PARIS — Sara Larson’s first clothing creations were dresses made for her Barbie dolls. As an adult, she designs for a more human clientele. In 2008, she began Altered Sewing By Design, a custom clothing business that creates new pieces or re-purposes older ones. On Sept. 1, Larson will be opening a store on Route 302 in Casco.

Age: 41

How long have you been making clothing? Since I was a little girl. Probably about 8 years old.

What made you decide to start a business? I have always wanted to work for myself. I wanted to do something that I love and that I am passionate about.

How many of your own clothes are homemade? I would have to say I have a maybe a dozen homemade things that I wear.

What is your favorite kind of clothing to make? My favorite kind of clothing to make would be costumes for plays.

How long does it take to make a piece of clothing? That all depends on the complexity, and the creative allowance I have been given to make the piece. If it is something for a wedding with a ready pattern, a couple of days. Something creative, where I come up with the pattern and design, a couple of weeks, if not more.

Do you get very specific requests or do you have a greater degree of creativity? I would say it’s about 50/50 right now.

What is re-purposed clothing, and is it easier or more difficult to make than your other products? Re-purposed clothing is taking something that is old, or gently worn, that is outdated, and by either deconstructing the garment or adding embellishments, or simply shaping it to fit in with what is the latest trend, making it new again and salable. It is a “green approach” to making clothing. The difficulty depends on what you are doing to the piece. If it is adding embellishments, maybe a few hours, deconstructing or re-shaping (takes) a couple days. Again this a highly creative outlet/way to make clothing.

Do you think you could out-sew the competitors on “Project Runway?” LOL, some yes, considering the first episode this season someone stapled a dress on to the model.

What do you feel is the best thing you’ve made? A costume for the production of “My Fair Lady” last year.

What is the strangest piece of clothing you’ve ever made? Can’t say I have crossed that bridge yet.


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