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Entries in Molly's Sketchbook (98)

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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Thursday
Sep272012

Molly's Sketchbook: Oxford Burp Cloths

As all of you more experienced moms know, it’s not the adorable dresses or precious quilts or hand knit sweaters that you actually need. No, the real must-haves are more mundane. Things like diapers, onesies, and burp cloths. This last item came as a complete surprise to me. Turns out, this whole baby thing is a bit messier than I had imagined!

Having stocked up on more linen bloomers than burp cloths, I found myself seriously empty handed! Luckily, just around the time I made this realization, Purl Soho received a new collection of beautiful Robert Kaufman Oxford fabric. Backed with absorbent cotton flannel, the Oxford is perfectly soft, sturdy, and pretty, just what I needed for a set of burp cloths that would be as special as all of those dresses hanging in Lupe’s closet!

Our Oxford Fat Quarter Bundle contains the entire line of subtle stripes and soft solids. With a reference to classic menswear and in a palette of petal soft colors, I love that all together these fabrics look sophisticated and baby at the same time. Plus, each bundle contains enough fabric to make 20 Oxford Burp Cloths! I plan to keep my favorites and then have the rest on hand for quick baby shower gifts. Maybe I can save a few new moms from the mess I found myself in!

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Sunday
Sep232012

Molly's Sketchbook: Bandana Bibs

My baby daughter, Guadalupe, is now 3 months old and growing like a weed. I love watching her evolve more and more into a person every day, smiling, grabbing, and following me with her eyes. One recent development that I haven’t exactly relished, however, is drooling. The girl is a drool machine! Within minutes of dressing her in an adorable onesie, a big wet stain seeps down the front. Not cute!

I thought about adding a bib to her ensembles, but every one I tried made her look like she was ready to eat. I wasn’t looking for anything waterproof or heavy duty, just something to contain the flood! Then I remembered that when Whitney’s son was a drooly baby he wore a bandana all the time. I realize now that it’s the perfect solution!

These Bandana Bibs are simple to make, easy to wear, and will make your baby look like the cutest little cowgirl (or boy) on the block! I made them with Kokka’s spunky small and large Gingham and elegant Liberty of London for a sweet bit of contrast. Best of all, they address the drooling issue in a playful and pretty way. If you’d like to make a set for your own little one (or for your next baby shower!), please visit my Bandana Bib journal here!

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Thursday
Sep132012

Molly's Sketchbook: Quilted Tea Cozy

While I was on maternity leave this summer learning how to swaddle, sling and sleepwalk, Purl Soho was busy stocking up on a whole new family of products! Returning to the store, I was greeted by lots of questions from my co-workers and also by a myriad of exciting new things: a beautiful quilting line from Liberty of London, bags and quilts from Utility Canvas, and most surprisingly, tea from Bellocq

I was so intrigued by its colorful ingredients and handsome packaging, its amazing fragrance and unusual flavors, that I immediately conjured a cozy autumn scene involving a steaming pot of Bellocq tea and me knitting something sweet for my daughter. And while I may not actually get much knitting done this year with a little baby around, I do think I’ll make time for the tea. This lovely Quilted Tea Cozy will keep my pot warm while I answer emails, put away the laundry, and sing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” for the hundredth time! 

I used the sturdy yet pretty Kiyohara Upholstery Weight solid in Pink, quilted it with thick cotton batting to keep the tea piping hot, and finished it with a smokey gray cotton twill tape. I love this Cozy's simple elegance and old-fashioned charm, and with a tin of your favorite Bellocq tea, it's an excellent gift too! 

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Thursday
Jul192012

Molly's Sketchbook: D-Ring Belts

Often I introduce a new pattern by talking about the stroke of inspiration that got me started. But in the case of these ultra quick, ultra cute belts, I’m afraid I can’t take much credit. Page, one of Purl Soho’s owners, has wanted us to make belts for as long as I can remember, I suspect because belts are the perfect vehicle for Page's favorite thing, a pop of color!

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