Monday 24 June 2013

Zakka 2.0 - Where's the point?

Week 4 on the Zakka 2.0 trail is the Polka-Dot-Cafe Apron - a project that is rated as a two star difficulty – a rating which in my humble opinion, has to be taken with a large pinch-of-salt.  The rating may apply to the actual apron construction (not very difficult) but the patchwork is a different matter.  I love patchwork but I needed to use my seam ripper and I lost the corners of my little squares when sewing the pocket to the backing.  But I am not a perfectionist so I won’t spend another afternoon remaking the pocket – I won’t I tell you!  
The term “Zakka” is a Japanese word that represents a collection of items.  This sew-along, together with the first Zakka sew-along, both have a certain style – Japanese, linen, simple lines, fussy-cut images – you know what I’m talking about.  However, I am more modern country, gingham and cotton prints.  So I have constructed my pocket in the typical style of this Patchsmith – complete with signature bee!

I will stitch in the ditch rather than overstitch
I tried overstitching and unpicked it as I didn't like the look. 
Patchwork is an art and it takes practice.  It is an activity that I enjoy.  I am in the process of finishing off a table runner which has a traditional block pattern which looks quite difficult but isn’t – here is a quick glimpse.
The apron pocket patchwork in the Polka-Dot-Cafe apron looks tricky and it is. You may end up with three blocks that look perfect.  However, when you have finished and you come to join the three blocks together you will need a lot of patience especially if you want to get all seams to match and not to lose any points.  You may create three perfect blocks stitched together, as I thought I had, only to find you lose some points when you stitch it to the background.    The points are there – you just can’t see them.  

But never fear - here are some Patchsmith points to replace those you've lost:

1.         If you don’t have a ¼” foot then you can draw a ¼” seam allowance on the WRONG side of your fabrics - or add a piece of tape to the needleplate of your machine to help you keep on the straight and narrow.
2.         When matching points just stitch where the points meet initially and not the whole seam.  Once you are happy that you still have your points (if not your sanity) then go ahead and stitch the rest of the seam.

3.         Patch the four large triangles once all other pieces have been stitched together.  Centre the point of the triangle with the centre of the large square to make sure it is in the right place.  Regard the diagram on page 53 of the book as three diagonal units that you stitch together before adding the large triangle corner points.
4.         Do not worry if your finished block is not 6½” – you can adjust the pocket lining measurements to suit.  Just make sure you trim all blocks to the same size.

5.         If you are new to patchwork (or you wish to remain sane) don’t go for fussy cut motifs for the little squares but pick a multi-directional pattern.

6.         Check out Sewzalot’s version – she has added a strip between the blocks – cutting the need to match the points block-to-block.  I wish I’d thought of this!!!
And the point of this whole project - indeed the point of this sew-along? The point is to enjoy the process and ditch the perfectionism.  Smile and congratulate yourself, enjoy your efforts and give yourself an “A star” for completing this functional project.  But whatever you do – don’t rate your efforts in relation to the two star difficulty rating as you may be left missing the point!
p.s.  I shall be buying some twill in the week and will finish my apron ready to post to the Flickr group at the end of the week but in the meantime pop over to Cut-to-Pieces, the blog host for this week and take a peek at her beautiful, all-points-present apron.

Sew until later .................


  1. Can't help but smile! Thanks for all your tips! Loving the bees on your "modern country" blocks!

  2. Oh, I love those bees! Not sure if I want to do this pointy challenge though.

    1. I enjoyed patching these little squares but then I like patchwork. The whole pocket turned out a little too busy/pretty for my liking and I think I would've preferred a little bit of batting inbetween the patchwork and the backing. But once it is added to a neutral background I think it will work. If I was to do this project again I think I would pick an easier block - maybe a nine-patch or a box-within-a-box.

    2. You know what I might find during this SAL? That I'm not really patchwork girl, lol. I mean cutting a square with template?!

  3. Ok, I just copied my templates...wish me luck! Yours look fantastic!

  4. Oh your pockets are beeee-utiful!! I adore your fabrics in the patchwork....and your "fixed" up points look awesome. It is really so pretty!!
    I will definitely use your pointers if I get time to make this apron. They take a lot of pressure off ,and make it fun to do a project along with everyone else!
    Love this post!!

  5. Great tips and " pointers" get it...pointer/ points...yeah I know bad play on words;-)

    Looks great!

    1. Actually I think it is a good play on words and it makes me smile.