Let's spend some time today getting to know local Denver maker, Lily Schlosser. We are excited to share with you this multi-talented blogger, apparel designer and Fancy Tiger regular. In addition to all of the elegant clothing she designs and makes for Eli & Barry, she is also an extremely talented knitter. Find out what inspires Lily and what some of her favorite projects are below!
How did you learn to sew? My mom taught me my crafty ways. She had me sewing and knitting at a pretty young age, but I lost touch with both practices until fairly recently. I began to knit again in my mid-20s and that’s when I tackled my first sweater (Wool and the Gang’s Julia Sweater in Shiny Happy Cotton). I hit a point when I wanted to take my garment creating to a different place: one that didn’t take quite as long to achieve. Ha! I took the Sewing 101 class at Fancy Tiger Crafts last spring and it re-ignited my passion for sewing. After knitting for many years, the “instant” gratification of finishing a piece in a few hours rather than weeks or months was like a drug to me. From there, it felt like I was sewing non-stop for months. I then taught myself pattern drafting through Cal Patch’s classes on Creative Bug and introduced clothing as part of my business, Eli & Barry, which was only jewelry at the time. It’s been an utter thrill to learn about the creative process of pattern drafting, sourcing fabrics, and garment production. I’d like to learn how to pattern draft pants and work with silk next.
Tell us about some of the projects you have made/what type of projects you like to work on. Since I tend to wear simple clothing in my everyday life, I sew and knit with that same intention. I like simple silhouettes done up in gorgeous fabrics. I love 100 Acts of Sewing patterns by Sonya Philip. I got the chance to sew up her pants pattern with her last summer during a Fancy Tiger Class. Her patterns were part of what made me believe that I could design on my own because her patterns are so customizable. I found myself chopping up her patterns: re-drawing lines, hacking or lengthening hems, and combining her patterns with other patterns to achieve a different look. As far as knitting goes, I recently caught the sock knitting bug that seems to have taken over Instagram. Madeline Tosh has the most beautiful sock yarn! Loopy Mango yarn is one of my favorites, too. Although it has to be used sparingly since it’s pricey! I knit two pairs of socks this winter and just treated myself to a quick knit project: a hat using Wool and the Gang’s Crazy Sexy Wool. It’s good to have some variety when it comes to knitting to stave off losing steam on a project.
What inspires you to create? I truly enjoy the process of creating, not just having the finished product. Now ask me how I feel about "the joy of creating” when I’ve torn out my knit stitches for the tenth time. I’ve realized that the slower I go and the more mindful I am, the more I enjoy creating and the finished piece is so much neater. Holding that finished project in your hands is pretty magical. In the past year or so, I’ve also realized that making for me is a little act of rebellion. Meaning that making your own clothes instead of purchasing something from the fast fashion industry is much more ethical. You develop a different relationship with what you put on your body when it’s made by you. It’s like learning where your food comes from. Once you realize what goes into producing a garment, it’s hard to imagine paying next to nothing for something made in a sweatshop. Not to mention the fact that there’s something so special about a handmade piece of clothing. I love the tiny imperfections that make each piece unique.
What is the next craft you want to conquer? I’ve been thinking about trying my first quilt this spring! I started shopping around for a warm-weather blanket for our bed and saw many quilts from places like West Elm and Etsy and thought, “I think I could do this.” I have my eye on the Fancy Tiger Four Winds Quilt Pattern, but I want to do it all in white. I also would really love to learn how to dye fabric using natural ingredients. We just bought our first home and it has a backyard so it feels like I have the space to do something like that!
While you are sewing, what is your favorite music to listen to/show to watch? Oh gosh, that's a long and diverse list. During my crazy fall production schedule for Eli & Barry, I decided to start with Gilmore Girls Season 1 Episode 1 and have it on in the background while I worked. Then over Christmas, I started my first pair of socks (which I epically failed at) while watching the new season of Gilmore Girls. Right now I have old episodes of America’s Next Top Model on a lot while I work. Music-wise I listen to Joni Mitchell, Radiohead, Jamie XX, Sylvan Esso while I work. When I’m feeling like I need to energize and empower myself, Beyonce’s Lemonade (the album and the film) always does the trick.
Thanks for sharing a little bit about your process with us, Lily. Keep up the good work!
Stay up to date with Lily's latest makes here.