Craft South

Craft South

My mom/partner in sewing crime and I went back to Nashville in July (this post is clearly overdue) for Anna Maria Horner’s Craft South.  This is a new idea that she started to bring super stars, like herself, to her hometown to share their love for all things crafts and sewing.

In July, she offered a garment-sewing weekend with Liesl Gibson.  When my mom and I first heard about this, we texted each other using every excited emoticon possible and signed up.

For those of you that don’t know, these two ladies are celebrities in the sewing world.  If I were to draft my version of the dream team, they would definitely be on it.  Not only are the both incredibly talented in their own right, but they are also generous, humble, and eager to share their knowledge; A pretty rare combination these days.

My mom and I met Anna Maria Horner at Sew Down Nashville earlier this year.  We weren’t sure if she would remember us because we were two of the hundred plus attendees in her mod corsage class.  When we showed up at happy hour, though, she gave us a giant hug and greeted us like old friends.  That is Anna Maria.  She is the type of person that makes you feel welcome and appreciated right from the start.

I had never met Liesl before this weekend but was (is) a huge fan of hers.  She is the genius behind Oliver and S, a company that designs children’s clothing patterns.  Liesl is lovely, both inside and out.  She has a calming demeanor and is so down to earth.  I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with her and tried to soak up as much knowledge as I could in our short time together.

Here’s a brief look into our amazing weekend:

We got to Nashville on Thursday night so we could have dinner with my friend Jessica and her mom.  She recently moved from Cincinnati and we miss her terribly!DSC01068
My mom and I ventured out to the Textile Fabric Store.  I’m so glad I don’t live close to this place or I would be in trouble.DSC01078 DSC01077DSC01076
We did a self-guided speed tour of downtown Nashville to try to see all of the important sites: DSC01084 DSC01082
One of our favorite stops was at the Hatch Show Print Shop:DSC01086 DSC01089 DSC01093
We started our Craft South weekend at Happy Hour where we got to meet all of the beautiful ladies we would spend the weekend with:
We then headed to Anna Maria’s temporary studio for Craft South: DSC01097 DSC01099 DSC01101 DSC01102 DSC01104 DSC01105-2 DSC01106
We woke up early, headed back to the studio and started our adventure of muslin making.  Liesl gave us a brief introduction about the ins and outs of muslins, how and why she uses them, and how to get started.

*For those of you non-sewers: you make a muslin out of cheap fabric when you start making a clothing pattern so you know it fits before you cut into your beautiful fabric stash.

I have a confession to make before we go any further.  Prior to this weekend I had never made a muslin.  Insert gasp and shaming.  I know I know.  I always thought it was an unnecessary step in garment making.  I would just go with the measurements on the pattern and hope for the best.  Now I know why that was a terrible idea. Making a muslin is an incredibly important step and should not be skipped.

Liesl has a great post about this and gives 15 tips for fitting a muslin.

Here are some of the MANY things I learned from Liesl and Anna:

+Slashing and Spreading helps you make a Full Bust Adjustment. And a waistband tool kit helps keep everything on your person, especially the ever-disappearing seam ripper!  How cute is Liesl?DSC01128DSC01132
+Tracing paper and carbon paper are helpful tools when making a muslin.  DSC01120


+Muslins are not always attractive but help give you an idea whether 1. you like the pattern and 2. what you need to do to make sure it fits.  I’m currently on my 3rd muslin!  It’s a lot of work but if I would have made this pattern based on my measuerments I would have busted out of the dress like the Hulk because the waist was WAY too tight.


After a long day of muslin making, Anna Maria generously invited us to her house for dinner, drinks and music.
We got to tour her lovely studio:DSC01150 DSC01149 DSC01147 DSC01145 DSC01143 DSC01142 DSC01141
Spend time with her adorable family and:DSC01160
Eat delicious Greek food and listen to bluegrass/country music played by her father-in-law:DSC01171
We went back to the studio until late at night to continue sewing, laughing, and trouble-making:DSC01184
On our last day we tried to soak up as much knowledge as we could from Anna and Liesl.  I fell in love with Anna Maria’s dress (below)
It sadly came time to say our goodbyes to new friends and our generous hosts:DSC01205 DSC01201 DSC01200DSC01188
Thank you for an amazing weekend Liesl and Anna Maria.  We had so much fun with you and the other wonderful ladies we shared our time with.  We hope to come back to Nashville again soon!


  • Suzie
    Posted at 13:35h, 08 October Reply

    What a lovely post about a very special weekend!

  • Amy P
    Posted at 21:45h, 08 October Reply

    Brings back such nice memories! Thank you for sharing.

    • Shannon Woodruff
      Posted at 01:00h, 23 October Reply

      Thanks Amy! It was such a fun weekend and so nice to meet you. Hope you are well.

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