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Featured Shop: Ohhh Lulu Sews

Jan 26, 2015

by Sarah Norwood

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Hello! My name is Sarah Norwood. I’m a lingerie designer, pattern maker and seamstress; I run Ohhh Lulu Sews, a lingerie sewing pattern shop. I live in a beautiful small town in Ontario, Canada, with my husband, Daniel, our new baby girl, a giant pug, and a rather antisocial cat. We recently bought our first house — an old fixer-upper — and that is where my studio is located.

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I’ve been sewing and creating for as long as I can remember. I first learned to sew by making Halloween costumes and doll clothes with my mom and my grandma. As a teenager, I began experimenting with making my own clothes and expressing myself through fashion. Sewing is a great skill to have when you grow up in a small town! I later went on to study fashion design at George Brown College, where I honed my skills and learned pattern making.

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I started making lingerie six years ago. I was drawn to lingerie because it seemed like a fun challenge to help get me out of a creative rut. I also wasn’t happy with the lingerie that I saw in stores; I wanted pretty, vintage-style lingerie made of quality fabrics – not push-up bras or knickers made of synthetic materials. I began experimenting with making my own patterns by taking apart vintage pieces.

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From there, I started to develop my own original designs and opened my lingerie shop, Ohhh Lulu. I shared my process on my blog, and started to gain a following of other seamstresses who were also interested in lingerie making. So, I decided to share some of my patterns in PDF form. My first pattern – for the Betty high-waist panties – was a huge learning experience for me, and it was so fun to see how different seamstresses sewed and styled my pattern. Since then, I’ve released several more patterns and am constantly learning along the way.

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My lingerie is very much inspired by vintage styles – especially the light, unstructured lingerie of the 1920s. I like lingerie that highlights the natural form of the body; I am drawn to simple styles that allow you to use interesting and unexpected fabrics. Most importantly, I want to create patterns that are fun, easy to sew, and allow for customization so you can really make them your own.

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Discovering Etsy changed my life — it has given me a venue to do what I love and opened up my small business to a worldwide audience. I am constantly inspired by the supportive and amazingly creative community here at Etsy and am truly honored to be a part of it. I have many plans for the future of Ohhh Lulu Sews. I hope to soon offer kits for my patterns, as well as some supplies and fabrics. I’m also always working on new designs and patterns.

Follow the Ohhh Lulu blog, or keep up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Maker and studio photographs by Naomi Sawatzky; product photography by Ohhh Lulu Sews.

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