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. πŸ™‚

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!

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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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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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!

It’s Fabric-a-brac time! Wellington, 2 May

Oh yes, that’s right everyone – it’s time for another Fabric-a-brac!

This time, we’re back in Wellington, helping people clear fabric from their stashes and move it into other people’s stashes. (Because let’s face it – we all love fabric, right? Yay! Fabric!)

Here’s the where and when:

St Annes Hall
Emmett Street
Newtown
10am – 2pm Saturday 2 May

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As with previous Wellington Fabric-a-brac events, it’s going to be jam-packed with all sorts of amazing treasures from a range of stall holders. Fabric, notions, patterns – all there and waiting to be found and loved.

(See all those images below? That’s a small selection of things some of our stall holders will have on their tables on the day. Fabric! Notions! Buttons!)

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There will be the world-famous-amoungst-Fabric-a-brac-people Hospice table, with all sorts of amazing donated fabrics at amazing prices.

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And the cafe, with a huge selection of tasty homemade treats, good coffee, pots of tea, and pretty tables for you to sit at and show off your finds to one another.

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Just like all the previous Fabric-a-brac events, as well as being about the fabric it’s also about raising money for Mary Potter Hospice. All the money raised from the Hospice table and the cafe, along with the stallholder fees, goes straight to the Hospice. How’s that for an excuse to buy more fabric? It’s all for a good cause! πŸ˜‰

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Come along, spread the word, and join us for a fabric filled day!

(PS There won’t be any eftpos on the day, but there are plenty of ATM’s nearby.)

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Your Fabric-a-brac creations

Another month, so it’s time for another round-up of things people have been making using Fabric-a-brac finds! Are you ready? Here we go…!

Bubble Tea by Laulipop NZ

Bubble Tea by Laulipop NZ

A cute top covered in spots from Laulipop NZ.

Finding Flamingos shirt by Crafty Mermaid

Finding Flamingos shirt by Crafty Mermaid

A shirt covered in flamingos (!) by Crafty Mermaid.

The 'Some Things Are Black & White' jacket by The Dreamstress

The ‘Some Things Are Black & White’ jacket by The Dreamstress

A stylish black and white roll collar jacket from The Dreamstress.

A Cordova jacket by Crazy Gypsy Chronicles

A Cordova jacket by Crazy Gypsy Chronicles

Another jacket, this time in a gorgeous plaid, by Crazy Gypsy Chronicles.

Gabriola skirt by Nikki's Stitches

Gabriola skirt by Nikki’s Stitches

A lovely long maxi skirt from Nikki’s Stitches.

Southern Plaid top by Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Southern Plaid top by Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And last in our round-up today, a cute plaid tshirt by Modern Vintage Cupcakes.

Have you made something using a Fabric-a-brac find? We’d love to see it! Send through a photo to us at fabricabracwgtn @ gmail dot com, or post a link to a blog post below.

Fabric-a-brac creations

Time for another round-up of pretty creations made from Fabric-a-brac finds! Ready to get inspired? Here we go…

The Week of Nights Blues dress by Two Random Words

The Week of Nights Blues dress by Two Random Words

A cute collared dress by Two Random Words, made with polka dot fabric from Fabric-a-Brac.

Plaid Watson jacket by Offgrid Chic

Plaid Watson jacket by Offgrid Chic

How amazing is this?! A plaid jacket by Offgrid Chic, using the Watson pattern by Papercut (keeping it local with a New Zealand designer!). Made using fabric from Fabric-a-brac.

Purple Laurel dress by Adventures of a Girl from the Naki

Purple Laurel dress by Adventures of a Girl from the Naki

A super cute shift dress using a retro-print fabric from Fabric-a-brac, by Adventures of a Girl from the Naki.

Gabrianna dress by Nikki's Stitches

Gabrianna dress by Nikki’s Stitches

Another retro-type print, this time a long dress in a pink and green Fabric-a-brac find, by Nikki’s Stitches.

Copycat Beignet skirt by Making It Well

Copycat Beignet skirt by Making It Well

This lovely wool came from Fabric-a-brac, and was used by Making It Well to make a gorgeous wardrobe-staple skirt.

Ballerina Moment dress by The Dreamstress

Ballerina Moment dress by The Dreamstress

Moving from wardrobe staples to special moments, here’s a beautiful ballerina inspired dress by The Dreamstress. (With some of the fabric coming from Fabric-a-brac, of course!)

70's wrap skirt by Modern Vintage Cupcakes

70’s wrap skirt by Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And to round off today’s Fabric-a-brac creations round-up, here’s another vintage style number. This one sees both a vintage pattern and fabric from Fabric-a-brac coming together to make a wrap skirt over on Modern Vintage Cupcakes.

Yay for more pretty creations with Fabric-a-brac finds! Which one is your favourite?

Have you made something using a find from Fabric-a-brac? We’d love to see it! Drop us a line: fabricabracwtgn@gmail.com

Next Wellington Fabric-a-brac – 2 May

Hi everyone!

We’re excited to announce the date for the next Wellington Fabric-a-brac: 10am – 2pm on Saturday 2 May!

Just like previous Fabric-a-bracs, it’ll be filled with all sorts of treasures – fabric, notions, trims, and tasty treats from the Fabric-a-brac cake stand. And with all the money raised from the hospice table, cafe and stallholder fees going to the Mary Potter Hospice, it’s a pretty great reason to come along and treat yourself to a little something!

Interested in having a stall?
Great! There’s a form over here to fill out to register your interest. Please note that tables are allocated on a ballot system – applications to have a stall close on 30th March, and we’ll let you know on 6 April if you have been allocated a table or not. Stalls cost $40 for a full table and $20 for a half table – let us know in your application if you are interested in a full or half table.

There’s info over here about selling at Fabric-a-brac.

Want to volunteer?
We’re always keen to hear from people who want to help out! We need lovely volunteers for helping set up the hall, on the Hospice table and in the cafe during the event, or helping to pack down at the end of the day. If you’re interested in volunteering, just reply to this email and let us know.

When and where is it?
St Anne’s Hall
22 Emmett St
Newtown
Wellington
101m – 2pm Saturday 2 May

Yay! Fabric!