Monday 20 August 2012

Cut and Paste - the Zakka Way

It is week 21 on the Zakka sew-along trail from the book "Zakka Style".  This week's project is the Sweet Memories Photo Frame by Ayumi Takahashi and it is more Blue Peter than Debbie Mumm.   However, if you are into woodwork and paper-craft then you are going to love it.

First though, let us get the inevitable out of the way – a suggestion for the cutting measurements section.  Under ‘Natural Linen’ it states “Cut 2 strips 1½” x 4½” for frame top and bottom”.   I believe this should read “Cut 2 strips 2” x 4½” for frame top and bottom”.  When you ‘sashiko thread’ the frame sides you use 2” strips on a 1” board but if you try to ‘sashiko thread’ a 1½” width onto a 1” board (as per step 4 of the instructions on page 98) you will end up with a piece of chipboard, a piece of wadding and a piece of frayed linen.  Trust me, I tried it.

So back to the project.  The only real sewing is in patching the two sides of the frame.  This will take you no longer than 5 minutes.  (I used scraps from Moda’s Flora charm pack.)  The rest of this project involves chipboard, paper, glue and cardboard - oh and a little sashiko threading.    I am not the most dexterous when it comes to sawing and cutting chipboard and I did think about going to the local DIY shop where they cut it for you.  But for that to work I would need to buy a piece of chipboard one yard x two yards.  I am not even sure they would cut such small pieces for me.  So I went into make-do-and-mend mode and used an old Ikea photo frame back. 
Armed with a Stanley knife I cut the frame down to size.  You should’ve heard the commotion downstairs at this time as my daughter and friend discussed the risk of me being let loose with a sharp blade in my hand. 
(They were remembering the time when I broke my elbow whilst undertaking a craft project – in all honesty it had nothing to do with tools – it was caused when I caught my right foot in the left leg of my cut-off trousers and then tried to move!!!)

But they were not wrong this time.  It just so happened that I dropped the Stanley knife, it hit my foot and I now have a very nasty gash on my middle toe.  I should’ve known better - next time I will wear steel-toed shoes before undertaking the Zakka project!
But I digress .......the Ikea frame worked out really well because it means I can stand the photo frame up on my shelf – rather than hanging it.  I can have it either way, horizontally or vertically.  I love the fresh spring colours and I think the finished project looks good.  The blog host, Noodlehead, managed to complete this project in an hour - it took me nearer two.  

But I can’t stop and chat – I’ve got to go and clear up blood splatter in the workroom!

p.s. If you haven’t checked out my PDF patterns then please do so if you get a chance.  Just click one of the pictures on the left-hand side and you will be taken through to my Craftsy shop.  Each pattern costs just $2 (£1.40 approx).  It is my first foray into digital downloads so your support and feedback would be appreciated.   


  1. I had to smile about your process. The frame turned out wonderful!
    I was wondering about the 1 1/2"strips, so thank you for the tip to making them 2"!!! Big help to not get frustrated.

  2. You had me giggling with this project recount Amanda...not about your poor foot but the way you described your previous accident and blood splatter. And as always you have blazed the trail and found the pitfalls and mistakes for us all first. Thank you. I had no idea that this was going to be a crafty project so I had better get to a hardware store soon.

  3. Oh I feel your pain! I didn't like this project at all, it wasn't sewing for a start! Yours ended up much nicer, mine is a real mess. I forewent chipboard (not being a carpenter) and used stiff cardboard. It is a little bendy. And yes, you're right about the cutting measurements - have you mentioned it in the Flikr group? I forgot, but I had the same problem too.

    1. I don't like to keep mentioning all the mistakes - it seems so disparaging. Rashida is already aware of many of the errors. Watch out for next week's error - the frame is the wrong size - Rashida has mentioned it on the Flickr thread and started another thread about the right size frame.
      My foot is only really sore when I wear a certain pair of shoes that rubs the cut - it will mend but I do giggle at my mishaps and I still laugh at my previous accident (am smiling just remembering it).

  4. Oh I love to read of your exploits and of course you are right about the strip width, I used glue to hold them down before stitching but did re-cut wider strips.
    And I did use corrugated cardboard rather than wood.

  5. You are always so brave, forging ahead of the rest of us, and facing the dangers of Stanley without fear! I hope your foot is okay now and that no fabric was bloodstained in the process! I love your frame, and the photo inside is precious, too! Congratulations on another successful mission!