Chilean-born Sonia Moroder learned to sew from her mother and grandmother when she was growing up in Venezuela. Her craft flourished while living in the Netherlands: “My daughter was three and only wanted to wear dresses, but they were expensive, so I started making them for her.”
A resident of Menlo Park for the past 15 years, Sonia both teaches sewing and designs accessories in the comfort of her colorful yarn- and thread-filled studio.
“I walk into the studio in the morning and think about what color I want to use that day,” she says. “I put the yarn in a Ziploc bag, shake it up, and start knitting. I get inspired by the color and like to make things that are warm but not restrictive — capes, shawls, scarves, shrugs, purses.”
Sonia uses Italian yarn, and her accessories are as much works of art as they are clothing. She admits to being lousy at marketing herself and mainly sells through word of mouth and house parties (contact info is firstname.lastname@example.org). Her yarn garments have been selected for a number of juried shows.
“My things can be fancy or totally casual depending on what you’re wearing,” she says.
When she’s not spending the day knitting, she teaches sewing. “I started teaching kids because they’re fun to teach,” she says. “They’re eager to share ideas and inspiration. I also do sewing camps during school holidays. We do projects like pajama pants. Some kids come back and I help them individually with specific patterns.”
Sonia’s studio has bins of accessories she’s created. Going through them and trying them on is a bit like being on a treasure hunt. Many are in vibrant colors with eye-catching shapes. Says Sonia: “My things are not for women who are afraid of having people look at them!”
Photos by Irene Searles