This week, meet Sara of Sew Sweetness! Sara is a mom of two (boy, girl) who learnt the basics about sewing with her mom, when she was in third grade. As so many of us, Sara began sewing again after her first child was born. She started blogging in 2010 and one year later she was designing bag patterns for Pellon Projects. Since then she has written two books, designed two fabric lines, taught many classes (including the virtual class on Craftsy) and her work has appeared in several quilting and sewing magazines. Keep reading to know more!
Why do you sew?
I sew to be creative - there is nothing like figuring out how a bag will go together and writing the instructions for a pattern!
When did you started to sew? And what was your first make?
I first learned how to sew in 3rd grade; my mom taught my friend and I to make a couple of sewing project (a knit top and knit drawstring bag). I didn't sew again until I was an adult and had my kids. At that time, the most I could manage were burp cloths (which were just rectangles).
When did you start to draft patterns? How was the learning process?
I wrote my first pattern as a free bag pattern for Pellon over Christmas of 2012. Looking back on the early patterns, my writing style was very interesting. I used a lot of letters and numbers for steps. I think things have improved greatly since then, lol.
How is your creative/design process?
I come up with an idea and sketch out the design (my sketches are very crude). I write down the supply list and pattern pieces needed for the bag, then draft the pattern pieces in Adobe Illustrator. After that, I write out the instructions. Then I will cut out fabric and start sewing the bag according to my instructions (I am usually taking the step photos at this time). I write a lot of corrections and add things to my original instructions as I sew. After the pattern is finished, it goes out to my pattern testers.
How/where do you see yourself and your business in the future?
We just started doing video this year; I'm having a lot of fun with that. It's hard to know where technology will go in the future, but I'm always dedicated to learning more and trying out different things.
Cumberland Backpack, pattern by Sew Sweetness
What sewing machine do you own? Is it the machine of your dreams?
Juki TL-2010Q. I wouldn't trade it for a machine that costs 10x as much.
What is your favorite make ever? Why?
I made an Aeroplane Bag for Alison Glass's Chroma fabric line. The base of the bag and handles were made with natural cork fabric, and the top of the bag was paper-pieced using the Chroma fabrics.
What is on in the background while you're sewing?
I usually like to play a television show on my computer (which is right next to my sewing machine).
Which is(are) your favorite pattern(s)?
The most items I've made by another pattern designer is probably Serendipity Studio (garments).
Who's your sewing/blogging/style/fashion/designer/quilter hero(s)?
Greenbacks Wallet Trio, pattern by Sew Sweetness
What are your favorite sewing techniques?
I have a weekly Facebook Live chat called Sewcial Sunday, and I usually show a sewing tutorial during the live chat. People in the audience are usually amazed at seeing zippers (zippers trimmed, zippers sewed in the round, a zipper pocket, etc.). There's certain steps you can follow when working with zippers that will make them less scary, like using Dritz Wonder Tape, or clipping curves.
What is your least favorite sewing technique/step?
I don't particularly enjoy binding armholes/necklines and understitching. It seems to take me forever!
Describe yourself in 3 words:
3 Favorites - color, texture and fabric:
- Color - green, I love making clothes with rayon fabrics, they have a great drape
3 things that make you happy:
- my family, reading books, going to the movies
3 random things about you:
- I live in Chicago,
- I love horses,
- and my favorite food is deep dish pizza
Life or sewing motto:
Keep practicing - sew something every week!
Ansel Camera Bag, pattern by Sew Sweetness
Thank you, Sarah!
Enjoy 20% off on all Sew Sweetness patterns through next week! (Good through Friday, September 15th, 11:59 PM PST)
Come back next week to meet another pattern designer!