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book review // pretty handmades by lauren wright

Pretty Handmades Book

For the last week or so I've been stitching, stitching, stitching so I could make something pretty and handmade. Why? Because today I get to show you Lauren Wright's new book Pretty Handmades, along with a project I made from it!

This delightful book is filled with felt and florals, embroidery and hand sewing, and so much more. It perfectly captures Lauren's Molly and Mama style and I was so excited when she asked me to be part of her book showcase, which is a month-long blog tour of sorts. Each day in September, you can see what folks are making. It's a great way to get a glimpse of what's in the book, while being inspired by the different takes each person has on a project.

Pretty Handmades Book

There are so many beautiful projects in Pretty Handmades, but I went for the Ribbons and Bows Clutch, making it just a little different from the original plan. But first, here's a few other projects that caught my eye...

Pretty Handmades Book

The Sweet Treat Wall Banner was a top contender for me. After all, I know that I could add a little Wild Olive face to that cupcake to bring my personality to the pastry!

Pretty Handmades Book

This pillow combines embroidery and English paper piecing, which I love. Isn't the piecing so pretty on this?

Pretty Handmades Book

And then there's this darling felt kitty and the EPP sleeping bag. So cute! I may convince my little sister that she should make this one.

Pretty Handmades Book

I settled on the Ribbons and Bows Clutch because I loved the little detail stitching on the outside and the usefulness of the pockets on the inside. But since I don't wear a lot of hair accessories or have need of a large travel case even for jewelry, I came up with a plan to adapt it slightly.

Pretty Handmades Book

The first change was just for fun. Instead of machine quilting, I hand quilted the outside panel. It really didn't take all that long, and the result is so pretty. Actually, it's probably better than my machine quilting would have been!

I also stitched the flower petals with two straight stitches rather than the suggested lazy daisies. It changes the look just a bit, and it's been a flower stitching method I've wanted to try more.

Pretty Handmades Book

Inside, I made the pockets a little different because of the crochet trim I wanted to use. Partly because I love this navy lace that I bought in NYC and partly because I hoped to make the entire thing without buying any supplies!

Pretty Handmades Book

I added a ribbon tie for holding items, and created a third row of pockets in place of the original hair clip band.

Pretty Handmades Book

The biggest alteration is that I've made my clutch to hold stitching supplies! It's just the right size for a tiny embroidery hoop and lots of EPP. A spool of thread is little lump in there, but I think I can work around that.

If you look closely, you'll notice there's just one thing missing, leaving this project unfinished. A snap! I got down to the last minute and couldn't find my nice sew-on snaps, so I guess I'll be buying a supply after all. Still, not too bad!

And I'm so happy with the result.

One thing I'd point out about the book is that the instructions for each project are extensive. That's good because she walks you through each step thoroughly. But it was a little overwhelming when I first looked at it. Especially as a person who wants to jump right in! If you've done much sewing in the past, you'll find that you can breeze through most of the steps and make something cute in hardly any time at all.

But I think the true test of a project is the repeat test. Would I make this again? Yes! In fact, I'm thinking of making another clutch and filling it with EPP supplies as a gift for my 12-year-old sister for Christmas. And with all the hand work, that's saying something!

Pretty Handmades Book

To see more of the Pretty Handmades book showcase, visit each stop on the tour! And be sure to enter the giveaway that Lauren Wright will have at the end of the month. Because if you like making pretty things, you'll want this book!

September 1 // Lauren Wright www.mollyandmama.com.au
September 2 // Jemima Flendt www.blog.tiedwitharibbon.com
September 3 // Sharon Burgess www.lilabellelanecreations.com
September 4 // Lauren Nash www.transientart.com
September 5 // Sarah Edgar www.alittlehappyplace.blogspot.co.uk
September 6 // Ange Hamilton www.alittlepatchwork.wordpress.com
September 7 // Elea Lutz www.elealutzdesign.com
September 8 // Sarah Scott www.piccolostudio.com.au
September 9 // Martina Bahre www.avaandneve.com.au
September 10 // Heather Andrus www.quiltstory.blogspot.com
September 11 // Faith Essenburg www.saranaave.wordpress.com
September 12 // Alisha Orlando www.ministryoffabric.com.au
September 13 // Bev McCullough www.flamingotoes.com
September 14 // Stacy Olson www.stacyolsondesign.com
September 15 // Ali Phillips www.arabesque-scissors.com
September 16 // Mollie Johanson (you're here!)
September 17 // Kristyne Czepuryk www.prettybyhand.com
September 18 // Xanthe Grundy www.wife-made.com
September 19 // Anne Oliver www.lolliandgrace.com
September 20 // Larisa Shurupov www.stitchingnotes.com
September 21 // Sedef Imer www.downgrapevinelane.com
September 22 // Wynn Tan www.zakkaArt.blogspot.com
September 23 // Veronica AM www.VividFelicity.wordpress.com
September 24 // Minki Kim www.minkikim.com
September 25 // Elise Baek www.eliseandemelie.com
September 26 // Megan Price www.dollyhenry.com.au
September 27 // Nadra Ridgeway www.ellisandhiggs.com
September 28 // Ayda Algin www.cafenohut.com
September 29 // Jodi Godfrey www.talesofcloth.com
September 30 // Lauren Wright www.mollyandmama.com.au


  1. Anonymous3:01 PM

    So adorable! Thanks for your blog!

  2. Love all your handwork on this project. So very neat.

  3. I love your project! I, too, would have to make it a stitching supplies organizer. I love sewing organizers and adore your handstitching on the outside, including that binding stitched with the hand running stitch. Perfect!

  4. That is simply GORGEOUS!!! Great job.. tempted to try it.. but i dont have the book yet..

  5. Mollie, your version of the Ribbons and Bows Travel Clutch is beyond beautiful! I love everything about it, from the dainty and darling fabric selection and the hand quilted details, to the special changes you made to make this piece your very own. Thank you for your kind words and for joining the book showcase and blog tour. It has been wonderful to have you. I'm honoured you could join us xx


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