Join Liesl in her Brooklyn studio.
Learn about sewing seams, corners, curves, gathers, and more!
Learning to Sew
One of the most common questions I'm asked by readers and in interviews is "When did you learn to sew?" I always wish I had a touching story to answer this question that involved sitting next to my grandmother as a child while she patiently bestowed her sewing knowledge upon me. But despite growing up with a grandmother and a mother that were expert seamstresses, in reality I was too impatient to learn to sew as a child and preferred to have my mother and grandmother sew things for me rather than to learn how to sew them myself.
When I was finally bitten by the sewing bug in my thirties, I was motivated by an obsession with fashion and a never-ending desire for new clothes. I learned to sew by taking a couple classes here and there to learn the basics, reading sewing books, plus lots and lots of practicing. Now that sewing has become hip again with a new generation, there are so many more resources for learning to sew, from blog tutorials to streaming video to DVD workshops. In the end, having someone show you the basics is invaluable and saves you from many frustrating moments and unsuccessful projects.
But if you don't have access to in-person sewing classes, then a video "class" is the next best thing. So when I was asked to choose my favorite designers to work with on creating sewing DVDs with modern appeal, Liesl Gibson, founder and designer of Oliver + S sewing patterns and fabric and the Lisette sewing pattern line, was at the top of my list. Her classic yet contemporary approach to garment design has gained her a loyal following, not to mention she has impeccable personal style and a personality that makes you want to be her best friend. Who better to teach you how to sew?
So I headed out to New York City with our video team, and we camped out in Liesl's Brooklyn studio to watch her do her thing. Trained at the Fashion Institute of Technology, she worked for top international designers including Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren before creating her home sewing pattern lines. So she's got great sewing tips and tricks from years of design experience.
In her first DVD, Apparel Sewing Basics, Liesl walks you through everything you need to know to start sewing, from getting the right tools, supplies, and fabric to preparing and cutting pattern pieces. Then she shows you the basic seaming techniques used in apparel sewing, from curved seams and sewing corners to gathering and ease stitching. This 90-minute video will give any beginning sewist the foundation they need to start sewing clothes.
In addition to great technique instruction, Liesl also provides insight into her design process, from how she selects the right fabric for a pattern to how she makes sewing fun, in inspiring interview footage throughout the video. She confirms that whether you are a beginner or an experienced sewist, sewing and creativity go hand in hand. And no matter what, sewing should always be fun.