Our latest Pop Quiz is with the talented lady behind Ohhh Lulu, Sarah Norwood of Orillia, Ontario.
Tell us about yourself and your business.
I started Ohhh Lulu in 2010. I had graduated from a fashion design program a few years earlier, and was frustrated at my job prospects. I decided to combine my love of vintage under-things, with the skills I had learned over the years and through school to create a line of lingerie! I worked from vintage pieces and patterns as well as my own designs for my first few garments, and it has just grown from there.
How long have you been sewing and how did you learn to sew?
I have been sewing for as long as I can remember. My first memories of sewing are with my grandmother, sewing dresses for Barbie and Cupie Dolls! My mom used to always sew my Halloween costumes, and it wasn’t long before I was helping her. I also grew up in a very small town, and as I because more fashion-conscious and developed by own very unique sense of style, I found that being able to design and sew your own clothes was so much more fulfilling than buying off the rack!
What kind of sewing machine(s) do you use?
I have a Pfaff Expressions Sewing machine (that is actually on loan from my mother!) and a Pfaff Serger. We have a Pfaff repair shop in my town and it is important to me that if anything happens to my machines I can get them fixed quickly. I also have a Singer Featherweight on hand in case of emergencies!
What made you decide to create sewing patterns in addition to your finished pieces?
Through my blog, I’ve gotten to know alot of sewing enthusiasts, and have been lucky enough to host a really great sew along – the Oooh La La Pin-Up Sew along with Anna from A Few Threads Loose. It was so great seeing everyone’s interpretation of the patterns that I decided I wanted to share a few of my patterns. They have been way more popular than I could have ever imagined.
What is your sewing soundtrack?
I am addicted to CBC Radio One, and Q with Jian Ghomeshi is the highlight of my day. I am also a big documentary fan, and often put on a documentary series when I’m sewing. I’m a big history nerd, but also have a soft spot for a good Bigfoot documentary!
At Sewing School, we’re all about learning new things. What is one new technique or project that you’d like to try?
I am dying to try smocking, and would like to incorporate it on some camisoles this summer.
Do you have any advice or tips for someone new to sewing lingerie?
Start out with a fabric that is easy to work with, like cotton, as opposed something slippery like satin or chiffon, and work your way up. Also, practice applying elastic with a zig-zag stitch on some scrap fabric, so you can see how to get the right tension.
What is in store for Ohhh Lulu in 2013?
I have recently left my ‘day job’ to focus on Ohhh Lulu full time, so I am very excited about what this year has to offer. I am hoping to expand my line, by introducing two new corset styles, as well as some more rompers, camisoles & sleepwear. I also have a goal of expanding into more retail stores, locally, and working with more photographers to help spread the word about my line.