weekend links

Hello friends!

We are gradually making the decision to stay here in Madrid for at least a few more years. It hasn’t been an easy decision, but it feels right for the time being. S is eager to start middle school here in an all-Spanish curriculum, and we’ve all adjusted to the high quality of life here after 25 years of hard scrabble in Manhattan. It took me a while to get comfortable working from home, but now I really like it and am quite content with the changes we’ve made. There are pluses and minuses to any place, but after weighing them we feel like this is where we belong right now. Pretty exciting, right?

adventures in real estate shopping

In the meantime, we’ve been looking at apartments, which we really haven’t had to do much in our marriage aside from when we first arrived here in Madrid two years ago. In New York we’ve lived in the same tiny apartment for about 20 years, so it’s been strange to think about what will work best for us. In the end it turns out that we can stay in the apartment where we are for another year, which will be a huge help since in August we’ll need to return to NYC to empty our our apartment (and my studio) there. I’m not looking forward to that!

But it’s a huge relief to know where home will be for the time being, and we’re all looking forward to the next year and more adventures!

Instagram Picks

Remember Meagan’s ruffled sleeve tutorial from a few weeks ago? Well, look what @stitchandcappuccino did with her Bento Tee! I love it. I also love this beautiful dress designed and sewn by @jennfl24 using the Building Block Dress book. So sweet!

Pinterest Picks

Since Todd and I have spent quite a bit of time looking at apartments over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking about how to decorate once we bring our belongings from New York. We haven’t really missed our stuff these past two years, but I must admit it will be nice to be reunited with some of our furniture and, mostly, our good chef’s knife. These gorgeous wood floors and clean white walls are really appealing to me. One of the things I love about Madrid is the quality and quantity of the light here.

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It’s 100 degrees outside as I type this, and it’s only going to get hotter over the weekend. I’m considering an ice-cream-only diet in protest, or at least to help cope with these temperatures. (It’s tough to sew right now because sewing=pressing=hhhhhhot.)

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Some pretty, calming summer color inspiration.

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Did you catch Brittney’s tank tutorial and my Lisette kimono jackets on the blog this week? I really loved seeing all your Lisette sewing, too!

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Here are a couple of fun summer ideas for our Liesl + Co Classic Shirt pattern. I love the fancy bell sleeves on the photo, below left, which you could easily achieve with the puffed sleeve instructions in the Building Block Dress book. And how great is this safari-inspired shirt? I love it in lightweight cotton lawn or linen.

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Weekend Reading

  1. I’ve read most of these books that take place in New York, but I’m going to add the rest of them to my Goodreads list. And this summer I’m going to make sure S reads A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Such a great book!
  2. Well, this is rocking my world. I feel like I could fall into Google’s new digital fashion archive and never come out again! It’s really incredible. Have you explored it at all? The other night I was late going to bed because I was enthralled by flax and the harvesting process. Mind blowing.
  3. If anything is going to wean us from fast fashion, it might just be price transparency. (As sewists, as already have a little bit of insight here, too!)
  4. It’s looking like I’m not going to have time to catch the Balenciaga exhibit at the V&A, so I’ve been drooling over these videos: x-rays to see the hidden construction of the garments and the trailer for the show, which is quite a tease!
  5. This is quite a fascinating and dramatic change to the apparel industry, too. It’s coming, for sure! It’s difficult to know how to feel about it, to be honest.

We’ll be back next week with lots of good fun. I’ll show you three sleeveless Lisette for Butterick B6464 tops I’ve sewn, each in different fabrics, along with a full bust adjustment for the pattern. I’m also hoping I’ll finally have time to show you around Madrid and its fabric shopping options. And our dear friends from Frances Suzanne will be here to show you some really inspiring sewing they’ve been doing! Have a great weekend.




  1. Maria

    It’s good to hear that you have happily adjusted to life here in Madrid! We’ve won a wonderful addition!

    1. Thanks, Maria! It’s nice to be welcomed!

  2. So exciting you decided to stay longer! It will be a great experience for you and your family! Growing up in a different culture is priceless. The invite to visit us is still valid 😉

    1. We will absolutely take you up on that once we’re settled! Both summers have been taken up with time settling things in New York, but once we’re established here we won’t have that responsibility and we’ll have more time to travel! xo

  3. Sally

    I moved with my young family to Germany (from Australia) a year ago and we’ll be here for a few years yet so it has been interesting watching your life unfolding in Spain. I have also experienced the same scrabble/high quality lifestyle transition. There’s so much they seem to get right here. There’s also a growing sewists community here in my smallish town (3rd fabric store just opened!) and it’s been interesting seeing the different aesthetic and approaches (a lot more sewing with stretch fabrics, for example). We’ve even set up a little sewing circle with some of our neighbours. It’s such a nice way to make friends in a new place. Anyway thanks for sharing your journey!

    1. That’s so great! I hope to start doing more to help the sewing community once my language skills are better, and I completely agree that it’s fun to make new friends. Although I also really miss our old friends, many of whom have come to visit us here. Glad to hear that you’re enjoying your experience!

  4. Frances

    I would certainly add “Low Life” by Luc Sante to best NYC booklist, and possibly “Kill All Your Darlings” (same author), for weltschmerz/nostalgia value. Still Manhattan scrabbling, I overcome with envy and vicarious delight. Space! Light! Parquet! Exciting, indeed.

    1. I don’t know either of those books, so I’ll add them to my list! There’s a LOT to be said for Manhattan, and I wouldn’t be able to give it up if I hadn’t already spent two years breaking up with it. But I’ll be back someday, I can almost guarantee it. Enjoy what you have–it’s an amazing city, and everyone I meet is envious when I tell them I’ve been privileged to live there for 25 years.

  5. How exciting!! Congrats!!!

    1. Aw, thanks! So many new adventures, that’s for sure.


    I noticed Butterick has some new Lisette fall patterns on their website now. They look great, and I can’t wait to hear about them.

    1. Glad you noticed! I promise to talk about them soon. My To Do list is loooooong…

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