Thursday, February 6, 2014


Hi! And welcome to Lila Creates. I am Sarah, a self-taught sewer and owner of the Etsy shop LilaKids. In my previous life I was a teacher, a teacher trainer, and curriculum writer, but after my daughter was born I took up sewing. I don't really know why I turned to sewing, but I find it therapeutic and I love the feeling of taking something flat and turning it into something beautiful and useful. 

I've started this blog as a way to communicate with customers and potential customers about my work. When I purchase things from artisans I always appreciate knowing a little more about the person who made the item and the story behind it. If I wasn't that interested I could always go to some big box store and get something anonymous, right? But the heritage of the item, even if it was just made yesterday, adds value to it and is fun to learn about. So this is where I'll be able to tell more about how I decide to make the items in my shop, how people use them, and I'll be able to share more about me. 

I'm also really looking forward to the conversations blogging enables. I would LOVE to hear from people about how they're using Lila products, ideas you have for improving them or new items to make, or any tidbits you'd like to share about your life and any creative adventures you may have. 

So today I'm going to share with you some photos of my studio. Yikes! It's not always very neat, and I didn't tidy it up before taking these because I thought you'd rather see the real me, not some House Beautiful version. So here's photo one, of my beloved machines: 

my laptop, my standard sewing machine, and my new serger
My camera is missing from the photo but that's an important machine for me too. In the back are some artworks from my daughter, who'll be known as HG here. Way off on the bottom right you see my reading glasses. Those became necessary last year, to my dismay. 

the needle and thread drawer
Above is the drawer that holds my needles and threads. Different sewing projects need different kinds of threads and machine needles. There are also a bunch of sewing machine "feet" which make it possible to do different kinds of things, like add zippers to things. Let me know if you'd like a tour of the specifics in this drawer and what everything does! 

here is what I mean by "it's not House Beautiful"
Next up is the natural state of my unironed fabric. It looks dreadful. Or maybe we should say it's just waiting to fulfill its destiny. That sounds a little more charitable. At one point I had an actual system, where linens were on bottom and solid cottons on top, but clearly that is no longer the case. Below is the ironed fabric, all nicely hanging. I've had to triple and quadruple up the yardage since I don't have enough space in the closet for everything to have its own hanger. 

All fabric needs to be prewashed and ironed before it can be cut and sewn. This can be a really lengthy process, actually. Sometimes I wash linen several times to get it softer before I work with it. And ironing huge long pieces of fabric is not easy. 

Finally, a nice photo of my belts all in a row. I like looking at these beauties all together. They don't sell well in the shop, and I haven't figured out why. I've tried them on both myself and HG and they work fantastic. Mine is an adult version of the pink one at the end, and hers is the one with the green circles. They're easy to put on, pretty, really sturdy but also flexible.... Plus, I toss them in the wash when they get a little dingy looking. If anyone has any ideas about either design or marketing improvements I could make to help them sell better, I'm all ears!

 LilaKids Belts

I noticed I forgot to take a photo of my cutting table. I'll have to do another post about the rest of my studio. Stay tuned! And in the meantime, please let me know what kinds of things you'd like to me to write about in the future! Thanks for reading!


  1. What a cool "behind the scenes" peek, thanks for posting this! Sorry I don't have any ideas about the belts - they are 100% cute, but I don't wear belts so I'm not sure how belt-wearers' minds work. :)

    1. Thanks Skye! How are the bag and pencil roll working out these days?

  2. Welcome to the world of blogging, Sarah!! :) Thanks for giving us a peek behind the scenes.

  3. What cute belts! I love my serger....but i recently broke a needle and KEEP FORGETTING to buy new ones...thanks for the reminder! ;-)

    1. Thanks Sam! You've inspired me to write a post about my learning curve with my serger. It has to do with learning...and curves. Harder than I thought.

  4. Love the photo of your belts! And I love how you hang your washed and ironed fabric - even if it is doubled/tripled/quadrupled!
    I chuckled when I saw your "thread drawer". After seeing my space, I know you know why. All in all, it looks like a wonderful area that you have where you can create!
    Someday, I will ask you all about your serger. :-)

  5. I love that you shared your studio with the world, I'm always so intrigued to see how other people have their areas set up and organized, well, I say organized, but I find that most creative people have a sort of "organized chaos" sort of approach to their work space! I do hope you write about your serger in future posts - I used to sew quite a bit and have had a real yearning for it again and I'd love to know more about using a serger! Good luck with your blog!