Patchwork Please Zakka Sew Along – Cafe Apron

Polka Dot Cafe Apron - Patchwork Please
I’m so excited to finally be writing this post about a project from Ayumi’s new book, Patchwork Please.  I’m just so tickled for her to have this book out and be part of the sew along.  I remember when she announced she had a book coming and I was itching to get my hands on it right away.  And it does not disappoint.  Just one cute project after another, all in that adorable Zakka style that Ayumi has such a great grasp of.
Polka Dot Cafe Apron - Patchwork Please
If you don’t know about it yet, there is a sew along just starting for the whole book.  Which means you can make each sweet project right along with a bunch of other people…and of course there are awesome prizes and giveaways along the way.  (Keep reading for details about the giveaways!) Sigh.  I love sew alongs!  You can catch up on the details of the blog hop/sew along in the Flickr Group (where you can also add your pictures!) 

Polka Dot Cafe Apron - Patchwork Please
Polka Dot Cafe Apron - Patchwork Please
As you can see, my project for the sew along is the uber cute Polka Dot Cafe Apron.  The concept is fairly simple, a simple mid thigh apron with a patchwork pocket and ties.  But of course, the apron is made in the details.By far, the most work is making the patchwork blocks for the pockets.  I believe that these finish at 6″ square…so that is a LOT of tiny pieces in those blocks.  And as is the case for most Zakka projects there is a lot of fussy cutting going on to make each and every piece unique.

 

Polka Dot Cafe Apron - Patchwork Please
The main base of my apron is made from Essex Linen in Leather (just the color name, not actual leather).  I carefully copied the templates so that I would be able to fussy cut my pieces as necessary.  One thing I did to try to make things easier was cut my triangles from a square rather than cutting each triangle separately.  A small thing, but it saves time. 

Polka Dot Cafe Apron - Patchwork Please

Learn from my mistakes.  Since these pieces are essentially all fussy cut, you use a nice little template to get just the right piece of the fabric.  However, you need to pay attention to the orientation of the templates.  Doh.  The two pieces above are cut from the same template.  However, the left square does not work because the squares in the blocks are oriented on point.  I needed the one on the right side to use correctly in the block and have the image turned the correct way.

 

Polka Dot Cafe Apron - Patchwork Please
As I said before, each of the three blocks is quite small when finished.  Also, all these pieces are cut on the bias.  All of that adds up to a block that is easy to distort out of shape.  I think perhaps I might try paper piecing this block in sections for more stability and accuracy.  I made the three blocks and two of them turned out the same size as each and the third was a bit larger.  Ironically the larger one was the ONE that was the correct size.  It’s not a huge deal in this particular project, but the perfectionist in me wants my blocks to be the same size for construction purposes.  I think that they are all really pretty darn awesome though.
Polka Dot Cafe Apron - Patchwork Please
As with any binding these days, I used my trusty clover clips to hold the binding in  place while I hand sewed it.  I love these guys!  I got mine on amazon at one point for a great deal.  I use them all of the time since I bought them though so it’s one of those items I would actually pay full price for.
Polka Dot Cafe Apron - Patchwork Please
The apron construction was simple once those three blocks were made.  Those blocks are definitely where the bulk of my time went in making this.  I followed all of the directions as written with the exception that I sewed down the pocket and subdivided it into three small pockets instead of one large one.  Just more practical for how I use it.   I also added some hand stitching around the center of each block instead of machine sewing around the little blocks. 

Polka Dot Cafe Apron - Patchwork Please

Definitely a fun project that has just the right balance of detail and simplicity.  Go ahead and use those special fabrics for this.  You will be glad you did.  It doesn’t use up very much fabric for a small block and you get to really make a feature of them.  Picking the fabrics was one of my favorite parts of this project!

Polka Dot Cafe Apron - Patchwork Please

 

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218 thoughts on “Patchwork Please Zakka Sew Along – Cafe Apron

  1. That is such a cute apron! Great job!! I am doing anything to stay cool this summer… Might hit 110 degrees this week in my neck of the woods!

