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!)

Vals fabric

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.

fabric a brac 2

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 🙂


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!

fabric a brac 3

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!

fabric a brac 1

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 🙂

Fabric-a-brac Auckland is back!


The annual Auckland Fabric-a-brac event promises to delight with plenty of modern and vintage fabric and haberdashery from private and designer collections.

The venue for the event, taking place in September, has moved to Ponsonby, at the St Columba’s Centre.

Once again, the Crafting Corner will feature Olga Ganke on crocheting and Shelley Warner on wool work.

For your enjoyment, we will have live music from the talented Kerryn and the Mercy Hospice Auckland fundraiser café will be offering cuppas and delectable treats.

Find out more

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
10am – 2pm Saturday 2 May


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!)


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


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.


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! 😉


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.)


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.