Meet...Sara of Radiant Home Studio! Sara is a mom of six (almost seven) and was taught to sew by her mom when she was a little girl. A few years later, Sara designed her first bag when she was in college. It was hand stitched and made out of a pair of jeans. Keep reading to learn more about Sara and her sewing patterns!
Why do you sew?
Sewing is such a great creative outlet. I love that it challenges both brain hemispheres. There’s right brain creativity in choosing colors, fabrics, and designs, and left brain creativity in the math and technical design aspects. I grew up loving math and art, not knowing how those two things fit together. Now I see how these strengths really complement each other in sewing and creative business. As a mother of 6, sewing also gives me a chance to spend some time refreshing my energy on days when I feel worn down with the daily chores.
When did you started to sew? And what was your first make?
My mom taught me to sew at an early age. We did lots of hand stitching and doll clothes making at first. My girls are now using some of the doll clothes for their dolls! I also remember making a pair of pajama pants on my own in my early teens. I left home with basic pattern reading and construction skills.
When did you start to draft patterns? How was the learning process?
In college, I didn’t have enough school work to keep me busy and often wandered through Hobby Lobby dreaming up projects. I remember designing my first bag (which I stitched by hand in my dorm room) made from some jeans I had cut up. When my first 2 kids were toddlers, I realized that their clothes were very boxy and easy to recreate. I started tracing and drafting patterns from their store-bought clothes. Once I no longer feared messing things up, I began to make modifications and draft patterns for bigger things. My first pattern was released several years ago. I gathered several indie sewing patterns, studied the design and layout, and went to work figuring out how to use graphic design software. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough to sell. I quickly gained more skills and updated the patterns as I learned new things. It took 2-3 years of focused work to learn all of the skills necessary to build great patterns.
How is your creative/design process?
My design process is different every time. I tend to design out of necessity. I think of something that I need, or something that meets a need for someone else, and design to meet the need. Sometimes I draft in Illustrator first, and sometimes I cut pieces and make a muslin first. It totally depends on the design. The design process, technical illustrations and directions all go pretty quickly for me. It’s the sample sewing that slows me down. I find it easier to work on the computer while answering kids questions and taking breaks to help them. Sewing requires more focus and quiet for me, which is something I don’t find time for as often.
How/where do you see yourself and your business in the future?
I’d love to expand my pattern offerings to garments. I’m also formulating ideas for video based classes. Both of these ideas are a couple of years from happening, but I definitely have plans to grow. I’m also using my design skills in other ways to create another business. I’m hoping to have my new idea up and running by the end of the year!
Retro Rucksack, pattern by Radiant Home Studio.
What is your favorite make ever? Why?
One of my favorite makes ever is the Sashiko Hide and Seek Dress I made for the Oliver + S blog. The time spent on the hand-stitching was well worth the effort. My daughter wears it often, and it seems like something that can be passed down to future children and grandchildren.
What is on in the background while you're sewing?
Nothing. I don't get much quiet in our busy house, so I prefer to have no extra noise.
3 Favorites - color, texture and fabric:
3 things that make you happy:
- My family,
3 random things about you:
- My pregnancy craving this time has been tabouli - probably not normal, but at least it's healthy!
- My husband and I have known each other since we were 12, and got married when we were 19.
- We have 15 chickens and more fresh eggs than we can eat.
Life or sewing motto:
“It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” - Myquillyn Smith at thenester.com
North Pond Note Cover, pattern by Radiant Home Studio.
Thank you, Sara!