Behind the Fabric – an interview with Maartje, one of our Wellington stall holders

The sewing world is such a welcoming and close-knit community, don’t you think? Most of us have probably struck up a conversation with a stanger in a fabric store at some point, united in our love of creating and all the fabric goodness that goes with that. It’s one of the things we love about Fabric-a-brac too – seeing a group of people who love fabric and textile arts coming together and filling a venue with happy fabric talk.🙂

And as part of that, there are a bunch of people behind the scenes. (Or, since it’s Fabric-a-brac, behind the Fabric!) They’re also super passionate about crafting and craft community.

We thought it would be fun to get to know some of them a bit better. The Fabric-a-brac stall holders, volunteers, organisers, and regular attendees. Today is the next of our ‘Behind the Fabric’ interviews. We hope you like them!

Today on the Behind the Fabric series, we caught up with Maartje, one of our regular stallholders at the Wellington Fabric-a-brac events. Plus, we got some sneak peeks at some of the things she’ll have on her stall at the 7 May Wellington Fabric-a-brac event – exciting!

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Hi, Maartje! And welcome to the Fabric-a-brac blog! Lets start with the most important question first – what are your crafts of choice?
My crafts of choice is my passion: creating clothing for other people, mainly women, to make them shine. I am passionate about bringing out somebodys style.

Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak. It is an expression of your personality.

My responsibilty as a stylist is to help you find your own style, by bringing out your inner strength in an authentic, genuine and original way.

How long have you been doing your craft for? And what inspired you to start?
I started to sew when I was 6, copying my mum who made most of my sisters and my clothes;

I am an autodidact. After I graduated from uni I first worked in a commercial job and slowly started to build up my own atelier.

It all started with the wedding of my cousin in 1987 – I offered to make her dress and she was courageous enough to accept it. After 6 years I was so busy with making wedding and evening dresses that I decided to quit my job and work full time from home (much easier with 2 little kids) and haven’t looked back. Since then I’ve made more than 500 wedding dresses and I don’t know how many evening dresses and mother of the bride/ groom outfits.

In 2004 our family emigrated to NZ and I thought it was time to do something totally different…..well….stupid – I knew where my passion was so why not start all over again! I had to build up a new network – didn’t know anybody in NZ and nobody knew me.

That took a couple of years and a lot of beautiful new clients to get the word of mouth going!

Wedding dresses are still my favorite garment to make, but I developed a passion for style advise and love to create or advise whole wardrobes.

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Have you had a stall at Fabric-a-brac before?
I am now in my 3rd year of FBB and even went to FBB in Palmerston North last Spring.

I love the buzz and passionate people, all in their own way.

What treasures can we expect to find on your table?
My fabrics will be colourful because I am a colour advocate. So heaps of my own treasures (simply because I lack the time to make clothes for myself) will be on my table or in the bargain boxes and also some fabrics from Europe.

This time I’ll bring a lot of vintage blankets. My new love: turning the blankets into winter coats. But I have too many and don’t have the space to store them all.

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What’s one tip you’d give to people for when they come to Fabric-a-brac?
Don’t hesitate when you see something nice……buy because otherwise you’ll regret it!

Thank you so much Maartje! We’re really looking forward to seeing you at Fabric-a-brac on 7 May!

Fabric-a-brac creations

It’s been a while, but we’re back with another round-up of what everyone has been making with Fabric-a-brac finds! Ready to get inspired? Here we go….

Fine Feathered Friends dress by The Dreamstress

First up – the Dreamstress made a beautiful dress using feather printed fabric from Fabric-a-brac in Palmerston North.

Befeathered Belcarra top  by Crazy Gypsy Chronicles

Befeathered Belcarra top by Crazy Gypsy Chronicles

No, you’re not seeing things – Crazy Gypsy Chronicles bought the same feather printed fabric, also from the Palmerston North Fabric-a-brac, and made a Belcarra top in it!

La Sylphide dress by The Curious Kiwi

Isn’t this a gorgeous dress? Made by The Curious Kiwi, using a silk twill from the Wellington Fabric-a-brac event.

Mushrooms dress by Ruby Dust

Mushrooms dress by Ruby Dust

A dress with mushrooms on it! How fun is that?! Made using Wellington Fabric-a-brac fabric, by Ruby Dust.

The Well Composed Dress by Adventures of a Girl from the Naki

The Well Composed Dress by Adventures of a Girl from the Naki

Speaking of fun fabric – isn’t this a great mix of prints by Adventures of a Girl from the Naki? (The spotted print on the top is a Fabric-a-brac find.)

Pinky Bar Cressida dress by Modern Vintage Cupcakes

This one is keeping things in New Zealand – a dress made by Modern Vintage Cupcakes, using fabric from Fabric-a-brac Wellington, and a pattern by a Dunedin designer.

Summer dress by Nikkis Stitches

Perfect for summer (if the warm weather comes back?!?) is this pretty sundress made by Nikkis Stitches, using Fabric-a-brac fabric.

Parakeet in a Pohutukawa Tree dress by The Dreamstress

Parakeet in a Pohutukawa Tree dress by The Dreamstress

And to round out todays creations round-up, here’s another bird themed dress – parakeet fabric from Wellington Fabric-a-brac! Made into a lovely sundress by The Dreamstress.

