Tag Archives: linen

zakka {wedding pot holders}

despite my deplorable lack of posts in the last few months, there has been some degree of activity in the sewing room (and the kitchen)…

behold: a pair of pot holders i made as a wedding gift for one of my dearest friends.  she and her new husband are both appreciators of fine food, and she loves to cook, so i wrapped these up alongside an heirloom-to-be le creuset braiser.

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i found the inspiration for these in the ‘zakka style’ project book compiled by rashida coleman-hale, and the pattern itself comes courtesy of kim kruzich.  you may recall seeing evidence of the ‘zakka-along’ hosted by LRstitched last year – heaps of adorable and practical linen-based projects from the zakka style book.  the sew-along is a brilliant resource for anyone working on a make from the book.  for the pot holders, you will find an errata and a related tutorial to help you along.  the errata clarified some significant changes to the original instructions, so it’s worth checking it out prior to cutting.  i, however ignorantly, followed the instructions in the book and made out quite alright in the end.  and, as per my usual ‘must-avoid-significant-amounts-of-handstitching-at-all-costs’ mantra, when it came time to finish attaching the bias-binding to the back pockets and the circumference of the pot holders, i took a different approach: i simply pinned well from the top-side and then carefully top-stitched my way around.  while they certainly don’t look as tidy as the specimens in the book, i don’t think the top-stitching looks too shabby in the end, and i do think it will be sturdier than my hand-stitching would have been.

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another note worth making relates to the quilting – the instructions are very simple: “quilt as desired by machine or by hand”.  i liked the look of the straight lines in the book, so i measured out 1/2″ lines from the middle and stitched them consistently across the top of the pot holder, trying to stay parallel to the seams.  not bad for my first attempt at quilting!

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to personalize the gift, i worked in some of my favourite paris-map fabric, which makes these feel a little old-world glamorous to me.  i also used some sweet japanese fabric printed with cakes and letters, which is just so adorable.  both of these fabrics suit the bride’s style perfectly and are much-loved at the workroom, where i purchased them a few years ago.  as a final touch, i embroidered the bride and groom’s initials and wedding date on the back of the pot holders, hoping they will be reminded of their beautiful wedding every time they use them.

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there.  hopefully i’m back on track now, as i have a few other projects and recipes to share with you.  and, as the days are finally getting a little bit longer here, there is hope for some natural light at the end of the day, which should make for some less-drab looking photographs!

i’m curious, what are your thoughts on homemade wedding presents?  have you ever given a handmade wedding gift?

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purl soho {echino tote}

echino tote

i cart a lot of stuff back and forth between home and work and home again.  lunch, snacks, lint brush (will the dogs ever stop shedding?), books, laptop, shoes, lab coats…so i need a suitably huge bag to accommodate everything.

for months now, i’ve been using this lululemon bag which has seen better days.  i can’t really explain why i have continued to use it, except that it was free, and relatively sturdy, and necessarily voluminous.  even after one of the straps ripped out, i continued to cart it back and forth, carrying it like a giant paper bag.  it wasn’t until some of the preachy statements started to irritate me, that i really started thinking about acquiring a new bag.  one with handles.  and no pretentious quotes or semi-subliminal messaging.  enter the apple-picking tote.

why???

i saw this pattern on the purl bee ages ago and thought it was ever so adorable and sturdy looking – perfect for my needs.  i scoured my stash for suitable fabric combinations until i realized i had a lovely piece of lumpy linen and another of an echino print i’ve had for years because i had to have it but was never able to figure out just what it was meant to be.  until now.

molly’s tutorial was great, as usual.  the only change i made to her pattern was to lengthen the handles, as i wanted to be able to carry this over my shoulder as well as in the hand.  i made each handle 6.5″ longer than called for, so the finished length of each is 25.5″ (measuring only the portion that sits above the top edge of the bag – this will make sense when you look at that step in the purl bee tutorial, i promise).  so, if you want a shoulder bag, you’ll want to add 13″ to the required length of bias-tape (which, incidentally, is not cut on the bias for this application).

i now have a practical, sturdy, stashable and fetching tote that makes me happy.  what more could you wish for in a bag?

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