When Oliver +S founder Liesl Gibson searched for clothing patterns for her new daughter, she was disappointed by the lack of contemporary designs and the outdated fit specifications she encountered across the market. Ultimately, she began creating her own patterns. "The potential for sewing unique and wonderful children's clothing is limitless," says Gibson. "But I couldn't find patterns that inspired me to sew. So I created my own."
Launched in spring 2008 with four styles for little girls, Oliver + S refreshed a product category that was dormant for over a decade. Mothers and grandmothers immediately responded by snapping up the new patterns and sewing for their daughters and granddaughters. Responding to customers' requests, Gibson debuted her first patterns for boys in the fall of 2008. Oliver + S releases two new pattern collections each year for girls and boys up to age 12.
A native of Wisconsin, Gibson grew up around the sewing machine. Both her mother and grandmother are accomplished seamstresses and practitioners of needle arts, and her mother sewed much of Gibson's clothing when she was young.
After working in publishing and finance early in her career, Gibson returned to school and earned a degree in fashion design from New York's Fashion Institute of Technology. Before having her daughter in 2005, she worked as a designer for high-profile fashion brands, including Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren.
In addition to her Oliver + S patterns, Gibson designs two collections of Oliver + S fabric for Moda each year. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and trade shows and is in high demand as a teacher. In 2010, Gibson received the FabShop Network's Rising Star award, an honor bestowed by independent fabric-store owners across North America.
Gibson's first book, Oliver + S Little Things to Sew: 20 Classic Accessories and Toys for Children, was published by STC Craft-Melanie Falick Books in 2011. The book brings the same style and attention to detail customers expect from Oliver + S apparel patterns to accessory and toy projects.
Gibson also designs the Lisette sewing patterns and fabric for women's apparel. Lisette patterns are produced and distributed worldwide by the Simplicity Creative Group. Lisette fabrics are produced by Fabric Traditions and are available at all Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores in the United States.
For the latest Oliver + S news and events, visit the company's blog: oliverands.com/blog