weekend links

Hello friends!

Wow, it’s September already! I’m sad to see August go. Do you feel the same way? Just before my surgery in July, Todd and I took a couple of days to move out of our beloved studio space in Brooklyn. This is the space where our business has been located for the last eight years or so, and it holds so many memories for our family. So many designs brought to life, so much of our time and energy, so many photo shoots–including many with S as she grew up. Our lease ended on August 31, so it’s been on my mind all week.

It only made sense to move out. We had been subletting the space to a friend for the past year, but when he decided not to renew it was much easier to leave than to find someone else who wanted it. All the same, it was bittersweet to leave. When we locked the door for the last time I was careful not to turn around and look back. It would have been too hard, and the moving guys were in a hurry. Still, we have our memories. And lots of photos. These were taken by Katherine Slingluff for Where Women Create a couple of years ago. I’m grateful we have them. I loved those windows.

shop talk

studio space

our beloved studio
photos by Katherine Slingluff

But here’s the good news: we just celebrated living in Madrid for one full year! We’re so excited for year two. I feel like we’ve really hit our stride here, and this year we’re all going to become fluent. Or at least really close to fully fluent. I’ve been working hard.

Pinterest Picks

It’s back-to-school time! I know I’m not alone when it comes to love for new school supplies, right? These cute notebooks are inspiring me to cover a few lab notebooks with decorative paper and labels.

back-to-school notebook embellishment
pinterest link

Here’s a little cute outfit inspiration: you could use the Oliver + S Butterfly Blouse and the tutu pattern from our Little Things to Sew book to make something similar.

inspiration for an Oliver + S Butterfly Blouse and tutu
pinterest link

Such beautiful colors and textures in this box of pastels.

colorful pastels
pinterest link

Here’s a grown-up popsicle idea for those of you who are obsessed with them, like me: chai tea ombre. (I think I use our popsicle molds more than S does!)

chai tea ombre popsicles
pinterest link

Are you on-board with the culottes trend yet? I see so many European women wearing them and looking wonderful. It’s such an elegant look–like a midi-length skirt. I wear my Liesl + Co Girl Friday Culottes so much, I’ve considered making a pair in faux leather like this. (I have a black leather pencil skirt that’s still a much-worn staple in my wardrobe after more than ten years, so why not?)

inspiration for the Liesl + Co Girl Friday Culottes sewing pattern
pinterest link

Thank you for your extremely enthusiastic response to our Lisette for Butterick B6385 coat pattern! Here is some styling inspiration for the style if you’re considering making it. I have an idea for my coat that I’ll tell you about soon. I’m still working out the details.

inspiration for the Lisette B6385 sewing pattern
pinterest link and link

Weekend Reading

  • My pulse quickened and I think I may have gasped when I saw some of the stills from this new Amazon Prime series. The Collection launches today, and it looks spectacularly inspiring! It takes place in post-war France and features a haute couture story line. If it’s available to watch in Spain (I can’t seem to get clarification whether it’s a US or UK series) you know where you’ll find me this weekend.
  • The rich colors and textures of this photo shoot from Harper’s Bazaar UK took place in a Bloomsbury farmhouse, and the colors and textures of the clothing and the interiors are luscious.
  • We’ve been enjoying President Obama’s summer playlists. Dare we to hope for a fall, winter, and spring playlist as well? He certainly knows his music.
  • In case you missed it, Anne’s darling pom pom skirt tutorial would be a fun weekend sewing project.
  • A very brief history of Halston.
  • Lately I feel like I’ve been abandoning more books than I’ve finished. I think it’s time to pick better books! I’m taking inspiration from Rory Gilmore’s reading list and returning to the classics. There are quite a few on this list I haven’t read yet. (I keep track of my reading on GoodReads if you want to join me.)
  • Here’s a topic I’ve never given much thought: the history of the embroidered patch. Who knew?
  • An unknown botanical library in the Bronx that holds many visually stunning treasures. And how wonderful that many of the books are being digitized so people all over the world can appreciate them! Still, I’d really like to visit and see some of these books in person.
  • Disappearing storefronts of New York. Madrid has so many of these old-style shops, and I really do love them.
  • Fall. Plaid. Tartan. They’re synonymous, yes? The royal family certainly wears them well, as demonstrated in this slide show.

