About Sew L.A.

I'm Shaerie - I teach sewing and run a fabric store in Los Angeles, CA. This blog is dedicated to my travels as I run around trying to find the best fabric ever, and also to the projects and ideas that come up along the way. It's been a long and strange path to get here, and there's always something new around the bend... I'm just trying to keep up with all the amazing stuff to do on this here planet!

I decided to become a sewing teacher because I strongly believe that people need to make stuff with their hands. The sense of pride and accomplishment that this kind of work gives you has been systematically pushed out of our society as outsourcing and automation take center stage, and crafting of any kind is a way to reclaim the joy of creating! Most people don't get to do a whole project from start to finish anymore, which generates ownership and the feeling of completion: the satisfaction of a job well done. I love sewing especially, because it is ultimately practical and can be a great way to express creativity and individuality along with saving money.

When I was a kid, no one in my immediate family sewed so I was pretty much on my own. There was a lot of stuff I figured out just from trial and error, but I think back to those days and wish someone could have shown me even the simplest things - like lining up grainlines or how to use certain stitches on my machine - that would have saved me bigtime on messed up fabric and disappointment. Hence, the sewing teacher that stands before you!

Sew L.A. started in 2007 as just a classroom with me teaching all the classes. In 2009, we moved to a bigger storefront and started carrying fabric - very specific fabric. I choose based on amazingness, wearability (for the most part) and practicality (which is sometimes balanced by whimsy). One of my favorite things to do is post the fabric I order so everyone can see what's coming! As one of my students put it - the fabric is carefully curated.

I'm also pretty much always working on new projects. Mostly, it's classes for the shop but sometimes I actually get to sew for myself! And lately, I have been obsessed with pattern design and am working on some ideas for my own line of sewing patterns. So that's the other stuff you'll see talked about in this blog: works in progress.

Other facts: I don't do this alone. There's the store staff that I can't get along without, and teachers that write their own classes so I can take a break. There's my husband Josh who does all the website awesomeness and our two kitties, Zoe and Aleister. Zoe is a sweet attention hog who lets me use "her" desk sometimes and Aleister was found behind the shop one day, he is FeLV positive but is the most amazing and inquisitve kitten I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I also have a fantastic network of friends, both here in L.A. and online all around the country - they keep me from exploding on a regular basis! And of course there are all my wonderful students, for which I am eternally grateful. Not only do they allow me to do what I love but often I learn just as much from them as they do from me. Hooray!


(That's me wearing our Party Dress class dress made out of an Alexander Henry fabric. Photo by Hollye Chapman of the Aesthetics Department!)

2013 Update: Welcome to Lux Cooper Barrett Mead! Most of my sewing projects are on hold while I hang out with this little guy...