This week my grandma died. If you know me or have been reading the blog for a while you might know that my grandma and I were very close. She was a dear friend and a huge influence for me. Grandma was a fashion designer before she became a well-known teacher of needle arts. She taught me a love of textiles and fashion and explained some important design concepts that resulted in my taking a degree in fashion design and, ultimately, launching this company. When I was in college grandma used to drive up just under my dorm room window and honk. We’d escape campus to eat ice cream sundaes before she brought me back to my studies. After graduation I often took vacation time to go visit her so we could hang out together for a long weekend or a week. We were still getting together and having fun until about four years ago when she fell, and I rushed out to see her with the worry that I would have to say goodbye.
In fact, she got much better and I just spent some time with her again last month! I’m going to miss her terribly, but I’m relieved that her pain is gone and glad that she had a full life. She was 98 years old. Grandma decided to have a positive attitude right up to the very end of her life, and she made friends everywhere she went. I fully expect her memorial service to be a joyful celebration that includes friends from every part of her life. I will be there, for sure!
But before that, next weekend I’ll be in London for the Great British Sewing Bee Live! Are you going? If you’re planning to attend I’d certainly love to meet you. I’ll be at the McCall’s/Butterick booth (D52) from 12:00-2:30 on Friday and Saturday to sign Lisette patterns (they’ll have plenty available for purchase) and to chat. After that I’ll be at the Guthrie & Ghani booth (F10) on Saturday at 3:00 to hang out and sign patterns or books (or whatever else you want me to scribble on). Lauren will have lots of Oliver + S and Liesl + Co. patterns for sale.
In addition, just for fun, many of my Lisette for Butterick designs will be on the runway during the Vogue runway show, three times every day during the show. Cool, right? So if you’ve ever wanted to see that yellow wool B6423 coat in person, now is your chance.
Speaking of yellow, mustard yellow (like that Lisette coat) has been inspiring me for much of the summer and now into fall. I’ve been little hints of it all over the place! Have you considered including this color in your sewing plans?
- There are so many amazing things happening in textiles right now. Fabrics are being made from the byproducts of citrus juice! And what about factory-grown leather? This stuff is happening and it’s so exciting.
- Speaking of technology and innovation, this is really something. I’m not quite sure what to make of it, frankly.
- What can you make out of the flowers and plants you find? Anyone up for trying a cat?
- I loved this behind-the-scenes perspective of setting up the Rei Kawakubo exhibit. Like I said last week, wouldn’t it be cool to be a curator?
- I already told you I’m pretty excited to go see the Balenciaga show at the V&A when I’m in London next week. But even if you can’t see it in person you’ll love these videos that demonstrate the construction of some of his designs.
- Speaking of the fashion exhibits, Frida is coming to the V&A!
- Admit it: you’ve always wondered where you would end up if you dug a hole to the other side of the world. (I’m just fine with ending up on the north island of New Zealand, thank you very much.)
We’ll be back next week with some fun, inspirational ideas for you. If all goes well we might even get to introduce you to the new fall patterns! They should be arriving any day now….
Have a wonderful weekend. And hug someone you love for me, OK?
May God give you and all those who mourn your grandma the strength to get through this difficult time.
My condolences on the loss of your grandma. How lovely to have had so long to spend with her, and for your daughter to get to know her as well. May we all have such long, inspiring lives.
Dear Liesl, I will think of you in each hug I give this weekend. And I send you a huge electronic hug with all my love!
Condolences on the passing of your beloved grandmother…
Funny that you should feature mustard yellow, I might be sewing in that color or something close to it (goldenrod? yellow ochre?) for someone who wants a Peggy (from Hamilton) costume for Halloween.
And that engineered leather sounds fascinating!
My condolences! You’re grandma sure was an amazing woman and an example to your blog readers as well.
Heartfelt condolences to you and your family on the death of your 98-year old grandma. She certainly enjoyed a long life as a creative women! May she Rest In Peace. Sarah Helene, Minneapolis, MN
So sorry to hear of the passing of your Grandma! What a blessing she must have been and what a ripe age she lived to! I love the photo of her handwork!!! Amazing! And so lovely that S got the opportunity to get to know her too! With love and prayers for the days that lie ahead.
Sorry to hear about your grandma! It sounds like she was a wonderful women, full of inspiration.
Also, the British Sewing Bee live?! How much fun is that?! Enjoy!
Wanting to extend my sincere condolences as you grieve and miss your dear Grandmother. I love that story of her “abducting” you from your college dorm to go out for ice cream – it’s memories like these that make your relationship so precious! What a long, rich life she lived, and so wonderful that S got to know her for quite some time as well. Blessings to you, Todd and S as you experience both joy and grief – the two sides of living life – at her memorial service.
So sorry for your loss, Liesl; your grandmother sounds like a wonderful person to have had in your life. Glad you were able to spend time with her recently – it’s such a worry when you have relatives far away, isn’t it?
I’m so sorry about your grandma.
If you have time, do go to the Anna Sui exhibition at the Fashion and Textiles Museum near London Bridge. I really enjoyed seeing her wonderfully detailed and layered textiles up close.
I am so sorry for the loss of your grandmother. What a legacy she has left behind. Such a blessed life. ❤️
I am so sorry for your loss Liesl.
Sending you my love after the passing of your grandma. She sounds like a fun lady to have known and loved, and if she was the inspiration that lead you to fashion design and ultimately to Oliver + S then we all love her and are grateful!
I’m sorry to hear about your grandma. I just lost mine in July. We were very close and she was a great inspiration to me, so I think I can relate to how you’re feeling. I miss seeing her face and hearing her voice, but I feel like she is always with me.
I am sorry to hear about your grandma, Liesl. My heart goes out to you. Believe it or not, I came back this morning from seeing my 93 year old grandma who had a fall a few weeks ago (we live in different cities now). Just like you I rushed back to see her. first a few days ago, and then this weekend to see her. She just came back from the hospital to my parents house two days ago, and we are all praying she feels better. My thoughts are with you.
Your grandmother was a remarkable woman, recourceful and inventive, like you. I’m glad you got to see her last month.
Here’s an article I thought you might like: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/18/t-magazine/fashion-house-archives-inspiration.html?hpw&rref=t-magazine&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region®ion=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well
I’m so sorry about your Grandma…