weekend links

Hello friends!

When I first started sewing, right out of college, I didn’t have many resources available to help me learn. Sewing wasn’t very popular back then, there weren’t blogs and websites (it was pre-internet!) that I could read, and the fabric and trim stores in Manhattan catered to knowledgeable people in the fashion industry. Needless to say, it was difficult to learn about sewing back then.

I couldn’t afford classes, but I had watched my mom sew when I was growing up, and I continued to ask her a lot of questions as I got started. I also devoured as many books on the topic as I could find. I think my mom gave me a subscription to Threads magazine, but the articles in the magazine back then were so technical and my knowledge about sewing was so limited that I really didn’t understand much.

But here’s the thing: I persisted. And by the time I went to school for fashion design, I had managed to assemble enough information that I could sew a blazer or button-down shirt without too much trouble. All that to say, if you find yourself reading something that doesn’t make sense, don’t despair! With practice and patience you’ll start to understand what you’re doing and you’ll develop a greater base knowledge that will help you when you tackle new skills. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! That’s what our forums and our Facebook groups (for Liesl + Co. and for Oliver + S) are for, so use them.

weekend links September 13

What skills are you going to tackle next?

Pinterest Picks

I love this silhouette, below left. You could get a similar look with our Gallery Tunic and some wide, pegged trousers. Also, wouldn’t it be fun to use faux leather in our Afternoon Tea Blouse for a look similar to below, right?

Liesl's Pinterst Picks September 13
pinterest link and pinterest link

I’m still loving the military-style blouses and those oversized pockets. I recently sewed myself a linen Classic Shirt with the pleated pockets, and I’ll need to get some photos soon!

Liesl's Pinterst Picks September 13
pinterest link and pinterest link

You could sew a similar dress to the one below, left, with our Playtime Tunic and an added ruffle collar. The eyelet petticoat is adorable, isn’t it? To do that, just cut two skirts, one longer than the other. The color blocked dress is also so pretty and could easily be sewn using our Fairy Tale Dress pattern.

Liesl's Pinterst Picks September 13
pinterest link and pinterest link

Weekend Reading

  • I’ve always been curious about the work of Madeleine Vionnet, and these two articles answered a few suspicions that I’ve had. One of these days I’d like to find time to work more in bias!
  • “Wear it out” seems like a good motto for all of us.
  • What grade are you starting this fall? I loved this idea that we can each try something new in the fall.
  • Anyone else living with a VSCO girl? 14 years old, y’all.

We’ll be back next week with a fun tutorial for you and lots more! What are you sewing this weekend?




  1. Linda (ACraftyScrivener)

    I always love your curated weekend posts, and learn so much! I have a 17year old girl, and clicked on the VSCO article – she has always wanted to look nice, and has experimented with different looks, but never followed any trends. Having been immersed in the inclusivity of the sewing world for so long now, I was shocked when I clicked over to the Brandy Melville site to check out their clothes – most of the pants are size small/small only!!! I feel so sorry for those VSCO girls who don’t fit in this size range and want to `be cool’!!!

    1. I’m glad you enjoy the posts, and thanks for saying so! Yes, Brandi Melville is a sizing nightmare. Not inclusive at all. Having grown up decidedly NOT cool, I’m really uncomfortable with the VSCO girl idea. Parenting today is so different, isn’t it? I’m still trying to find my way. But we all are, I guess.

  2. Ann

    I loved your pep talk at the beginning of this post! I’ve been in a sewing slump, haven’t really sewn for maybe a year, and I’m afraid that I’ve forgotten whatever I knew before. My plan is to pull out my sewing machine this weekend and try not to be intimidated, just go slowly and have a good attitude as I go. I’ve gotten scared somehow, which I know is silly, but it’s hard to control these emotions sometimes! Anyway, thank you so much for the inspiration!

    1. I can understand your feelings! When I first started Oliver + S there were very few independent sewing patterns available and our mission–to teach people to sew–was unique. Over time, with more and more indie sewing patterns available, the amount of information today seems overwhelming. Even to me! Take it slowly, focus on one step at a time, and tackle only what interests you. And like I said, ask questions when you aren’t sure! You can do it.

  3. Holly

    Wear it out. I’m facing this dilemma now. My husband and I wear out our casual clothes. I have to remake pj bottoms, as they get washed 40 or so times a year. These turn into dust cloths at the end of their life, and then into the compost. Linen pants and shorts also have to be remade regularly.

    But I am having trouble reimagining my work wardrobe, formal, and semi-formal clothing. I can’t wear them out. Since retiring, I haven’t worn these once. What to do with these silk, velvet, taffeta, lace clothes that are hogging my closet? No one will want these clothes as they are hand made and just fit me. I no longer have to attend events where these clothes are required.

    I was able to take the wool, felt it and use it in other projects. I gave my leather to my son, who’s turning skirts into wallets. But what to do with the rest?

    Sewing that scares me….Bound buttonholes, welt pockets, bras, swimsuits….like sweater steeks…make me break out in cold sweat. Given time, I can sew anything. But fitting is my nemesis. Yesterday I spent 5 hours on a sleeveless shirt trying to make it fit without gaping armholes. My spouse says l am now at 80%. It’s been 97F here in California. I’m supposed to be working on fall jackets, but it’s too hot to contemplate all that fabric on my lap for the hand basting bits.

  4. Miriam

    I love the articles about Voinnet. Such a pity that now a days so little patterns follow this ideas. I would love to make a bias skirt with permanent hemming length!

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