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My Sewing Journey

I have been fascinated with sewing, art, fashion design, and random crafts since childhood. My grandmother taught me how to sew when I was in elementary school. We made a small quilt, which is still in very good condition (except for the chewed bubble gum that’s still stuck to it…lol).  Around this time, my aunts taught me how to knit and crochet.

As a child, I also loved to draw and took art classes and filled my sketch books with fashion illustrations. At the age of 10, I requested catalogs from fashion design schools in NYC and learned basic sewing in my junior high home economics class (I made a pair of yellow shorts with purple polka dots).


As a teen, I developed an interest in graffiti and enjoyed painting designs on clothing and fingernails. When I turned 15, my parents bought me my first airbrush. Shortly thereafter, I went to nail school and became a licensed nail technician. However, instead of pursuing art and fashion design in college, I decided to major in psychology and eventually earned a Ph.D. in the behavioral sciences.

After completing my post-doctoral training program, I finally had time to pursue my creative interests, so I enrolled in airbrushing and stained glass courses, earned a certificate in web design, bought a sewing machine, and signed up for sewing classes (in 2007). After making a really cute sundress inspired by White House Black Market, I fell in love with sewing and my other hobbies took a back seat.

Why I Don’t Like to Sew for Other People

To date, I have only completed sewing projects for three very special people/pets: My sister (wedding veil and convertible wrap dress), mother (handbag), childhood best friend (baby blanket for her first born), and my pets.  I have an extremely long sewing wish list, so sewing is a selfish hobby for me because it can take several weeks to construct a garment (or months and sometimes years depending on my busy schedule).  In other words, I really don’t enjoy sewing unless I’m making something for myself or if I am highly motivated to make something special.

My Sewing Goals

Although I have learned a lot in my sewing classes over the years, I have hit a plateau and am somewhat bored with commercial patterns (even though I collect them obsessively…..go figure).  My goal is to sew patterns from my Burda magazine collection, learn advanced sewing techniques and draping/pattern making skills, and eventually learn how to sew without instructions so I can tackle the patterns in Mrs. Stylebook, the Japanese pattern magazine. I have been collecting sewing and pattern drafting books and purchased some great classes on Craftsy, so I am really excited about taking my skills to the next level as I learn from my fellow sewing bloggers. I am also hoping that this blog will inspire me to pick up my knitting needles and crochet hooks and tackle the many projects on my wish list.

I’m looking forward to sharing updates and staying connected with you!

All my best,


  • Kelly said:

    Hey Carla!! After seeing you today I HAD to look at your blog. I love it! i’ve been inspired to start sewing some cute stuff for myself again. I have been so involved in knitting that I almost forgot how much I love to sew. What are some really great fall fashion patterns? I need something cute and quick!!

  • Carla said:

    Hi Kelly, Thanks so much for checking out my blog. I’m glad you like it. I hope you will make some time to sew for yourself! Vogue just released some nice fall patterns and McCall’s is releasing their winter collection on Monday. I blogged about the new Vogue patterns here: http://handmadebycarla.com/home/2010/07/14/fall-vogue-faves/ What are you interested in making? I made a really cute convertible wrap dress a couple of weeks ago. It only took 2 hours. I’m going to post my review and photos in the next couple of days.

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