weekend links

Hello friends!

Tomorrow is my Grandma’s 98th birthday! My parents are travelling to see her, so they’ll help us to Skype later this afternoon or tomorrow. And I’m hoping to visit her soon. But can you believe it? She always has a positive outlook (which was a conscious decision she made years ago–we discussed it when her pain started getting worse), and she’s made lots of friends at the facility where she’s been living for the past few years. I love her so much. Here’s a photo I took when she was just settling into her new home after living independently for many years. She loved to stitch, and she traveled to teach needlework all over the world, so it was difficult for her to give it up as she aged. I know she still misses it; we talk about it a lot.

Beyond that, I’m trying to get outside as much as I can–at every opportunity–to enjoy this beautiful spring weather. It’s too early for spring, but it’s here!

Pinterest Picks

Here’s a little sewing inspiration for your weekend. This Hide-and-Seek Dress sewn by Rachel is just stunning, isn’t it? I also love the gold color blocking on the dress on the right, which might inspire a Building Block Dress if you’re looking for some ideas.

pinterest link and pinterest link

I mentioned that I’m planning to make my Lisette B6464 kimono jacket in denim, and these two images are inspiring me right now. I think I might add simple pockets to the pattern, just for fun!

pinterest link and pinterest link


Here are a couple of fun weekend projects for the kids. I was telling S about one of my favorite projects when I was her age. My mom and I made three bears from felt, and we constructed a small house for them. She loved that idea and wants to try something similar, so maybe we’ll try the felt cats.

pinterest link and pinterest link

All this texture from Burberry is just so beautiful! Do you look for texture when you shop for fabric and when you get dressed? I think it’s a great way to make clothes more interesting.

pinterest link and pinterest link

Meanwhile, my sleeve obsession continues. Hey, I just noticed that the Building Block Dress book teaches you how to make views B and D, below, and I’m going to try view G sometime soon, just for the fun of it. Maybe I’ll do a tutorial for it. Also, did you catch Shelley’s big “hem everything” post on the blog this week? She’ll be back next week with another post about hemming knits.

pinterest link and pinterest link

Weekend Reading

  • Oh, so much to share this week! First of all, in light of International Women’s Day on Wednesday, I appreciated these articles on raising confident girls and how important middle school is to that end.
  • Many of my favorite New Yorker cartoons over the years have come from Bob Mankoff. I’ll miss him.
  • The minimalist trend is big, and it’s held a very long appeal for me. But I have to agree with a lot of what this article says, too. the movement, and the implications around it, don’t really sit well with me for many of these same reasons.
  • I mentioned the Georgia O’Keefe show a month or two ago, and after reading this I want to see it even more!
  • This lovely sentiment from the recently deceased Emmanuelle Khanh: “I want to make clothes that a woman doesn’t throw out because they become part of her life, part of her memories of when she wore them. The thing that touches me most is when someone says, ‘I bought your coat 10 years ago and I still have it; now my daughter borrows it.’”
  • On my “if only” list of libraries to visit: Karl Lagerfeld’s home. (He also has a very nice bookstore which I love to browse when I’m in Paris.)
  • Such a smart idea and a great way to help a busy community. Overflowing trash cans are a real problem in NYC.
  • I’ve been shopping at some of these stores in Madrid and think it’s such a great idea to eliminate packaging as much as possible. It’s basically a return to the idea of a general store, right?

We’ll be back next week with Shelley’s post about hemming knits, as well as a tutorial on adding a side vent to your sewing projects. And lots more, as usual. Have a great weekend!




  1. HAHAHAHAHAHA! That article about minimalism was HILARIOUS! For real! I’ve read a lot online about minimalism because I live with a bunch of packrats, and pretending to be “a minimalist” is how I keep my sanity when I feel like I’m swimming in stuff. But some of these blogs really do come across as soooo pretentious. I wonder sometimes, when they say that they’ve cleared away the stuff to make way for their real life – what exactly IS their real life? We have sewing machines and woodworking tools and art supplies and camping gear and books and kitchen appliances (and, and, and) because that’s what we DO with our time. Anyway – thanks for the laugh, that was a great article.

    Happy birthday to your Grandmother!

    1. Yes, I guess what bothers me about the trend is the attitude that often accompanies it, which is why I enjoyed that article. I must admit I still embrace much of the trend and the live-with-less lifestyle, but that comes with a full understanding that I can afford to make those choices, while many people can’t. Cheers!

  2. DianeLyons

    Hi Liesl,

    I am completely taken by your grandmother’s handiwork. It is exquisite. Can you tell us more about it? What technique is it? I would like to know everything about it! Happy birthday to her. You are so lucky to still have her.

    1. Absolutely, Diane! That type of stitching is called hardanger. My Grandma taught other pulled thread techniques, and clearly she’s very good at it. I think it’s a northern European tradition. You can still find books and materials for doing it. It’s quite popular. If you’re very interested, take a look at the Embroiderer’s Guild of America. They have groups all over the country.

  3. Liz

    Thank you as ever for these links. I read the Guardian article on minimalism with interest. I have also noted the lack of colour or indeed absence of interesting silhouettes in the minimalist wardrobes featured on various blogs. Has anyone tried Project 333 mentioned on Minimalism, the documentary currently on Netflix? Looking forward to more posts on a capsule wardrobe, Liesel. Like you I am drawn to some of the ideas behind minimalism but my stash is far from monochrome or minimalist! Perhaps having a stash at all is inherently ‘un’-minimalist?! Really looking forward to seeing your denim kimono jacket. I love how you, Rachel and the Oliver + S community at large encourage and inspire your readers to be creative with all your patterns. Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Liz! More soon.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing my felt kitty pattern, I hope you get a chance to sew it with your kids! I have been really delighted with how many people have used it.

    Re: packaging, you might be interested in this site, I find it quite inspiring even if we aren’t aspiring to that high of a bar: http://www.zerowastehome.com/

    Re: minimalism, that was an interesting post. I don’t feel that level of vitriol towards the “movement” and do think its popularity has helped me clear out stuff that we trly should have. BUT. I agree with some of what they said, and also it drives me nuts when bloggers make it a focus about “purging” and “simplifying” BUT also buying their recommendations to replace/simplify and of course their PDF book on minimalism etc. etc.

    1. I hope we get to stitch it too, Stephanie! Thanks for the link. I’m eager to look at it more closely. And yes, I think the article on minimalism was meant to be amusing and lighthearted but also to make the point that you’re making. As well as a few others. Like having individual style and not all dressing and looking the same.

  5. Eliminating packing is such a good thing. It reminded me of this video: The Majestic Plastic Bag – A Mockumentary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLgh9h2ePYw It’s hilarious!

    1. I’ll take a look at that Rachel. Thanks!

Post a comment