Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Zakka meets Plants vs Zombies

Imagine the scene ..... it is Zakka Monday in a little house in a little village in England ........ 

Beth would you like a bottle carrier?” I ask my daughter.
“Are you making it?” she responds.
Yes,” I reply.
“Does it have gingham in it?” she asks.  (I am so proud my daughter knows what ‘gingham’ is!)
“Maybe” I answer.
“Then no”, she says definitely.
“It doesn’t have to,” I offer.
“Still no,” she replies.  “Can’t you make one for David instead?”
“Possibly but I thought it might come in handy for you when you are on the train?”  
“David would like it more,” she argues.
“Okay”, I concede.
Now imagine the scene again ..... it is Tuesday evening in a little house in a little village in England ....

“That’s awesome,” daughter says when I show her the bottle carrier I have made for this week’s Zakka project.
“Do you think David will like it?” I ask
“I thought you made it for me?” daughter retorts with a bottom lip that is about to scrape the floor.
“You said you didn’t want one” I reply.
“But it is so cool and it will leave my hands free to play my DS on the train,” she flutters her eyelashes at me.
“But what about David?” I ask.
“You can give him next week’s Zakka project,” daughter skilfully manoeuvres, “he’ll love it”.
“Mmmmm”, I murmur as I imagine my son’s face when I give him a bookmark of an elephant wearing a pink floral dress with a bow on her head! 
This week’s Zakka project was a bottle carrier designed by Pascale Mestdagh from  It was not the best of patterns as it contained two errors – one of which left me, for the first time in this sew along, totally confused.   (Paragraph 2 should read: “Align the selvages of the muslin along the bottom (11½”) raw edge of the batten-lined linen....”).   

However, the blog host, one shabby chick,  helped out within minutes of me asking a question and I was back on my way.  I already have a bottle carrier which suits me just fine as it is thinner and taller than this pattern and is perfect for a soft drinks bottle or a water bottle from the shop.   It was also made out of scraps and didn't cost me a thing!  The free tutorial can be found here
So after deciding I would make this week's Zakka bottle carrier to give to one of my children, I set about appliquéing it to suit them.  ‘Plants vs Zombies’ is one of their favourite computer games so I decided to go with a zombie and a sunflower from the game.  It was quite fiddly but I really enjoyed it as I love appliqué.
This pattern was more for a sports drinks bottle – the sort my daughter carries around with her.  I changed the pattern slightly by only making the long strap and stitching it to the carrier.  This was relatively easy to do and the construction went together fairly well – once I got passed the pattern mistakes.

And therein lies the problem with this book - out of fourteen projects undertaken to date, four have had errors which effect the success of the project.  That is a really high error rate for a sewing book.  I have thought long and hard about saying anything as I want to support the bloggers and creators of these projects.  But it is very frustrating and disappointing to have so many errors.  Also, due to the number of mistakes, I wouldn’t recommend this book to other people nor would I buy it as a gift and that is a shame as many of the projects are lovely.  Please let me know what you think - I have set up a discussion topic onFlickr so please drop by or leave a comment below. 


  1. bottleholder that is LOL - after our potholders last week.

  2. Great dialogue in your household. Yes, if not for the sew along I would not be aware of the errors and how to correct them.

  3. Wow - you are keeping up and even making TWO or more of lots of projects! I did put up a comment in the Flickr thread. I am still hanging in there on loving the book, but agree it has an appalling error rate. You really can't cut out all pieces in advance, as I prefer to. I have all kinds of scribbles in my book, with changes I've made.

  4. Cute bottle holders.

    I agree with you about the unacceptable error rate in the book, it has definitely made me question whether I would buy any books by this publisher again.