our new pattern packaging

Some of you have already pointed out the changes we’ve made to our packaging this season. You may have noticed that the paper dolls are no longer on the envelopes for our new patterns, and instead we’ve transitioned to photos of children wearing the clothing.

Fall Pattern Covers

As much as we love the paper dolls and we’re really sad to see them go, we understand that many of you were having trouble envisioning the finished clothing that could be made from the patterns when you looked at the illustrated paper dolls. Additionally, we’ve learned over the years that people who aren’t familiar with Oliver + S see our packaging and assume that the product is either a set of paper dolls or a sewing pattern for doll clothes. They didn’t understand that the patterns were for children’s clothing. I hope these photos will help you and others picture those cute little dresses and outfits more easily.

When your order arrives you’ll notice that we’ve changed the envelopes themselves as well. The new envelopes are made with a heavy, sturdy cardstock to help them last longer. And in the process of changing the envelopes and making them more sleek and durable we also did away with the “belly band,” as we’ve always called it, and added a hole for hanging the envelopes so they can be displayed more easily in stores.

We spent a lot of time developing this new packaging and agonizing over the details, and we hope that these changes will make the patterns more saleable in stores and more durable when you get them home. (Does your local fabric store carry our patterns? We would love it if you would encourage them to do so!)

I would like to think that we’ll do more with the paper dolls someday, since they’re such a vital part of the the Oliver + S experience, but for the time being it seemed that photos are more important to many of you, so we’re focusing on those images right now.

I hope you’ll enjoy your new patterns and their new look! We’re always working to improve your sewing experience and hope that these changes will be part of making sewing more fun and memorable for you.



  1. I like the new packaging ! Maybe you could offer the paper dolls in a printable version on your website. My daughter enjoys playing with them while I am a sewing one of your patterns. They help her to visualize the finished garment!
    I have already asked my local fabric store to carry your patterns, here in Montreal. But they answered that they were too expensive and that I should instead buy old Burda patterns on eBay or learn to design my own patterns!!! They are so snob that I am not really sure thatI will buy them fabric again. There is nothing like an Oliver + S pattern!

  2. emily

    Oh that makes a lot of sense! I can’t wait to see the new packaging in person, but for now I just HAD to order a digital pattern so I could get started right away! 🙂

  3. Victoria

    What a shame you’ve lost the paper dolls….they were quirky and contemporary, they caught the eye and generally made me smile. I understand why you have switched to a more standard picture on your packaging….but still, in my opinion your beautiful patterns lost a little of their magic.
    However, your patterns are amazing, great instructions and designs, I love them. Just a shame you felt you had to conform more with the packaging.

  4. I also think it loses some of the magic. It was fun for the kids, and it made them stand out. You knew from the packaging that they are different from the burda ones or any other. I think they lend you a taste of the love and care that it is put in the pattern.
    I also do not agree with the visualization problem. Before sewing I do look to some of the garments made with the patterns (here and in the flickr group), but at first I rather look at the paper doll. In some way the drawing lends the pattern more freedom. For me it is easier to envision other fabrics and combinations than with a photo. I wish you good luck with the new packaging, but personally I feel it is a shame to loose the paper dolls:-(

  5. I’ve been collecting your paper dolls since the beginning so I’ll definitely miss them 🙂
    Nevertheless, I do understand the reasons behind the new image (which is great as everything you put your name in) and I’m pretty sure it was a well-thought decision.
    I am quite addicted to Oliver+S paper dolls (and Citronille illustrations) as they remind me so much of the vintage patterns I collect so I do hope they can come back someday …
    Although your are more expensive than most commercial brands (especially if, like me, you need to add international shipping), they totally worth it. And even without the paper dolls, the Oliver+S flawless instructions and attention to detail are still there (almost completing the new Playtime dress). Thank you and good luck with the new packaging!

  6. Suz

    I am also sad to see the paper dolls go! I think they have been key to your marketing success. I will always love Oliver and s but will not be as excited about buying patterns now as they do not have the unique Oliver and s look:( I think with the photos on your site of each pattern made up people could see how the pattern would look . but this is obviously something you have thought a lot about so I hope it is a good move, if not, the paper dolls will always be welcome back!!

