cafe' apron

Just like fabrics, dolls are also my biggest weakness. I have some very cute dolls collected during our travels in India. I feel so nostalgic looking at them. The tiny village people with innocent expressions carrying clay pots or vegetable baskets with them just melt my heart!

This apron for zakka along is inspired by dolls and tiny doll houses with their sweet scented kitchens containing porcelain sugar bowls and tea cups, little vases and lamps.. every nook and corner filled with comfort and calm.

In the original pattern there is no separation between blocks and I was planning to stitch them together exactly like that. But then I noticed that the corner triangles with kitchen items were next to each other losing clarity. So I added these thin flowery linen strips in between. I am also probably copying what sewzalot and lv2create have done with their blocks ;) 
I liked the shortness of this apron in the pattern but as I am intending this to be a gift for a friend I increased the length by 4 inches.

I wanted the apron to be girly and fun, so I added these fabric tassels to the straps. These kinds of tassels are very common in handmade crafts and clothing in India. I love that there is no concept of silliness and any extra decorations are considered a most welcome addition and greatly enjoyed by both makers and takers.
This is my first time trying to make these tassels with some trial and error. Somehow it came out okay without too much hassle. This is how I made them...

1. Cut 2" square or larger depending on how big you want your final tassel to be. Cut this square diagonally in the center to give you two triangles.
Make a strap with contrasting fabric. Trim one end of the strap at an angle and place it on top of the triangle aligning the edges as shown in the first picture.

2. Fold the triangle over the strap to meet the two corners.

3. You can use 1/8" to 1/4" seam to stitch the pieces together as in picture 3. I used 1/8" seam here as my triangle piece was small. Make sure that the top corner where you start the stitch, that stitching line has to be parallel to your strap otherwise it can come out wonky. I learned this tip from my own error :p
Remember to back stitch on both starting and ending point to secure your stitches.

4. Flip the tassel right sides out and trim the peaking seam if there is any. I used a gauze fabric for this, so it has a delicate frayed edge.

 If you like your tassel to have a finished edge, then fold your 2" square diagonally across the center (wrong sides together), this gives it a triangle shape which we need. Place the long folded side towards the bottom and sharp points towards the top as in the first picture. Then repeat rest of the steps. It is really simple and easy and adds a pop of color.

Hope you are staying cool and taking it easy in this heat ( ' u ' )


tea time!

Yellow takes the top spot for this week's zakka project. Knowing that we have to make a tea cosy this time, I felt yellow is a perfect fit to capture the early morning cheerfulness of a hearty breakfast with tea and sunny side up eggs.. oops! I will have to pretend these baby chicks didn't hear what I just said :(
The linen tape has tiny foot prints of a chicken on it. It is like it was made just for this fabric.

These little chicks pecking their way out of the shell gave me an idea to make the inside of the tea cosy look just like an egg shell. So I chose this egg-white striped fabric. According to the pattern in the book, there is an exposed seam. We could bind it later to hide the seam but I followed a different method and sewed it just like a regular purse pattern to automatically hide the seams. I think it was possible because I didn't had to take into account the deeper details for this simplified version.

I totally enjoyed making this small tea bag pouch. The options for customizing it with pretty fabrics, trims, buttons are limitless. I thought this wooden button looked almost like a coffee bean going with the theme.

I increased the length of the pouch to place the pockets slightly apart to make the prints standout on their own. This fabric is by Cosmo textiles but there is no additional information on it. It is my all-time favorite fabric. Lining fabric is from Jo-Ann's.

These alphabets were supposed to be on the tea cosy. But I turned them into coasters to complete the set. I modified the alphabets a little bit from the original pattern because of this blue stripe I wanted to use. I was looking for this kind of thin stripe in ink blue for sometime. Then I came across it in the fabric below. It felt as though the image in my mind just jumped onto this fabric and has been waiting to be discovered.. It really is a lucky find!

The blue stripe is only 1/4" wide and 2" long. So I had to adjust the paper piecing pattern accordingly. It proved somewhat tricky to get it right because of the narrow margin. You should see the actual version in Flickr group which is amazing!

Thanks so much for visiting! Have a happy sunday! We are planning to go for strawberry picking today ( ' v ' )


tea towels

For Zakka sew along this week, tea towels are the thing to make. With a cute kitchen theme and salt and pepper shakers on the side, Ayumi's tea towels are just the sweetest things imaginable! I slightly deviated from the theme inspired by melons and berries from our market trips.

Even though it still doesn't feel like lazy summer weather with chill in the wind and frequent rains., watermelons and mangoes, I eagerly wait for all year long are already here and we have been eating them a lot. 

But I wasn't sure how interesting a slice of mango would look if I applique'd it here, so I went with blue berries. I am hoping making these fruity tea towels is a step towards ignoring grey skies and having indoor picnics :)

This minty green fabric is a linen rayon from our local shop and it seems to be very absorbent.  For the binding I combined an off white floral print by Ecrulat with another floral of Nani Iro. I wanted the feel to be light and relaxing, so I kept the applique to a minimum too.

For watermelon I used a pink voile fabric which is translucent and let the edges fray naturally to give an illusion of freshly cut fruit. After fusing the pieces, I embroidered tiny black seeds on the top. This is the only stitching I did. Later I may have to do a slip stitch around the edges to secure it firmly.

I followed same steps for the berries and added little stems on top.. tastes of both these fruit are so different, it gave me the idea for their contrasting captions, ' sweet melon ' and ' tart berries '.

I hope sun is shining brightly at your end! Have a nice weekend! ( ' u ' )


Bell pepper coasters

 Zakka along 2.0 is beginning today for Ayumi's book 'Patchwork Please' with these crunchy Bell pepper coasters and I ended up with a bowl full of them. Now I have to look for a recipe that is suitable for our sprightly peppers :)

a red one to add a touch of sweetness

yellow to soften the flavors

and green for its freshness.

Since the fabrics I was using were subtle, I thought about bringing the missing color with these velvet ribbons. I am happy with the effect it gives. A little search for them led me to this Etsy shop. I was surprised at the beautiful range of shades available! They are like candy.. hard to stop at one or two colors, isn't it?!
The green and red coasters are made with Megumi Sakakibara fabrics and yellow coaster with Puti de pome fabric.

How lucky to have a cellist play music for us while we are enjoying tea in the evening!

On the back is a single daisy sitting quietly probably lost in the music.. this fabric is cotton linen from Jo-Anns. Inside is a piece of cotton batting. I finished them with hand stitching on the edges to add to the rustic look.

I hope you will make these simple and charming coasters sometime or better yet join us in this lively sew along. I am oohing over all the cool projects already being posted in the Flickr group ( * o * )
A huge bunch of thanks to Debbie and Lindsey for hosting and to Ayumi for adorable patterns!! It is a lot of effort for sure!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a delicious week!  ( ' u ' )