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Entries in Molly's Sketchbook (98)

Thursday
Aug292013

Molly's Sketchbook: Liberty Nap Mat

My daughter recently moved from the infant room of her daycare into the toddler room. There were a lot of changes for little Lupe that day: new teachers, new snacks, and a new naptime routine. Instead of being put into her very own crib whenever she seemed tired, she was now expected to sleep on a mat on the floor at the same time as all the other squirmy toddlers in the class. I was worried that Lupe wouldn’t adjust well to communal sleeping, but she seemed to like it and is now a champion napper! 

To keep up her new routine when we're on the go or traveling I made this pretty Nap Mat with a blanket and a pillow built right in. It’s made from just two pieces of fabric: Railroad Denim for durability and strength and Liberty of London's Tana Lawn for softness and beauty. And for a really cozy snooze the Nap Mat is stuffed with lofty wool batting. The whole thing sews together in a jiffy!

Bring your Liberty Nap Mat to an afternoon at grandma's; set up a special nap corner in your own house; and when a child's not sleeping in it, the Nap Mat is as a lovely place for teddy bears and stuffed bunnies to rest!Everything you need to make your own is available in our Materials for Liberty Nap Mat kit right here! -Molly

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Thursday
Aug012013

Molly's Sketchbook: Quilted Computer Sleeve

Sometimes when people hear about my job at the Purl Bee they imagine quilting bees and sewing circles, floral tea sets and lace doilies. Sounds lovely indeed, but the reality is that my life entails an incredible amount of time on my laptop! In fact, I hardly go anywhere without my computer. It gets thrown into my bag as I rush off to daycare pick-up; it rides the subway on my way into the store; and it bounces up the four flights of stairs to my sewing studio daily.  With all this time in transit, my laptop needs protection!

My Quilted Computer Sleeve brings together the two seemingly contradictory sides of my life: needle and thread, plus latest technology! I made my Sleeve with sturdy Organic Canvas and quilted it with our thickest cotton batting, so it is truly heavy duty. And for style, I made the pocket out of pretty yarn-dyed Slub Denim Stripes, finished with a bold neon bias tape. Everything you'll need to make one of your own is available in our Materials for Quilted Computer Sleeve kit here!

Using old-fashioned quilt making techniques to make an engineered laptop sleeve creates the perfect mix of quaint and modern, timeless and timely. And best of all, my trusty computer sidekick will be safe and secure on our daily travels! --Molly

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Thursday
Jul112013

Molly's Sketchbook: Smocked Summer Scarf

My one year old daughter and I recently went to Bethesda, Maryland to visit my in-laws. It was so nice seeing Lupe play with her extended family, but if I’m being honest, the best part of the trip for me was that I got to go to the movies by myself! While grandma and grandpa watched Lupe, I made my way in the sweltering heat to the movie theater down the street. I was giddy with excitement as I ordered my popcorn and milk duds. Then as I sat down, I realized I had made a grave miscalculation. I was freezing! It may have been July 4th weekend outside, but inside the theater it felt more like Christmas!

When I got home I whipped up this breezy Smocked Summer Scarf. It’s so lightweight you can easily slip it into your purse, ready for all of summer’s over air-conditioned moments. I made my scarf with whisper-light Veronica Voile and accented it with lines of elastic smocking to add unexpected texture and detail. It’s a snap to sew and a perfect introduction to the elastic smocking technique. 

With fabric as special as this I had a hard time picking just one color… so I ended up making three! To make your favorite pick up our Materials for Smocked Summer Scarf kit here. It’s so delicate, airy and pretty, I bet you’ll even wear it outside the movie theater! 

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Thursday
Jul042013

Molly's Sketchbook: Toddler T-Shirt

Making clothes for little children is a satisfying endeavor. Kids look great in boxy shapes, so you can get away with omitting tricky details like darts. Additionally, and perhaps best of all, kids clothes are small by nature, so they don’t take any time to sew! 

This sweet little Toddler T-Shirt, which will fit a 3 year old loosely and a 5 year old more snuggly, is elemental in its construction, just a simple T shape with a charming (and practical) overlap detail at the neck. It’s made with gingham bias tape and Robert Kaufman’s extraordinary Dot Indigo from the Chambray Union collection. This woven fabric has a light, breezy feel and drape, as delightful to wear as it is to sew. All of the materials to make one can be found here in our handy kit!

Sewing this shirt was everything that I love about kids sewing. The only problem is that I ended up being so happy with it, now I want to sew one for myself! For now, however, I might just have to make one for all the kids I know! --Molly

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Thursday
Jun272013

Molly's Sketchbook: Braided Friendship Bracelets

It will surprise no one that at summer camp my favorite activity was always and without fail arts and crafts! I wasn’t great at archery or rowing, but I could make a lanyard like nobody’s business. I loved that camp craft projects were simple and fun to make, with no fussy equipment required. My summer days were happily filled with the satisfaction of gods-eyes, reed baskets and of course, friendship bracelets!

I’ve talked about my love for friendship bracelets here before, and we have created versions in cotton, wool, and even cashmere. This time I kept the colorful essence of a traditional macramed friendship bracelet but used a completely different (and much easier) technique to create a new kind of bangle: a craft-hybrid of friendship bracelets, rope tying, and lanyards! 

To create these little beauties I used our thickest Chinese Knotting Cord which comes in a vibrant rainbow of colors, and I finished them with a neat and effortless sliding closure. The resulting bracelet is so pretty and best of all, it perfectly captures the spirit of summer camp!  -Molly

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