  7. Jane

    As a retailer I can say from experience that people unfamiliar with Oliver + S have often asked if they’re patterns for dolls’ clothes. Patterns with photographs of the finished product sell much better in our shop. We stocked up on Oliver + S patterns just before most of them went pdf and then there was a huge half-price online sale too 🙁

  8. Jenny

    Well, we all feel the same. Understand the choice, sad to see the cuties that were such a part of your identity go!

    But I am sure the packaging is as beautiful and thoughtfully detailed as are all things you do!


  9. While I too love the paper dolls, I understand your reasons and totally support them. I for one (as I am sure we all do) want Oliver + S to be amazingly successful and around for a long, long time! I think it is great you listen to your stockists and are willing to help them sell your amazing patterns! … (did I say amazing enough?)

  10. Adrienne

    I totally understand the packaging change. When I would decide whether to buy a paper pattern or digital pattern, paper always won…..for the paper dolls! I have most of your patterns and could not stand to NOT have a paper doll for each pattern that I had. Now, I think I will be brave enough to try a digital Oliver + S without feeling guilty for leaving a paper doll out! ; )

  11. leah

    Oh I am SO SO sad to see the paper dolls go 🙁 The cute packaging is what first drew me to your patterns. The great patterns and instructions kept me hooked. I confess I feel less inclined to own the new patterns because of the new packaging. It would also make me consider a PDF pattern above a paper pattern (I have always been a huge devotee of your paper patterns) and I’m not all that inclined towards PDF patterns. I’ve never been a crazy collector of patterns before your patterns came along and I have always wanted every new pattern you put out. These changes make me want your patterns less 🙁 I don’t want to be negative because I am a huge fan of Liesl’s work (the hundreds of dollars worth of Oliver + S patterns in my collection can attest to that!!! I own almost every pattern you’ve ever made in both sizes) and I wish you the best with this move. I just wonder if perhaps you could have kept the paper dolls and perhaps included a picture with clothing on a real child somewhere else on the packaging? Just like when you look at the big brand patterns, you go straight to the back for the line drawing? Perhaps you could have had a line drawing and a real life picture on the back? Anyway as I said I don’t want to be negative- just honest- as someone who is a massive fan of your work!

  12. Karen K

    I’m in love with the way your designs come together, and the beautiful fit on my children. You could package them in a brown paper bag with Sharpie pen lettering and I’d still come back for more. 🙂

  13. Christine Jessup

    I am new to your line and just love it. As a grandmother of eight and a sewer for several decades, I will be using your designs often. It was your paper doll illustrations that caught my eye in a local yarn/fabric store. I knew immediately that it was a child’s pattern and was struck by its ingenuity and warmed by its nostalgia. Back in the day, illustrations were the the only form that patterns were marketed. Please don’t abandon the concept entirely. I prefer the drawings including the black and whites as it allows me to let my imagination soar with possibilities. Good Luck to you and please keep designing.

  14. Liesl I’m so surprised to hear some people here say they are less inclined to buy your paper patterns because of this! That’s crazy talk to me. Sure I thought they were charming and very unique, but that sure as heck isn’t why I love and recommend your patterns. I also work in a local shop (Sewn in Cincinnati) and can attest to the confusion and lack of imagination some people can have about your packaging. Not everyone is plugged in to the online sewing world and would never think to look for examples of the clothing on blogs and flickr. I can’t tell you how many times ladies have come in looking for something to sew children and didn’t even look twice at your patterns until I showed them our samples sewn up in fabric. Then they immediately light up! This is definitely a good move for you, and the rest of the packaging is still very much your brand. I’m excited to see them on our shelves at the shop!

  15. magonomics

    Exactly what Karen K said! I’ll buy your patterns no matter what, so do what you think is best for your business 🙂

  16. hi guys – I agree with the above comments – am really sad to see the paper dolls go. they are charming, sweet, and a huge part about what makes me justify the cost of the pattern. I have a huge pattern box with most of the designs and I make them over and over again. I also love the charming feel of the citronille patterns.
    Very sad to me! Please keep designing, but hopefully you guys will rethink or do special runs with paper dolls.

  17. Janet

    I must admit to being one of those folks who thought that your patterns had to do with actual paper dolls or at best outfits for dolls… at least at first…
    Once I understood that these were simply illustrations (brilliant ones mind you) of children’s clothing I was on the band-wagon… and must now admit that I too will miss the “paper doll” models. But I do agree that the envelopes truly do represent the creativity and beauty of your talents.

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