weekend links

Hello friends!

There’s been a lot of talk in the fashion world for a while now about the struggle for mid-priced brands that are getting squeezed. Brands like J. Crew and Banana Republic can’t compete with fast fashion, and they’re struggling to survive in a climate that is increasingly focused on low cost. As a result, it’s becoming more and more difficult to find quality clothing at an affordable price. Instead, we’re left with two extremes: cheap fast fashion and high-end luxury fashion.

I’ve been noticing this trend in a very dramatic way here in Madrid. In our neighborhood in the center of the city we’re surrounded by Zara, H&M, Primark, and many other low-cost brands. If I want good, quality clothes it’s really difficult to find anything aside from heading over to the luxury houses with their extravagant prices.

But this is why we sew, isn’t it? By sewing, we can choose good, quality fabrics at an affordable price. And to top it off, we can customize the clothes to fit our bodies and our preferences. It may cost more than Zara and Primark, but the clothes also last longer, fit better, and we have the satisfaction of making them ourselves.

This week I’ve been sewing a few basics for S, who has outgrown absolutely everything she owns including the clothes I made for her six months ago. I’m also hard at work developing some new Liesl + Co. patterns for next fall that I’m really excited about and can’t wait to share with you. Meanwhile, the book is nearly complete and headed to the printer very soon. For those of you who have been asking, it will be out next fall, and I think it will surprise and delight you and will help you take your sewing to a new level.

Later this month I’ll also introduce you to two next Lisette for Butterick patterns that I think you’re really going to enjoy. Get ready to sew something for yourself this spring! We’re all pretty excited about these styles.

When I get really excited about a new design I can hardly wait to get it into your hands, and I’m definitely feeling that way about everything that’s on my desk right now. I’ve just sent Butterick new Lisette designs for next winter, this week we’re fitting the fall patterns, and the photos for the spring patterns just arrived, so it feels like I’m living in three different seasons right now. But I think you’re going to like everything that’s coming up. It’s difficult to be patient, isn’t it? I’m certainly feeling that way right now. After working on this book for almost two years, some days I feel really unproductive, like I don’t have anything to give you right now. I have to keep reminding myself that the larger, long-term projects are worth waiting for. Much like that clothing you make yourself instead of purchasing at the store, right? In the end it’s worth every minute of the making process.

Pinterest Picks

For the past few weeks we’ve been re-organizing and re-vamping our Pinterest boards, and the Tutorials board is really inspiring now! Go check it out–lots of things to read and learn. Or to review if you’ve been following us for a while. I think it’s a great reference guide, especially if you’re a visual person like I am.

flat-felled seams tutorial on Pinterestpinterest link

Here’s a little Everyday Skirt inspiration for you. I feel like spring and summer are especially perfect for this pattern, and this photo is so cute. Isn’t the black edging a great detail? You could stencil or stamp bicycles or another border motif for a similar look.

inspiration for a Liesl + Co Everyday Skirt sewing patternpinterest link

This reminds me of the Oliver + S Music Class Blouse. (Which, by the way, is going out of print. The remaining paper copies are on sale right now, so grab it if you haven’t already!) I love this print. Does anyone know of a similar fabric that could be used for this style?

inspiration for an Oliver + S Music Class Blousepinterest link

Some friends recently gave us a blender, which is exciting because our furnished apartment has very little in the way of kitchen equipment. We’ve been making smoothies for breakfast almost every morning since it arrived, and now that summer is approaching it might be fun to freeze them as popsicles, like this!

frozen smoothies on a stickpinterest link


Weekend Reading

  1. Quite possibly the most beautiful art supply store I’ve ever seen. Those pigments!
    pigment store in japan
  2. And speaking of colors, how cool is this rare pigment library! The history behind each color is quite fascinating, too. (Speaking of which, have you read Color: A Natural History of the Palette? I started it just before we moved to Spain, and one of these days I need to go back and finish it. It’s a detailed history of pigments that’s really quite fascinating.)
  3. And as long as we’re on the theme of color, check out these photos of paint dropped into water. Very pretty!
  4. This is quite a treasure trove: thousands of unpublished photos from Vogue and Vanity Fair. If you’re looking for me this weekend, check here first.conde nast archive of unpublished vogue and vanity fair photos
  5. Bibhu and I were classmates at FIT. Such a thrill to see his career thriving!
  6. Wishing you could travel this weekend? Try this beautifully filmed two-minute tour of Paris! I can’t get over how well this was done.
  7. If I was nineteen and heading off to college, this is what I would be contemplating for a career right now: textiles and the tech industry. In my nerdy brain, work couldn’t get much more interesting than that!

OK, have a great weekend and I’ll see you here next week. S is going to pay us a little blog visit on Tuesday with a tribute to someone we all know and love, so we’re looking forward to sharing that with you. See you then!




  1. Colleen P.

    Oh I highly encourage you to try freezing the smoothies into popsicles. We’ve done it for years now, it’s a great snack that both cools and fills with something nutritious, and everyone enjoys them.

    I adore the bicycle skirt, BTW! And definitely looking forward to new Lisette patterns, I try to get all of them!

  2. Leah

    Swimsuits! They are out…super cute

  3. The Music Class blouse inspiration looks like it might be made from jersey?? In which case European eco brands like Lillestoff, Nosh Organics, or Stromming Design might have something similar. (Kitschy-coo carries a lot of their fabrics in the UK but prices are a little bit higher.)

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