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 ' )


Stephanie said...

Lucky friend. I love the calming colors and sweet fabrics. I love your tassel ends -- they are most definitely whimsical.

Maureen T. said...

Your apron is so cute! When I first looked at your photo of the finished apron, I did notice that each block looked distinct from its neighbor. When I read your description, I thought, "What strip?". So I looked again carefully and saw that cute separation between the blocks. What a perfect solution!!! Again, fabric choices = perfect, attention to detail and execution = amazing!!

Debbie said...

oh I'm so glad I clicked over to read your post! I loved your apron and then read on about the apron ends and I think that is so precious. Thanks for sharing the 'how to' and telling us how welcome these details are in India!

DappleandGrey said...

Another beautiful project. Two things always strike me about your work: first, your beautiful choices of fabric - so calm and soothing and fresh and light; and second, your amazing execution and attention to detail. I find your work inspires me to do better with my own work.

Christine said...

It is so darling. I love dolls too and I adore the fabrics you chose. Your friend is so lucky.

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

Oh so cute. your friend will be thrilled. You always pick out the sweetest fabrics!

Swedish Scrapper said...

Wonderful! Thanks for showing the mystery of the tassels! Such a beautiful finish.

Candace said...

Your friend will love the apron, Pratima! Such darling little dolls and I love your tassle! I can just imagine the lovely smells coming from the kitchen of the dolls ;>)