  2. Very pretty. I'm always looking for ideas to showcase those special bits of fabric in ways that I can see and use them often. As for summer, if it ever gets warm enough, I'll be taking the littles to the beach for some sun, sand, water, and picnic fun. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  3. This is such a cute project :). Hard to think about summer fun as my city (Calgary) has just been hit by serious flooding. It's all about helping each other out and getting friends and family back in their homes… And we will!

  4. I made my apron too and did the same thing with the wrongly cut squares!!!! Well, this summer we are having a staycation and will do short day trips to interesting pubs and garden centres. I hope to have a 75% homemade-handmade Christmas this year so Iw ill be busy sewing gifts for family in Canada.

  5. Such a cute apron… The fussy cutting is to die for! Don't you just hate when you spend so much time getting it just perfectly *sigh* wrong for this particular project! This summer I'm having fun just being with my 19-year old, whom I missed so much during his freshman year off at University.

  6. Love how your apron came out! (Okay, I snuck a peek at the flickr group too!) Fab idea to use it in the sewing room 😀 My summer is for sewing, gardening, and the Fat Quarterly Retreat in July!

  7. Your apron turned out so lovely – definitely worth all the fussy cutting.
    I don't have definite plans for summer yet, but I'd like to go somewhere we could hike a bit. And maybe start an EPP project so I can enjoy both summer weather and sewing.

  8. It's winter over here and we're getting a new floor laid in our dining/kitchen area and building a new garage (I hope), busy times but will mean next summer should be much less stressful than this winter has been

  9. Hi Angela! You apron is so sweet, I wish we could aprons as an accessories and not only in the kitchen! I love also your cute fabrics! My summer is always very busy and it's difficult to find sewing time, but I do my best to finish Forest Qal quilt and then perhaps some little projects. I'm Ayumi's big fan and would love to things from her book! Thank you for a lovely give away! After a busy day, I have fun by swimming in pool (there I get best ideas) and relaxing on the patio. x Teje
    nerospost(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. Cute! This is one of the projects from the book that I really want to make! Maybe that will be this week's project… My (hopefully) most exciting event this summer will be to attend the Fat Quarterly Retreat in London. Yay!

  11. Superb – thanks for the tips too, will try and ensure I get things the right way up!!
    Hopefully this summer our building work will finish and I will have a kitchen again – fun? yes it's been a long time (3 months and counting!)

  12. That is SOOOO cute! I love the fussy cut squares. Fun things this summer… I'm at a loss… Does getting my twins' rooms sorted and ready for them to go to college count? 😉

  13. I love your apron! I haven't started mine yet so thank you for the tips. For fun this summer I am going to the beach with my kids and continuing to make stuff when I can.

  14. I love your fussy cutting, the blocks are just perfect and the apron is too cute! We're in winter at the moment, but one of my favourite summer activities is teaching my kids to snorkel, I love their excitement when they see a rock or their toe for the first time lol

  15. What I do for fun? Sewing of course. I have several birthdays to sew for in the summer. And weddings and baby showers and stuff just for fun.
    contentncm at yahoo dot com

  16. My fun this summer has been expanding my crafting experiences. I'm piecing a quilt, crocheting a blanket, crocheting a bag and EPP smaller projects…all at the same time! Keeps me "outa trouble", lol.

  17. Your apronis very cute. Love the tape measure looking fabric tie belt. I'm nothaveing a lot of fun this summer. Dealing with breast cancer diagnosis and surgeries and the like..But when I can I am working on a Brest cancer Awareness Mug rug project for The breast Care Centers entire staff their.

  18. What a cute apron, you did a great job! I have a 14month old, so my summer days are filled with walking around the property with him, he LOVES being outside with the big kids. My poor sewing machine is not getting much use 🙁

  19. Very cute! I really like the measuring tape fabric for straps – fun use, although I'd hate to have a ruler wrapped around my waist where just anyone could see it ;D

    I've not got any plans for this summer – I was supposed to go back to where I'm from and visit with my Grandma and other family, but I think it's going to fall through until winter – but I take a lot of walks and enjoy the sunshine.

