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Entries in Molly's Sketchbook (98)

Sunday
Mar312013

Molly's Sketchbook: Inside Out Bag

When neon reemerged a few years ago, we all assumed it was just a brief flashback to the big-hair days of the 1980s. But since then, neon has shed its irony, and even its nostalgia, to take its rightful place at the palette table. Paired with neutral tones and in small doses, neon is way beyond Flock of Seagulls at this point. Bold and beautiful, neon is here to stay, so join the fun!

Our Neon Inside Out Bag lays bare the hidden details of a conventional tote, exposing crisp seams and jumbo pockets for a super smart finish. Michael Miller's new eye-popping Neon fabrics and bias tapes outline the details with just enough intensity to put a spring in your step, while Globalweave's very sturdy Tight Weave Linen in an incisive white sets the stage for all this color drama! (A helpful hint: To avoid bleeding and color transfer, launder your unfolded Neon Solids fabric separately before you combine it with light colors.)

We designed this tote for the real everyday world of commutes, babies, classes, meetings and all the other mayhem that is modern life. Each outside compartment is designed to organize all the things that normally get lost at the bottom of your bag, like your keys and cell phone, your measuring tape and crochet hook. And the bag itself is just the right size for transporting your current craft project, plus the book you're reading, the cardigan you need for your air-conditioned office, and even the ingredients you picked up for dinner!

Starting to feel the need for some neon? Get started right here! And to stock up on some shocking sewing staples, also check out Purl Soho's fabulous new neon collection of trims and ribbons!

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Sunday
Mar242013

Molly's Sketchbook: Bobby Pin Butterflies

Around this time of the year I start to crave color like I crave chocolate, potato chips, or coffee! It’s supposed to be spring, but outside, it is relentlessly cold, cloudy and gray. So as an offering to the vernal gods, I created these Bobby Pin Butterflies, wearable bursts of color meant to usher in sunnier times!

No creature better manifests pure beauty and color than a butterfly. In fact, a group of butterflies is called a “kaleidoscope”! To bring this particular kaleidoscope to life I used our new Mariposa Felt Bundle. It is everything that spring should be, pretty, cheerful and luminous!

Designed as an adorable hair accessory, these sweeties are also terrific for Easter decorating. Perched around the edge of an Easter basket, on the tips of a forsythia branch, or amidst a beautiful centerpiece, these fluttering little butterflies are a very happy symbol of the season!

And they couldn’t be easier to make. Each butterfly comes together with just one stitch, while black bobby pins effortlessly transform into surprisingly perfect butterfly bodies and antennae!

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Wednesday
Mar062013

Molly's Sketchbook: Liberty Tea Towels

One of the many reasons I love Liberty of London fabric is that it evokes an English countryside fantasy I’ve always harbored. As a child, I would get lost in the worlds of Beatrix Potter, The Secret Garden, and Brambly Hedge. I was captivated by the soft colors of their illustrations, their images of teatime and frilly frocks.  My favorite Liberty of London florals all remind me of those charming books!

Recently, Purl Soho received Liberty of London’s new Tana Lawn Seasonal prints, many of which were beautiful florals! What better way to use this fabric than in a set of soft tea towels straight from my childhood daydreams!


For strength and absorbency, I used creamy porcelain Prairie Cloth as the base and added the incredible Irma print to one end. These simple tea towels are put together in a novel way that encases the end in a pure swath of Liberty. With only one visible seam, it’s as if they were dipped in the pretty print!

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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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Thursday
Feb072013

Molly's Sketchbook: Liberty Hot Pads

Perhaps it’s just my practical Virgo nature, but my ideal sewing project is first and foremost functional. I’m not one for decorative topstitching or ornamental buttons; I want my finished projects to work (and to look good doing it)!  Hot pads are a perfect utilitarian undertaking because they’re quick to make and oh, so useful!

To keep this particular set of hot pads from becoming too hard-nosed I used the stunning new Flora Eve print from Liberty of London. This very special floral pattern looks like something in between a watercolor and a photograph and is printed with the exquisite detail and color that only Liberty can deliver.  And when paired with a rich yarn dyed denim, the contrasts take on a drama of their own: casual and elegant, inky and ephemeral,  practical and charming.     

This project is very easy to sew but uses a lot of different skills so it’s never boring. Just quilt the fabrics together using specially insulated batting and then hand sew cotton twill tape around the edges, and you’ve got a truly unique, beautiful, and best of all, fully functional hot pad! -Molly

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