Zakka Style Sew Along!

by Nova on June 18, 2012

wow! it’s week 12 of the Zakka Style Sew Along already! phewy! Have you been sewing along…?

Zakka Style Sew Along

If you haven’t stumbled upon the sew along yet, you can still join in, we’re just at the halfway mark.  Based on the projects from Zakka Style compiled by Rashida Coleman-Hale, bloggy friends Lindsey and Amy gathered together more bloggy friends to sew their way through all 24 projects from the book! Yay!

For my week I got to make the super cute Happy Couple Hand Warmers by Holly Keller.  I love love love projects that leave themselves open to putting your own stamp on & while Holly’s happy couple embroidery is just adorable I’d thought I’d mix it up & a have a play around with the blank canvas ;)

First up a pair of embroidered hand warmers, clearly labelled so you remember which pocket to pop them in…

& next  I couldn’t resist a little fussy cut version…

Both are backed with my fav Essex Linen (from Robert Kaufman) – you can just see a peek of the steel grey on the L & R pair & some yummy green under the scooters.

As with quite a few of the projects throughout the book, these really are a nice & simple project to make in just a couple of hours. Awesome little gifts & a perfect project for this hemisphere at this time of year! The only design fault is that we don’t have a microwave  to heat up the rice packs (I know, shock horror! lol!) so these will be gifted to friends that do to keep their hands warm instead :)

As well as the cute design from the original project in the book, the design possibilities are endless for these, as well as having oodles of fun with fussy cuts, you could personalise with embroidered names or initials, applique a little something on or you could even piece a mini block to cut out.

The pattern is super clear & easy to follow, you’ll be whipping up pairs of these for all your family & friends in next to no time & everyone will have toasty fingers on chilly days! Except me, what with the lack of microwave to heat them up & all ;) !

Here’s a few little tips I included along the way that you might find helpful too…

Transferring an embroidery design:

I drew my embroidery design directly onto the fabric with a water soluble fabric pen. Mine was a really simple design hence I didn’t feel the need to trace it.

If you are using the design from the book or a more detailed design of your own then you have a few other options:

In the book, Holly suggests using pattern transfer paper which is fab & something I must try one of these days! lol! A quick search showed me there are plenty of brands on the market & I have had Penny’s tute using Saral transfer paper bookmarked forever & here’s a link to their website explaining how it all works. Looks super duper easy & for the life of me I don’t know why I haven’t used the stuff yet!

If you’re lucky enough to have access to a light box you can trace the design directly onto your fabric with a disappearing or water soluble fabric pen or one of the ones that disappears with the iron too, they’re ace, I think Clover makes one.  A regular pencil works well too on light fabrics. If  you don’t have a light box, you can use a window, just tape your design & fabric in place.

Iron on pencils are great too, trace your design backwards onto tracing paper & then iron the design onto your fabric. easy peasy.


The pattern suggests using split stitch which I love, especially if your design has lots of curves but for my design I opted for a simple (& as always, uneven!) back stitch.

I had the pleasure of playing with some Lecien Cosmo floss for the first time & it’s just gorgeous to work with. No fraying or tangling – love that plus it has a lovely sheen. I’m on a mission to find a local supplier now!

Fussy cut design:

The easiest way to select your fussy cut is to cut out your template onto some clear plastic. You can get special template plastic but any sturdy-ish clear plastic will do – I’ve used the cover of a file before for example.

It’s a good idea to mark your seam allowances onto your template too just to make sure all the bits of the design you want to show  aren’t disappearing into the seam. Place your template over the design and position, then draw around & cut out.

Filling your hand warmers:

So I would remember to stop sewing & leave a gap for  turning  &  then filling with rice in the lining pieces I marked start & stop points with little x’s

To avoid a big ol’ rice spillage, a small funnel helps at  the filling stage!