    (clumsy.chord(@)gmail.com)

  20. Love it, Love it, Love it! The fussy cutting makes this apron! Don't you just love the book – so many fun projects. This summer, my daughter and I are planning to do several sewing projects together. This sure would be a fun one to do. Top priority on the "to-do" list for the summer is to organize the house and have a huge garage sale.

  21. Love, love , love your fabric choices1 What an adorable apron. I've beren resisting buying another book, but you've convinced me with this adorable project!

  22. Ill get a visit from my one year old granddaughter and will have fun getting to know her. I know she likes to play with fabric so she should have a blast in my sewing room.

  23. Hope to get more sewing done. We farm so it is a busy time for us getting the hay done.I also drive a school busand we are now done for the summer so I should be able to do extra sewing.

  24. The summer months are spent in the pool with my grandchildren. I try to get in my sewing on cloudy rainy days and of course late nights. Thanks for the giveaway

  25. Angela, your apron is gorgeous! I love the fabric choices. Ayumi surely loves it, too 🙂 I'm quite busy this summer. I'd prefer to join the zakka sew along but just can't find any free time 🙁

  26. That apron is really cute! Since I work full time, I am trying to squeeze summer fun into my evenings — getting out the hose and letting my daughter run in the water, finger painting outside, playing basketball, going for evening walks as a family, etc. The key for me is to be *outside*!!

  27. Your apron is super cute. I don't have any plans for this summer. Just hanging out. Today I am going to pick strawberries for a friend. I love to pick but I don't like to make stuff with them so I pick for other people. It gives me time outside in the sunshine and I get to do fun stuff for others.

  28. Your apron is adorable. I'm anxious to get started on mine. I live in DC and will be traveling to NH for the 4th of July where I will get to spend some time with my family on Lake Winnisquam. This is where I spent every summer growing up. so fun!

  29. I love these fabrics and your description of this project! Thanks for the opportunity. At the moment, summer fun includes strawberry picking!
    mmckee at wi dot rr dot com

  30. What a cute apron! For summer fun this year, we are swimming in the pool, going camping, and taking a trip to the Smoky Mountains. Thanks for the
    chance to win!

    wigglypup2(at)yahoo(dot)com

  31. So cute! What a fun pattern and that was sure some expert piecing! I'm with you on those clips, my bindings are awesome since I bought them and they are so useful for so many things! As far as my Summer plans I'm having my fifth baby in about a month and couldn't be more over the moon!

  32. What a lovely apron! I love the fussy cutting!
    I am going to do a lot of FMQ on my stack of quilt tops that is growing fast! After that is all done, I would like to design some more patterns and also try them out! Looking forward to a lovely summer! (just a few more days at work…)
    Esther
    esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo dot com

  33. So far the fun things planned for summer are my sister's wedding and a family trip to Hershey, PA (then the real fun can begin … when we get back home and can just enjoy summer)!!!

  34. Thanks for the giveaway! I am going to a sewing retreat and then a mountain getaway with my husband. Otherwise, I am going to do some serious sewing while it is way too hot to be outside.

  35. You're apron turned out great! I ordered a copy of the sew along book last night and I hope I get it in time to make and enter an apron as that is actually something I could use too! 🙂
    As for what we're doing to have fun this summer, we recently moved to Calgary (just in time for the flood!) and bought a book on local hikes so we're going to try to hike our way through as many as we can!

  36. My daughter and I went to Girl Scout day camp last week. It was really fun but I'm enjoying sleeping past 6:30 and not rushing out the door.

  37. Ahh, look at the amazing job you did on fussy cutting those fabrics, Angela! I think that apron will be just too cute to use, but I sure do hope you enjoy it:) Thank you so much for the giveaway too!

  38. Oh this is so cute – I love the colors you chose! For fun this summer I spending a lot of time outside reading and hand-stitching — nothing crazy, but definitely fun!

  39. What an adorable apon! I plan to sew as much as possible this summer – to me that's some of the best fun! But, I am looking forward to vacation – but that's not until October, so it doesn't count for summer fun!! o:)

  40. Right now we're just trying to stay cool … and dry. It won't stop raining. We've had rain practically every day for the past month with the exception of one day per week. It's insane. Later this summer we plan to have an extended weekend camping … and it's guaranteed (every year) to rain then too 🙂

  41. I spend a lot of time out in the flower gardens, I find it very relaxing. I need to get this book, I love the projects so far. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  42. Lovely apron, I love the fussy cut squares. I am still waiting for summer to start here in the UK. It is cold and windy and we still have 4 more weeks of school and work. But to keep us busy we are going to extend our house!

