|Lara has a great appreciation for beautiful fabric and she makes some really lovely things. We’ve had such fun getting to know Lara a bit more as she helps us plan our upcoming Handmade Holidays for November; although we’re posting her introduction today, Lara’s been hard at work as a new SMS board member for awhile now! Enjoy Lara’s thornberry blog with an amazing chevron cardigan in progress, adventures at Sisters’ Market, happy children, fabric highlights and much, much more.|
SMS: How long have you been sewing?
Lara: I have been sewing since late primary school age. When I was little my mother sewed my clothes, and was happy to teach me on her machine. By secondary school I progressed from dressing my dolls to making some of my own clothes, and I went on from there.
SMS: What do you enjoy about sewing? What are your favorite things to make?
Lara: I love the process of changing a flat piece of fabric into something that is useful as well as beautiful. Sewing offers a broad range of experiences – easy projects for a quick fix, through to complex challenging projects that take considerable time and effort to produce the desired result. In the past I mainly sewed clothes for myself, but now I sew more for my two daughters (aged 5 and 1). In the past few years I’ve also become addicted to sewing bags. My other crafty hobby is crochet.
Stella’s new satchel by Lara.
SMS: How do you find time to fit creativity (sewing and any other creative loves) into your life?
Lara: Fitting creativity into a busy life is a constant challenge! I find that I have to be organised and have a dedicated sewing space. Because I have everything set up in my sewing room whenever I have a “spare” fifteen minutes I can cut something out, sew a couple of seams, and gradually keep my projects moving along. I take crochet with me whenever I go out – you never know when there will be some waiting time that can be used productively! Generally I have a range of sewing or craft projects on the go at once and will work on whatever project fits best into any available time. I rarely just sit and watch TV.
SMS: Do you have a favorite sewing tip or skill that’s made things work better for you?
Lara: My favourite sewing tip? Read the instructions! I know that doesn’t work for everyone – it depends on your learning style – but I always sit and read through the instructions for any new project before I launch into it. I walk through the process in my mind, figuring out any quirks or potential problems.
Lara’s “Fabulous Fortieth” dress.
SMS: What’s a favorite thing you’ve made lately?
Lara: A favourite item I’ve made this year is the dress I wore to my cousin’s 40th birthday. The fabric was a cotton/silk mix, printed with all my colours, and I adjusted it to fit me perfectly. I feel fantastic in it. I love the bags I’ve been making recently – two of my favourites are a satchel made for my daughter Stella for childcare and a bag for my friend Sally’s 40th. Both have adjustable shoulder straps, hard bases, bag feet and other touches that make them a bit special. The fabrics are terrific too!
SMS: Can you tell us a little more about yourself?
Lara: A little more information about me? I’m 40, and live in Melbourne, Australia, but grew up in a country town. I’m married and have two daughters, aged 5 and 1. As well as doing the books for our two family businesses I work two days per week outside the home. I’ve tried most fabric crafts over the years, but generally sew and crochet. It’s my therapy!