For all the details of the sew along, hop over to Lindsey’s  blog or drop in on the flickr group to see what everyone’s been making & join in the sew along fun! Each week completed projects get a chance to win yummy goodies on Lindsey’s blog too! Yay!  Plus it’s a really great book & I’m not just saying that because I’m biased and have a project in it! lol! It truly is full of wonderful creative types who have shared some fabulous & original projects that are useful & cute!

While making this project for the sew along I also got to sew with Aurifil thread for the first time too! Having heard lots of great reports it was nice to finally give it a whirl & I wasn’t disappointed. I think you might like it too. Would you? Aurifil kindly shared an extra 5 sample packs with me to pass along to you, isn’t that nice :) Due to postage costs this is an Aussie only giveaway, sorry, but the good news is  if you’re following along on all the stops of the sew along there are lots of chances to win some in your part of the world :)  So if you’re in Australia and fancy having a play with some Aurifil too, please leave a comment along the lines of “I’m in Aus  & I’d like to try some Aurifil please!” & I’ll stick those comments only in the the hat & draw 5 winners on Friday.  Hurrah! Winners will be contacted by email so please make sure you enter your email details correctly, ta x

giveaway is now closed – I’ll sort out the Aussie’s from amongst the comments & pop them in the hat – back later with the winners x

Thanks to Lindsey & Amy for organising this mammoth sew along & to all the sponsors!




{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Camilla June 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm

I’ve been eyeing others online using Aurifil and have even tried to buy some at my LQS to no avail; so yes I’m here in Australia and would love to try it! Thanks :-)


Flying Blind June 18, 2012 at 4:19 pm

They look great – might have to make a set to send to my sister in NZ, (sadly I’m not there or in Aus!) x


KathyT June 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Hi! I am in Australia and I would love to try some Aurifil. I have been hearing about it for a while in bloggers world but never actually seen any in Australia – everyone raves about it. Thanks!!!


Lisa June 18, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Hi Nova, The Aurifil threads look fab, I live in Oz and would love to try them, always looking for new & exciting things. I love your blog!!!!!


Simone de Klerk June 18, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Love your handwarmers!!! I think I might make your stitchery (o:
Thank you for the wonderful tips and links.
If I might win, I would let the threads be sent to a dear friend in Australia. I am from the Netherlands.


Stephanie Morrison June 18, 2012 at 9:10 pm

I’d love to try Aurifil. Love the colours and am excited to win. Yes I live in Australia.


Desiree June 18, 2012 at 9:21 pm

I’d love love love to try the Aurifil … and I’m in West Aus … may the teapot that brings joy smile upon me :)


Gillian Hamilton June 18, 2012 at 9:48 pm

I’ve been a Gutermann girl for so long but I feel a conversion coming on, if Aurifil is as good as you say. Aussie Aussie Aussie… Aurifil Aurifil Aurifil! I live in Australia and would love to try them. Thanks for the opportunity.


Hurrah June 18, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Those handwarmers are the cutest ever!! Who knew!?

Oh and I am in Aus and would love to try some Aurifil :)



leanne June 18, 2012 at 9:49 pm

love those handwarmers! I’m in Aus & I’d love to try some aurifil please! thanks for the chance x


Nerida curtis June 18, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Hi! I am in Australia and I would love to try some Aurifil. Love that the embroidery thread is on spools and that theres no need to split it.
Your hand warmers are very cute will have to try some.


Gina June 18, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Thank you so much for the chance to win the Aurifil thread . I live in Perth WA . Loved your post about the handwarmers . They are very cute.


Linda June 18, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Hi, I love Aurifil thread and would love to win a set! I am in Brisbane. Thanks for the giveaway!


Susan W June 18, 2012 at 10:15 pm

“I’m in Aus & I’d like to try some Aurifil please!” I love your site, I live in remote rural Qld and would love the opportunity to try the Aurifil threads.


Jess June 18, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Oh your handwarmers are brilliant! I’m in (very cold) tassie and I’d love to try some other aurifil weights – I’ve only used 50wt but I love it!


Fran June 18, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Your handwarmers are gorgeous! I’d love to win some of the lovely Aurifil thread, I live in Sydney. Thanks for the chance to win.