  43. Oh my gosh, the apron you made is TOO cute….
    I just got a new job, so no vacation for me this summer. Very thankful to be working again, just trying to make the most of my weekends!! Thank you for the chance to win!!
    Tami
    tamiquilts(at)att(dot)net

  44. I didnt make the apron because I wont USE it but that's so cute! Hmm, summer fun is hard to think of when fighting a cold, but embroidering in the sun is about as much fun as I think I can handle this year!

  45. What an adorable apron Angela. I love the way you've done the fussy cutting too. Great idea. Thanks for showing us.

    As far as fun this summer; we aren't doing too much other than to enjoy watching our 1 yr old Granddaughter who is living with us along with her parents temporarily to grow and learn about the world around her. We've had so much fun with her being here and having a hand in helping her learn things, mostly how to play with her toys at that age. LOL I am going to be terribly sad when they move out and take her away from our daily routine of spoiling her. I'm still hoping to take her to a small local zoo yet this summer.

  46. I had to laugh about the suggested comment on having fun. We have just moved from Illinois to Alabama to downsize and be near our oldest daughter. Believe me! Downsizing is not fun:) We brought too much with us and I am still surrounded by boxes. Setting up my new sewing room will be fun and last night we ate with our daughter and her family. I am looking forward to sewing again and to more times with this family. Would love to win the fabric! Nancy: rangerer@sbcglobal.net

  47. I love your apron the ties really make it even more special. Haven't been doing much as I got the summer bug going around Wisconsin and have felt rotten most of the month. Hopefully it will run its course soon.

  48. Such cute fabric! Jealous of your stash!

    For fun this summer I'm finishing up a lot of little projects, my kids always have stuff they want me to make for them and I try to squeeze in something for them between bigger projects.

  49. Love your fussy cut apron, it is adorable! I am wanting to finish a camping quilt that I have started, preferably before camping season is over. Hopefully we will be doing lots of camping this summer. Thanks for the giveaway!

  50. I love the fabrics and colours you've chosen. Thanks for the tips because I still have to start mine! This summer to have fun I'm following the Flickr group for Patchwork, Please Sew Along! And, of course, I'm going to play like mad with my wonderful daughters!

  51. what a beautiful apron! oh my-i just love it! we've been gardening and swimming and hiking and camping and have more plans to do more! thanks for the giveaway!

  52. For fun this summer I'm doing a zakka sew along and some painting. Your apron looks great. I'm going to make a skirt instead because I never wear aprons. Thanks for the giveaway!

  53. I'm very pregnant so my fun means staying inside with the AC cranked and getting as much sewing as I can done before the little one comes to steal my free time

  54. I love the changes you made to the pattern – your hand stitching is adorable! I hunted for this book on my local shop hop and no one had it (they were probably all sold out) so now I have to wait for the mail man to deliver 🙂 In the mean time I'm working on the Wild Olive summer hexagon embroidery project; it's really fun and cute.

  55. What a beautiful apron! The kids are still in school here at the moment but as soon as school breaks up I'm just planning on spending as much time with my daughters as possible!

  56. I love your apron! This is my favorite project from the book that I've seen so far. I'm exploring all the local parks we have in Seattle one by one this summer. My goal is to find some new trails to go hiking and walking on. 🙂

  57. Your apron is just beautiful. You always have the best novelty fabrics. I don't have much planned for summer but to drive out to Notre Dame. We are visiting my niece and 7 children. (Ages 16 to 1 year old twins today.) Isn't that your neck of the woods? I would die to meet you and hope that just a little of your talent could rub off on me.

  58. I like your idea of making the pocket 3 sections. I am having fun this summer using FaceTime with my best friend as we make the PP projects! It's almost like she is in the room with me,

  59. Oh your apron is too cute! Your pieced blocks are darling and the star of the apron, awesome job! My fun this summer will be babysitting my grandson when he's in town or when I'm able to travel to him for a visit. I also have several classes each month and enjoy them with my girlfriend and when not in class, sewing at her house.

