weekend links

Hello friends!

Happy day-after-Valentine’s Day, and happy birthday to my Mom (who I’m pretty sure doesn’t read this blog). I celebrated my own (big) birthday earlier this week, and now I get to claim membership in the ultra-exclusive Old People Club, lucky me!

Meanwhile, last week was so busy I completely forgot to post our usual weekend links so here they are, a week late. I’m in the middle of sewing samples for our spring patterns, doing fittings, and taking photos for the accompanying sew-alongs. It’s not easy when you’ve got two cats “helping” you, let me tell you! It feels a lot like the zoo-keeper in this video. You get one cat out of the way, smooth the wrinkles and arrange the photo, and suddenly the other cat is in your photo frame….

not-very-helpful assistant

Pinterest Picks

I have a favorite set of Dansk mugs, and one of them cracked many years ago. I’ve been using it as a pencil holder on my desk, but S and I messed around with gold mica powder and ceramic epoxy and tried a little kintsugi the other day and it looks pretty good! I’d like to do it again with a softer gold-colored mica powder (the one I ordered is a bit too copper-y) but it’s relatively easy to do. I hope that, with a little practice, we’ll achieve something similar to these beautiful bowls.

Liesl's February 15 Pinterest picks
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I always start thinking about lighter, less fitted layers when spring approaches, and our Weekend Getaway Blouse and Dress pattern is a nice option for warmer weather. Here are a few of my favorites, sewn by some of you.

Liesl's February 15 Pinterest picks
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I came across these two lovely fabrics while on-line shopping the other day and saved them because they would be gorgeous options for the upcoming Neighborhood Hoodie and Sweatshirt sew-along. We’ll talk more about that on Monday.

Liesl's February 15 Pinterest picks
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Happy belated Valentine’s Day if I haven’t wished it to you already! Also, how fun is this button dispenser?

Liesl's February 15 Pinterest picks
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I love the little details in clothing, and this Claire McCardell pocket is tempting to try with that little clasp pocket. I looked at the various hardware options at the trim store the other day, but didn’t love any of them. Also, even if you’re not going to spend the time hand-beading shirt cuffs like this one, what about using a scrap of contrast or fancy fabric for your Classic Shirt or Recital Shirt? I have some leftover tie silk I might try. I also have some kimono scraps a friend gave me that I think would be lovely.

Liesl's February 15 Pinterest picks
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How about a color-blocked Lazy Days Skirt, or an Everyday Skirt if you’re a grown-up? And you already know how easy it would be to draft and sew a sailor collar with our Building Block Dress book. I love it sewn in these minimalist neutral colors–much less traditional and more Japanese in its approach, I think.

Liesl's February 15 Pinterest picks
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Weekend Reading (and Listening)

OK? I hope you’re sewing something wonderful this weekend and, in the meantime, planning out your projects for our upcoming sew-alongs! I’ll be back on Monday to talk about the Neighborhood Hoodie and offer you some thoughts and ideas about fabric, sizing, and other random bits. Have a great weekend!




  1. Colleen P.

    Regarding plus sizes-Just to clarify, are you making different lines for your more generously upholstered customer or are you sizing up the same garments for us larger ladies? Personally I’d like to thank you in advance for this, some of your garments are absolutely lovely but it would be a total rework to get them up into a RTW 16 or 18 with a DD cup size (which is probably a…22 to 26 pattern size), and the accompanying larger arm, and larger waist, AND usually some additional torso length. That in addition to normal alterations for square shoulder, etc.

    I’m trying to think of good names and you’re so right, it’s difficult to come up with something that doesn’t sound like a participation trophy…

    1. Colleen, you might want to take a look at our newer Liesl + Co. styles. They come up to size 20 RTW and they include either separate pattern pieces for cup sizes up to D or instructions for doing a full bust adjustment. You might have something to start with here that is very close to what you need.

    2. I hear you, Colleen. Will explain all when we’re closer to announcing/releasing the new sizes. Thanks for the comment!

  2. J Velez

    How about Ample Choices?

    1. I think we’ll just have to identify two size ranges. With the Oliver + S sizes we refer to them as large sizes or big kids and small sizes or little kids. But that has to do more with age and/or height rather than girth per se…

  3. Addie

    Happy belated birthday!

    Although I fit into your current pattern sizes, I support independent pattern companies being more inclusive. I found the results of the sizing survey by Helen’s Closet interesting. https://helenscloset.ca/2019/01/25/curvy-sewing-survey-results/

    Helen concluded that using numerical pattern numbers, as you do, and simply continuing the range of sizes, rather that separately naming the larger range, is the best way. Personally, I agree that singling out a separate range for any set of sizes is less inclusive.

    I also support showing a wider range of sizes, shapes and ethnicities in the samples and on the pattern envelope etc. I was quite misled by the model for the Maritime Top because of the way the shoulders fit. I ended up changing the entire fit of the garment to be closer to how it fits the model, rather than how it’s actually drafted. I like it but sometime I will need to go back and fit it again. More examples on more average-sized models would really help and encourage me to try more styles. I know it’s a very involved process and overall I think the patterns are superior in quality. I am just encouraging you to keep improving in these areas.

    Thanks for the interesting links. My favorite is the kintsugi pottery repairs. Beautiful.

    1. Thanks for the input, Addie. We try to show lots of photos from testers and from customers, but of course being a two-person business my time for sewing samples is limited. I’m definitely working in this direction and appreciate your encouragement.

