. I mostly quilt.
    Good luck, to you.

    • Deby Coles says:

      Thanks Margie. I’m just starting to make my way a little towards having a go at quilting, but in the Caribbean that sort of thing doesn’t have so much of a place. It’s too darned hot here to use one, and sewing one on a small machine, covered in layers of fabric and sweating away isn’t much fun either!

  17. Cathee Bresnahan says:

    You can count on me! I buy classes all the time; probably at least one to two a month. I found you from their site under the free patterns. I liked your style and started following you. My kids grew up, and I lost interest in sewing until several people at work started asking me to alter things (which led me to Craftsy classes). I have learned so many new techniques from the olden days that make sewing so much easier. So, don’t go away!

    • Deby Coles says:

      Wow you are as much a big Craftsy fan as I am – I’ve bought 32 classes at the last count, well, including the free ones I enrolled for. I couldn’t have done a fraction of what I’ve managed to learn without their excellent classes. I’ve watched many, at least once, but still never have the time to complete all the projects. They just keep introducing new ones to tempt me before I finished the last one…

  18. Thanks for all the information. I will make sure to use this page to click through here for Craftsy Classes. Sometimes Craftsy puts ads on your Facebook page. If you click through your Facebook do you still get the commission?

    I think anyone who creates a class video deserves to have a commission. Isn’t that what makes the Craftsy desirable?

    • Deby Coles says:

      The Facebook adverts in the sidebar from Craftsy are put there by them, and don’t count as a referral, but thanks for asking. I think it just comes up because they see from your browsing history that is the sort of thing you would be interested in.

  19. Linda says:

    Hi-I love your blog and all you do–I love following your journey and love your patterns..I am starting to sew again after a long time not sewing clothes…I am one of the sewers who started quilting…..I will certainly link through you to buy any classes in the future…..

  20. Maaike says:

    Thanks for explaining! I very much enjoy your blog, and I want to support it, so I will definitely make a point of purchasing any Craftsy classes through your link.

  21. Betty McClure says:

    Hi, Deby. I have been a subscriber to your newsletter for a short while but did not know your whole story. You are a brave lady, and I admire how you have taken charge of your life and not let terrible events bring you down! I love your site and plan to begin sewing some things very soon. Many years ago, I used to sew quite a bit; now, at age 73, I am looking forward to getting back into it.Thank you for all you do. God bless you!

    • Deby Coles says:

      Sewing is a wonderful past-time Betty and I hope you have some lovely family members and perhaps some grandchildren to sew for. Perhaps you’ll be able to share some of those years of sewing experience when we have the next readers questions. We all still have so much to learn.

  22. Joanne says:

    Like Lisa, I never post comments. I just purchases your Flirty Skirty pattern and successfully followed your pencil skirt sew-a-long. I am so impressed with your patterns and directions. I was away from sewing a long time because I could not sew to fit myself. Now I am back! Because of you. Thank you. I am so impressed with your story and I wish you good luck and success away from a 9-5 job. Best wishes with this one!

    • Deby Coles says:

      Aww, thats great to hear Joanne. I’m so glad that you’ve come back to sewing and are having more success with it this time around. Fitting is a major issue and turnoff I think for most people trying to sew clothes. Hopefully my patterns won’t be too challenging and bring the enjoyment back to sewing, not the frustration! Thanks for taking the time to let me know what you think. I appreciate it.

  23. mainelysiberians says:

    Sorry-one more thought! Shame on Craftsy for their selfishness! I love The Craftsy platform but think this new commission structure is unfair. The referral source should be compensated for all referral business. Thanks for speaking out.

  24. mainelysiberians says:

    Deby, I thinks it’s BRILLIANT that you told us about how the commission structure is changing. Now that we know, we can be sure to support you. Your patterns and blog are giving many new sewers the courage and tools they need to get started. I’ve appreciated your work form afar (as I jealously thought about how smart you are to pull off a Caribbean island life with a healthy internet sewing career. More power to you! I hope your health and your income continue to improve! Bless you!

    • Deby Coles says:

      Thank you very much – yes I am lucky to have a very nice life here. I still miss some things about England but now I hope to make Cayman my home. Everything is better when the sun shines!

  25. superstitches says:

    Thank you for explaining how Craftsy works. I will be sure to use your website as a reference when buying classes from Craftsy. I agree most of those 9-5 jobs aren’t very fun.

