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Entries in Dresses (5)

Thursday
May292014

Molly's Sketchbook: Sweet Crochet and Sew Dress

Working at Purl Soho is like going to Craft University. Co- workers, customers and readers are all professor-like founts of information, creative ideas and practical know-how. Over the years, I’ve learned so much about sewing, but along the way, I’ve also picked up some knowledge of knitting, embroidery, needlepoint and crochet. While I remain first and foremost a sewist, I sometimes feel the draw of a bigger craft world out there!

I created this little girl’s Sweet Crochet and Sew Dress as an interdisciplinary adventure. I used Louet’s beautiful Euroflax Linen to hook up a simple, pretty neckline, and for the breezy skirt, I chose summer-light cottons. Not only is this a great dress for the hotter months, but because crochet is so portable and linen is so cool to the touch, it’s also a great project to make when the mercury rises.

You don’t have to be an expert in either crocheting or sewing to make your own Sweet Crochet and Sew Dress. If you’re a crocheter who rarely dusts off the machine or a seamstress who once made a granny square in home ec. you can do it! Consider it Interdisciplinary Crafting 101 and welcome to Craft University! -Molly

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Thursday
Aug152013

Corinne's Thread: Smocked Dress and Shirt Kits

I have sewn tons of garments for my daughter, from teeny tiny rompers to delicate bonnets, but there’s one thing I had yet to tackle: a classic smocked dress. I have always wanted to try my hand at smocking but was too intimidated by all the tiny pleats and miniscule stitches to actually give it a go. Turns out, my fussing was for nothing; hand smocking is totally easy!

With just a few well-placed stitches I was able to check this off my sewing to-do list without a single new gray hair. And I am so glad I did! The intricate puckers and pleats of the honeycomb smocking add such fascinating and beautiful detail to this otherwise simple garment.

If, like me, you’re a bit of a smock-o-phobe, our new Smocked Dress and Shirt Pattern is the perfect place to start. It includes a Smocked Dress pattern for sizes 12 months to 6 years and a Smocked Shirt pattern for sizes 12 months to 10 years. Full-color photographs and instructions walk you through every step, from cutting the fabric and marking the smocking grid right down to the very last hem. You can use this Pattern with any lightweight cotton fabric you love!

Or if you adore classic gingham as much as I do, pick up our Smocked Dress and Shirt Kit! It includes...

Choose from four beautiful colorways, each one packaged in a sturdy Purl Soho box. All you need to add is the sewing machine, bias tape maker and the special love and care that go into every handmade garment! - Corinne

PS. Already have fabric? You can find the pattern on it's own right here, too!

Thursday
Jun132013

Molly's Sketchbook: Embroidered Cotton Jumper 

Last fall I espoused the simplicity and versatility of the huipil with my Embroidered Denim Jumper. Its timeless shape is easy to sew and even easier to wear, but my favorite part of the huipil is, of course, its unique and beautiful hand embroidered yoke.

This summer I wanted to make one for my year-old daughter. There is no better warm weather outfit, and there’s no one I’d rather sew for than her! For Lupe’s dress I used breezy Kona Cotton in bright white and adorned the neckline with playful zig zag embroidery in a candy-colored rainbow of DMC floss.

I can’t wait to put little Lupe in this crisp summery Embroidered Cotton Jumper! It’s classic and one-of-a-kind, just like her! --Molly

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Thursday
Mar142013

Whit's Knits: Baby Jumper

When there's a baby in the picture, knitters have a hard time sitting idle. Our fingers twitch until we've outfitted that little bundle in our finest efforts. So when Molly's baby Guadalupe joined the Purl Bee family, that was my cue to get knitting!

I designed this Baby Jumper to appease little Lupe's budding sense of style but also her mother's legendary concern for practicality! Loose and soft and comfy, this simple dress is easy to slip over a squirmy baby's head and really works for the longhaul, first as a jumper, then as a tunic, and even later as a shirt. Plus, it's machine washable. Even Molly has to approve!

And since every hand knit baby gift has heirloom potential, I knit this one up in Anzula's very special Sebastian yarn. Sebastian combines superwash merino with sea cell, a newfangled seaweed-cellulose fiber that offers durability, drape and a very pretty soft shine!

PS Want to catch a glimpse of sweet Lupe in her Baby Jumper? Click here to see her on Instagram!

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Sunday
Oct072012

Molly's Sketchbook: Embroidered Denim Jumper

When I visited Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula two years ago I was blown away by the beautiful beaches and the ancient ruins, but what made a truly lasting impression were the incredible dresses worn by so many of the local women. These simple white cotton garments, adorned with bright floral embroidery on the bodice and hem, are called huipils. I bought two, but it took all of my self control not to buy twenty of them!

“Huipil” is a catchall term for a loose-fitting rectangular shaped dress or tunic traditionally worn by the indigenous women of Mexico and Central America. They can be long or short, simple or ornate, wide or slim. Whatever their shape and style, huipils are stunningly well-crafted and effortlessly chic! The dead-simple silhouette flatters everyone and drapes perfectly without any finicky shaping.

Ever since my trip I have wanted to try my hand at my own version of this classic dress. Robert Kaufman’s Cotton Linen Chambray in a beautiful deep indigo seemed like a perfectly unique jumping off point. It has the sturdiness of denim, but the grace of a genuine huipil. Combining traditions, I stitched the embroidery in a simple sampler style, choosing a spectrum of DMC Pearl Cotton in blues highlighted by a shock of bright yellow.

In a nod to the versatility of the traditional huipil, this little jumper can be worn by a younger child as a dress and then transition into a tunic for an older child, like Coco, who is 7. And put it on all year round, in the summer on its own and in the cooler months over a long sleeved tee shirt. It’s really no wonder these dresses have been around for so long!

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