Thank you for visiting SarahLovesToSew! I'm Sarah and set up this brand to help people find their sewing mo jo - or their sew-jo as I like to call it. I want to inspire people, to make beautiful things out of an age-old craft and to share my skills with like-minded people in a safe and supportive environment.
My desire is to bring creative people together with sewing. I was made redundant from a 20-year-career in newspaper journalism, and I returned to my first dream of creating a brand and owning my own company.
I come from a family of seamstresses (and pretty formidable women) on the maternal side of my family and I studied textiles, fashion and dressmaking and have a design degree.
I have always wanted to carve out my own design career, allowing my creativity and individuality to shine. I did this in newspapers and always enjoyed it, having a total of 11 jobs within the same company, including magazine editor and digital publisher.
But when I was made redundant in January 2019, I saw it as an opportunity to return to a long-held dream of mine to run my own design company. I found the transition from the routine of going into a busy office, working to tight deadlines, to being a stay-at-home with no income very difficult on some days. I missed my work colleagues and hearing people's stories and having adult, work-related conversations and seeing my colleagues - and I missed my salary.
I found the isolation hard in that first year, but I tried my hand at TV extra work, I've always been interested in performing arts and ironically thought at 25 years of age that I was too old to start, but here I was giving it a go in my mid-40s. It was fun to learn a new creative industry and I got to meet a whole bunch of new friends - but the work was not regular enough and usually quite late notice which proved problematic with childcare arrangements.
I was taking on a few sewing commissions alongside this, to try and bring in an income. I started off small, making patchwork commissions, shortening curtains, and doing alterations for a small client base, mostly for people I knew already. Then I made a handful of made-to-measure dresses for customers I knew. But I realised I wasn't bringing in enough money and was fed up of being skint and not able to afford new things and ducking out of social events, as my bank account was empty. And just when I landed a speaking part and a job as a costumed actor at a tourist attraction the world was struck with Covid-19, and all acting work stopped.
And so I was left with just my sewing again. It was clear to me that the area I enjoyed most was the designing, creating things out of fabric, making clothes and homeware items to bring you joy when you wear it and to your homes. (I have rather a lot of handmade bespoke bodycon dresses and patchwork cushions, as you can imagine!).
I think it is so important that people take time out to do a mindful activity and sewing is certainly that. It can really help with mental health, especially as people are more isolated than usual due to Covid-19. I want to inspire people to be able to make beautiful things for themselves, their homes and their loved ones. The feeling of satisfaction from finishing a sewing project is amazing and I want to spread that joy with sewing projects, online tutorials, sew-alongs and workshops.
Once you have mastered a technique, you can apply it to different projects. I love recycling old garments and turning them into new gorgeous items.
I will never run out of things that I want to make, or sell to people who love my work - or fabrics that I want to work with, and I hope that you are inspired by my story and my products and will also learn how to love sewing, appreciate the work that goes into it, and what it can provide for you.