Patchwork Please Zakka Sew Along – Cafe Apron

Cafe Apron

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.

Cafe Apron

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!)

Cafe Apron

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.

Cafe Apron

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.

Cafe Apron

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.

Cafe Apron

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.

Cafe Apron

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.

Cafe Apron

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.

Cafe Apron

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!

Cafe Apron

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

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!!

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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. 🙂

  9. 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.

  10. 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,

  11. 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.


  12. 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!

  13. 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.