“I would love to have a show like Rachel Ray but geared toward sewing and quilting,” said Sara. “It’s really more about the creative aspect than the talent. It’s about applying yourself and not giving up. Anyone can do what I do.”
Perhaps, but few have experienced a summer like Sara has. The wunderkind recently returned from a cross-county press tour, appearing on local ABC and CBS affiliates in Florida and Atlanta, promoting her first book, “Sew with Sara.” Thanks to the efforts of her mom Kay (“she’s a great promoter and really nice supporter”), who organized the book signings, Sara has enjoyed the broadcast circuit, but what has really impressed her has been the behind-the-scenes activities.
“It was really a lot of fun,” said Sara of her television guest spots. “All the anchor people and camera crew were so nice, but what was really fun was that they do your hair and makeup; made me feel like a star.”
And a rising star at that. Sara began sewing and quilting at 8. She remembers being struck by the myriad fabrics and creativity involved in bringing patterns and designs to a finished product. Since then, the surprisingly grounded young woman has continued to dazzle even her greatest supporters with her maturity, creativity and natural ability.
“I’ve never seen anyone like Sara. She needs to look at something only once and she can do it,” said Eleanor O’Donnell, Sara’s good friend and mentor. “She’s got excellent instincts. I’m old enough to be her grandmother, and when I see someone at her age who can look at a pattern and figure it out – well, it’s just amazing.”
Sara’s first book (“yes, I plan to write another book at some point”) is a how-to of eight simple but teen-friendly items, including pajama pants, tote bags, hair scrunchies and iPod covers. She also teaches classes at local fabric stores for both sewing and quilting, and has made dozens of her own outfits, which she wears when attending a book signing.
“I always wear something I made when I go to meet people,” said Sara. “Because the first thing they ask me is if I made what I’m wearing. It’s very fun to hear their responses and to be able to tell them that they can do this, too. Meeting people is really fun; it’s a big part of what I love about it.”
When she’s not sitting at the sewing machine or signing copies of her book, Sara can be found scouring thrift stores for fabrics and design ideas, hanging out with her friends, or riding her go-kart up and down her neighborhood court. Her favorite outfits are typical teen favorites: jeans and T-shirts.
“I’m a regular teen. I do all the things other teenagers do, too,” she said. “I love going to the movies and reading; all that kind of stuff. I just enjoy other things, too.”
But since fun as the spotlight is at the moment, savvy Sara continues to keep her eye on the future, a future that includes more than a needle and thread.
“I plan to go to either Harvard or Stanford and major in science and art,” she said. “I eventually want to be a college teacher but I also want to open a fashion store. Chemistry and art are similar in a way; they are both creative.”
O’Donnell is sure that whatever Sara decides, her sweet seamstress will be a success: “She’s just a natural talent, a wonderful girl. Whatever she chooses to do, she’ll do it well.”
For more information, visit Sara’s Web site, www.sewsarasew.com.