A busy mom of twins who packs her day with creativity while she sews for fun and work, let’s meet this month’s OLFA Creator, Sarah Gozzo.
Tell us about your business. How did you get started? How has your business evolved?
I think of what I do as more of a personal passion rather than a business. As a stay at home mom with twin toddlers I was limited in what I could do but needed to be creative. One day while I was teaching my girls how to string big chunky wooden beads a light-bulb popped on in my head and Princess In A Pouch was born. I opened a shop on Etsy offering beautiful chunky necklaces and tutus for a little kids. I enjoyed making pretty necklaces but I loved sewing tutus and pouches.
My love for sewing began at the age of eight when my Nana taught me to sew dresses for Barbie. In high school I would make patchwork dresses and other clothes for my friends and to sell at music festivals. I didn’t follow patterns, I used the ‘drape, pin and sew’ technique ha ha! I’d draw a huge templates on poster board for things made repetitively for consistency.
Something you should know about me is that I like to fully immerse myself in new skills. When quilting came into my life eight -years ago, I quickly began writing my own patterns for everything from baby and king size quilts to tote bags and toy stuffy’s for my kids.
Getting back to the question, how has my business changed? Well, my girls grew out of chunky necklaces, I started offering pouches and bags in my Etsy shop.
I became involved with the awesome Quilting community on Instagram. The techniques I enjoyed evolved. I love cheering on other makers and wanted to encourage new makers. Writing patterns has become my way of sharing my ideas and creativity with others while keeping sewing and quilting enjoyable for me. The patterns I write are simple an offer people an introduction to new techniques. My goal is to nudge fellow makers just enough to expand their repertoire and grow their confidence while making something beautiful and useful.
Do you specialize in a specific look or technique?
I can’t say that I specialize in anything but I love to work with cork fabric. I love hand stitching with Aurifil 12-weight thread. Honestly, there are so many techniques I adore – it seems silly to list them all! It’s more a matter of how much time I have and what project is calling my name. FPP, back basted needle turn appliqué, and hand embroidery are at the top of the list 😊.
Where are you from? What is your community like?
I live an hour north of Boston in a small beach community on the seacoast of New Hampshire. My town is full of nice people who like to surf, fish, and walk their dogs on the beach after all the summer visitors have gone home.
How have your tastes changed over time?
I love a lot of different styles. If you were to look at my fabric stash, you’d see mostly Fig Tree, Tilda, and Alison Glass with a bunch of old Tula Pink and Cotton&Steel mixed in. I’m pretty steadfast in my love for these fabrics!
What craft or hobby did you do prior to sewing? Do you still continue?
I can’t remember life before sewing! I have many other hobbies as you can imagine. For the past few years I’ve been working on growing my green thumb. I love both indoor and outdoor plants. I find myself digging new gardens every year. The running joke this spring is that my husband plants new grass and I dig it up! This year I’ve added a tall bearded iris garden, a Dahlia garden, a new butterfly/hummingbird garden and a row of lilacs. All the flowers and plants are from a very specific running list I keep. I enjoy researching each plant to learn about it’s history and care. My gardens are carefully curated and give me great pleasure and a sense of accomplishment! We have a lot of beautiful birds in our yard so birding has become our family’s newest hobby!
What have you dreamed of doing but haven’t yet?
I’ve always dreamed of diving on the Great Barrier Reef.
How do you organize your supplies?
My fabric is organized by designer and collection. All of my fabric is in a trunk in giant Ziploc bags. My Aurifil thread is organized by thread weight first then by color. I have a giant pegboard wall in my studio on which they are hung. There are hooks for each size of OLFA ruler and hanging fabric cups to hold the OLFA rotary cutters.
Everything is at arm’s reach from my machine and cutting mat!
What has been the most rewarding part of your business?
The most rewarding part of my business is teaching and sharing my creative passion with others. It makes me happy to see the things people have made from my patterns. The feedback I get when people feel successful with a new technique warms my heart!
What challenges do you face?
I am a full-time mom. Life is full and busy. Sometimes it’s hard to find a quiet moment to sew. I’ve found that spending 15 minutes here or there at my machine is all I get but it adds up!
Besides OLFA, what are your other must have tools?
My OLISO iron is an absolute must have tool for me. I have a TG1600 pro and I could not live without it! The other tool I love is my violet craft seam roller. It’s extremely useful for foundation paper piecing. Last but not least, my tiny seam ripper. While I’m not a huge seam ripper user, it is a necessary tool! I use the 3” ripper that came with my PFAFF.
How do you spend a free day?
A free day? That’s like asking what would I do if I saw a unicorn? Ha ha! My days are spent with my kids, outside, at the beach, in our yard, gardening, blowing giant bubbles, drawing with sidewalk chalk, biking, walking in the woods, bird-watching, and generally exploring. We have fun!
Fill in the blank: you’ll always find_____in my refrigerator.
You’ll always find acaí, blueberry jam and hazelnut coffee creamer in my fridge!