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Entries in Molly's Sketchbook (98)

Sunday
Jul062014

Molly's Sketchbook: Railroad Tote

I recently had a run of bad bag luck. I had a leather purse that I loved, but it was destroyed when a bottle of water opened up inside of it. Then the pretty tote bag I used as a replacement ripped, leaving me completely bagless, disheartened and uninspired. Then one day as I was sitting by my sewing machine, I caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye of some Railroad Denim fabric and eureka! With its sturdy weight and classic stripe, I knew I could make a winning bag that I’d be excited to carry!

A mere hour after my initial inspiration, I was tossing my wallet, lip gloss and keys into my beautiful new Railroad Tote, and my bag woes were a distant memory! I was so happy with how this tote turned out that I quickly made another using double-sided Black Washed 8 oz Denim. Both versions are hearty and strong and will stand up to washing and water bottle mishaps while still looking cute.

So if you’ve been having some bad bag luck yourself, or if you just need something fresh for summer, this project is for you. Make your own luck! -Molly

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Sunday
Jun292014

Molly's Sketchbook: Modular Felt Coasters

Sometimes the most original and creative things are devised because of, and not despite, limitations. These constraints can be practical, like using old clothes or flour sacks to create beautiful quilts, but sometimes they are self-imposed. Think of Piet Mondrian and the De Stijl movement using only primary colors and simple shapes or Henri Matisse creating masterpieces using just scissors and colored paper. 

These Modular Felt Coasters work within the limitations of a grid using only 2-inch squares and right triangles, but the process of creating these coasters is pure invention, much more like play than work! I love how each coaster evolves into its own little treasure, amazingly different from the others despite the similarity of their components.

In addition to being super fun to make, these Modular Felt Coasters are also super simple. Just cut and hand stitch! No machine required, so tuck a Felt Bundle into your carry on or weekend tote. And when you’re done, slip your new coasters under some tall, beachy drinks!

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Sunday
Jun152014

Molly's Sketchbook: Waffle and Linen Hand Towels

The beauty of these Waffle and Linen Hand Towels belies how super quick they are to make. It turns out that in the time it would take you to go to the store and pick something from a wedding registry you can handcraft a truly lovely gift… but nobody has to know that!  Bespoke objects are always more special than a blender, no matter the time (or lack thereof!) that they take to create!

Simple patterns like this call for spectacular fabric, and our Waffle and Linen Hand Towels deliver. We paired Robert Kaufman’s soft and absorbent Baby Waffle Pique with Globalweave’s elegant Duo Woven Linen to create a unique juxtaposition of cuddly and cultivated. One bumpy and one smooth, these two fabrics are made for each other! 

I can’t think of simpler way to give such a unique and thoughtful gift. If you’ve got a wedding (or housewarming) coming up, these Waffle and Linen Hand Towels might be just the thing! -Molly

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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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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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