Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness is amazing. She’s a fabric designer and a sewing blogger, but most of all she is the mother of the modern bag pattern. Need a tote bag? A laptop case? A backpack? A purse? A duffel? Sew Sweetness has you covered, and then some. Sara knows everything there is to know about sourcing bag supplies, making perfect piping, and inserting a kick-ass zipper. Don’t let her pretty face and tulle skirts deceive you: the woman is a bag-making NINJA.
When you meet someone with this much knowledge, you often wonder how they work. What’s their secret (besides pure, unadulterated genius)? What tools do they love most? What techniques do they use to be the most productive? Thankfully, Sara took a moment from saving the world one bag at a time to fill us in on her sewing kit and her production process. Turns out she’s really nice too!
What are your top five sewing tools?
- My Frixion pens (my favorite pens are pink and purple, but I have all the other colors too; I prefer using the Frixion pens for tracing pattern pieces onto fabric or to mark areas within the seam allowances)
- Clover Chaco pens (I prefer white since it doesn’t leave a mark on any fabric I’ve used so far)
- I just got some Kai scissors which I really love (they fit nice in my hand and are not too heavy)
- Wonder Clips (great for pinning thick bag layers but I also use them for “pinning” everything else)
- June Tailor Fray Block (great for reinforcing areas of a bag that you will be cutting into, as for a magnetic snap installation)
Why do you sew?
I sew because my mind likes a challenge. When I’m designing a sewing pattern, this fulfills the challenge for me since I’m usually more interested in the process than in the finished product. Once in a while I like to give my mind a break, and that’s when I’ll make a quilt (using someone else’s pattern, of course!).
What’s your favorite time of day to be creative?
My kids just went back to school, and I enjoy having a scheduled work day. (When they aren’t in school over the summer, I have to fit work time into a part of the day that’s more convenient, usually when they’re asleep at night.) By the time they come home from school, my mind is ready for a mental break, and so we relax and watch some Curious George or Arthur. 🙂
A purse, a backpack, and a laptop case have a cage match in your heart. Who comes out as the winner?
Probably a purse…I’m not much of a backpack user and I don’t have a laptop to stow! I prefer working on my desktop.
When you’re not making bags, what’s your favorite thing to sew?
I love making garments a lot. Garments are also a puzzle, but a fun one. Every garment pattern needs some sort of fitting modification done, no matter what your body type, and I enjoy making these changes and figuring out how to make something that fits me perfectly.
Thanks so much, Sara!