I’ll be back on Monday with an easy tutorial for you featuring one of our Liesl + Co patterns. You might be surprised when you see it. In the meantime, have a great weekend!





  1. Alright, on my way over to Good reads. I will send a friend request because sometimes it just helps seeing what friends are reading or interested in.

    My other suggestion for reading is to start a book club. It will definitely mix up your reading habits some and then you will have someone to talk about the book with which may encourage you to finish a book even if you lose interest in it.

    As for classic book suggestions, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier; Persuasion by Jane Austen (perfect for fall since it is set in fall), The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, and the Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham.

    1. Charlene, you’re right! I’d love to have a book club. Sadly, there just isn’t time in my life right now. But I’m always up for GoodReads friends! My sister is a librarian, and my list of books to read is crazy long because our whole family, and many of my friends, are avid readers. Now I just need to discipline myself to read the books that are really worth reading! xo

  2. I am totally friending you on Goodreads, I use it too! Are you planning on releasing any more Oliver + s patterns in the foreseeable future? I hope so. I hope that leaving your studio doesn’t mean leaving that business. As you know, I’m a fan!

    1. Thanks, Inder. There will be more Oliver + S patterns–probably next spring–but for the past two years most of my creative energies have gone into my new book that we’ll be releasing on September 15. It’s an Oliver + S book, however! Business will continue without the studio–we just took it with us to Spain. xo

  3. I just looked up The Collection and it isn’t available in the US, only in the UK. Hopefully we will get it eventually!

    1. That’s what I feared, Stacy! I hope it arrives soon. I just looks so good!

  4. Emily

    Just read a riveting book called “Girl Waits with Gun”. While it sounds like a cheesy detective novel, it’s actually a piece of historical fiction based on a real event and real people. The title was taken from a 1914 newspaper title about the main character. It also involves the turn of the 20th century silk mills of Pennsylvania, so there is a major textile and sewing side-story in this book that most of you would find interesting.

    I only picked it up because it was written by the owner of a wonderful bookstore in Eureka, California, where we stop every year on our way to camp in northern California.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation, Emily! I’ve just added it to my GoodReads list. How fun to have a connection to the author! xo

      1. Emily

        Awesome that it’s on your list. Here’s a nugget of information to increase your enjoyment of the sewing back-story. Right next to the Eureka bookstore is an eclectic fabric/sewing shop. It has a smallish supply of non-mainstream fabrics, a few new and used patterns, and some odds and ends. A few times there have been antique sewing machines for sale and one year there was one that I’m pretty sure could have been the inspiration for at least part of the story. I don’t want to give away any more details, but I hope you’ll like the book as much as I did. Next year, I plan to ask the author if she was inspired by the shop next door…

  5. Kaitlin

    I love the pictures of your studio! I had the same feelings leaving our Brooklyn apartment. Would you mind sharing where you got that awesome table in the middle? I am looking for one just like it.

    1. Liesl had that custom made many years ago. She found a plan for a cutting table on the internet and hired someone through Craigslist to build it for her.

      1. Kaitlin

        Ah! No wonder it looks so perfect!!! Thank you!

  6. Nina

    Charleston is open to visitors and it’s at least as good in person as it looks in those photos. Just to clarify, it’s a farmhouse that was home to members of the Bloomsbury Group, but it’s not in Bloomsbury! Definitely no farmhouses there… Charleston is in rural East Sussex.

    1. Oh, thanks so much, Nina! I guess I’ll have to schedule a visit!

  7. Liesl, I was moving from my space for the last 5.5 years at the same time. Bittersweet! The good news is that wherever you go, your amazing creative energy goes with you. And, lucky for the people who lease that studio space next, I’m sure you left a little of that magic behind. xo julie

    1. I don’t know if we left magic, Julie, but we certainly did leave the cabinets and countertops! Those I miss, too.

Post a comment