Dee June 18, 2012 at 11:35 pm

Hi there, I have heard SO much about Aurifil threads & would simply love to have a set of my own so I may boast about them also! Your blog is just great, thank you for sharing your tips & ideas. Love the Zakka style also :-)
Yes I am in Oz.
Dee in Perth x


Janet Scheer June 19, 2012 at 12:33 am

I absolutely love Aurifil thread. It sews in great and doesn’t put much lint in my machine.


Kimi June 19, 2012 at 3:04 am

You’re great at thinking outside of the box! I like your take on the handwarmers that didn’t use the pair of faces. This week I’ve used Aurifil for the first time too, I splurged on it since I finally ran out of my large white spool of non-Aurifil


Vera June 19, 2012 at 3:51 am

I wasn’t sure if I’ll be doing this one (it’s so hot these days) but yours are so cute so it’s a must! It’s kind of fun knowing you guys have a winter time but some of you never even saw snow :-)


ina June 19, 2012 at 5:41 am

my fav was the ‘left’ ‘right’ until i saw the vespa!!! very cute! ;p


Katy June 19, 2012 at 6:09 am

Very cute, and love the left/right version! (I’m not in Aus)


Cassie June 19, 2012 at 6:35 am

I’m live in Australia and would like to try out some Aurifil thread!


Kim Dart June 19, 2012 at 8:19 am

Yes please Yes please “I’m in Aussie & I’d like to try some Aurifil please!”


Kellie June 19, 2012 at 9:18 am

I’d so love to win some Aurifil threads to try. I’d feel like I was sewing with the big girls. And I’m in Aus too, yay!


Jane June 19, 2012 at 9:34 am

Living in Brisbane Australia, finding it very hard to get those wonderful Aurifil threads here, would love to win some to enhance my thread collection!


debra June 19, 2012 at 11:45 am

I live and work in Tamborine Mountain. Beautiful crisp and sunny day here today. Perfect for sitting and enjoying some sewing (although i am at work at present…shhhh) Thank you for the chance


leanne June 19, 2012 at 3:02 pm

cute little handwarmers Nova – I love the left and right (I could do with these when giving directions !) and the fussy cutting – luckily I’m in Australia so I can enter the giveaway and I’d LOVE to try out some aurifil – like you I’ve been hearing about this thread for a while but haven’t had the chance to try it out yet !


leanne June 19, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I am in Australia and would love the chance to win some Aurifil threads. Have just purchased the Zakka Style book online and am impatiently waiting for it to arrive so i can join in too. xx


Heather Watts June 19, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Would love to win something, especially some lovely Aurifil threads – and I live in Aus.


Jo @ a life in lists June 19, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Awesomeville! Also, you have slightly made me finally give in and order Zakka Style, I can’t wait for it to arrive! The husband will fall at your feet and worship you if I actually make hand warmers – I always have icy cold hands and it drives him bonkers :)


Fiona Gregory June 20, 2012 at 12:29 am

It’s great that with these hand warmers that we Aussies have a seasonally appropriate project to make. I had to learn embroidery for this one…love to win some Aurifil. Also I love that material that looks like exercise book paper.


Anne June 20, 2012 at 7:35 am

Great projects to look at and try! I’m in Australia and would like to try Aurifil threads.


sewsurprising June 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Oh!Oh! Im in Australia :) and I would just love to use Aurifil thread, Id be stitched up for sure :)


Fiona June 20, 2012 at 3:31 pm

You must have the toastiest hands around now, with the mitts and the handwarmers.
I’ve got to make me some of those handwarmers. Putting ice cold hands on your husband just isn’t nice but is effective!Those threads might get me going on my first quilt…


Mayfieldhope June 20, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Oooooooooh…i’d love some thread!!! I love the left/right hand warmers…top job nova! X and I am in Australia!


Kate June 21, 2012 at 4:45 pm

I love dropping by your blog – it is inspiring. Would love to try the Aurifil thread and am in Oz. Thanks!


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