Liesl Gibson, the founder and creative force behind Oliver + S, children’s patterns, and author of Oliver + S: Little Things to Sew, shares her top 10 sources of inspiration with Babble.com readers.
Liesl Gibson is the founder and chief designer for Oliver + S patterns, which focuses on designs for children from 6 months to 12 years old. A graduate of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, she previously worked as a designer for Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren. She lives in New York and has recently launched Lisette—a new brand of stylish sewing patterns and apparel fabric for women’s clothing.
Top 10 Things That Inspire Me: Liesl Gibson of Oliver + S
1. My daughter, who is the “S” of Oliver + S. She inspired me to start designing sewing patterns, which launched our company. Now my husband runs the business so I can focus on creative development. It’s a real family affair, with S still serving as the inspiration for many of the styles and products we produce.
3. Vintage and thrift shops. We have great stores in our neighborhood, and I try to drop by frequently. Vintage clothing often includes details you simply don’t see in contemporary clothing, and I get lots of ideas from just looking. Sometimes I find things for myself, too.
4. Books. We frequent our local bookstores and our public library and they always have a giant stack of reading materials. I love novels, non-fiction and art books. I always have several books going at once, plus the chapter books we read to our daughter before bed every night. Right now we’re working our way through the Mary Poppins stories…
5. My camera, a sketchbook, and a mechanical pencil. I strongly prefer the Alvin Draftmatic 0.5mm pencil because I like the heft and weight of it.
6. Kiehl’s Superbly Restorative Argan Dry Oil. This got me through another winter without itchy skin, and I think my face looks healthier after I apply it.
7. Art stores and office supply stores. I’m obsessed with old dusty shops with outdated inventory. That’s where you find the best vintage tags and supplies.
8. Knoll textiles. We just finished recovering our dining chairs after I spent more than a year looking for just the right fabric. Now I can finally relax!
9. My sewing machines. I’m a huge fan of Janome because they produce such a wide range of machines, all with great quality. I have a very high-end machine at the studio and an entry-level machine at home and love them both.
10. New York City. I find so much inspiration right here, just walking and looking at everything around me. We live in the East Village, and I feel especially fortunate because it’s such a creative space.
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