A Cloth Merchant

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An Inspired Advent: Day 9

Debbie Fabric Free Tutorial Holidays Inspiration

Baked goods abound this time of year (though they may not always be welcome). Thought and care are poured into handmade gifts, and that is especially true of home cooking. Preparing delicious food is a wonderful way to show and to share love. That’s why eating is such a big part of the holidays!

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Food is such a thoughtful gift, and in my experience has always been appreciated. Here is my favorite baked good to gift, nestled inside of my favorite wrapping:

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Homemade sourdough bread! Untying a soft linen to uncover a fresh, delicious-smelling and looking treat is a delightfully tactile experience.

Cloth is excellent for storing this type of crusty bread. It allows moisture to dissipate so that the crust stays crispy, and keeps errant kitchen things off the bread. And I just love the look and feel of linen! We also use linen towels when letting the bread rise because they don’t produce lint, and they leave a nice texture on the crust. This loaf was risen in an old pasta strainer, so the crust dots in the shape of stars.

This towel is made with Merchant & Mills linen in Rodeo Blue and trimmed with a thin linen ribbon. The boule of bread is about 17″ in circumference and the towel is 21″ square finished. To finish the raw edges, I folded them over twice 1/2.” Mitering the corners gives them a very nice finish, and prevents the folded corner from creeping out past the end of the towel, which always happens to me with linen.

Colette Patterns has a very nice tutorial on sewing mitered corners. It is much cleaner and better at explaining the process than I am.


Here is another towel in Merchant & Mills Silt Grey linen, with red piping inside the turned hem.

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The piping is sandwiched between the folded edge and the fabric, cut to the length of each edge of the towel, and the edges are tucked into the mitered corners.

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The folded edges were stitched down with a zipper foot to get close to the piping. On this towel I handstitched the corners closed to conceal the ends of the piping.

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Looks much nicer! This towel is 26 x 31,” a bit too big for the boule. It just looks a little sloppy all wrapped up, which isn’t necessarily bad, but I love how neat the blue towel looks.

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Maybe you hate or baking, or people hate your baking — bakery or store-bought goodies can even be taken to the next level by wrapping them up in a handmade towel. And the towel is a gift in itself!

Finally, I will leave you with another glamor shot of the bread. Just look at this crumb!

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