ask me: housekeeping questions

Hello friends!

It’s been fun to answer your questions so far. Today’s questions are mostly quick ones with sort of a behind-the-scenes theme.

ask me: q + a with Liesl

Katheryn asked:

You’ve been such a great resource for sewing for women and children; what about for men? There are so few patterns out there. Have you tried any and liked them?

Thanks, Katheryn, and I’m glad you asked! I’m just putting the final touches on a men’s pattern that we’ll be releasing next fall. And I’m quite excited about it. If there is enough interest in it and it sells well we’ll absolutely consider adding more. For now, we’ll test the waters with one pattern and see how it goes, OK?

Jamie asked:

Are you going to design any new Oliver + S Patterns to be released in 2017?

I’m working on a new Oliver + S pattern for fall as well! Because writing and producing the Building Block Dress book took such a significant amount of time and we didn’t release any adult patterns during that two-year period, I’ve been putting more of my energies into catching up in the women’s category. But there will be a new children’s pattern this fall, and I’m already planning several more for next spring.

Janis asked:

Will you offer your bubble dress pattern in the larger sizes?  It is my favorite, and now my young lady has outgrown your size 5.  The article in an older Sew Beautiful magazine, featuring this pattern  made with designer fabric is the loveliest dress I have seen.  Can not forget it. If you plan to enlarge this pattern, please advise.

Thanks, Janis. In general we have decided not to re-size our older patterns. It’s very time-consuming, and newer styles always sell best. From a practical, business perspective (to stay afloat so can can stay in business and continue to offer new patterns etc.!) it just doesn’t make much sense. The Bubble Dress was really designed for smaller girls and probably wouldn’t be very well-received in a size 8 or 10, so I think it’s best to leave it where it is and develop new styles for older girls. I hope you understand!

And here is an older question asked by Phyllis a while ago, which I never got around to answering at the time.

I am always to interested in what you wear, choices you make for S’s clothing and fabric/pattern selections you find praiseworthy.  How did you develop your own aesthetic?  What guides it? Sometimes I think yours is influenced by a French sensibility for children’s clothing.  Am I right?

Hmm, I’m honestly not sure how to answer this one. I’m flattered that you asked, and I’m afraid I don’t have a real answer for you. Designers are usually hired based on their taste level, and my family has always teased me about my sophisticated/expensive tastes. I was offered a job at Ralph Lauren before I even finished school, so it might be something that’s innate? I love classic, timeless design with a contemporary flavor, so I suppose that might be viewed as a bit French. But I think everyone has their own style and you can develop your style with practice. My goal has always been to not have to think much about clothes while still being stylish, so it’s ironic that I’ve made a career out of clothing design, isn’t it? Tomorrow I’ll be back to talk about my spring core wardrobe and the choices I make when I pulled it together. Maybe you can catch a little insight into my thought processes with posts like that. I’ll be talking about print mixing soon too, so stay tuned and maybe you’ll be able to answer this question better than I can!

If you have a question you’d like to ask for a future Ask Me column, send it to You can see all our previous Ask Me columns here.




  1. Elisabeth

    I’m excited to hear about a men’s pattern and about new Oliver + S for fall and next spring!

  2. Frances

    I thought you might be interested in this piece in today’s Times about Rei Kawakubo.
    I’m pretty amped about the show, opening Thursday. So how do you make that pink suit in photo? (Only kidding.)

    1. Oh, thanks for the link!

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