JOANN Hemet Store Grand Opening

JOANN recently invited me to help celebrate their brand new store grand opening in Hemet, California. This store was implemented with JOANN’s new store design and it is beautiful! Everything is displayed and organized in such a way that you instantly feel inspired to make something. This store isn’t quite so close to home for me but it was definitely worth the visit!

I was asked to teach a class while I was visiting the store and had the pleasure to work with the Hemet store’s creator studio team (a few employees not pictured). They were so warm and welcoming, showed me around and explained some of the new features of the store. I had a lot of fun getting to know them. What a great team they have there!

Okay, first let’s talk about this stunning fabric display. Isn’t it so pretty!? I also love that they have added a mirror so you can see how the fabric looks against your skin. Genius! So necessary and helpful.

I know a lot of people feel frustrated when searching for interfacing, so I was so happy when I saw a whole aisle section devoted to just interfacing. It’s so organized and very easy to look through.

Is this the most beautiful cut bar you ever did see? It’s so sleek! Check out the updated shopping carts, too! You can also see the new Creator’s Studio in the background.

In the fabric section I noticed this fixture advertising and showcasing all of the solid linen fabric. I love how they show the fabric sewn up into a garment, and also how all of the colors are beautifully displayed. It truly makes me want to sew something up out of linen and “dress to chill”. I really like the idea of the fabric feature fixture.

I never thought a bunch of displayed zippers could make me feel so happy. How clean and fresh does this look!? It’s stocked, color coordinated and so easy to navigate. The thread and other sewing notions are also organized similarly, and it looks so nice.

Okay, so thats my quick tour of just a piece of the store and the things that really stood out to me! Like I mentioned earlier, while I was there I had the opportunity to meet with customers and teach a class. I demonstrated how to make pattern weights using washers and ribbon, and it was a hit.

(Notice how the extension cords come out of the ceiling! So handy for crafting!).

It seemed like most of the class attendees were unfamiliar with using pattern weights instead of pins, and they were excited to make some for themselves. I really enjoyed getting to know everyone that joined us for the class, asking them about their sewing backgrounds and what they enjoy making.

How fun are these!? The navy and gold star ribbon was a class favorite.

I really enjoyed talking with this woman about her sewing background. She told me all about her BERNINA sewing machine, and how she enjoys sewing for some of the young girls in her life. I also got to take some time to help her find a specific sewing pattern she was looking for. How cute is her top, too!?

I felt an excited energy there as customers explored the new store design. I noticed a lot of the customers seemed to know each other from the previous store that closed right before the new one opened. What a neat community of makers in Hemet, CA.

Thanks so much for having me, JOANN! I can’t wait to see what other new stores pop up next! If you get a chance to see the new store design, it’s definitely worth checking out!

Life Scarf

Hey guys! This post is going to be a little different than usual! Lately I’ve gotten to work on a few projects with Michael De Leon, the Manager of Stylish Fabric. Michael is also the co-founder of Life Scarf, a children’s charity project.

These scarves are really nice. The quality is great, and I really love the size. When you purchase a scarf from Life Scarf, 20% of the net profits are sent to Los Angeles Children’s Hospital to help children in need, giving you a “special way to support critical, life-saving and life-changing care for children”. (On March 4th 30% of the net profits will be donated, and Life Scarf is planning to bump donations up to 50% by October!!). They are all currently on sale for $13.72 (regular price $18.30).

So why did Michael begin this charity you ask? Read on!




(pictured above: The Heidee Mayan Sea Breeze Scarf)

Michael shared a really personal story with me about his nephew, Raffy, who was born in the Philippines with a rare case of cranialfacial cleft.

“It was a pretty sad day since the doctor in the Hospital where my sister gave birth told us that there was a slim chance that he would survive. Days had gone by and we saw that Raffy was really fighting and he was very eager to survive. We talked to a lot of Hospitals in the Philippines to get help but no one really agreed to help since the medical technology during that time was not as advanced compared here in the U.S. My sister decided to contact some of our relatives here in the U.S and like a miracle, Raffy got an invitation from CHLA and he’s been getting  facial constructive surgery since.
 When he was 7-8, it was the first time they operated on drilling a hole in his nose so he could breathe with his nose. Two days after the procedure we took him home. While I tried to take him out of his car seat he blew the blood from his nose to my shoulders, I got shocked at the amount of blood on my shirt and got worried so I checked on him and before I knew it he was already awake, he tapped me on my shoulder and said “Uncle, I can feel the air in my nose) – pointing to his nose with tears flowing from his eyes but with a super wide smile.. It made me cry like a baby, I hugged him and I promised myself that I will forever be thankful for that day and that I will do whatever I can to help him and other kids in need. I really want this movement to be able to raise awareness on helping out kids with any form of a medical condition.”
I was really touched by Michael’s story, and happy to spread the word about this awesome movement he is starting.  Project is an organization that will help raise awareness on how easy it is for us to help children in need of medical attention in different ways. Most of us are so blessed, I can’t even imagine watching one of my children go through something like this.
Side Note: How cool is this packaging?!
Life Scarf is also joining in for #MAKEMARCHMATTER, and they are holding a really fun event this Saturday in Los Angeles on the Santa Monica Pier from 12:00-5:00 pm. This looks like a super fun event to check out if you’re in the area, and interested in donating towards this awesome cause.
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Thanks so much for listening guys! Now back to normal sewing posts!

