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Monday
May262014

Corinne's Thread: Fringed Chambray Napkins

In the sewing room, raw fabric edges usually sound an alarm, and much of my sewing time is spent finding ways to hide unruly edges. I tuck them neatly into hems, enclose them in French seams and keep their messy threads at bay with zigzag stitches. But for these Fringed Chambray Napkins, it is precisely the threads of the raw edge that make them so special!

With a white weft and a colorful warp, the exposed edges of Kiyohara’s Linen Blend Solids reveal a two-color surprise. Created by unraveling individual threads of the fabric, making these napkins feels a bit irrational, like pulling out a lot of hard work. But, lo and behold, in the act of destruction comes a set of beautiful napkins.

These Fringed Chambray Napkins feel both sophisticated and relaxed, making them suitable for a whole range of occasions. Since I plan on using mine for summer barbecues, I chose a combination of festive reds and blues and made a whole stack in a lunchtime size (13 by 13 inches). But with no hems to account for, these napkins are easily sized up to a generous dinner size or down to a diminutive cocktail size, whatever your summer plans!

And because there are no seams to press and only the smallest bit of preparatory machine stitches, these Fringed Chambray Napkins are a great carry-along project for summer road trips. May the only thing that unravels be your napkins edges! -Corinne

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Thursday
May222014

Whit's Knits: Open Air Wrap

Although you wouldn't know it from looking at me, I really do love clothes and style and fashion. I don't purchase September issues or Louboutins, but I do love the human spectrum that is expressed through clothing choices (thank you, New York City!).

This Open Air Wrap would definitely catch my eye on the street, inciting a reverie about the woman wearing it. If she had paired it with a trim black dress and patent leather pumps, I would think about the artistic her making a bid for self-expression, giving a nod to the unconventional. Or if a woman were wearing the Open Air Wrap with flowing skirts and layers of linen and long necklaces, I would admire that every iota of her wants to be free.

Where do we turn for the unexpected and the singular? Easy, Habu Textiles. For this project I chose their spectacularly fascinating Silk Wrapped Paper. Not really paper, but paper-like, Silk Wrapped Paper is actually a slender linen tape bound with an even finer thread of silk. Knit up, it is sculptural, featherlight and totally statement making.

The super simple Purse Stitch, which essentially creates a net-like mesh, gives the Silk Wrapped Paper plenty of room to breathe and to express itself. Which brings us back to the beginning. We wear what we wear, from high tops to topsiders, to be ourselves and to tell the world who we are. So, toss your own Open Air Wrap over your shoulders and express yourself! -Whitney

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Sunday
May182014

Molly's Sketchbook: Drawstring Shoe Bags

I’m only 35, but I’ve already compiled a to-do list for my retirement: I’m going to get a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, bake bread and see the world. While I’m busy planning, my parents are actually living the retirement dream. My mom has opened a pottery studio and my dad has started making digital movies, but mostly, they travel, exploring all the wonderful places on their to-do list.

Before his retirement I could always make my dad a tie but these days he doesn’t have much use for formal stuff like that. So, for my dad’s new globetrotting lifestyle, I’m celebrating this Father’s Day with these super simple Drawstring Shoe Bags. With Robert Kaufman’s Double Cloth Cotton, an amazing two-sided fabric that gives a nice contrasting pop at the top of the drawstring channel, these bags are perfectly designed for quick crafting and tidy packing!

If, like me, you’ve got a travelling dad (or maybe a grad who’s off on a new adventure) these Drawstring Shoe Bags are just the ticket. With just a half a yard of Double Cloth Cotton, 2 yards of Fettucia Ribbon and some thread, you can sew up this thoughtful gift in a matter of minutes! Happy Father’s Day! -Molly

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Thursday
May152014

Laura's Loop: Edged Linen Wrap

Not much is more meditative to me than crocheting along a hemmed edge. This is not due to expertise; I am a knitter first and foremost. In fact, this is the only type of crochet I know how to do (if you discount making a chain for a provision cast on). But, oh, the joy it brings…

With a single hook in one hand and the softest of yarns flowing through the fingers of my other hand, a rhythm takes over, and in no time, a simple hemmed rectangle has totally transformed into a gorgeous wrap, seemingly with no effort at all. 

I outlined Robert Kaufman’s crisp Waterford Linen with Purl Soho’s merino beauty, Line Weight. Its brilliant color and graphic stitches highlight the natural hand and drape of the Waterford Linen, softening its edge with the wool’s subtle bloom. 

This feminine, modern wrap continues to comfort and soothe me with each wear. I hope you’re inspired to whip one up for those cool summer nights to come. -Laura

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Sunday
May112014

Molly's Sketchbook: The Purl Soho Pup

Turning a pile of fabric and stuffing into a loveable toy animal feels a bit like magic. In fact, when I was a kid I firmly believed that my own bunnies, bears and dogs came to life after I went to sleep. And even now as an adult, whenever I sew a plush creature, I can’t help but feel the thrill of new life. There is something about the last steps of stuffing a new animal and stitching its face that feels more like sprinkling fairy dust than sewing!

Creating the Purl Soho Pup was especially enchanting. With its take-me-home face, you can’t help but love this whimsically hot-doggy pup! Standing 8 1/2 inches tall and stretching 17 inches long our Pup is thoughtfully designed to stand up on its own four legs without sacrificing cuddle-bility to do it. We made our doggies out of Dorr Mill’s soft and huggable Wool Yardage and accented the paws and ears with a splash of Kokka’s handsome Large Gingham and Liberty of London’s pretty Tana Lawn

 

 

The Purl Soho Pup is not difficult to sew, but it does take time and attention, so it’s a great project if you want a bit of a challenge with a big payoff! Everything you need to make one of your own, from the fabric to the stuffing, is in our Purl Soho Pup Kit right here… Just add your own fairy dust! --Molly

P.S. Already have materials? Buy just the Purl Soho Pup Pattern, as a downloadable PDF or a hardcopy, here!

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