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Queen of the craft fair

Happy long weekend guys! And, what’s even better is that here in London we actually have good weather for this bank holiday weekend – unheard of! Well, I say ‘good weather’… we’ve had some sun, but we’ve also had pretty strong winds and some random heavy rain showers to go with it. (It’s just not a bank holiday if it doesn’t rain is it?!) But, there’s sun, so we’ll call it a win. I hope it’s sunny where you are ☀️

We had one day of twenty-seven degrees and if I’m honest, that’s a little too hot for me. That’s the kind of weather where I can’t sit out in it for very long because you end up sweaty and uncomfortable. Temperature-wise, I’m more of a chicken soup than a whole chicken – I like to be gently warmed, rather than roasted. I like it warm enough to be able to sit outside, in the sun, perhaps with a gentle breeze. I do not wish to feel like I’m about to throw a ring into the fires of Mount Doom.

Anyway 😂

We’ve been enjoying the (moderately warm) weather with some long cycle rides out into Kent (mid-thigh-cycle-shorts-tan-line is alarmingly noticeable), some lounging in the garden (when the sun is not being savage) and – naturally – eating an obscene amount of ice cream 😆

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The Ride London cycle event that we were meant to be taking part in mid-August has now been cancelled (boo), as have all the craft markets and summer fairs that we were booked to have a stall at. To be honest, 2020 as a year has basically been cancelled really hasn’t it 😂 The craft fairs that we had been doing were a fairly new thing to us at the tail end of last year, and after a while of keeping our notebook and cash float shoved in a very unprofesh looking pouch I had decided that if we were going to carry on doing these, we should really up our game a little.

I began scouring t’internet to see what patterns for a cash belt I could find, and then realised that there were about a hundred different names for the thing I wanted. Cash belt. Money belt. Stallholder belt. Market belt. And none of them brought back any sewing patterns for one. Yes, I could have drafted my own and blagged it, buttttt I was feeling too lazy at the time lol. I eventually found what I was looking for, under the name craft show vendor apron. Apron? Yeah, okay, I guess so. Maybe ‘belt’ wasn’t the right term after all.

It was exactly what I was looking for – lots of pockets for my pens, notepad, card reader and business cards, and secure closeable pockets for the coins and notes. YAY! To top it off, it was free too! Double yay!

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You can find the pattern here on the Crafty Staci website.

It wasn’t quite one of those patterns that only gave you the sizes of each piece you needed to cut (and no templates) – there’s an actual pattern to be printed out and pieced together. Before you panic, though, it’s like four A4 sheets. Nothing major. Even if you hate sticking pdfs like I do, you can manage this one 💪🏻

Fabric wise, I’d already decided that I wanted to use the Alexander Henry ‘Fuku Kitty’ fabric (because it’s a lucky cat and it’ll bring me good fortune and lots of lovely customers!) but I struggled to find a print to coordinate with it. I wanted to stay along the Asian theme, and looked at sushi, manga, and other cute kawaii style things – but eventually settled on the waves/fishies/more lucky cats print. Double lucky cats were sure to bring me good fortune, right?

The pattern was very easy to follow, and the only modifications I made were to install a magnetic snap to hold the flap of the note pocket down (the pattern suggests a button, but I thought that was just a smidge too fiddly for my liking) and I left off the little loop for hanging your car keys on because I didn’t want the weight of those on me – plus, I didn’t want them jangling like reindeer bells every time I walked.

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Its a really easy assembly – the trickiest thing is getting the holes for the pockets looking straight and neat (I don’t think mine turned out too bad!), and of course not slamming your needle down on the metal parts of the zip, which is something that I’ve done way more times than I’d like to admit 😳😂 But other than that, it’s a simple lay-the-back-piece-on-top, sew-round-the-edges-and-turn-inside-out affair.

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The whole thing is topped off with a belt tie made with bias tape – which you can cut yourself, for maximum matchy-matchy-ness. I like the look of my matching belt, but now that I’ve used it a few times I’m not sure about the practicality of it. If the apron has a lot of coins in it then it can get pretty heavy, and I feel like the weight of it on the front of me (and the thin strap cutting into my back) makes me stand funny and gives me backache. Sort of like how I imagine a pregnant woman must feel 🤔 That’s not really a fault of the design, though – that’s probably a fault of me putting too many coins in it. A thicker belt strap might take the weight a bit better, or maybe I should get a cash tin to put the coins in rather than keeping them in the belt 🤷🏻‍♀️ I dunno. I’ll figure it out!