  26. Angie says:

    Thanks for your courage to speak up. I’ve always found this sort of community happy to support each other. I’ll buy from your links, no problem!

  27. Diane says:

    Thank you for sharing how the Craftsy commission works. Now that I am aware, I’ll be sure and come back through your link to support you. You put out wonderful reviews and patterns (not to mention content, in general) and I hope to see your blog continue.

  28. diya says:

    You are doing a great job by sharing so many free tutorials. Some of your designs are so unique too. You will surely find other ways of income from this hobby I am sure. Nice to read this honest post. I do not buy from craftsy, but if I change my mind I will click through . Good Luck.

  29. cwest100 says:

    Deby, thank you for your honesty here. I’m like most of the other posters in that I was not aware of how this worked! I too, have begun to sew (not well, yet! 🙂 ) due to your blog. I’m literally a newbie, so I have a very long way to go. There are classes from Craftsy that I have been interested in, but did wait…so I will go through your site to purchase them. Thanks for letting us know!

  30. Maureen Russell says:

    I too had a debilitating illness and turned my “hobby” of costume designing and fabricating into a business that pays enough for me to stay at home where it’s healthier for me. Kudos to you! I know how difficult it is to make that decision.

    Thank you for sharing how Crafty works. I will definitely be coming back to your site for the next class I purchase. Good Luck!

    • Deby Coles says:

      Good for your Maureen. Working at home and for yourself can sometimes be a little lonely, or at least it would be for me if not for all the internet sewing friends I’ve made here. Your business sounds like a blast.

  31. wendymphx says:

    There is no reason for anyone to be offended by your request, I believe it’s a reasonable request. I’m only sorry that I just bought a class at Craftsy and I read this afterwards!
    Kudos for pulling up the proverbial big girl panties and braving the financial elements – many of us only are aware of the sidebar ad sponsors!

  32. Lisa says:

    I never post comments, but your story touched me. I also have recently begun sewing again and your site was one of the first that I found. Your honesty, talent, and willingness to share has inspired me. I will keep your blog in mind next time I order a Craftsy class. I wish you much success.

  33. says:

    I think it is great that you shared this with us. I didn’t understand how all that worked and I believe as consumers, we need to know. I support you Deby. I love your site and they only way to show you that is to follow your link to get to Craftsy. Keep sewing and creating.

  34. Chris says:

    Thanks for explaining how all of this works. I had no idea. I would be happy to go to Craftsy through your site to make my purchases. I’ve gotten some great ideas from you and would love to see your blog continue. Best of Luck!

  35. Margaret says:

    Deby, I enjoy your site so much. i started sewing for myself with your free Wear Everywgere Dress. It was the first time something I made actually fit me and looked good. (so many complements). I hate that Craftsy is changing their method of payment. Thanks for letting me know. I buy a lot from them. I will change my way of doing things and go through your site. Keep up the good work.

  36. Debbeg says:

    Thanks for your honesty. I plan to buy the sewing the right fit class, have it in my wish list, from a review I read here, but hadn’t bought it yet. I’ll be sure to do what you say when I’m ready to buy.

  37. Amy in TX says:

    Thank you for letting us know how to support you! Will you get the commission no matter what course we buy as long as we go to Craftsy via the link?

  38. You’re a brave woman who has not surrendered to the circumstances of life and you deserve the best. I will be aware of your blog to participate. Successes and hugs!

  39. Francine Meyer-Drasutus says:

    Deby… many of us have no Idea how sites work. Thank you for taking the time to educate us. I want you to get the credit for what you guide us to. So if and when the rules change. Please tell us and try not to feel uncomfortable about it. Just know you have a following and we want to take care of you- the way you take care of us. We are family.

  40. charmainev says:

    Very disappointed with Craftsy about this??!!! Can we not do something to change their mind???

    • Deby Coles says:

      I’ve written several times with my ‘feedback’ as have many other site owners that I know. The business has to make decisions on what is best for them, and I still obviously think they are awesome and give them my full support and recommendation. The decision is made and effective tomorrow 4th Aug. It was nice while it lasted, they were very generous and their scheme enabled me to grow the site and learn to sew as a result. I don’t have any complaints. But if I can continue to do well as a result of site readers being aware of the change, I hope it will work out for me and for Craftsy.

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