  4. Suzanne

    Can I make the Lazy Day skirt for a 9 year old size 10/12? I have made this skirt when my granddaughter was younger and it was really cute.

    1. Suzanne, of course!

      1. Suzanne

        Thank you for your inspiration over the years. My granddaughter loves for me to sew for her. First Communion dress will be a design of one of your patterns. ❤️

  5. Marcy

    Curious if you will be adding in a size on the smaller end of your patterns as well? The smallest size in tops, particularly, always seem to be one size too big for me. I made a beautiful Maritime top, but could have pinched out a full inch from the center front and ended up giving it away. Not surprisingly I was thrilled with your Chai tee model. But I understand how hard it is to make everyone happy when it comes to a variety of sizes and especially showing examples on models!

    1. As much as I’d love to, Marcy, I don’t think we can right now. Will you DM me your measurements? I’d love to see how I can help. askme@oliverands.com

  6. I’m included in your current size range, but I wonder why the improved range needs a name at all – are there going to be separate patterns? Personally I’d love to see all sizes included in a single envelope (real or virtual), rather than having a break in the sizing; there will always be someone who’s right between the two ranges and doesn’t know which one to pick until they’ve done a muslin etc, or who needs to grade between sizes, and also it’s great for us all to be able to sew for others from our own patterns. But if you *have* to separate them for some reason, why not just identify both sets by the sizes included?

    That double-faced organic jersey, by the way, is also available directly from the company that imports it to the UK, at a lower price: https://organiccotton.biz/store/index.php?route=product/product&path=261_295&product_id=1189 (terrible website but lots of good fabrics and friendly service!).

    Lastly, so glad to hear mention of TWO kittens – how is Puck doing now?

    1. We’ll need to keep the size ranges separate for several reasons, which I won’t get into here (yet). Thanks for the fabric info, and the kitties are doing well! Both are getting spayed next week. Poor babies.

  7. Jayne

    How about why do you need a separate name at all for the larger sizes? Do you do a separate name for the smaller sizes? This phony “oh, I don’t want to call them PLUS sizes”–why not, when every other company does? You want to be inclusive, just call them sizes. Period.

    1. Jayne, did you read the article I linked to? Your response seems unnecessarily harsh.

  8. Sheila MacKenzie

    Really enjoyed your post this week Liesl as there were SO many things my daughter and I wanted to try. Her creativity is endless! I’m just finishing off a sleeveless Classic Shirt and am raking through my button box for a subtle variety of colours to sew on and am enjoying not matching. The ceramics and tie dye were cool. I’ve sewn a Toaster sweatshirt in the striped double gauze- a great fabric.
    The Great British’s Sewing Bee started here of course and we’re all excited in the UK. A lovely halter neck dress was a hit amongst the invention test submissions and a fab off-the-shoulder jumpsuit in two contrasting fabrics won garment of the week.
    Thanks for commenting on the BBC Book of the Week from FB.
    Happy birthday – have a good week.

    1. Yes to the mismatched buttons! Thanks for the lovely comment. xo

  9. Dee

    My understanding is that expanding pattern sizes can be an expensive process for a small business, and I’m glad that you are able to do it.

    The article you linked to has lots to think about. But I was dismayed by the very careless description of the history of clothing manufacture. Sweeping generalizations combined with huge omissions and misapplication gives an extremely distorted view of the subject. It makes my history and accuracy-loving self sad, especially when I consider that some readers of the article will probably take the statements at face value. It leaves out the entire history of the local dressmaker or tailor, and it’s really not forgivable that it sweeps the home sewer into a category marked “riff-raff”. 🙂

    I have also noticed that many articles regarding ready-to-wear clothing seem to have an underlying sentiment that sizing should be standardized across the industry (this often happens independently from discussions of the need for expanding size ranges). I seems like many people don’t realize what the probable effect of that would actually be. Most people have likely had the experience of either finding a clothing brand that tends to fit well, or the opposite, when the fit of a brand is just all wrong. For instance, pear-shaped figures may find certain brands of jeans or pants that work well, and others (that are designed for a straighter figure) which have an excessive amount of fabric at the back waist. If sizing was standardized (and enforced) across the industry, different body types would have less opportunity of finding a good fit.

    I am sometimes a little sad that people at the smaller end of size ranges don’t seem to be considered worthy of inclusion in these discussions. I have had disheartening experiences in the past, when it seemed like most everything available was designed for someone at least five inches taller, and whole lot curvier than me. Of course, sewing for yourself can be a good solution to that problem.

  10. Robyn

    Happy birthday and I will wish your lovely mother a very happy birthday on Tuesday at our sewing guild meeting. I had the pleasure of hearing you speak at the meeting you attended with her!

    1. Oh, will you? She’ll be so surprised! Thank you!

  11. Daisy

    I understand why you would like to extend the larger end of your size range and I am encouraged by your comment that the two size ranges will be separate and of course I am hopeful that you will not omit your current smaller sizes from future patterns. I am very small framed and yours is one of the few indie pattern companies whose block comes close to fitting my upper bodice. (I find doing my usual FBA to be far easier than trying to correct baggy backs, saggy shoulders, gaping necklines and poorly positioned armholes!) Your patterns are so well drafted I am in no doubt that you will have developed a separate suitably proportioned block for your larger sizes and I wish you every success in this venture.

    Personally, I don’t think your extended size range needs a name (beyond their actual sizing i.e. 0 to 20 and then however you decide to grade the larger range), as having two separate pattern sleeves for each design will give you the opportunity to use models whose measurements fit each range thereby visibly illustrating how the design lines look on different sized people.

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