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Entries in Garments (30)

Sunday
Mar172013

Laura's Loop: The Sweatshirt Sweater

I grew up wearing a school uniform, which, for me, turns out to be a hard habit to kick. Some people seem to totally reject their childhoods of forced attire, opting for recklessly eclectic wardrobes. But I can't fight it; I'm a uniform kid, through and through.

I am sure you'll be relieved to read I am no longer sporting ill-fitting plaid jumpers, but there is rarely a day that goes by that I'm not in my own personal uniform. Lately, it's been dark-wash Levi's paired with some form of a baseball T or an athletic-gray sweatshirt. Naturally, I need handknit interpretations of these basics! I accomplished the first this past autumn when I stitched up the Everyday Linen Raglan. And now, I'm happy to add a thicker, cozier, woolier version to my collection... the Sweatshirt Sweater!
The Sweatshirt Sweater is my new go-to garb, spacious enough for underlayers and soft enough to go without. It's knit in Swans Island 100% organic merino, a beautiful light worsted yarn that evokes a natural refinement. I'll be in this uniform for these last snowy days of March, all the way through the crisp nights of spring!
Spoiler alert: as the seasons change, so does my uniform, so keep your eye out for some more knit basics in the months to come!

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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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Friday
Oct122012

Molly's Sketchbook: Felted Wool Baby Jacket

As soon as the leaves began to change color, I started getting my daughter all gussied up in fall finery. She had quite a collection of wool pants, knee high socks, and even a whole drawer full of hand knit sweaters. What she didn’t have, however, was a jacket! When I set about making one, I knew Purl Soho had the perfect fabric, Mary Flanagan’s One Yard Felt Pieces!

This felted wool has a lovely drape and a soft hand, plus it’s nice and warm. I wanted the lining to be just as special, and so I went right to Liberty of London’s Tana Lawn Seasonals. The Darcie print in green is so subtle and pretty with that signature silky Liberty feel.

Since I’m not an expert garment seamstress,  I kept the shape of the jacket simple and chic, no collar or fussy sleeve seams allowed! In the end this little kimono style jacket is a perfect addition to Guadalupe’s fall wardrobe, warm, cute, and easy to get on and off with just one big sew-on snap. As far as I can tell, Lupe likes it a lot too… at least, she likes chewing on it!

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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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Sunday
Jul222012

Whit's Knits: Pebble Tank

We talk a lot about color here, but beautiful texture is really just as intriguing! Texture is the reason we bother with stitch patterns; it's why we decide between hand-spun and machine-spun fibers; and it's why we adore some of our very favorite yarns, like Alchemy's Silken Straw, Knit Collage's Pixie Dust and this one, Habu Textiles' Natural Cover Cotton.

At Habu's workshops, fearless designers explore innovative ingredients and fascinating spinning techniques, embracing the wild and interesting textures that result from their mad science. Natural Cover Cotton starts with a simple cream colored plied cotton yarn that is then beautifully wrapped in a very fine colored thread. In reverse stockinette, I think the effect is absolutely gorgeous, like the stony bed of a mountain stream or the pebbly remains of a retreating tide.

The simple silhouette of a warm weather tank is the perfect backdrop for all of this earthiness. Together the impact is chic and casual. Wear it with jeans and flats in Soho or with shorts and moccasins in the Rockies!

 

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