The Original Lezette
Updated: Jun 3
With a gift for teaching and a lifelong passion for children’s sewing, Lezette Thomason has spent more than four decades generously sharing her wealth of knowledge through the Children’s Corner business she helped found.
With more than 300 Children’s Corner patterns produced since the late 1970s, the latest was released October 23, 2021 and named “Lezette” to honor the woman who has contributed so much to the business and to the children’s sewing industry in general.
“I’m thrilled about the release of the new pattern,” Lezette says. “It’s such an honor that they’ve named this pattern after me. I am delighted it is a redo of the classic Kathy-Kelley pattern, designed by Elizabeth Travis Johnson, which has always been one of my favorites. The collar with the two kinds of scallops in it is perfect for monograms that are so big right now.”
CC owner Emily Douglas says the classic pattern served as a jumping off point for “Lezette,” but has a more modern inspiration with the addition of the ruffle sleeve. The traditional portrait collar is in the new version, but also a Peter Pan option. The neck edges are the same with views A and B; the difference is in the size of the armhole. The placket has also been updated. The old one was the “paper bag placket” taught by Mrs. Johnson at Watkins Institute. The pattern is now available in tissue and digital download PDF! A 3+ hour video lesson is also available and is taught by Susan Whitman.
A native of Shelbyville, Lezette and her twin sister, Annette, learned to sew from their mother and grandmother. Lezette studied at Peabody College in Nashville to become a classroom math teacher, but took her career in a different direction with the Children’s Corner.
She retired in 2015, but continues to share her expertise, techniques and tips daily through her private Facebook group, Sew Classic for Children, which is for sewists who use Children’s Corner patterns. The group is 5,700 members strong. Lezette understands well the value of the vast sewing community and the connections they share.
“It’s important that I stay involved. There are so many ladies out there now who are just starting to sew and coming into my group. … One great thing about Sew Classic is we’re getting so many new sewers with so many questions. The ladies who have been a part of this group since the beginning are all wonderful teachers and sewers themselves. They jump right in there to answer questions – sometimes even before I can read the question and that’s wonderful. I always try to remember to say ‘great answer; thank you.’”
Lezette says she is encouraged about Children’s Corner and the future of children’s sewing. “Emily [Douglas] and the CC group is getting out there and promoting the industry and taking it into the 21st century,” she says. And with the aid of technology, Sew Classic (her self-moderated Facebook Group) is a strong group with members from all over the world, she adds.
In her rare spare time, Lezette and her husband, Michael, spend several months a year at their beloved home in Montana. She also has pursued basket weaving in retirement and contributes her significant talents creating items and cooking for the annual November bazaar at her church, St. David’s Episcopal Church in Nashville.
Lezette’s legacy at Children’s Corner continues and naming a pattern after her “is a way to honor her contributions to our company,” Emily says.
“Lezette’s fingerprints are on so much of what we do at Children’s Corner. Naming this classic pattern for her is a small way to show her how grateful and how personally honored I am to steward the work she and others began more than 40 years ago,” Emily adds.
Written by Anne Gillem
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