Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lovely Lisette: A Discussion

I am a Lisette convert. It's obvious from my last post that these patterns make me go weak in the knees. What's odd about this, however, is that I seem to be one of the few bloggers who fell in love with the patterns, before realizing they were designed by Liesl Gibson. When the Simplicity Spring 2011 catalog came out, I searched for the designer info to no avail. Yet, everyone seems to be clued in! It's as if there was some great secret of the sewers society. Or, more likely, I just don't read as many blogs as I should.

If you have a little one in your life, you're probably familiar with Ms. Gibson's delightful line of children's patterns, Oliver + S. If you don't have a wee person to sew for, you're probably just familiar with wishing her patterns came in adult sizes too. That's how I felt, anyway! Which makes it even stranger that I was so out of the loop on the Lisette designer. I just knew there was something special about this pattern line. it turns out, it's not just a pattern line.

There are fabrics, as well, friends. Remember all those lovely, colorful fabrics on the Lisette pattern envelopes? They can now be ours. Originally, when I saw the patterns, I thought they had used quilting fabrics. After all, you can't find bright, wonderful cotton lawn or twill just anywhere. Liesl & Co. must have thought of this, because JoAnn's - a store that previously made me shudder from their lack of good quality apparel fabric - stocks the full line of Lisette fabrics. Even better, they're having a temporary 40% off online sale of them right now. Personally, I have my eye one the blue dotted cotton lawn and the gold medallion twill.

For the first time in recent memory, a designer has made it possible to exactly replicate the looks she had in mind. What's more, this also marks another interesting occurrence: An indie pattern designer making her designs available to a larger population, through partnering with one of the Big 4 companies. It shows a great deal of savvy on the parts of both Ms. Gibson and Simplicity. Solely from the hits Idle Fancy has received from people searching for Lisette patterns, it's obvious the line is going to be a success. More and more women, of all ages, have picked up sewing in recent years. With the changing demographics of the industry, it's refreshing to see pattern companies and designers responding to the similarly changing customer desires. And - selfishly - I hope Lisette sticks around for awhile, if only so my closet fills up with these designs!

Not going to lie, I can't quite remember what my point was when I started writing this blog. It's just so nice to see things in this industry evolving before my eyes. I've only been seriously sewing for six months, yet already there are so many new designers and new resources for the modern seamstress. Every line, including the Big 4 main designs, speak to different individual styles. My classic aesthetic tends to lead me to Simplicity and Colette offerings, but I'm always amazed at how well other people filter their sensibilities through the different lines. Out of curiosity, what is your personal favorite line of patterns?


  1. Oh, bless your heart.

    I really don't know what to say except, "Thank you."

    So, thank you!


  2. I'm very drawn to these patterns and fabrics, unfortunately living in the UK it will be ages before we see them here I'm sure....... I'm starting out in the pattern making so still finding my feet and my taste but at the moment I like the Colette & Sewaholic patterns... yet to purchase though!

  3. I'm not sure I can say I have a favorite line of patterns....however if you look at my pattern collection there are a lot of Simplicity thrown in there (with a majority of those being the "Project Runway" ones with countless pattern variations). That being said, I haven't sewn a lot of garments for myself from those patterns yet.

    I mentioned it on my blog, but I'm in the minority in that I'm not all that crazy about the Lisette patterns. The actual styles seem a little too plain for me. I do love how your dress turned out though, so I may find myself changing my mind in the future! On the other hand, I also noticed the fabrics last time I went to the store and I just LOVED them!! I had to control myself and leave empty handed since my stash is growing much too quickly.... (the large floral print is calling my name though....and maybe one of the "dotted" fabrics...)

  4. Like you, I discovered the Oliver+S connection after starting a thread on Pattern Review's boards about the Spring line.

    (Aside: I'm still not understanding the Early Spring/Spring subtleties...)

    I love that dress more than any other of the patterns in the line but the FABRICS are just sooo cute! I can't wait to travel to the US and check them out in person.

    I also agree with you that it's a very positive thing that the big players are noticing the new and younger sewers/seamtresses/sewists out there.

    What do you think of Vogue's recent selection? They have new designers collaborating. I'm devoted to Tracy Reese at Vogue, but in Simplicity it's Project Runway and Cynthia Rowley, Mabby Boutique/Suzi Chin at Butterick. I can't remember who I like in McCall's, LOL!