weekend links

Hello friends!

Summer has finally arrived in Madrid. Two weeks ago we were still wearing jackets and sweaters, then last week we had precisely three moderate/warm days, and now we’re in the 90’s every day, with temperatures near 100 expected this weekend. To reinforce summer’s arrival school is out, S’s dance performance is over (it was fabulous; the school did Peter Pan and it was brilliant), and we photographed the fall pattern covers on Wednesday. Now we’re looking forward to returning to the States for a long visit this summer. I can hardly wait to catch up with friends and family!

I passed through Plaza Mayor on my way home the other day and it was nearly empty. Too hot for even the tourists!

Plaza Mayor in summer

What about you? Any travel plans for the summer?

Pinterest Picks

The best part about summer, in my opinion, are all the fresh fruits and vegetables. We’ll be playing with our popsicle molds again this year, guaranteed.

Liesl's Pinterest picks for June 22
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Are you looking forward to next week’s Extra-Sharp Pencil Skirt sew-along? I certainly am! Here are a few ideas for those of you undecided about your fabric choices. I love the play with stripes in the skirt on the left, below, and my favorite place to look for fabrics for pencil skirts is in the home dec section of the fabric store. The fabrics are a little heavier, which is perfect for the structure of a pencil skirt, and the prints and patterns are larger in scale, which is ideal. The floral on the right, below, reminds me of something you might find.

Liesl's Pinterest picks for June 22
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A few more ideas for your pencil skirt: Try combining fabrics like a print and a solid, or two textures like wool and faux leather. And those side seams would be a great location for an exposed zipper! The two-way zipper on these skirts allows you to skip the center-back zipper and expose a little leg, if you want.

Liesl's Pinterest picks for June 22
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I’m making sort of a half-hearted attempt to find a bright yellow poster for our yellow-accented kitchen (no time for a proper search right now), but I keep getting distracted by other posters, like this fabulous India poster.

Liesl's Pinterest picks for June 22
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Wouldn’t it be fun to add tucks to the center panel of a Hide-and-Seek Dress (or Cinema Dress for the adults), or add a running stitch to the yoke of an Ice Cream Dress?

Liesl's Pinterest picks for June 22
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Weekend Reading

My picks this week are slim. I was too busy sewing the samples for our photo shoot!

  • Whoa. An entire garment from spider silk! (Thanks to Erica for this link.)
  • It would be a dream to see Frida Kahlo’s wardrobe, and now it’s in London!
  • I’ve mentioned before that my father is a pedologist, which might be why this soil-based jewelry intrigues me so much.
  • Here is an interesting and thought-provoking piece on sustainability in apparel.
  • Good for Camilla, and I think this should be the norm, don’t you?
  • How aware are you about your own buying habits? I thought this was quite interesting, and several of these points definitely apply to me. Good to keep in mind, maybe even to help me change my buying habits.
  • I’m planning to try embroidery on tulle this summer and thought that blackwork technique might be a good way to manage the threads. This tutorial appears to be a strong introduction to the technique, and once I find a beautiful blackwork piece my grandma stitched, I’ll show it to you. I love how the front and back are identical.

Meanwhile, what are you planning this weekend? Have a great one, and we’ll see you back here on Monday for the sew-along!




  1. Holly Dumont

    Tulle Embroidery: check out the book, “Ricamo su tulle” by Paola Matteucci. It’s both in Italian and English and will get you going down the right track straight off the bat. Lucky you’re in Spain, the shipping is cheaper than to the states. She helped me through the painful process of buying the right fabric. You can find the fabric at Tombolo E Disegni; you’re looking for “6” count on the horizontal.

    The best way to get a sustainable wardrobe is to make it yourself, and use it until it’s worn out. I buy very few things from any retailer, shoes, underwear, socks. My biggest loathing of the entire retail system, is they continually change things. I love my black ballet flats. Unfortunately, I can never find them again. I’d buy a new pair every couple of years, but they don’t exist. Neither do the sandals that fit me perfectly or the boots with kitten heels. I don’t want another style. I want the same one again. I want the same black pumps; I want them in the same size; I don’t want them with spangles…just plain black leather.
    It’s infuriating. I want to go back and click the button that says “Buy it again”.

    I’m only looking forward to seeing the pencil skirt if you show it on someone curvy and it doesn’t have smile drag lines under the belly. Then, I’ll brave making it. And I’ll embroider the side panels. There’s the gauntlet. It’s a beautiful pattern. Show me it can be done.

    1. Thanks for the book suggestion, and I agree with you to a point about sustainable fashion. I think there’s more to the subject, however. I’m also concerned about the human rights aspect, the environmental impact of the materials, etc. But yes, it would be nice to be able to re-order the things we like most. I still wear a lot of my clothing that’s more than 10 years old.

      Regarding the pencil skirt, it’s all about how you fit it. And the seams allow you to fit it to your own body quite easily. You’ll see lots of versions of the skirt on lots of bodies next week and in the weeks to come, I’m certain. I think you’ll also find quite a few if you look at social media.

    2. liz n.

      I was just about to recommend the same book!

  2. Michele

    I’ve become very conscious of my footprint on the planet, so I don’t buy like I used to. My big expense now is fabric (and books for my Kindle) and even then, I’m one of those annoying customers who revisit my “shopping cart” for days, mulling everything over. Of course, I no longer have children to dress or feed, so one could say that my mindfulness came after the fact (or was returned to me after they grew up lol.) As to Camilla and the other royals, I don’t mind seeing an outfit more than once, because they’re usually so amazing. And then they accessorize differently, and that makes it interesting.

    As to what I’m sewing this weekend, my grandson (three and a half) asked for a My Little Pony shirt, so I’m doing a Sketchbook Shirt and it is a HOOT. My grandson, you see, is very…BOY. He’s very active and intense, like my husband, and is never happier than when he’s stripped everything off and digs in the mud in the yard (my grandson, not my husband.) Oh, and he can pick locks. Yes. In this, he took after me. So, I’m only too happy to add a little MLP in his life. I think, with that angelic smile of his, he’ll look adorable.

  3. liz n.

    This weekends’ plans are to finally get my Summer of Basics plan um…y’know…planned. Espadrilles, a knitted tee, and running shorts or pj pants are on the (so far) very loose agenda.

    I’m already three weeks behind.


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