weekend links

Hello friends!

Well, I’m sorry to report that this week’s special anticipated Weekend Links guest blogger had an exceptionally busy week of school and ballet, so we’ve decided to postpone her visit for a week or two when she has more time to prepare. So you’ve got me instead, as usual.

Have I ever shown you where I work every day? Here it is, sun streaming in almost every morning with a view of the rooftops of Madrid. Not bad, right?


I’ve had a busy week, too, working on the spring patterns. I’ve been mentally struggling through some design challenges for a new Liesl + Co. pattern, but it wasn’t until this week that I finally gave it my full attention and solved the perceived dilemma. It’s turning out even better than I had hoped, so I’m excited to continue working on it. Do you ever have those projects, too? You’re not quite sure how to resolve the challenges they present, and you maybe even set them aside for a while because you’re not ready to deal with them. Procrastination can be useful, but I know I always feel so much better once I’ve struggled with the issue; the creative process can be exhausting! But so rewarding.

Pinterest Picks

What are your feelings about wide-legged trousers? I’ve always thought they look so elegant.

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These images by photographer Andrea Torres really appeal to me. They have a sort of old-world portraiture feeling, which I loved combined with the fashion aspect, and the smeared metallic paint gives them more an abstract element.

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Holiday dress ideas: The Building Block Dress in romantic pink velvet? Or the Birthday Party Dress with a little smocking across the center panel. (Or without?)

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Such lovely fabric manipulations! The smocking on this capelet is really quite spectacular, isn’t it? And what a stunning sleeve!

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The pressure to set up the Christmas tree at our house is strong! S is really excited for Christmas. We’re having a bunch of friends over on Wednesday night for an American Thanksgiving party, which most of them have never experienced. Should we set up the Christmas tree as well? I’m thinking it would be more fun for S if we wait until after Thanksgiving. Spread out the holidays a little bit. We’ll bake a few more cookies in the meantime.

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Weekend Reading

  • Given how much I love the books Worn Stories and Women in Clothes, I’m really excited about this call for submissions for the upcoming Wearing Memories exhibit at FIT. I might even have something of my own to contribute.
  • Heavenly Bodies will certainly be a show worth traveling to New York to see!
  • The American Folk Art Museum also has a very interesting-looking exhibit of wartime quilts made by soldiers from their uniforms, and I love the name: War and Pieced.
  • I just had a lovely conversation with an author friend about her writing discipline, and I was reminded of it when I read this article about the creative process and Groundhog Day.
  • Noa Raviv is certainly a designer to keep your eye on and to be inspired by, maybe even in your own sewing.
  • I don’t think I’ll ever be much of a fan of overalls on adults, but these maternity outfits (most of which aren’t maternity clothes at all) are really cute.
  • The new edition of Anni Albers’ book, On Weaving, is at the top of my Christmas list this year. (Actually, it might be the only thing on my list now that I think about it.) I’d love to see her show at the Guggenheim Bilbao, too!
  • Are you cooking Thanksgiving dinner? If so, you might like this Thanksgiving-in-a-day piece from the New York Times. I’m going to follow their turkey and stuffing recipes this year. And maybe this apple pie recipe, too, since we’re cooking for a crowd.
  • Oh, and one more exhibition, to round things out. Veiled Meanings looks like it’s full of spectacular textiles and silhouettes. Don’t you just love fashion and all its history?

I’m off now to catch the train to Seville to teach a workshop at Telaria tomorrow! Have a great weekend, and come back next week because we have some extra-special treats for you! (Really, you won’t want to miss this.)




  1. Suzanne Fragale

    I want you cutting table! Is it wooden saw horses with extensions up?

    1. Martha

      Check IKEA. Finnvard.

      1. Yes, believe it or not it’s just from Ikea! It’s a bit small for my needs, but it works great because you can raise and lower the table as needed.

  2. kate g pretorius

    Thanks for sharing the photo of your workspace. Inspirational! Where did you find the sewing machine covers? (Please don’t tell me that you made them.)

    1. No, sorry, they both came with the machines. Eventually I might re-make them, but they’re just vinyl and they do the job really well.

  3. Frances

    Thanks for another spectacular “weekend” editon. The Met and Folk Art shows are must-sees, for sure. Albers said it was fortunate Bauhaus textilers never had “traditional training” (which would have been hard to throw off)–they just invented an entirely new art form on the spot. I hope your class went well. Here’s another piece that caught my eye: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/15/t-magazine/slow-fashion-designers-casey-casey-egg-sofie-dhoore.html?&hpw&rref=t-magazine&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well
    Those Egg pieces really appeal to me–wish I could deconstruct like that.

    1. Oh, that article is at the top of my reading list, thanks! I wonder if that’s what made the Bauhaus so great–no formal training to drill the creativity out of the designers! Very interesting.

  4. Oh I was ALL about procrastination over the last two months and that made me more productive than ever. Every time I thought I really should tackle the potentially tricky project I found myself cutting and sewing more Oliver + S clothes, with their built in guarantee of sewing pleasure.
    And as soon as that tricky project was done I ‘celebrated’ with a 1970s wide leg pants pattern and I LOVE them. So swishy to walk in!
    Looking forward to the guest blogger!

    1. If you work it to your advantage it can definitely be productive! I’m really good at organizing closets instead of getting real work done, but I can’t do that here in Madrid because we don’t have any closets–or any stuff to put in them! xo

  5. wow, those aged beams!! Beautiful view, reminiscent of Chile, where some of our family live. Love those pants too!

    1. I love the old beams. Our apartment is in a building that’s about 130 years old and it’s in the center of Madrid, which is full of buildings from the same time period. It’s so pretty.

  6. Liz

    I love wide leg trousers! You reminded me of a fabulous grey wool pair I owned from Italy where trousers are sold unhemmed so that they can be properly fitted. I had the waist taken in too. They fit like a glove and I wore them for years throughout university. I felt so smart and so comfortable. They were very versatile. I would love to remake them.

    Thank you for the article on the creative process. I am reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. She talks about the importance of a daily practice and a weekly artist date. Imagine going to all the exhibitions you mention!!

    What a beautiful and peaceful studio! There’s something really special about a room with sloping ceilings. Thank you for sharing your creative space.

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