weekend links

Hello frends!

Every year, on a single day in April, the swifts arrive in Madrid. They come all the way from Africa, and they they stay for the summer. Swifts fascinate me because they live most of their lives in the air, including sleeping on the wing. I love to watch them loop and glide in the sky above our roof deck. I could lie in a deck chair for hours to watch them. Todd thinks they’re creepy because it’s rumored that they don’t have legs. (They do, but they’re very short.) There’s been no sign of them yet this year, so I hope they don’t arrive when we’re out of town next week and we miss their grand entrance!

We’re leaving tomorrow for our trip to Biarritz and Bordeaux. I can’t wait! But I’ll be still here next week with several blog posts for you, all the same.  Did you go, or are you going, someplace for spring break? If so, I hope you had a wonderful time!

Pinterest Picks

I’m finally ready (my sewing list is so long!) to make myself a Lisette for Butterick B6331 trench coat from a navy polished cotton I purchased in London last spring. It’s a very stiff fabric, so I’m contemplating a few changes to give it attitude, like these photos. It will require a muslin, for sure.

trench coat ideas
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On the DIY front, do you color Easter eggs as part of your family tradition? We’re planning to dye ours next Saturday when we return from our spring break trip, but my vision for the eggs (similar to these photos below) is usually worlds away from S’s bright patterned vision. Ah well, we have a week to negotiate our strategy. I’m thinking food coloring might be easiest and safest, even if natural dyes sound (and look) more appealing. Do you have any tricks and suggestions for us?

Easter egg dyeing
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The rickrack trim on this dress (below, left) is such a great idea and would be a wonderful addition to an Oliver + S Building Block Dress for Easter, wouldn’t it? It takes the dress from basic to brilliant. Also, who doesn’t want striped Lunch Box Culottes and a giant gingham top after seeing this outfit? (Below, right) I’m not so sure about the big tickle-y ruff, however. I know one girl who would not be willing to wear that around her neck all day.

children's clothing sewing ideas
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Here’s a slightly more coordinated approach to style. I mentioned how much I like matching shirts and bottoms for a dress effect. You could get similar results with our new Classic Shirt pattern and the Liesl + Co. City Stroll Wrap Skirt in chambray or our Girl Friday Culottes in a yarn-dye stripe. Or you could also a lengthened SoHo Skirt for a similar look, come to think of it.

use matching fabric for top and bottom
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Free association of the day: vintage color blocking in the form of Madeleine Vionnet (1922) paired with contemporary color blocking.

color blocking in fashion
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Weekend Links

  • I really like the history of fashion series by Vogue, narrated by Sarah Jessica Parker. They’re short and snappy explanations of each decade. Here’s the 1930’s.
  • And speaking of decades, it looks as though the 2010’s is all about coverage. I’m fascinated.
  • If you’ve ever wanted to bring your sewing along on vacation you’ll love this bicycle-powered sewing machine and the story about the artist who uses it.
  • Whoa. Did you know microfiber clothing is destroying our oceans? The problem arises in washing it, which releases microscopic bits of plastic into the water.
  • Please, please No.
  • A friend who works in publishing posted about this a couple of weeks ago. It’s hilarious and will have you and the family scanning your bookshelves for more. Just add “And then the murders began” after the first line of any book and see what happens.
  • Amazing body art. (Just keep a close eye on the kids after they see this. They might start getting ideas….)
  • Do you agree that we’ve forgotten how to dress like adults? I’m still processing this one.

Next week we have several fun posts planned, including a dress I just finished sewing for myself, another favorite sewing pattern, and some sewing by kids! Have a great weekend.




  1. Sarah R.

    Ahh, spring! We’re due for a beautiful weekend in Indiana. I can hardly believe it’s time for Easter eggs already. Two ideas you should try, Liesl:

    1) Highlighter eggs – I saw these on Pinterest and fell in love. I doubt I can make them look quite as good as this artist, though: http://supermakeit.com/blog/2016/3/21/1yh7z4xh68yxq0idds4bhixveva0d9

    2) Use a mix of brown and white eggs. It’s amazing how different the colors look on the brown – they have a very earthy hue, which I prefer to the pastels – I find that pastels can sometimes be too precious.

    1. Oh yes! I remember that photo from Rachel’s Weekend Links post last week. I had completely forgotten, thanks! And I’ll definitely use a mixture of brown and white. We get the best organic, free-range brown eggs here–I can’t resist! Thanks for the comment, and have a great weekend. xo

  2. Krystyna

    I read the arctile “we forgot to dress like adults” and I heartily agree with its author. I am a baby boomer. I had it all and did it all albeit in a slightly toned down atmosphere. My parents were refugees from the Second World War, they lived frugally but with incredible dignity and grace. I ‘m 67 and I’m looking for that dignity and grace and I can’t find it easily. There are few women my age who are positive role models. There are fewer designers that cater for my age and beyond and within a reasonable budget. Luckily I sew but patterns and fabric shops are getting few and far between because we have become such consumers and also so disposable. Some of my friends are seeking to remain young and do dress like clowns and that comment ” more money than sense ” does apply. Others are so KMart it’s depressing. So where do we fit now. We had made a rod for our own backs (fashion wise) and now we are paying for it.

  3. Ha! That Is shaped tower looks just like the weird, Australian designed modern fans that you can buy.

  4. Darn autocorrect: U shaped

  5. So glad you’re continuing to raise awareness of microfibre pollution, and it’s great to see an article with some practical advice – thanks! Very interested in the filter bag. BUT still no mention of rayon/viscose/Tencel (including bamboo) which so many people regard as ‘natural’ but may actually be even worse for shedding microfibres. Wouldn’t it be a shame if such well-meaning articles resulted in people choosing those fabrics as alternatives to polyester etc.?

  6. Slouchy

    We fill a tray with cream from a can, then dribble different food dyes in, and sit the eggs in there, rolling them from time to time to cover in colour. Beautiful, much stronger colour! Thanks for your blog on fabric ideas for your new wardrobe outfit with the kimono jacket – am thinking of doing it in cotton lace …. 🙂

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