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Entries in Shirts (14)

Wednesday
Apr102013

Laura's Loop: Knit T-Shirt

I recently learned that the first T-shirt was born in the 19th century when someone decided to cut in half his one-piece union suit, the undergarment of choice in those days. To the wielder of those scissors, I say thank you.

Since then, the T-shirt has become a truly universal garment. From its beginnings as an undershirt for miners, farmers, longshoremen, and troops to its celebrity-inspired mass appeal as the uniform of cool (a la Marlon Brando, James Dean, even Marilyn Monroe), the T-shirt has always fit right in.

Every modern decade has integrated the T-shirt into its trends. Sure, slight alterations have been made here and there (in the 80s it was all off-the-shoulder Flashdance; in the 90s it was all down-to-the-thighs Snoop Dogg ), but it always comes back to the basic, ever-so-classic, white, "T"-shaped shirt.

While of course T-shirts are typically made of cotton, I couldn't resist the brillant white and lustrous sheen of Habu's fingering weight 100% Bamboo. It's magically cool to the touch and has a drape that's both casual and elegant. I also couldn't resist adding my own little alteration: an optional breast pocket that provides an opportunity for a POP of color, knit here in Koigu's intensely saturated hand-dyed Koigu Premium Merino.

I know I'll wear this piece for years, since there's no chance of it going out of fashion. Perhaps one day paired with jeans, the next with a long, flowing, fanciful skirt. The T-shirt, it's lasted the test of time, it knows no bounds! -Laura

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Thursday
Mar142013

Whit's Knits: Baby Jumper

When there's a baby in the picture, knitters have a hard time sitting idle. Our fingers twitch until we've outfitted that little bundle in our finest efforts. So when Molly's baby Guadalupe joined the Purl Bee family, that was my cue to get knitting!

I designed this Baby Jumper to appease little Lupe's budding sense of style but also her mother's legendary concern for practicality! Loose and soft and comfy, this simple dress is easy to slip over a squirmy baby's head and really works for the longhaul, first as a jumper, then as a tunic, and even later as a shirt. Plus, it's machine washable. Even Molly has to approve!

And since every hand knit baby gift has heirloom potential, I knit this one up in Anzula's very special Sebastian yarn. Sebastian combines superwash merino with sea cell, a newfangled seaweed-cellulose fiber that offers durability, drape and a very pretty soft shine!

PS Want to catch a glimpse of sweet Lupe in her Baby Jumper? Click here to see her on Instagram!

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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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Sunday
Jul222012

Whit's Knits: Pebble Tank

We talk a lot about color here, but beautiful texture is really just as intriguing! Texture is the reason we bother with stitch patterns; it's why we decide between hand-spun and machine-spun fibers; and it's why we adore some of our very favorite yarns, like Alchemy's Silken Straw, Knit Collage's Pixie Dust and this one, Habu Textiles' Natural Cover Cotton.

At Habu's workshops, fearless designers explore innovative ingredients and fascinating spinning techniques, embracing the wild and interesting textures that result from their mad science. Natural Cover Cotton starts with a simple cream colored plied cotton yarn that is then beautifully wrapped in a very fine colored thread. In reverse stockinette, I think the effect is absolutely gorgeous, like the stony bed of a mountain stream or the pebbly remains of a retreating tide.

The simple silhouette of a warm weather tank is the perfect backdrop for all of this earthiness. Together the impact is chic and casual. Wear it with jeans and flats in Soho or with shorts and moccasins in the Rockies!

 

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Thursday
Jun212012

Molly's Sketchbook: Newborn Kimono Shirt

My mother is now retired, but for most of my life she was the head designer and co-owner of a children’s wear company called Sweet Potatoes. Growing up I would occasionally find some of the very first clothes she made for me carefully tucked away in a trunk. I always marveled at how tiny the newborn sleep sacks, jackets, and dresses were. I couldn’t believe I had ever been that small!


Inspired by one such sleep sack, edged in bias tape and made for me thirty-three years ago, I designed this Newborn Kimono Shirt for my own little one who, as I write this, is due very soon (but who may have been born by the time you read it!). I realize that newborn clothing doesn’t fit fast-growing babies for very long, but I love the idea of showing her just how little she was!

For the body of the Kimono, I used natural Essex Linen which has a beautiful, timeless heirloom quality. And for the binding, I used Nani Iro's adorable new Bias Tape. I love its subtle but playful polka dots, especially because I think they work equally well for a baby boy or girl. The Kimono's construction is very simple but with attention to important details, so it doesn’t take long to sew, but it will last a lifetime! --Molly

P.S. In case you all are wondering, YES, Molly had her baby!  Guadalupe Raquel was born on June 17, 2012.  Both Mom and Baby are doing great!  Congratulations Molly!  xoxo - Purl Bee

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