|Sara and Maddie|
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Sara: I am 17 years old and a freshman at UC Berkeley. I have not decided on a major yet, but am thinking about business, public policy or psychology. I was born in Chicago, but mostly raised in California. I love to sew and collect fabrics!
Q. When did you start sewing?
Sara: My mom introduced me to sewing at the young age of four, and I have enjoyed the hobby ever since. My grandma would constantly get upset with my mom for letting me on a sewing machine at such a young age, in fear of piercing my hand with the needle. However, I didn't run my hand underneath the machine shaft until I was 12, as a result of talking on the phone and sewing with one hand… lesson learned. I have an 86 year old great aunt who used to babysit me as a child, who used to sew all of my aunt’s clothes when they were younger! One time, I remember cutting all the fabric up from her sewing box into unusable pieces, and wondering why she was so upset. However thank goodness she loved me a bit more than her fabric stash!
Anyways, I have always loved fabrics of all kinds, based off texture, color, material or anything- I love the diversity in fabric. By the time I was 9 years old, I had, with the help of my mom, started an after school sewing program at my church with the support of my quilting mentor Mrs. Eleanor O’ Donnell. As I got older, I learned dressmaking from my other mentor, Prof. Laverne Edwards who taught me everything about drafting patterns, and creating garments from scratch.
|Teaching kids how to sew|
Q. How did you get into fabric design?
Sara: My opportunity to design fabrics for Fabri-Quilt came from John and Sue Linam of Fabri-Quilt. They flew to my home and introduced me to the creative world of fabric design! I have always enjoyed designing, sketching, and color theory so fabric designing was something I really enjoyed doing.
Q. You also have a line of sewing patterns through Simplicity. How did that start?
Sara: I contacted Mrs. Judy Raymond (now retired ) of Simplicity Patterns and asked for a chance to patterns design for Simplicity, and they licensed me to design for them using some of my sketches and prototype clothing that I had sewn.
Some of Sara's sewing patterns
Q. What do you like best about designing fabric?
Sara: I like being able to choose trendy colors for my fabric designs. I enjoy taking pictures of colors found in nature, furniture or anywhere else that catches my eye. My cell phone is full of random photos of objects that have beautiful colors, or texture or patterns and I tend to print out the random photos I take and use them for inspiration for new fabric ideas, or just to hang on my college dorm wall.
Q. How would you describe your style? How has your style changed as you've gotten older?
Sara: I would describe my style as eccentric, creative and different. When I was younger, I loved contrast and bright primary colors that were bold and stark against plainer backgrounds. However, now I am starting to appreciate blended colors now and "handmade" designs with imperfect edges rather than crisp perfect lines.
It's great getting to know you, Sara! We'll be back with a look at Sara's fabric collections and quilts. In the meantime, you can visit her website, Sew Sara Sew.