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Meet Liesl, Lisette indie pattern designer

Liesl Gibson is the creative mind behind our Lisette for Butterick collection. As an accomplished indie pattern designer for adults and children, we are so pleased to have Liesl’s talents on the Butterick design team. Our indie sewing pattern licensees create designs in our standard size charts for a consistent experience across our brands.

Get to know Liesl and then explore her Lisette line of sewing patterns!

For anyone who has not tried the Lisette line for Butterick, can you talk about your design ethos and brand mission?

I’m in favour of chic, classic, timeless designs that aren’t too trendy. If you’re going to spend the time and money to sew something, I think it’s better to invest in making items you can wear for a long time, especially in this age of fast fashion. To me, sewing is an act of slowing down, of being more mindful about consuming and of using our resources more thoughtfully. Sewing allows you to focus on fit, on choosing the perfect fabric, and on paying attention to the details. Why not take advantage of that and make something special of high quality that you can wear for many years?

When did you decide to become a pattern designer?

When I was in my last 20s I made the decision to leave work in finance and return to school for fashion design. I needed a creative outlet that the corporate world wasn’t giving me, and I’m so glad I did! My first classes in pattern making and draping changed my life and gave me such a feeling of possibility, of creative options. After my daughter was born I realised that there was an opportunity for good sewing patterns that teach you how to sew, and that’s when I launched Oliver + S, our children’s line of sewing patterns. The brand was extremely popular and, with time, we also launched women’s and men’s patterns as well as accessories and smaller projects.

You now have four pattern brands to manage including Lisette. Do you still find time to sew for yourself?

Most of my energies these days go toward our Liesl + Co women’s line of sewing patterns, and I sew all the samples for pattern development as well as for the photos shoot, etc. But I still make time to sew for myself! I usually catch an hour here or there, and my trick is to set up the next sewing step without actually sewing it. That way it’s easy to jump back into the project when I have a little time and I quickly know where I am in the process, rather than trying to remember where I left off. It’s much easier to sew something that’s ready for you to sew than to take the time to remember where you left off after some time away from it.


Has your design practice and process changed since your business has grown?

My process has changed a lot! When I lived in NYC and had a studio and employees there, I found a lot of inspiration in my surroundings. I used big mood boards to help me design and to keep track of all the different projects we were working on. Now that I’m working alone, a lot of that process has turned more internal and has become more intuitive. That adjustment was a bit difficult at first, but now it just seems to flow. I’m less reliant on my environment and trust myself to let it happen. I’m relaxed and having a lot more fun with it these days!

What is your personal favourite pattern from your Lisette for Butterick collection?

I really like our newest one, B6901/B6902! It’s such a fun, classic, easy-to-sew little menswear-inspired vest and trousers that also happens to be very on-trend right now. I sewed one for my daughter and one for myself, and I hope to sew another for this winter when I have time. I think I’ll wear it a lot, and it fits nicely into the other items in my wardrobe that I wear a lot.

Until November 6th 2022 you can get 50% off all Butterick patterns, including the Lisette collection!

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