flat s visits barcelona

When last we heard from Flat S, she had been kidnapped by pirates who were setting out across the Atlantic to points unknown.

The Flat S Tour Logo

Shortly after that post was published, a message in a bottle washed up along shore in the East River near our apartment. It was from the pirates, and it contained a ransom demand. In exchange for a small selection of patterns and some yardage from past Oliver + S fabric collections, they would turn her over to us when they made landfall in Spain sometime in August. We immediately pulled together the ransom, packed our bags (including a change of clothing for Flat S because she had been wearing that poor Family Reunion Dress for more than a year), and booked a flight to Barcelona.

Upon our arrival, we were given instructions for making a dead drop of the ransom payment. We did as instructed, and the next day, Flat S slid through the mail slot of the apartment where we were staying. It was great to see her again after a year and a half! We decided that as long as we were all together in Barcelona, we might as well see some sights and get some work done. And Flat S got to tag along.

We started our time together by doing some sightseeing. Flat S joined us for a day of walking around Montjuïc. The hill was walking distance from our apartment, so we went on foot and stopped at Plaça d’Espanya on the way.

Plaça d'Espanya

Before heading up the hill, we stopped to see the reproduction of the German Pavilion designed by Mies van der Rohe for the famous 1929 International Exhibition held in this area. This building is seen as one of the first examples of modernist architecture to be realized, and it introduced the world to a new way of thinking about building and using space.

Mies Pavilion

Continue reading →


color palette: radish + field greens

Ah, late summer/early fall.  It still looks like summer outside, but the mornings and evenings are getting chillier (at least where I live).  This photo seemed to sum up this transition time for me . We still have fresh summer veggies on the vine, but the colors around are getting richer, and I’m starting to think of warmer clothes.

color palette: radish and field green photo source: once wed
fabrics: corduroy, clover, charcoal, tigers, chambray, metallic polka dot

The deep emeralds and rosy pinks are balanced by light and airy prints, and the palette is anchored by a deep charcoal (gray is a gentler alternative to black, easy to wear and so versatile).  I’ve included a mix of fabric substrates (corduroy, double gauze, chambray, quilting cotton) and tones.  I think the girlier prints would lend themselves nicely to a Playtime Tunic or Hide-and-Seek Dress with contrast yoke. (I made one in the eggplant chambray here last spring, and my daughter wears it often.)

For boys, I’d love to see a casual corduroy version of the Art Museum Trousers with a tiger Sketchbook Shirt!  Who else is ready for some early fall sewing?

Labels: , , , , ,

come to Florida and learn patternmaking from me

When the lovely ladies at the Smocking Arts Guild of America approached me last year and asked if I would be their featured guest teacher at their annual conference (September 19-21 which is coming up very soon!), I really didn’t know what to do for them. After all, they’re smocking geniuses over there; I’m much less experienced (but loving every moment of it as I experiment with smocking  contemporary apparel).

But after lots of discussion and tossing around ideas (thank you, everyone on the discussion forums, for your helpful input), we put together what I think is going to be an amazing set of classes. I’ve been working on preparations all year and am really happy with how they’re coming together. I’ve designed a brand new dress pattern specifically for these classes (it’s not available anywhere else), and we’ll be using that pattern to develop many, many different dress styles all from one pattern. You know all those little tutorials we’ve been doing, showing you how to customize our patterns? Well, you’ll be learning these techniques in a much bigger way in these classes!


Basically, you’ll learn some extremely useful pattern-making techniques that you can incorporate into all your sewing. After these  classes you’ll be able to develop your own dresses in your own style and preferences and you’ll feel confident enough to make changes to those dresses to develop a lot of different looks. All from one pattern. No fancy pattern-making diploma required! No drafting patterns from scratch. You’ll simply manipulate the pattern I’ll be giving you into many different styles. And you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to do.




Which is my way of saying, “Are you coming?” I hope so! I hope to open your eyes the same way my eyes were opened in my very first day of pattern-making class. I’ll be giving away all my secrets here. OK, maybe not all of them. But many of them, at least.