Dutch Label Shop + Customized Clothing Labels


Hey everyone! I just received my new custom labels from The Dutch Label Shop and I wanted to share my experience with you! I’m so excited to finally have something to add a personal touch to all of my handmade garments.

The Dutch Label Shop offers some really great products. They have basic woven labels you can design using their fonts, or woven logo labels where you can upload a photo of your logo for a more personalized look. They also offer hang tags, size tags, care labels, and so much more.

I chose to go with the woven logo labels. I uploaded my image and chose the colors I wanted for my label. I really love the gold metallic option I used for my font. It’s not listed on their website, so just choose any shade of yellow and ask for metallic gold in the notes when you’re checking out. I wasn’t sure how my font would turn out but it’s perfect, I love it so much!! If you decide to choose gold for your font, make sure to choose a darker color for your label color so the font stands out. For my label color, I chose Red 199C.

I also chose the standard label type (no fold) and the standard size and shape (2.5″ X 0.6″). I also opted for the sew on label.

When you’re checking out, make sure to select the option to review your label before they are all made and shipped. They make one label for you and send a photo of what the finished label looks like. I didn’t like the first option I went with, and they kindly made me a new sample using a different color.


They are quick to answer any questions you may have, I had a few! Haha. The quality is fabulous. I’m so so excited to add these to all my clothing made by me.

 Dutch Label Shop is kindly offering 15% all orders until February 16th using the code “saraproject” at check out. Happy sewing!! 


International Sanctuary + Purpose Handcrafted Jewelry

Hey guys! This post is a little different then my usual sewing posts. Today I want to share a company with you that I’v been working with the last few months, and you might have noticed some of their product in my photos.

Chevron Necklace

Purpose Jewelry is a non-profit handcrafted jewelry company, but not just any jewelry company. Also known as International Sanctuary, Purpose Jewelry sells beautiful bracelets, rings, necklaces and earrings handmade by women who have been rescued from human trafficking and are given professional opportunities, job training, education and medical care through this non profit group. 100% of the proceeds support these women in form of employment, paychecks and job training.

Isla NecklaceAndiya Peach Bracelet

Horizon Earrings

International Sanctuary empowers survivors with true freedom”. They have a few sanctuaries all over the world: Mumbai, India and Orange County, CA (my hometown).

Heirloom Necklace

Every piece of jewelry is handmade by survivors, and tagged with the individual’s handwritten name that made each piece.

Stella Necklace

It’s so special to wear this jewelry and know not only the name of the woman or girl who made it, but that I’m helping her, among others in a small way. And you guys, this jewelry is gorgeous!

Chevron Necklace

By purchasing Isanctuary jewelry, we are giving hope and dignity to the survivors. This is such a beautiful cause and I wanted to share it with all of you, I’ve linked direct links under each image of where you can purchase the jewelry, among lots of other beautiful pieces found on their website:



“Purchase with PURPOSE and join the movement to end slavery, and spread hope to women and girls around the world.”

BERNINA 350 PE Nutall’s Class #1

Hey guys!

As a BERNINA ambassador, I get to take a few courses on learning all the ins and outs of my new BERNINA 350 PE sewing machine at my local Nutall’s BERNINA store. I thought I would share my thoughts, and some of the things I learned in the class. Some of this is common knowledge, but maybe someone out there will find it helpful!

First of all, NEVER plug your BERNINA sewing machine directly into the wall. Make sure it’s plugged into a Serge Protector Power Strip. Our instructor that taught our class told us a story about how a woman’s house was struck by lightning, and it took out her sewing machine! So sad. Don’t risk it.

Second of all, we were told to give our machine a birthday. This will help you remember to have your machine serviced once a year, as recommended by Nutall’s. While being serviced, your machine will be cleaned beyond where you are able to clean it, and also the software on your machine will be updated.

Next we discussed needle basics. Good rule of thumb, if your machine is skipping stitches, etc, switch out your needle! We talked about two needle types:

Aloy: Good for 4 hours of sewing

Titanium (recommended): good for 8-12 hours of sewing

(I am TERRIBLE at throwing away and switching out my needle, except for different projects that require a specific needle, but still I don’t throw them away).

