weekend links

Hello friends!

Here’s a thing I know for sure. If you sew, it’s not good to have a cat who likes to eat thread. This isn’t just a passing fancy. Oh no, Luna lies in wait for me to walk away from the sewing table for just a minute so she can pounce. She unthreads the sewing machine and the serger multiple times a day. She hunts for stacks of fabric so she can suss out the straggling threads. She stalks the shelves where I store my supplies to see if she can locate stray spools. This morning I walked into the kitchen and found a hank of embroidery floss she has stolen from S’s bedroom overnight. Not only is it a giant pain–I have to thread and re-thread both my sewing machine and serger every time I leave them unattended–it’s also not safe for her since those threads can potentially tear up her intestines. So, cat lovers, any ideas how to train our lovely Luna to stop? I keep a spray bottle nearby, but that’s only a deterrent while I’m attentive to the situation. And my sewing space is in the living room, so I can’t close the door to keep my little thief away from harm.

thread-eating kitty
Wanted: thread thief

Pinterest Picks

We have a friend here in Madrid who makes custom cakes, and lately she’s been making endless unicorn cakes. But I wonder if florals will be the new trend in cake decorating? This first cake, below, reminds me of a Rifle print! Fun. (Also, a hobby I refuse to get started with. For me, it’s a rabbit hole….)

Liesl's January 17 Pinterest picks
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Love these neutral-toned outfits. And the channel stitching on that Geoffrey Beene coat is stunning, isn’t it? You could easily do something similar with our Weekend Getaway Dress pattern, which makes a great coat.

Liesl's January 17 Pinterest picks
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If your outfit is feeling incomplete, it may just be missing a sewing-inspired hat. (The giant spool is genius, isn’t it? Luna would love it.)

Liesl's January 17 Pinterest picks
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And on the kitty theme, do you know anyone who needs a little animal love in their life? These are so cute! I wonder if S would wear a T with a cat on one sleeve.

Liesl's January 17 Pinterest picks
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These photos are from an old Chloe collection, but they inspired me to alter our Gelato Dress to achieve a similar look. I’ll share the photos and a tutorial with you soon.

Liesl's January 17 Pinterest picks
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What’s inspiring you these days?

Weekend Reading (and Watching)

  • The revolutionary story of the Singer sewing machine. (Thanks to Brenda for sending this link!)
  • We haven’t seen Little Women yet because S wants to finish reading the book first. Have you seen it? The story behind the costumes and costume designer is quite intriguing! Here’s a little more information, too.
  • Also, have you seen this yet? It’s a one-minute film (in Farsi with English subtitles) that’s so touching and lovely. And so well considered.
  • This exhibit at the Centre National du Costume de Scène in France looks very worth seeing. It’s fascinating to see how dance and fashion inspire each other.
  • What is the carbon footprint of your closet–including your sewing projects? This questionnaire from ThreadUp can help you answer that. I tried to include all my personal sewing when I answered the question, and while I don’t buy many clothes, when I include the items I make it certainly increases my footprint. Speaking of which, this article is quite enlightening as well.
  • Once again is looks like Li’s forecasts are spot on. I think her observations are just fascinating.
  • What a lovely reminder to slow down and let nature inspire us.

We have lots of fun blog posts in store for you next week, so come back soon! In the meantime, what are your sewing plans this weekend? I’ll be working on some plaid skirts for S!




  1. Emily

    My cats also eat the thread directly off my machine. One time my cat grabbed the thread, ran through the room, down the hall, and down the stairs into the basement!
    My current method for keeping them away is to cover my machine with a light-weight towel WHILE I’m sewing. I’ve discovered that if they get up there and find they can’t get the thread, after a few times they give up and stop checking (for a while… ). You can also try a spray (it’s available widely in the U.S., not sure about Spain) called Bitter Apple. It’s actually made for dogs. It tastes terrible but doesn’t hurt them at all; I use it on anything I don’t want my cats to eat (like houseplants and cords). I’ve tried it on thread with some small success; but if your cat tries to eat your thread and tastes the bitter apple, she won’t try it again (at least for a long time).
    One last piece of advice is to keep them supplied with cat grass (usually just oat grass) and/or fresh cat nip. It gives them something that won’t harm them to chew on, instead of thread.
    Good luck!

    1. Luna takes off with it too. Drives me crazy! Covering the machines doesn’t work–she’s too persistent–but bitter apple is a good idea. Thanks!

  2. Candace Fox

    I’m wondering if you could sew up quick machine and serger covers- like tea cozies. Something you can drop on and pluck off quickly, but blocks kitty when you have to walk away. Or maybe give her a special distracting treat or independent toy right before you work- something to replace her interest in what you’re doing… I have 2 dogs and 4 cats! The one thing I know is they are truly creatures of habit- so sometimes you have to develop a new habit too to get them to do what you need them to do. There’s no reasoning with our fur footed friends! Best of luck and thank you for the lovely newsletters!

  3. Teresa

    Looking forward to the tutorial on the gelato dress Thanks ! When you moving back to the US so I can take another class with you?

  4. Maxine

    Mix vinegar into the spray bottle of water. My Agatha would sing the Song of Her People while pawing at and rattling the closet door, trying to get into it, as I was trying to fall asleep. With just water squirted, she’d stop and run away to lick herself dry in a manner of “I was thirsty anyhow” and go immediately back to the undesired behavior. After I added the vinegar, I only had to shake the bottle for her to stop and run, and those incidents happened much less frequently.

    1. That’s worth a try! Thanks!

  5. My cat always wanted to put her nose on my hot iron. I bought a product called a scat can. Battery operated with a motion detector. It sends out a blast of air when the cat walks in front of it. Doesn’t hurt the cat, but does scare the heck out of them. Added bonus, the cat is mad at the can, not at you. Works so well that most of the time I don’t even have to turn it on anymore, just putting it in an area keeps her away. Watch out for your used dental floss too.
    Now my cat pulls the pins out of projects. She carefully goes along pulling them out with her teeth and dropping them on the floor. Not sure the message on that one, maybe it’s just fun.

    1. That’s a really cool invention! Sadly it doesn’t seem to be available in Spain, but I’ll keep looking. Thanks!

  6. Lauren Collen

    I just drape and cover my machines with a lovely piece of fabric…that’s enough of a deterrent.

  7. Your weekend links are the best! I look forward to them every week, thank you!

  8. Addie

    This group of links is particularly fascinating, thank you!

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