    Thank you, Aurifil, Form & Fabric and Pellon for a super giveaway and a chance to win.

    usairdoll(at)gmail(dot)com

  60. I love your pieced blocks…they turned out amazing! This summer I'm hoping to get a couple UFOs completed and start a couple new projects…as long as my sewing machine continues to work! (It's been at the repair shop three times since January for the same exact problem – I'm hoping it works – otherwise, I need a NEW machine!) And I'd love to take a trip to the coast – just my hubby and me for a cool R & R!

  61. Please tell me you're in a fabric store and not your house for these photos, or I will die of jealousy. I just paddle boarded for the first time, and plan to do it many more times this summer.

  62. Lots of outdoor time to entertain myself this summer – biking, running, tennis, hopefully some kayaking. And a little bit of sewing inside, or course. Thanks!

  63. This was a fun project. My plans for the summer are participating in this sew along and a turn and burn drive to new Mexico to surprise a friend I am even gifting her the baby books quilt when I get there. it's a 22 hour drive but worth it to see the look on her face. 🙂

  64. It's the middle of winter here in freezing cold Melbourne, so I'm snuggled inside doing some hand stitching. Thank you for a brilliant giveaway.

  65. Lately, I have been babysitting grandbabies! Forgot it wears me out! Zakka 2.0 is keeping me busy! This one I am doing for me! I would be awesome to win, I love your goodies!

  66. Sewing, biking (new bike arriving this week) and going to the Modern Quilt Guild Meet-up in Portland in August – yay! Hopefully the sun will arrive soon. Thank you for the giveaway!

  67. What a fun apron! We will be heading to the beach in two days. It'll be my son's first time. Can't wait to see his reaction. He LOVES anything that is water-related (bath, pool, faucets, even drinking water. lol) Thanks for the great giveaway.

  68. Well, to kick my summer off. My husband and I are headed to Seattle (A "short long" drive) next weekend to go see a Red Sox vs. Mariners game (visa versa) I'm only going for the market 😉 Your apron is wicked adorable. I love your bold moves on fabric choices. I have a hard time deciding which to go with and tend to stick to the same "line".. drives me bonkers sometimes.
    I love the linen! I just bought my first yard of 100% linen and couldn't breath correctly until I got out of the store-that stuff is NOT cheap by any means. And I am a #1 cheapo kinda gal especially when it comes to projects for me.

  69. I have been doing some sewing this summer, but not as much as I would like. Mostly, I have been focusing on my family and on finding a job:) Thanks for the chance to win:)

  70. I haven't tried Aurifil yet, I'd love to be able to see how nice it is to work with c: Hopefully I can get my hands on a copy of Patchwork Please soon!! I want to join the Zakka-along so badly!

  71. I'm having fun with lots of quilty stuff: making a quilt for a show; teaching beginner quiltmaking; writing articles for a quilting magazine; leading our chapter MQG meetings… I think I've got my hands in every kind of quilting thing possible. And I love it! Thanks for the change to win your generous giveaway!

  72. I paper-pieced one of the blocks, just to see how it would go, and that process was easier and the finished block is not at all stretched or distorted. The other two blocks I used the regular method. The blocks turned out well, but I had to be super-careful with the bias edges as well as precise with the cutting using the templates. Having tried both techniqes, I would recommend paper-piecing, but it certainly took longer.
    Amber

  73. Love the teeny tiny patchwork squares. My first two projects were a patchwork drawstring bag and a patchwork wallet.

    My husband just bought me a nice sewing machine for my birthday, so I'm about ready to get acquainted with it and then start on my first quilt blocks. I'm ready to tackle a challenge. 🙂

  74. Love the teeny tiny patchwork squares. My first two projects were a patchwork drawstring bag and a patchwork wallet.

    My husband just bought me a nice sewing machine for my birthday, so I'm about ready to get acquainted with it and then start on my first quilt blocks. I'm ready to tackle a challenge. 🙂

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