I found this little board on Tindie to program and power my esp8266-01 directly from the USB-UART cable. It works well, as described.
For those who want to solder it themselves: it does need decent soldering skills. The capacitor is right above the switch below, so it needs to be soldered with its legs almost flush with the PCB on the other side. The TTL logic board needs to be connected using the headers, since the capacitor blocks it otherwise.
Note: The "tx" and "rx" on the board are reversed, in the sense that when connecting to a UART or FTDI cable, you'll have to connect Tx->Tx and Rx->Rx (The normal convention is to connect Tx->Rx and Rx->Tx).
I didn't know initially, how to use the programming and reset switches, since there is no link to any documentation. However, users can refer to this link: http://bit.ly/1DsEgnh