So there we have it – lots of great creations made using Fabric-a-brac finds!

Have you made something using a Fabric-a-brac find? We’d love to see it! Email macska at gmail dot com with a link to a blog post or a photo and some info about your creation, and we’ll include it in the next creations round-up post.🙂

Palmy here we come!

Josie Brennan, founder of FBB and leading the committee in Palmerston North in 2015, holds a teeny tiny bunch of fabric, compared to what will be at the event!

Josie Brennan holds a teeny tiny bunch of fabric, compared to what will be at the event!

With a lovely bunch of people, fabric, yummy sweet treats and tons of fabric – we’re looking forward to an awesome Saturday on the 31st in Palmerston North.

If you are from out of the region grab a friend and make a road trip of it. We can recommend op shopping when you’ve had your fill of fabric (if ever!)

We have had a huge amount of fabric donated to Hospice and there are a number of stalls with ‘nana stashes’ so there’s bound to be some amazing finds.

Check out the stuff.co.nz article from today. Thanks Nick McBride for the write up!

Behind the Fabric – an interview with Val and Annie

The sewing world is such a welcoming and close-knit community, don’t you think? Most of us have probably struck up a conversation with a stanger in a fabric store at some point, united in our love of creating and all the fabric goodness that goes with that. It’s one of the things we love about Fabric-a-brac too – seeing a group of people who love fabric and textile arts coming together and filling a venue with happy fabric talk.🙂

And as part of that, there are a bunch of people behind the scenes. (Or, since it’s Fabric-a-brac, behind the Fabric!) They’re also super passionate about crafting and craft community.

We thought it would be fun to get to know some of them a bit better. The Fabric-a-brac stall holders, volunteers, organisers, and regular attendees. Today is the first of our ‘Behind the Fabric’ interviews. We hope you like them!

To start off the Behind the Fabric series, we caught up with Val and Annie, who are getting ready to have their first ever stall at the Wellington Fabric-a-brac event on 10 October. Plus, we got some sneak peeks at some of the things they’ll have on their stall on the day – exciting!

Hi, Val and Annie! And welcome to the Fabric-a-brac blog! Lets start with the most important question first – what are your crafts of choice?

We’re mother (Val) and daughter (Annie), and top of the list is sewing! All types, costume making, smocking, applique. Annie is also into paper crafts and LOVES using a Cricut machine (and you can cut fabric on this for applique!)

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How long have you been doing your craft for?

Val has been sewing for what feels like forever (and for as long as Annie can remember), but she can remember the achievement of making her Mum’s treadle machine go forward – not backwards!
Annie’s first dabble with fashion was turning rabbit tails into fur stoles for Barbie at about age 5!

What inspired you to start?

Val inspired me from a young age, and now we love working on projects together.

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What’s your favourite thing to make?

These days for Val it’s making dolls clothes – for the 1950’s Walkie Talkie’s. Annie loves to smock pieces for Val to make into dresses for her vintage dolls – win win🙂

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Vintage doll dressed by Annie and Val

Have you had a stall at Fabric-a-brac before?

This is our first time, and we are excited!

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What treasures can we expect to find on your table?

Loads of fabrics – all surplus to our requirements …. a mix of vintage, cotton fabric (from here and the USA), embossed panne velvets (perfect for Halloween!), a mix of patterns, trims and buttons!

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What’s one tip you’d give to people for when they come to Fabric-a-brac?

A big bag, open mind (you WILL need it one day), and open purses!

Thank you so much Val and Annie! We’re really looking forward to seeing you at Fabric-a-brac, and hope that your first event as a stall holder goes well!

Some photos from Auckland

Thanks to all who took part in Auckland’s FBB a couple of weeks back. Another great event with an awesome vibe. Looking forward to Wellington and Palmerston North now!

Two down and two to go!

Lovely Granny Squares - revive this craft!

Lovely Granny Squares – revive this craft!

Two New Zealand FBBs down, and two to go!

Auckland was a huge success again, with the venue proving to be a hit.

Now we’re amping up for Wellington on October 10. Wellington is the home of FBB and always has an amazing range of fabrics, as well as a beautiful cafe set up – vintage cups and AMAZING cakes galore. Make sure you have it in your diary.

We’re reviving some dying crafts with our Granny crochet square and rag rug workshops in Palmerston North. Find out more 

There’s still spaces for stallholders in Palmerston North too – fill out the form if you are interested.

Fabric-lovers rejoice!

FBB-Auck-square FBB-Wgtn-square FBB-Palmy-Square

Yes, we have a real flurry of New Zealand Fabric-a-bracs coming your way and a brand new poster design, which we really love.

The Auckland (5 Sept) and New Plymouth (12 Sept) events are first to kick off the spring fabric bonanza.

Then on October 10th Wellington is holding its event at St Anne’s Hall.

We’re delighted to announce that Palmerston North is again back, on 31st October at Crossroads church hall. Listen to the podcast here.

We can’t say any more – but we’ll be adding to this list, hopefully in the next few weeks, with a new region that will be hosting a Fabric-a-brac in November, which we’re super excited about!  Watch this space!

Can’t wait to see all those stashes out in the open🙂