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Entries in Gift List (183)

Thursday
Jun122014

Corinne's Thread: Kid's Gathered Summer Top

As always, the transition from spring to summer has caught me unawares! Over the past couple of weeks the weather here in New York has turned from damp and chilly to hot and sweaty, and I’m suddenly realizing that my poor daughter has nothing to wear!  
And so I turned desperately to my sewing machine and whipped up the quickest, simplest summer top I could think of, this breezy Gathered Summer Top. Once I got it on her, I had to do a double take. This easy-as-pie shirt is actually cute. Really cute. So cute I went back to my machine and made more! 
These Gathered Summer Tops are extra special in Liberty of London’s lightweight and silky soft Tana Lawn Classics. And with over 30 gorgeous, new prints recently added to the collection, choosing is more fun (and more difficult!) than ever. I chose the new and unbelievably pretty Navy John for one of my tops (and couldn’t resist an old favorite, Mabelle Turquoise, for the other).
The elastic casing and adjustable straps make these tanks easy to fit and even easier to sew. You can finish a whole shirt in under an hour, from the first cut to the last stitch. And to make sure I’m prepared for next year, I’ve sized the pattern from 1 to 10 years. Sneaky summer won’t catch me off guard again! -Corinne

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Thursday
Jun052014

Whit's Knits: Crocheted Set-of-Three Pot Holders

Like a lot of New York City kitchens, mine is a bit underutilized, shall we say. But, while the cayenne pepper may be from 2009 and the knives that were a wedding present almost fifteen years ago haven't been sharpened since said wedding, there is an oasis in my kitchen that is well tended and totally loved, and that is my collection of kitchen textiles.

I cherish the dish towels my mother made me from the 1940's floral tablecloths she hoards and the vintage linen towel Joelle got for each of us on a trip to Switzerland, and also the needlepoint trivet my grandmother stitched (a picture of a Sumo wrestler) and even the crocheted one I designed for the Purl Bee (a watermelon slice). And so this Set-of-Three Pot Holders joins a kitchen where they may get used only periodically, but where they will always be treasured.

To make these, I put on my best chef's hat and thought about the improvisational spirit of making a seasonal soup. I started with a base of Merchant & Mills' tasty Baker's Twine, threw in a dash of Brooklyn Tweed's peppery Shelter and added a cup of Purl Soho's creamy Worsted Twist. The result is a well-balanced, nuanced and really interesting soup... er, I mean, set of pot holders!

To hook up your own, pick up Purl Soho's Yarn for Set-of-Three Pot Holders right here. Choose from three lovely colorways: Gray, Black or Red. Enjoy, love and hold dear! -Whitney

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Sunday
Jun012014

Molly's Sketchbook: Breezy Friendship Bracelets

The best summer project around? Friendship bracelets... So portable, so cute and so easy! And you don’t need to be intimidatingly crafty to make them. In fact, even if you have two left thumbs, these Breezy Friendship Bracelets are perfectly do-able.

Over the past few years, we have featured several knotted bracelet designs here on the Bee (click here to see them all), but this season's version is the easiest and breeziest. Made with two very simple knots, these bracelets work up so quickly you can make several in an afternoon and a whole armful in a weekend.

The Breezy Friendship Bracelets also have a new streamlined, adjustable closure for easy on and off. And for the first time, I used our 1 mm Chinese Knotting Cord, a durable nylon cord made for, well... knotting! You only need two colors to make a bracelet, but where’s the fun in that? Make a whole rainbow!

Kids can easily get in on this friendship bracelet action. We're thinking tokens of friendship for the end of the school year and hours of entertainment for summer road trips. But, honestly? We make and wear friendship bracelets too! -Molly

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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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