A couple of times a year, there is a super-lovely event in Wellington called Fabric-a-brac. It’s a day-long event, where various crafty people have tables to sell fabric, patterns, trims and notions. There always so many awesome things to be found – it’s like a little Aladdins cave of crafty goodness! Today was my second time along at Fabric-a-brac (in the past I have tried to avoid it due to my inability to control my urge to acquire more and more fabric), but this time around I decided to volunteer to help out. Fabric-a-brac is a fundraiser (organised by a lovely volunteer called Josie) for the Wellington Hospice. My mum works at a hospice down in Dunedin, so I quite like the idea of supporting them, and supporting them by spending a morning surrounded in fabric is, in my mind, a pretty good way to do things!
Every Fabric-a-brac there is a table (or two or three – or in today’s case, 6) full of things that have been donated for sale, with all the money they raise going straight to the Hospice. I was down there helping out on the $1 table and the trims table all morning today – heaps of fun! I managed to have a quick race around a few tables before the doors opened to let in the hordes (queues of crafty women waiting outside up to half an hour before the event opened!), and I also snagged a few goodies while I was manning the Hospice tables allocated to me, so I walked away with a few new bits and pieces to add to my fabric collection. (Oops!) I did stick within my $40 limit though, so it wasn’t all bad. And most of it was from the Hospice tables, so I’m telling myself it was more in the way of a donation, rather than a fabric accumulation. (Yeah, right.) Here’s the write up from today’s Fabric-a-brac, along with a few photos. (Including a rather bad photo of me at the $1 table down near the bottom – look for the pink hair).
Here’s what I added to my collection today:
Firstly, a few patterns (5 for $2 from the Hospice table – bargain!)
Simplicity 9970, from 1972, reminds me a lot of the famous Butterick Walk-Away Dress, with it’s wrap around front and back and tie ends. It’s got buttons tabs at the shoulders as well, which seems a bit like overkill to me – with so many fastenings, I’d worry that the dress would fall off in a strong breeze! I’m going to try making this up to see if it’s any easier to fit than the Walk-Away dress (which is notoriously hard, and which I found hard as well when I made my Cartoon Eccentric dress. (I think I’ll make this one without the button tabs though. If I add buttons, they’ll only be for decoration!)
The other pattern in this pair is Simplicity 6946 from 1975. I don’t really own shorts, and every summer I think, I really should get some. Now maybe I’ll get around to making some. 🙂
Style 1414 is a cute pinafore dress and blouse pattern from 1976. I can see this pinafore dress being a bit of a staple once I get one made up and in my wardrobe. (Notice how I’m being a good girl and adding patterns I can’t find to the Vintage Patterns Wiki? I’ve decided this is a good habit to get into, so I’m being a good little online sewing community person.)
Simplicity 6850 is a wardrobe pattern from 1975. While it’s not a major pattern for me (I could make all of these quite easily without the pattern) I decided to get it as it’s a cute wardrobe pattern, and hey, it was 5 patterns for $2, so why not?!
The last pattern in my bunch of five is Vogue 1423, from sometime in the 1960’s. I just love the photo on this pattern cover – it’s so lady-like 60’s! This one’s a Vogue Couturier Design pattern, by Jo Mattli of London. There’s a little blurb on the back flap that I really like, it reads: “Jo Mattli (Mattly) – Swiss charm and Parisian taste combine in the designs of this member of London’s couture group. Mr Mattli has designed the clothes for many English films.” Isn’t that cool? Even if I never make this pattern up, the pattern envelope makes me happy so I’m glad I’ve added it to my collection.
And now, on to the fabric!
This was the first fabric I spotted today, and I had to have it. The lovely girl selling it had it with orange flowers as well – I was very tempted to get them both, but sanity prevailed! I love the tag on this – it’s so cutely vintage! It’s got a little fake dress collar, so the fabric looks like a dress hanging up on it’s little hanger. I’ve never come across that before – it’ll be a shame to use the fabric and separate it from it’s label! (Naturally, I’ll keep the label though, don’t worry about that!) Apparently this is ‘dress length’, whatever that means. I’m guessing there’s enough here to make a 1960’s style dress, so perhaps I’ll get a wiggle dress out of it.
