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Entries in Mary Flanagan (9)

Thursday
Jun062013

Corinne's Thread: Heirloom Needle Case

I learned to sew from my mom, who learned from my grandma, who learned from my great-grandma, and so it goes, each mom passing down her own bit of wisdom to her own daughter. But what unfortunately didn’t get passed down to me were anyone's tools or supplies!

Now, with a daughter of my own, my heart melts as she toddles up to my machine and tells me she’s going to “do a little bit of sewing.” I am excited to teach her all the knowledge that I’ve gleaned from the sewing moms before me, but I also hope to pass on to her what I didn’t get: the supplies she’ll need to build a toolbox of her own.

I made this Heirloom Needle Case with both me and my daughter in mind. It’s the perfect way for me to keep all my needles organized now, but I also see it as a little treasure that I can pass on to Ruth years from now as she pulls out her needles to learn the perfect blind stitch.  

This case is made with Robert Kaufman’s Waterford Linen and Mary Flanagan’s Felted Wool in a stunning bright yellow. The two materials are beautiful on their own, but when fused together, they create a whole new fabric that is soft and sturdy, perfect for keeping sharp needle points away from tender fingers. Strips of Cotton Twill Tape hold all the needles in place and won’t stretch or fray over time. Fortunate, because I’m hoping this will last me, and Ruth, for quite a while!  

– Corinne

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Thursday
May302013

Molly's Sketchbook: Wool and Liberty Teddy Bear

In my mind’s eye, the perfect teddy bear is based on my own childhood toy, aptly named “Teddy.” He would sit with his arms outstretched, all round and cuddly in his  midsection. Sadly, he was lost in a move, but his ideal form has stuck in my head.

To tackle my own version of dearly departed Teddy I knew I had to use Mary Flanagan’s 100% Felted Wool. Not only does this material feel soft and rich, it also sews like a dream. The wool’s natural elasticity smooths the edges of curves and kindly forgives little imperfections. And to make my bear extra special I finished off his ears, nose, paw pads, and tail with some sweet Liberty of London Tana Lawn. Get all this, plus thread, buttons and stuffing, with our Materials for the Wool and Liberty Teddy Bear Kit!

Usually, I am intimidated by 3-D sewing. It seems so complicated and advanced, but I’ve found that if I work slowly and methodically, it is totally doable. If you have sewn a garment or any other intermediate project, I’d say you’re ready for this project! For me, all of the detailed work was easily worth it because this sweet little bear looks and feels just like my old pal, Teddy! --Molly

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Sunday
Feb172013

Molly's Sketchbook: Soft Woolen Bunny

There is something almost miraculous about sewing a stuffed animal. You start with a bunch of odd shapes that don’t seem to have much to do with one another. Then as you sew them together, they gradually begin to take form, and suddenly, as you turn it right side out and begin stuffing, it comes to life! Those mismatched pieces are somehow transformed into a cuddly friend!

In my opinion, there is no stuffed animal more inviting than a bunny. And with Easter fast approaching, now is the perfect time to create one. This little guy is made from cozy 100% felted wool, making him oh, so huggable. Plus, he would look right at home in an Easter basket!

This Soft Woolen Bunny is a totally approachable project, even for your first stuffed animal. The wool is lovely to sew and its forgiving nature hides all those little mistakes. I hope you enjoy watching your bunny come to life as much as I did! 

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Sunday
Jan132013

Molly's Sketchbook: Simple Felted Wool Mittens

Winter weather brings up a lot of big questions: scarf or cowl? hot chocolate or coffee? And perhaps the most controversial of all: mittens or gloves? I am a mitten person. They keep your hands warmer than gloves; they are a cute classic shape; and on a personal note, they help with my New Year’s resolution to not text while walking! They are also exceptionally easy to sew for yourself, which is a big plus in my book.

Made with ultra soft and warm Mary Flanagan Felted Wool, my new Simple Felted Wool Mittens could not be easier to sew. They are based on my Felt Mittens with Knitted Cuffs, which have a clean and surprising construction that I’ve always wanted to explore again. This time around I dispensed with the knitting, making this version practically effortless: 6 pieces to cut and 6 seams, that’s it!

I used the beautiful undyed Mary Flanagan as a base and added a splash of color at the palm. This unexpected little burst serves to highlight the mitten’s unique assembly and classic shape that I love so much. -Molly

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Thursday
Dec132012

Molly's Sketchbook: Liberty and Wool Lap Duvets

Every Christmas I travel to my hometown of Berkeley, California to be with my family. You might imagine it’s a warm and sunny contrast to Brooklyn, but really, the famous Bay Area fog seems to seep into everything, including my bones! I have spent many a Christmas morning snuggling my parents’ 100 year old radiators while I sneakily inch up the thermostat a few degrees. It’s moments like this that call for a Lap Duvet!

Since our first Lap Duvet project last year, these beautiful blankets have become my favorite quick sewing project, especially when I want to showcase a truly lovely fabric. This year, in anticipation of my chilly visit to California, I made an even easier version with my two absolute favorite fabrics in the world: Liberty of London’s Tana Lawn and Mary Flanagan’s Felted Wool. The contrast between the pretty detail of the Tana Lawn and the rustic beauty of the wool is just exquisite!

Since this version uses wool, there is no need for batting, making this the simplest Lap Duvet yet! Best of all, the resulting blanket is warm and elegant, with a drape that is graceful and very special. It only takes a couple of hours to make, so there’s still plenty of time to sew one or two up for the holidays, either as beautiful gifts or as welcome warmth for your shivering guests! -Molly

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