Sunday, 19 August 2012

The Naked Zakkarist

I didn’t complete the Zakka project last week and there are several reasons for this.  Firstly I couldn’t get those pesky triangles to sit right – I tried but it just didn’t work out for me.  I even tried the strip method (no, I don’t mean I sat in the nude – it is bad enough catching the odd bit of finger in the needle – could you imagine the damage of free-flowing boobs - OUCH!!!) I had trouble matching the seams whichever method I used.  So I gave up – there, I’ve admitted it.  If I’m honest my heart wasn’t in it - right from the start there were two projects in the book I wasn’t really interested in – the first was the cookie sack and the second was the teddy pillow.  I made the former but not the latter.

But I haven’t been idle- oh no!  Following on from the Zakka Style sew-along I decided to start one up at work.  The schedule is a little more relaxed (one project a month). 
Our first project in July was to make a mug-rug whilst we decided on the book we would follow.  I made the ‘Tea and Cake’ mug rug which I have blogged about previously.  However, so many people liked this little beauty that I have written up the pattern and put it on Craftsy, together with my signature Bee Hive pattern (often pinned on Pinterest) and a ‘Scottie Dog’ mug rug pattern which I designed for a friend. 
These are my first downloadable patterns – all of which are under $2 (approx £1.40 at today's rates).    I have many more ideas so if you are able, I would really appreciate any support or feedback with this endeavour.
But I digress – back to the work sew-along.  The book we have chosen to follow is ‘EverydayHandmade’ by Cassie Barden and Adrienne Smitke.  The first project in the book is the bag on the front of the book.  It is a linen tote very much in keeping with the Zakka style.  The interest is added with self-covered buttons – twenty of them.  Strewth!!!  Who would’ve thought twenty buttons could cause so much damage!  I don’t have very much strength in my hands so getting the backs on the buttons required a hammer and some good eye-to-hand co-ordination.  I had the hammer but the eye-hand co-ordination was somewhat lacking.  Let’s just say it was a good job I wasn’t using the strip method to make the buttons – the hospital would’ve wanted to know how I got so many bruises in so many places!  Thankfully it was just my hands and the table that took a battering.  But I am absolutely thrilled with the result.   
The pattern in the book used natural linen whereas I decided to use black linen.  I purchased waterproofed Irish linen because I intend to use this bag all through the winter.  I chose a large polka-dot red-and-white print for the lining and used scraps of one of my favourite colours – red – for all twenty buttons.    The linen and lining are interfaced which gives a really lovely weight to the bag.  One of the women at work has used natural linen and Cath Kidston fabric for the buttons – very pretty.  My sister didn’t use buttons at all but appliquéd hearts in the colours of the rainbow – stunning.  If I can, I will take some photos when the group meet up at the end of the month and post them so you can have a look.  Check out the book though, it has some really nice things to make.
But I am back on the Zakka horse, figuratively speaking, otherwise my name would be Lady Godiva.  The next project is the Sweet Memories Photo Frame - week 21 on the Zakka trail.  I just need to find some chipboard and a handsaw – oh and some clothes!!!

p.s.  There is another error concerning next week’s project – the sizing of the curved metal purse frame should read 4" x 2 1/8" according to Rashida in the Zakka thread.  The errors in this book keep growing.  Nobody even mentioned the one in the pot holder pattern supplies section on page 65, which stated that “Insul-Fleece by C&T Publishing” – and I just thought they printed books – who would have thought!   It is a shame though - so many errors in one book.  I would like to say it doesn’t matter but it does. 


  1. Oh congratulations to you for selling your beautiful patterns, Amanda!! You look grand on the Craftsy site!! I have not done much applique yet, but am going to get the scotty dogs pattern!!

    I also loved your linen tote bag with all of the red buttons!! Adorable!
    I agree with you that a book with How To Make things should have a lot fewer errors...

    I look forward to seeing more of your patterns!
    Well done!!

  2. So many lovely projects in one blog post! I love that mug rug (the tea cup one), so sweet. The bag also turned out great, I love your version with the buttons but I can imagine the rainbow heart version too!

  3. Love your bag and your writing style is wonderful! Funny and shows your personality. Good for you on starting to sell your lovely patterns.

    Where does a person buy waterproofed Irish linen? And can you pin and iron it normally?

    1. I brought the waterproofed linen on line. I just googled it. You can pin and iron it as normal - the only way you can tell the difference is one side is slightly shiny (I used this as the 'wrong' side so as to keep the linen look). The bag and pattern are excellent and the bag has a lovely weight to it as both the outer and inner are interfaced. Give it a go - you wont be disappointed - just mind your hands with the buttons!! My sister did applique and it looks stunning. That is an alternative.

  4. How did I miss seeing this pretty bag before, with all the buttons?!?!?!?! I loved the one on the cover, and your version is oh-so-cute in red and black!!! I can't wait to see the other bags your sister and friends made.