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Interview with Sarah from Ric-Rac and Retro

I first came across Sarah’s work when a friend sent me a link to a fox applique she had in a showcase and wow! I simply adored her quirky appliques and each time she brought out another one I was more and more impressed.  When Sarah agreed to contribute one of her unique appliques to One Thimble I was blown away.  I loved the opportunity to find out a little more about her and her creative process with this interview.


Sarah is the designer and creator behind Ric-Rac & Retro. She opened Ric-Rac & Retro in 2013 and quickly became known for her raw-edge appliqué designs. With a background in Education, Drama and English, Sarah loves making things with a bit of a literary touch about them. She loves how appliqué is all about the attention to detail and giving new life to fabric scraps. The Snow Queen appliqué template and tutorial in Issue 4 was her pattern-making debut.

What, where or who inspires you?
The little people in my life are the best source of inspiration. My two year old daughter and her love of animals and ballerinas and colour inspires me. She adores stories and has a rather extensive library of beautifully written and illustrated books which inspire me, particularly because I have to read them over and over and over again! Anything illustrated by Freya Blackwood is a winner for me. Since having my son I am inspired to create designs I think he will totally rock. Something a little different than what I could find in stores. Of course other children’s designers inspire me like Sarah Jane Studios, Belle and Boo, and Schmooks. Fashion and current trends inspire me, but I also love looking at vintage patterns and fashion illustrations, as well as checking out what Fifi Lapin is wearing today. And I can’t forget fabric and fabric scraps! I love finding a way to make a little piece of fabric into something beautiful.   

What is your favourite haby item?
Spools and spools of black cotton.

Do you have any tips for balancing family life and a new baby with business?
Since I have been on maternity leave I haven’t really had to balance everything just yet but I have had time to consider the path ahead. I have realised that it is really about working smarter, not harder. So make it fun, and make it part of your life. I sit down to draw designs side by side with my toddler. I give her scizzors and a piece of paper to cut while I cut out my appliqué pieces. I’m always trying to think creatively in order to achieve that balance.

Do you do other crafts? If not what would you like to have a go at?
I’ve had a few bashes at giving furniture a make-over, I loved the impact of the results but not the hours of sanding! I would love to learn macramé and create a hanging garden on my veranda. I will have to have a battle with my husband about that one though, he’s still dubious about it.

Picture You can purchase Sarah’s pattern for the Snow Queen Applique as a single pattern HERE 
or visit Sarah’s Facebook page to find out more about her work HERE
or Purchase Issue 4 which contains this pattern

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