It seems as though we just announced a bunch of new fabrics for Spotlight, doesn’t it? Well, here are some more!


Lisette Fall 2014 Fabric for Spotlight


These are some of the prints I loved most when I was designing the collection, and I was afraid they wouldn’t get picked up because they’re large in scale and are quite bold. But Spotlight has been so supportive of these designs! And I’m just thrilled because these are the prints I’ve been wanting to sew for myself.

The watercolor broken stripe is one of my favorites. It’s printed on our much-loved twill, which is so perfect for dresses, skirts, and jackets. I’m making a dress from it right now and have plans for a skirt. I can’t show you the dress yet because it’s an upcoming Liesl + Co. patterns that isn’t quite ready. Soon, I promise.


Lisette Fall 2014 Fabrics for Spotlight


We’ve also use that great twill quality for the rows of dots that come in two colorways. I think the navy is really pretty, but the bright pinks and oranges are so vibrant and fun, too.


Lisette Fall 2014 Fabrics for Spotlight


And that big abstract floral? Sateen! It’s so soft and drapey, and the large scale is perfect for women’s apparel. I think it really wants to be a dress or a tunic. But which colorway: the blue/green colorway or the pink/orange? Tough call. I’m more of a green/blue girl, personally, but everyone who has seen this print seems to gravitate to the orange/pink.


Lisette Fall 2014 Fabrics for Spotlight


I’m also rather partial to the windowpane in sateen, which is so cute for dresses and tops.


Lisette Fall 2014 Fabrics for Spotlight


There are several other prints in the collection, including a poplin floral which has a bit of a printed texture that makes it really attractive. And if you liked our popular sailboat print from the last couple of collections you might also like our new umbrella print and the cloud print with hot air balloons and airplanes zipping around in the sky. Oh, and the big dots! Nearly forgot those. I’ll be cutting into that fabric soon, too. Again, tough to choose between the pink colorway or the blue/green dots. It would make darling little girls’ dresses, but I can think of so many other uses, too.

You can see all of the Fall 2014 Lisette fabrics for Spotlight in the fabric section of the website.

We’re happy to introduce our newest Lisette pattern for Simplicity.

The Round Trip Dress & Jacket features a cute, unlined dress with a coordinating jacket for spring and summer.

The dress comes in two views: sleeveless with a Peter Pan collar or short sleeved with no collar. Of course you can mix and match these elements to create the style that’s right for you. The dress is a slightly fitted style with a softly pleated skirt, so it’s flattering for all body types. And because it’s not a fully-fitted style, it’s relatively easy to sew and is appropriate for newer sewists.


Simplicity 1419


The pattern also includes an adorable bolero jacket for covering your shoulders as warm days turn into cooler evenings. The jacket is a cute semi-boxy style with a flattering, feminine shape and a tuxedo collar. You can style the jacket so that it can be worn for either casual or dressy events.


Simplicity 1419 Jacket


The pattern (Simplicity 1419) is available now wherever Simplicity patterns are sold in the northern hemisphere (it should be available in Australia with the next season release) and on the Oliver + S website.

Here’s some news. This year I’ll be writing a column for Sew News magazine. In every issue I’ll be talking about bridging the gap between Fashion and the real world and what that may mean for your own sewing projects. I’ll be covering the topic of how trends in fashion affect what we wear in everyday life and how to translate what appears on the runway into what to wear when you’re driving the carpool, working a corporate job, or attending school.

The first column for the February/March issue addresses the difference between fashion trends and fads and talks about the continuing popularity of color blocking in fashion. In the column I show some examples from the runway to inspire you and help you to think about how you might translate what you see into something that you would feel comfortable sewing and wearing.


Sew News, February March Cover


In future columns I’ll be talking about developing a core wardrobe so you won’t stand in front of an over-stuffed closet in the morning with nothing to wear. I’ll also talk about dressing to compliment your body shape and how you can use ease and volume in clothing to your advantage.

If you’re interested in subscribing to the magazine, it looks like you can also get digital subscriptions, for those of you overseas.

Back in November, I announced that our newest Lisette fabric collection was available at Spotlight stores in Australia, New Zealand, and (we found out later) Singapore. At that time I promised those of you in the United States that your turn would be arriving soon. Well, that time has finally come.


Lisette Spring 2014 fabrics for Jo-Ann stores


The Spring 2014 Lisette collection is now making its way onto shelves at Jo-Ann stores across the country. I hope you’ll feel like it was worth the wait.

This collection features a tight assortment of fun prints for your spring and summer sewing. The base fabrics include some of the ones you’ve loved in the past: poplin, lawn, and sateen, along with twill, voile, and a really great polka-dot printed chambray. In addition, we’ve added a number of textured fabrics to this collection. There are several piques as well as a beautiful eyelet and a jacquard mesh. I bet you’ll come up with all sorts of fun things to do with these new fabrics.

And while the collection focuses mostly on more traditional prints, we have included four fun novelty prints (all on poplin) in the line.


Lisette Spring 2014 novelty fabrics for Jo-Ann stores


You can see complete details on the collection (including large images of each print) in the fabric section of the website. If you’re planning to rush out to do some shopping, there’s one thing to note. Availability of prints may vary by store, so you might want to call your local store to see what they have in stock before making a trip there. The complete collection is, though, available online at

I get the sense from some of my friends living in Australia that those of you Down Under often feel left out when it comes to fabric availability. Is that correct?


Lisette fabrics at Spotlight


Well, I’m here to tell you that things are changing! We’ve got a really fun collection of Lisette prints that are arriving in Spotlight stores now that’s exclusive to Australia! Many of these prints and colorways will only be available in Australia–particularly the cameo print that’s already getting a lot of attention from those of you who have already seen previews of the collection. It won’t be coming to the U.S., folks, so grab it while you can! Base fabrics include poplin and our much-loved cotton lawn. Our favorite watercolor in sateen may still be available, too, if you can still find it.

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Over on the Oliver + S blog today I posted photos of my first smocking. It was an Oliver + S Badminton Dress for a magazine feature that’s just come out. And since I’ve thinking about smocking I wanted to show you this smocked Lisette Continental Blouse pattern that I made into a tunic.

So we’ve got business in the front (or as business-y as a linen tunic can be, anyway)


and party in the back!


The changes for this pattern were extremely easy. I lengthened the blouse by about 12″ by extending the side seams and measuring down 12″ to mark a longer hem, and instead of cutting the back gathered piece from the pattern, I cut a rectangular fabric panel three times wider than the finished width of the back yoke (that is, three times wider than the center back piece that the gathering fits to once it’s been gathered). I smocked this panel and sewed it to the upper back panel instead of the original gathered panel. Otherwise, the rest of the pattern was constructed as written in the instructions.


For this tunic I used a black handkerchief linen from Gray Line Linen here in New York. It’s a bit tricky to photograph black smocking on black linen; thus, the reddish appearance in the above photo, which it isn’t in real life. It was even trickier to smock black on black, believe me! I worked on this at night, in the winter, and there was quite a bit of un-smocking that happened in the process when I discovered I had missed a pleat here or there along the way. Once you miss a pleat it throws off the entire pattern, so I would recommend either smocking by day or smocking on a lighter color if you’d like to avoid these frustrations. I’m sure it helps to be a more experienced smocker, too.

This tunic was inspired by this beautiful smocked jacket that’s been on my Pinterest boards for quite a while. I think for the next one I’ll raise the seam a bit so the smocking is higher on my back.

In fact, for my next one (and there will be a next one, I’m so pleased with how this turned out!) I plan to smock neon pink on natural flax. That ought to be easy to see, right?

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