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Other than that small thing though, I love the apron 🤩 It looks super cool, way better than all the plain ones that other people were using at the markets we attended. Even though it’s classed as a ‘vendor apron’, I reckon all sorts of people would find this useful – hairdressers, gardeners, artists, even mechanics. You could easily adapt the belt to hold whatever things you want to carry around with you. I might even make another one for the husbeast, so that we can both wear them when we next do markets (and maybe he can carry the coins in his 😂).

I think we got to use it maybe four or five times before everything started getting cancelled at the start of this year – so it got a fair few outings, but I don’t know when we’ll be able use it again. I don’t even know whether Christmas markets will go ahead – who knows what the new normal is gonna be? Maybe people are used to shopping online now, and nobody wants to leave their house any more?

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In other news, sewing is still very much a rarity for me right now. I’m focussing a lot more on my knitting (and no, I *still* haven’t managed to start my quilt 😂) I’m continuing to read a lot, and after about twenty pages of ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy I realised that I’ve already read it before 😂 Never mind, it’s only a short book so I’ll just read it again 🤓 And, I might try out some of his other books, too (if anyone has recommendations – hit me up). My knitted Sorrell Sweater is *almost* completed, but although the body fits really well, the sleeves are somewhat tight at the bicep. Too tight? Maybe. I’ve fully completed one sleeve, and don’t know if I can bring myself to rip it back. But it is tight. I could re-knit it using a larger sized needle than the body (would this look weird? Would you even be able to notice?) or I could perhaps cast on just a few more stitches at the underarm to give it a little more circumference. Or both. I haven’t decided yet, and it’s left me feeling a bit meh over the whole project so I’m going to finish off a pair of socks instead while I think about what I want to do.

How’s your crafting going? For those of you that struggled with your sewjo, is it back? Or has it been channelled into other hobbies?

Anyway, check out the pics of the belt (apron? ahhh I dunno, whatevs 😂) in action at a craft fair earlier this year, and enjoy your long weekend! ✌🏻

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24 thoughts on “Queen of the craft fair

  1. Anything made with cat fabric is awesome! I love it. I can see what you mean about the waistband/strap. The narrow band at the front looks great, but a wider strap would be more practical and comfortable.

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    1. Thanks Bren! 💜 Yeah, in hindsight a thicker strap would have been much better. Ah well, you live and learn!

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  2. I also hate when the temperatures are too high. I was saying the other day to my significant other that we should think of moving… because 31°C in Paris in May makes me have nightmares about the summer 😩

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    1. Ooh 31 is HOT. Too hot for me. And in the city centre too it would feel even hotter! If you’re getting 31 in May I too would be worried about what July and August are going to bring 😳🔥

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  3. Apron looks fab, love the fabric too! Did you see the Helen’s Closet Dogwood Apron at all? It looks decent and I’m thinking about making a gardening version one day… Enjoy your weekend 😊 x

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    1. Thanks Cat! 💜 Ooh I hadn’t seen the Dogwood, it looks awesome! Defo good as a gardening apron, do it! Hope you’ve had a sunny weekend where you are! ☀️

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  4. Perfect! On the waist-ties digging in front. You could add a bib front so it’s even more of an apron, and have even more pockets…plus shoulder straps to take the weight. OR take the lead from our ancestors and wear a small NOT tight corset underneath which takes the weight off your flesh and would as a byline make you sit straighter while lounging round the stall! I sometimes wear one for long sewing sessions to ease my back

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    1. Right – I’ve taken your advice! Had a bit of backache from a sewing sesh (and likely sitting on the sofa knitting for long portions of the weekend as well), don’t have a corset but I DO have a weight lifting belt – it did the trick nicely for easing the backache! Ta muchly! 💜

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  5. Awesome apron thingummy! I’d go with a wider belt straps effect for your back maybe even some of that waspie belt elastic type stuff as it’s stretchy and broad to spread the load.

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  6. You all are so funny. Try 37 in the summer. Here in the mid-Atlantic US, summer is not something we look forward to. It’s something we get through.

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    1. Ooh, that’s intense… I don’t think I would survive that! 😳🥵 How long a period do you get those sort of temperatures for?

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    1. Wow… that’s insane! SO hot. I definitely don’t think I’d be up for those sort of temperatures! 😳🥵

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  7. That is a fab apron/belt thingy! & free too, even better, I think I might download on for myself, I can see it having all sorts of uses. Do you think the belt might be better if it wasn’t cut on the bias?

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    1. Go for it! It really does have so many uses! I didn’t actually cut my belt on the bias (I don’t think 🤔) but I think it’s more to do with the thin-ness of the belt rather than anything else. If you’re not loading it up with coins – or other heavy stuff – I reckon the belt would be fine… but if you’re gonna make it, I reckon it wouldn’t hurt just to make it a *tad* thicker anyway! 💜

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