And now we get into the selection of fabrics I got from the Hospice table. I haven’t measured most of these yet – they were on the $1 table, and I just put them aside as they caught my eye while I was manning the table. Although I usually only buy fabric once I know exactly what I’m going to make out of it, these ones were all bought because they grabbed my attention and I figured I’ll figure out what to do with them later.
The white one with the blue abstract type print is a nice lightweight cotton. I’m hoping there may be enough for a short-sleeved shirt. I’m not sure what the green and white striped one is. It feels a little rough, but also a bit satin-y. I’m thinking summer top for this one. The last one in this photo is a black-and-cream check – once again nice and lightweight, and some sort of blend I think. Not sure what I’ll do with this, but I’ve discovered while typing this that if it’s in the corner of your eye the pattern makes you see weird things, which is kinda fun in a distracting sort of way!
The first in this lot is a nice bold blue – some sort of synthetic with a slight bobbly texture running through it. I’m leaning towards a shirt for this one as well – I usually buy lots of fabric suitable for dresses, and I’m thinking it’s time I added more separates to my wardrobe. Next up is a knit – some sort of nice, thick blend in a tartan type print. Hopefully there’ll be enough for a vest – there isn’t a huge amount of this fabric. Last up in this lot is what seems to be a craft cotton (one of my favourite fabrics, oddly enough!). A nice burgundy, with lighter brownish circles on it.
Here’s a group of three cute blue-pink-white floral type prints. The first two are cottons, and the last is some sort of cotton-synthetic blend I think. There isn’t a huge amount of any of these, but hopefully there’ll be enough to do something fun with!
Here are some more little florals. The first one seems to be quite vintage – it’s got that 60’s/70’s polyester type feel to it. Such a pretty pink, I’m hoping there’s enough here for a top. (Like I said, I need to make some more separates!) The brown floral looks like it used to be part of a skirt, or else it was the remnant from a bolt of fabric panels which were designed to make skirts. It’s shirred at the top, and has a ruffle and rolled hem at the bottom. But there isn’t enough for a skirt, which is why I’m thinking it was a remnant. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing with this, but sadly I don’t think theres enough of the shirred section to be of any use for anything. Last in this bundle is another cotton – cream with a floral and striped design on it. There’s a decent amount of this one, so I’ll definitely be able to turn it into something cute.
This was the last bit of fabric I added to my collection today, and the only one that had actually been measured! There’s 2.5 metres at 160cm wide of a lovely vintage blue floral knit. There’s not a huge amount of stretch in it, and I’m hoping that there may be enough to make a 1940’s style dress, if I underline it with knit fabric lining. I just couldn’t go past the colour and the print – so lovely!
I got some lovely vintage ric-rac and double-fold bias binding as well. Because lets face it – you can never have enough ric-rac and double-fold bias binding.
This was my random purchase for the day. I found it while I was helping to measure and price donated fabric lengths for the Hospice tables this morning – a bag containing a whole lot of fabric that was cut out, with the pattern pieces still attached. It looked like it’s meant to be a hooded jacket in a size 12, so I thought, hey, I’m going to buy this and take it home and make it up and see what it was meant to be! Kind of like a sewing lucky dip, really. (And I figured no one else was likely to do that, and it would be a shame for it to go to waste.) I did a bit of hunting when I got home, and it looks like the pattern is for this hooded jacket from 1976. Which makes me wonder – has this been cut out and waiting to be sewn up for as long as I’ve been alive? The poor jacket – that’s a very long time to wait, wondering if you’re ever going to become what you were meant to be! Definitely time someone adopted it and made it up. I’m not a huge fan of the image of the jacket on the pattern cover, but I’m sure I can figure out something to make it work. Hopefully all the pieces are there – I didn’t have time to look through and see if they were (and of course I have no idea what pieces are meant to be there, so it’s hard to tell what’s missing unless it’s something really obvious!).
Looking over that list, I got quite a lot today – oops! But all for only $35, so that’s ok, right?! (It does undo all the good work I’ve been doing with stash busting, though. But for an event that happens twice a year, a girls allowed to treat herself, I reckon. 😉