Thursday, August 1, 2013

Making A Steampunk Vendor's Apron

Hello good folks.  I shall have my automaton fetch you some lemonade (or would you prefer a gin and tonic?), so please, sit back, and relax.

This post hearkens back to the chillier month of November, when I found myself frantically preparing to actually be a vendor, for the first time ever, for a fantasy-themed Christmas Fair, the Imaginarius Fantasticus, which I'd participated in the previous year to promote our local steampunk community (you can find posts about preparing for the brochures, display, promotion, and tablecloth earlier in this blog).

In among the panic of trying to make enough steampunk jewelry to sell (turns out I'm an overachiever, I made tons in that insane 6 week marathon), I realized that, as a vendor, I needed a handy place to put money, keep my change, my receipt book, my cell, and pens, etcetera etcetera.  So I turned to that handy online Encylopaedia of Everything, Google, and started looking for ideas.  Do an image google, and you'll find lots of ideas.  And here is the pattern & instructions I followed, bless Colleen at TheMagicBean.

So, following her instructions, I figured out how big I wanted my apron and its pockets, based on my size (front of waist), how long I wanted it, and what I wanted to put in it.  Then I went rummaging around my scrap fabric, and discovered I had sufficient remnants of the decoration from our community display board (the blue & brown patterned fabric), in addition to a nice striped scrap and a light brown sample of upholstery / drapery fabric scored at a local Fabric sale.  I knew I wanted pockets for bills (one easily accessible and a more hidden/secure one for incoming cash / float), coins (loonies & twonies), my cell phone, pens, and the receipt book.  So, putting that all together, I cut out the pieces below.  (And, not shown, a lining for the back of the apron, the same size as the large striped piece.)
All pieces were double thickness (yes, this became interesting eventually - I ignored her instructions to get a jeans needle into my machine. Jeans needle?  Don't have one).  The striped piece was the back / base (with a plain back lining).  The middle-level pocket would be for stored money (float & incoming larger bills), the front pocket for accessible cash.  The longer rectangular patterned piece with ribbons is sewn up the middle to split it into two, and is for the loonies & twonies.  One wee pocket was for my cell phone, and the other was for business cards or my pocket watch.  Below is my first layout.  Before I realized oh yeah, seam allowances. 
So the front pocket was just going to have two wee pockets on it - the double for twonies & loonies, and the other for my calculator or cell.  I gathered the middle & sides of the double pocket a bit, so it would pouch for lots of coins, and sewed a little snap at the top of each pocket so it would close.

The front pocket itself is also divided into separate sections with seam lines vertically down it, with room for bills for my float, and a section wide enough for my receipt book.  The middle pocket (brown in the photo above) was also divided into a couple of sections, again, for bills, another wide section for miscellaneous, and a narrow section that accommodates two pens.
Here is the apron getting closer to being finished, with the nice long waistband attached (handy for easy tying and for bundling it all up when not in use), and with a key clip for my fancy steampunk keys (or house keys if necessary).  
 And closer up:
Behind the beige portion, where incoming larger bills and the bulk of my float goes (and which also has a snap closure) I sewed in another single-layer pocket which just fits bills, as a secure hiding-place for large bills, to make sure they couldn't accidentally be pulled out when refreshing my active float (which I put in the lower-level, lined pocket.
And here is the final product on the model, with calculator, receipt book, keys, pocket watch and pens.  
I guess my takehome message here is, if, as a steampunk merchant, you want a different and nifty vendor apron for fairs, look around online for inspirations, and make it yourself if you can.  It's not that hard.  And you get to customize for your tastes, and have a bit of fun.

And here are a few photos of the Apron worn at events where I was doing some steampunk vending.
 Thank you KJW Photography for the photo to the left, taken at Trethewey House's Steampunk: A Journey in Time event, in May 2013.

1 comment:

  1. Quick, functional and oh-so-steamy! My thanks for your ingenuity ad generosity!