And no, you don’t need to know how to smock or be a member of the Guild to come. These classes will be great for sewists at any level of skill and experience. You can find all the details here. I hope to see you in Orlando in a few weeks!

Labels: , ,

customizing the no-tie scarf: pencil scarf

We are delighted to have Shelley joining us again on the blog. She has been a multi-time guest poster sharing her favorite pattern, Evel Knievel costume, disco pants, and Little Things to Sew Cover to Cover Challenge. Now today she will be showing us how she customized the no-tie scarf. Thanks for being here, Shelley!

Hello Oliver + S sewers, Shelley from Bartacks and Singletrack here. I’m delighted to have been invited back to show you how I adapted the no-tie scarf from Little Things to Sew into a pencil.

I was sitting in a coffee shop, flicking through a magazine, and I spied these gorgeous lambswool knitted pencil scarves on etsy (Sara Carr credit). I immediately thought of making a sewn version using leftover bits of sweater fleece from my son’s school uniform sewing.


Pencil Scarf customized from the Oliver + S no-tie scarf


By a coincidence of timing, you northern hemisphere folk are gearing up for fall and back to school, and my southern hemisphere kids fell ill and spent the weekend in bed. So, while I was housebound and ministering to the little sickies I had the opportunity to make another pencil scarf and create this photo tutorial for you (the kids say “you’re welcome (cough cough)”).

Forgive me if this is more detail than you need, but this was one of the few projects in Little Things to Sew (I crossed the finish line!) that really had me baffled first time.


Supplies need for pencil no-tie scarf

Continue reading →

Labels: , , ,

nominations for the british sewing awards 2014

Hey, those of you in the UK (or those of you who know enough to speak intelligently about the sewing scene in the UK)! The British Sewing Awards 2014, run by Sew Magazine, has opened up its nomination phase.

2014 British Sewing Awards

Why not take a few minutes to nominate some of your favorite sewing brands, products, and personalities. Those with the most nominations in each category will move on to the voting phase. And if you need a little incentive to nominate a company in the Best Pattern House category or a blog in the Best Sewing Blog category (oh, yes, there are some other categories too…), every nomination earns an entry for a substantial prize package.

The nominating phase closes on September 15, so don’t miss your chance to participate.

outdoor ready: camping capes

Ashley is back with another fantastic contribution to the Outdoor Ready series which is all about using performance fabrics to make handmade outdoor apparel. Not too long ago she kicked off the series with hiking shirts, and today she is sharing camping capes. Now I’ll hand it over to Ashley.


Customized Red Riding Hood Cape from the Oliver + S Little Things to Sew


Hello again! I’m back for my next installment of Outdoor Gear, and already these items have gotten a ton of use in our final few adventures of the summer. You may recognize these as the Red Riding Hood Cape from Little Things To Sew. I had bookmarked this pattern as a potential beach coverup long ago, and then gone on to cut my next project for the series. I ended up having quite a bit of leftover material, and with a trip to the beach coming up at the end of that week, I wondered if I could stretch my remnants into some quick and versatile coverups after all. As a result, this ended up being a bit of a hodgepodge project using only materials I had on hand. I think it led to some fun customization that you guys and your little ones will enjoy!


Customized Oliver + S Red Riding Hood capes


For the exterior, I used my remnants of performance stretch woven wicking purchased from Rose City Textiles in Portland, Oregon. Don’t worry, they have great online inventory if you don’t live close by! As the name implies, this is a woven fabric with a bit of vertical stretch. The wicking properties allow it both to draw moisture away from the body and then dry it quickly, making it ideal for outdoor apparel, especially at the beach. I didn’t have quite enough fabric for the entire hood, so I grabbed some coordinating fabrics from my stash to finish off the hood side panels (Robert Kaufman Herringbone Chambray Union in indigo on the navy cape, and Cloud 9 Palos Verdes Abalone Cove voile on the coral cape).


Customized Oliver + S Red Riding Hood capes
Continue reading →

Labels: , , , ,

← Older posts Newer posts →


Unless otherwise credited, all work on this blog is © Liesl + Co., Inc, 2008-2014. You are welcome to link to this blog, but please ask permission before using any text or images.