Hi, I’m Kelly Wilkinson.
Crafter, journalist,
middle sister, more...

Entries in liesl gibson (2)

Thursday
May122011

new patterns from liesl

There is no better or funnier or more apt introduction to Liesl Gibson than Heather’s. You really should read it. I can just see Liesl swishing around in her perfectly-hemmed skirt while still prepared for the blizzard.

Liesl is the genius behind the Oliver+S sewing pattern line. And she’s getting some very well-deserved attention right now for her amazing new book Little Things to Sew. But of all Liesl’s recent endeavors, the one I am most excited about is her new line of patterns for adults (finally!). Her classic and snappy Lisette line is now in Jo-Ann’s stores.

I’ve been lucky enough to get to know Liesel at a couple of Heather’s sewing workshops. Liesl is the girl who sticks it out late-night in the sewing barn, teaching us how to make our clothes fit better from her deep knowledge learned at FIT and then Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren.

I swear, one of the most indulgent-feeling moments in my life was standing in a muslin version of the dress I was making as Liesl evaluated the fit. She took a few steps back, cocked her head, and then helped me move the shoulder seams so they would sit better and opened the neck a little wider to flatter more. She has skills, people. And an amazingly bright, sunny, generous personality to boot.

At one of those workshops, a fellow attendee told me that following one of Liesl’s patterns was like taking a sewing class, because her instructions are so detailed and accessible. I plan on taking that class, as I make her Portfolio tunic for my summer uniform.  

Also, in other news: I'll be leading a workshop making leaf prints next Thursday at Hayes Valley Farm with Homegrown. Come on by from 6-8 pm if you're in San Francisco to hang out at a farm in the middle of the city and get crafty.

Wednesday
Aug252010

summercraft: weekend sewing

Here is a new summer tradition for me, two years strong: sewing with Heather and Liesl in Vermont. I mean, come on, how adorable are these two:

Not only are they super-charming and relentlessly upbeat, they are kickass sewing instructors. And I’m realizing this is a very rare combination of qualities: people who are generous, big-hearted, laugh-until-your-stomach-hurts funny, and scary good at what they do. Heather and Liesl know the best way to do something -- but more importantly, they know how to teach you how to do it. And not just so you can do it with their help, but so you understand well enough to do it on your own (even though it’s way less fun without them).

Plus, the weekend takes place at a quintessential Vermont inn, complete with quilts on the beds, endless lemonade and chocolate chip cookies from the kitchen, a spring-fed pond ringed by blueberry bushes and Adirondack chairs, and a big wooden barn that we turned into a happy little sewing sweatshop.

This year, Heather hauled up her Orla Kiely teepee from New York. And decorated it with a working chandelier, a Denyse Schmidt quilt and sheepskin rug to set the mood for afternoon naps and cocktails (Heather does not have ideas in half measures).

There was also a visit to a neighboring barn stuffed full of amazing costumes and props. A townwide yard sale. Hiking to a secret Vermont lake. And beaucoup de sewing, surrounded by blazing greenery during the day and a chorus of crickets and bullfrogs at night. All in the company of a bunch of funny, creative and sassy women.

Till next year, Blueberry Hill.

You can see some of the projectrs and people right here.