The reason WHY you need to switch out your needle after so long is that while you’re sewing, your needle tip can heat up from working so quickly, and this causes friction which in turn creates little rough ridges along the tip of your needle. So, throw out those needles ladies! Keep those stitches smooth.

A PERK to owning and using a BERNINA machine is that they can use most needle sizes, 10-18. Not all brands can support a size 18 needle (typically used for leather). BERNINA is the best guys.

Next, we talked about thread. I live in Utah, and it is VERY dry here. We were advised to store our thread in a sealed plastic container, in a dark space to keep our thread from drying out, and to keep it at it’s top quality.

Also going along with threads, I learned threads that are manufactured in the U.S. are not as well made as threads made in Europe for example. Here in the U.S., we cannot support the growth of long strands of cotton, but instead grow short strands. The benefit to using thread made with long strands of cotton is that you don’t get the shedding of your thread all junked up inside your machine. ALL thread will shed lint, but European threads shed a whole lot less, and are also sealed for extra shedding protection. Food for thought, I guess it is worth it to invest a little in your threads.

We spent a few minutes discussing thread properties and fibers. When sewing with knits or cottons, use a thread that has a polyester BLEND. If you use a thread that is 100% polyester with these fabrics, you’ll notice little holes (especially after the project is washed a few times), because the thread is stronger than the fabric. 100% polyester is great for polyester fabrics. A great brand recommended for BERNINA machines is Mettler thread. It’s a poly cotton blend.

TIP: After threading your machine, if you find you need to pull the thread out and re-thread, NEVER PULL. Always cut your thread with scissors near the thread spool, and then gently pull the thread out. If you pull with out cutting, it creates lots of fiber shedding into your machine.

If your machine seems to be a little off, second rule of thumb: CLEAN IT OUT.

Cleaning out your BERNINA is so simple! (UNPLUG the power cord and foot pedal, and remove your foot and needle before proceeding).

1: Notice the little thumb print next to my index finger pictured below? Press down on it and your plate will pop right off.

2. See all the red lint in mine? That’s from ONE project!

To clean it out, it was recommended to use Blow Off Duster, but make sure you spray from an angle and to the side, NEVER directly on your machine. Also, you’ll notice if you shake or spray the bottle excessively, it will feel cold to the touch. DO NOT use it at this point because you will add moisture to the insides of your machine. Wait for the bottle to become room temperature again before further use. It takes two seconds to blow the lint out, so you shouldn’t have this problem. It was recommended to do this whenever you want, a good rule of thumb being every two-three projects, depending on how big they are of course.

Oiling your machine: When you fold down the bottom hatch where your bobbin goes (remove bobbin case and bobbin), you’ll notice a black circle. To the left of it is a little metal piece. Push the metal piece in ever so slightly, and the black circle will pop forward and fold downwards. Inside you’ll be able to easily remove this silver half moon piece, pictured below:

You’ll find a flat edge along the backside. This is where metal hits metal. This is where you need to oil your machine. Just simply add one drop of oil to this flat edge, and rub it in gently across the whole flat edge. That’s it! Pop it back into place, raise the black circle back in place and pop in. You’ll know everything is in properly if the metal circle where you insert your bobbin case spins when you twist your hand wheel. It was recommended to oil as often as you would like, again about every 2-3 projects. Your machine will come with oil, and you can also purchase it online or in your local Nutall’s BERNINA store.

I hope this is helpful to you! I really enjoyed learning a little more about my BERNINA 350 PE sewing machine. I’ll share more with you next week after my next class!



LA Garment District

While visiting home for the Holidays, I made sure to set aside a day for some serious fabric shopping in downtown LA, the garment district. It was amazing. The day began at Michael Levine. This store front! Michael Levine had a great selection of EVERYTHING. My favorite find here was a large selection of beautiful woven fabrics, I wanted a little of everything.





Michael Levine pricing is about $10 a yard on average. Great customer service! Everyone was so kind, and very helpful. I found a snagged thread on the fabric I wanted and they cut off a good 3/4 yard, and then began cutting my piece of fabric. The atmosphere was really cool too, I noticed a lot of fashion students, and interesting looking people popping in and out. I will definitely be going back. After Michael Levine, we wondered around some nearby shops; lots of costume shops, and tons of discounted fabric all of the streets.


Next up, my mom and I headed to MOOD of course. It’s about 20 minutes down the road from the garment district. I’ve been to Mood in New York City before, but this was my first visit to their LA location. Make sure to park in the back!



Oh, Mood. How I love you. I just wondered around in awe for a good hour, desperately wishing I lived across the street. Swoon.





I went in hoping to find some great denim for my Kendall Skinnies. I was slightly disappointed by the fact that they don’t label the fabric content, so you have to go completely off of touch. But I found some 🙂




It was a fabulous day… except for the 2 hour and 40 minute drive home in heavy traffic. But, TOTAALLLY worth it. I love fabric.