Bolt recently got in a shipment of Anna Maria Horner's new line of aprons. Cute, cute, cute. These would be the perfect gift for your mom, newlyweds (don't forget a "his" version) or someone struggling to embrace their inner domesticity-- no promises on the food tasting better, but they are going to look good cooking in it. Wrap up an apron, some new dish towels (we carry those, too!) or hand made oven mitt, together with a cookbook from your favourite author, and you have my go-to wedding shower gift.
Of course, many of us would like to sew our own aprons and Bolt has you covered there, too. The shelves are stocked with great patterns like the Emmeline Apron from Sew Liberated or the French Flea Market Apron from Busy Bee Quilt Designs. Edited to say: How could I forget all the patterns from Indygo Junction? Don't forget the kiddos-- the Jane and Sally apron has my vote.
I sewed up Sam's first bunting when he was just a little guy. It was made out of blue and purple silk remnants from an upholstery sample book I got at SCRAP. We've added to our collection since, and we now have a nice pile of skinny spotty ones, wider double-sided ones, and the original silks. They are inside or out decorations and they tuck away flat inside a drawer or hang from a hook in the closet when I'm not using them. Loads of people make buntings to sell and give away and it's not hard to see why-- they make every day a party!
The easiest way to sew up a bunting is to decide on what sort of triangle person you are: Long? Short? Identical? Cut your fabric in strips the width that you'd like your flags to be, base to tip. Using a rotary cutter or scissors (you might make lines with a ruler and pen first), zip down your strips cutting at the angle you'd like for individual triangles. I use a rotary cutter that's designed like pinking sheers. If you're making double sided flags, layer two fabrics wrong sides together and cut through both at the same time. This is a great project for apparel weight scraps (especially lightweight ones), or make them extra special by sewing them with coordinated fat quarter packs.
To sew them together, just place your triangles (you can decide if you like them to overlap or stand wide apart) between the folds of a double folded piece of bias tape. I use a zigzag stitch, and sew a bit down off the edge into the triangle itself, to make sure everything stays put. You don't need to pin the triangles in ahead of time if you go little by little and feed the fabric into the bias tape as you go.
One of the big reasons Bolt exists is because people in and around our neighborhood choose to support local businesses. Gina was showing me pictures of when she first opened-- we were laughing at how she could have held a dance party up front with all the empty space. It didn't really matter how relatively little was in the store those first few months because people came and shopped and invested in what they needed or wanted, and more importantly for Bolt, in a local business they could get behind. This is a story that gets repeated hundreds of times over in Portland. People believe in small businesses and entrepreneurs believe in getting their customers the best of what's available.
Here comes the good people at Supportland (pronounced su-PORTland) to reward local shoppers and businesses with incentives to keep everybody happy. They are in a pre-launch phase at the moment, but you can still register for a free reward card and learn more about what they're doing to give Portlanders a pat on the back for doing what they're already good at: buying local. Lovely. We'll have more information on Bolt's involvement as things get rolling.
There's some good news for those of you outside of our fair city: they're hoping to grow the business and the points infrastructure wherever small business networks exist. Minneapolis? Are you hearing this??