Tuesday, February 7, 2012

the lovely liesl

I've been a huge admirer of Oliver + S since its inception. Their modern, stylish sewing patterns combined with darling paper doll images have always caught my eye! Liesl Gibson, founder and chief designer, worked for several top fashion brands, including Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren, before launching her own company. She has created such an inviting, successful boutique brand and has certainly filled a need for fresh children's sewing patterns! Lisette, her newest venture, feautres a fabulous new line of women's designs. With a beautiful book ~ Little Things to Sew ~ under her belt and a wealth of sewing knowledge, Liesl is certainly one to watch! Just take a peek at their pinterest boards ~ Oliver + S here and Lisette here ~ to see what I mean. With her warm, wonderful and stylish ways, we are so thrilled to have Liesl teaching two workshops this year ~ Oliver + S Sleepover Pajamas & Lisette A-line dress. Students are in for quite a fun-filled day learning lots of her special tricks of the trade. Each student will have their own dedicated sewing machine, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Janome and even some extra treats from Fiskars (details to come!). Lucky girls!

Get to know the lovely Liesl below! We loved the best advice she's received.


The first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
My daughter, S, usually crawls into bed with me for a few minutes of cuddling before we head to the kitchen to make breakfast. That cozy time together helps us both face the morning because, much as I would like to be one, I’m just not a morning person. Neither is she.

What's for dinner?
Tonight it’s one of our favorite dishes: pasta with sweet Italian sausage & broccoli rabe. S has been learning about vegetable in first grade, so I’m hoping she’ll try a little of the broccoli rabe for a change. Here is the recipe.

The best advice you’ve received?
Definitely to be yourself & don’t compare yourself to other people. Sometimes it’s hard to do, but I know from experience that it’s true.

What is the best meal you ever had?
My husband, Todd, & I once took a trip to Japan and found ourselves in a little side alley during lunchtime. I ate the best noodles of my life at what I think was the Japanese equivalent of a greasy spoon-style diner, with all the locals. It was probably a combination of the great food & the adventure of it all—neither of us speak a word of Japanese, & we loved finding our way around the city by ourselves, despite the language barrier—that made it all taste so good.

What are you most excited about lately?
I’m looking forward to doing more teaching again this year. For the past several years I’ve had to cut back because we’ve been so busy, but I’ve really been missing it & have decided make time for it again. I love to teach because I enjoy sharing my enthusiasm with other people, and I get a lot of inspiration from my students at the same time.

A favorite spot you’ve traveled to?
The highlands of Scotland really resonated with me. I often think of it & could probably live there very happily. There’s something about the hills, the climate, the traditions, & the dark pubs where the locals congregate in the evenings that I just love. It felt such a strong community, & I can imagine that the lifestyle is a bit more laid-back than my usual frenetic New York pace, too!

What makes you laugh?
I’m pretty easily amused, I admit. I laugh very easily. But I’ll never understand the tv show, The Office. My husband loves it, but it hits a little too close to home for me—I’ve worked there.

Your favorite way to make someone smile?
With a heart-felt compliment.

What, in your mind, is a recipe for disaster?
Not enough sleep and a looming deadline. Oh, wait, I think I just had one of those!

Any tricks for finding life balance?
Is there such a thing? I think it all ebbs & flows. There are various stages in our lives, & each stage has its own tenuous balance. But women always seem to find a way to feel guilty for not getting it “right,” don’t we? I’m skeptical that there is such a thing as right.

If the world ended tomorrow, what would upset you most about the person you didn’t get to become?
Oh, there are so many things I’d like to improve about myself & so many ways I’d like to grow. Mostly I want to see my daughter become the amazing woman I know she’s going to be. And I want to be her proud mom. I’d be really sad if I missed that.

Favorite books from your personal library?
The one book I seem to turn to over and over again is Bird by Bird by Anne LaMott. She gets it right every time, but that particular book keeps me inspired and encourages me to keep working.

Thank you so much Liesl!

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