Today was approval day for the annual Plaasfees (Farm Festival) in the northern suburbs in March. Usually it’s only the bigger and longer markets that one has to get approved for, but it’s no bad thing to review one’s offerings and think about quality control and labelling, etc.
You don’t have to do a whole set-up, the organisers really just want to see your range, and also want to make sure there isn’t too much duplication. I am happy to say that no other hats were in evidence this morning, but that doesn’t automatically mean they will accept me.
I made sure I took quite a few different styles of ladies’ caps, not just newsboys, and also kiddies’ sunhats – generally those are always popular (especially on a hot sunny day in Cape Town!) Fingers crossed, please.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, you sometimes get such amazingly wonderful customers at markets that you almost want to give your stuff away to them for free. Saturday brought me one of these people:
Tara has dreads so the bigger newsboy look is perfect. She found me through her friend Danny**, who owns six of my hats, and they both came to the Edgemead market to check out the new stock. She sent me some photos of herself later that afternoon, wearing one of her two new hats.
I know, right?! Anyone who looks this good in a Jam Tarts hat should be the one getting paid (and she’s beautiful on the inside, too).
** and this is Danny, whose face could also launch a thousand ships:
I love this fabric, I call it Fake Snake! I found it in a funny little shop off Grey Street in Durban many years ago, and purchased it with no specific purpose in mind. (That’s how stashes are born.) And now that I am hat-mad, here is the first of many:
Hats are pretty much what I’ve been concentrating on lately, trying to get my “perfect pattern” for different styles and doing lots of sewing in preparation for the spring and summer markets.
I experimented with some shiny velvety stuff last week, and came up with these: the pics don’t really show how gorgeous the purple and brown velvets look in real life. And that exquisite girl in the crimson one? That’s Danny, one of my loveliest and best ever customers from the Edgemead Market. She bought four hats on Saturday, which I have taken as reassurance that I’m on the right track here.
Think I’m not fitting in any crochet? WRONG!!!!! Just working the last stitches on a big project, hope to show-and-tell soon.
Being now officially hat mad, I have wanted to come up with more than one design for the newsboys. Some people love big and puffy, and some people prefer a more compact look. I tried making a pattern based on my existing knowledge, my (self-taught) pattern-making skills, other people’s experiments, and designs on the internet. I downloaded some free stuff (none of it turned out remotely how I wanted) and even purchased a few patterns, but again, I wasn’t finding my happy place.
Many frustrating weeks and a lot of wasted fabric later, I pitstopped for one of Jeanne’s double-shot cappuccinos (there’s some linguistic serendipity coming up here…) at Salisbury’s in Woodstock. Across the road is Sally Low’s gorgeous vintage clothes cum ceramics shop, so of course my feet naturally led me there once I’d absorbed the caffeine. I found this:
I rushed home and ripped it apart…
and cut my own pattern from it…
This cap (cap – cappuccino, get it!) has four differently-shaped panels at the back and the front is a semi-circle from brim to brim fitted with a shaped tier underneath. I learnt about inserting a short strip of elastic at the back in the seam of the lining on my search, and this works like a charm here. One or two other minor modifications, and I believe I am well satisfied.
Carol modelled the new hat in Tulbagh yesterday, where we participated in the Christmas-in-Winter festival. Happy days :-)
Rob and I tried another new market this past weekend (new for us, at least): About Holistic at the Bothasig Town Hall was hosting a gypsy market/festival so it seemed a good time to introduce the Jam Tarts ‘range’ to a segment of the Cape Town population that I don’t often visit. Turns out there’s a damn nice bunch of peeps out there!
Gary, who sells leather jewellery, in his hand-knitted “gypsy” tunic that he originally bought for his wife – but she refuses to wear it!
Me with Steve, the shiatsu massage guy, originally met at the Constantia Waldorf Market and without whom I wouldn’t have discovered Bothasig!
Carol in the new Ella hat – my most successful hat yet!
New customer Danelle in a black velvet newsboy. You have no idea how perfect this girl’s skin is!!!
New customer Bianca with her dreads tucked up into a green BonBon.
And that’s not all – another customer, Bonnita, who took two newsboys, said that she’s going to recommend to her daughter that she stocks my hats in her Hout Bay shop. How exciting would that be?! Jam Tarts getting seriaaaaas…… :-)
Thanks to Nina Ganci, who runs this market and does a wonderful job of advertising it within the community, and everyone else who made this day so great. I’ve already booked for the next event on 14 June – and I hear that the theme is belly-dancing. Perfect for me, I won’t even need lessons – my belly dances all by itself!