Friday, 1 May 2009

Craft sellers apron tutorial

Last week I was in the throes of getting ready for my first big craft market of the season, and took time to pay attention to the wise and witty tips posted by Miso Funky on the Glasgow Craft Mafia blog.

I had been using my trusty cash box for the last few craft fairs I attended (and a plastic butty box before then - as you can see in the back left of this photo), but I decided it was time for a change, and the chance to nip to the loo or the bar without risking misplacing my takings.

With only 24 hours to go before the market, I didn't want to go out and shop for a cash belt, and there was no time to order one online. So what did I do? I put my upcycling money where my mouth was, and decided to make a cash belt out of household supplies.

Before I head over to Ikeahacker to share my lucky discovery, I thought I'd bring it to you first, in tutorial form. Buckle up, gang!

You'll need:

Ikea waffle tea towel (£1.76 for four, currently available in white)

A sewing machine and thread


An iron (not compulsory but it did help me out)


Either a long length of fabric that you can make into a belt, a long wide strip of ribbon or, if you're as resourceful (ahem, lazy) as I am, your dressing gown belt.

A knitting needle or a kilt pin.

Okay. You will observe that the Ikea waffle tea towel is set out kind of like a grid. This is helpful. Lay it sideways on a table (iron it first if you're in the mood).

You'll notice that I wasn't in the mood for ironing at this point, but I did iron it before I sewed it, as it helped keep the edges in place.

You might also notice the kettle on the floor in my living room. We were remodelling the kitchen that week and making coffee/tea in the living room. Back to the instructions...

Fold up the bottom edge of the teatowel in line with the flat bit between the waffly bits, on the horizontal, just over a third of the way up. You know, like this:

This part will make up the pockets of the apron.

Next, you should be able to see a corresponding flat horizontal panel towards the top of the photo. Fold this down and to the back of the apron. This will be the channel that the belt goes through at the back, so bear this in mind when you go to place your pins - give yourself plenty of room!

The next bit is the bit where you pin everything. Going along the flat bits between the waffle bits means that you have a great guide for sewing in a straight line, and you can work out exactly where to put your pockets. I gave myself a pocket for a pen at either side, then three pockets for different size coins and one for notes.

Place your pins sideways on and you can sew straight over them:

Here's an action shot of me sewing using an actual sewing machine. You can hand sew it if you would prefer. I won't judge you.

Once you've done all your sewing (and did I mention I used a contrasting shade of purple and a zig zag stitch to stand out?), the next step is to sort out your belt.

There are lots of good belt tutorials all over the internet, but I was in a hurry so I grabbed the belt from my dressing gown. With the help of a knitting needle (because the channel was straight), I passed the belt through the channel I sewed through the back of the apron.

And voila! You're now ready to face the crowds at your next craft market.