Monday, August 31, 2009

Mary Poppins Overnighter

My Aunty recently had a triple bypass and after her surgery my parents went up to visit her and help her out during her recovery. As a wee present for Mum I thought I'd make her an overnight bag so that she had some lovely hand luggage to take with her on the plane. I'd seen a pattern for a Mary Poppins Overnighter in a book from the library which I had been wanting to try out for a while, so I set to...

First, I chose the fabric. I wanted something luxurious looking, so I decided on a gorgeous fabric by Tania Wheelan called Picnic Damask (available on, just click here), and inkeeping with the luxurious theme I chose a regal looking blue for the inside. The pattern called for plastic tubing to go inside the handles so I took a trip down memory lane and found myself at Para Rubber buying a metre of see-through hose. (My parents owned a Para store when I was a teenager, and I worked in it every weekend - that smell is something you can never forget. Oh, the number of times I cut plastic hose or counted it out during a stock-take!). Finally, all that was left to do was make up the bag.

As always, I completely underestimated how long it would take me. Not only did it take me a while to get my head around the pattern (I'm not sure about you, but I always find reading a new pattern and figuring out exactly what they mean to be a bit of a challenge!), but I'm also somewhat of a perfectionist so I tend to spend a lot of time unpicking slightly imperfect stitching. Needless to say making this bag was no different. But, I got there in the end (I think it took me three evenings to make rather than the one I had thought it would) and I hope you'll agree that the finished product was worth the effort.

Much to my delight, Mum has decided to use the bag more as a handbag than as hand luggage - she never seems to be without these days. But, after talking with her the other day about what works and what doesn't with the bag, we decided that it could do with a couple of minor modifications:

  • It needs a pocket or two. While the bag is surprisingly tardis-like (it definitely holds everything you need for a night or two away, including toiletries and a spare pair of shoes), it could do with some pockets so that you can have those all important items like your phone, plane tickets or magazine at the ready.
  • It needs a longer zip. The pattern only required a 35cm zip, but it could really do with being at least another 10cm longer so that it's easier to get into.

Do that, and it would be a near-perfect accessory for any girls' weekend.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New fabrics just in time for spring ...

Finally, my long awaited order has arrived, and has some gorgeous new stock (or at least it will have once it goes up - you blog followers get to see it a day or two early!).

There's nothing like the excitement of opening a new box full of fabrics - I'm like a kid at Christmas, and it reinforces how much I love doing this. My imagination kicks into overdrive and I'm dreaming of all the great things I could whip up on my sewing machine. I think Thomas might get something fun this time - one of the fabrics just in is a gorgeous green on green kids print with elephants and bears and crocodiles on it (it's the bottom fabric in the picture below). I'm not sure what I'll make him out of it yet, but it's just so nice to have something for wee boys. They definitely miss out most of the time!

I've gone for a wide range of colours with this order. Lots of beautiful, bright, happy, spring time colours, as well as some deep reds and warmer tones in the fabrics from Joel Dewberry. The Joel Dewberry fabrics (see pic 2 below) would make stunning luggage, or be gorgeous as big cushions. The fabrics are a very structured look for the most part, so would suit something that shows them off.

Well, enough talk. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. Happy shopping!

Annie x

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The very first post ...

Hi, and welcome to the blog!

Here you'll find regular updates on what's happening in the world of, like new stock just in, or stock arriving soon, current projects, and maybe even a few how-to lessons.

But, for this first blog I thought I'd tell you a bit about myself, and how came about. So, here's a run down on me...

My name is Annie and I'm 30 years old and I'm married to Greg (32, a geologist and a wonderful husband and dad) and we have one son, Thomas who's 14 months old. We all live in a little 2 bedroom house in Christchurch that needs a lot of work but comes with lots of potential and a huge section, just perfect for little boys to run around in and to grow lots of veges.

After growing up in Ashburton and then going on to Otago Uni to study English and Economics, Greg and I moved to Wellington where I worked for the Treasury as a policy analyst for about 4 years. It was a great job and Wellington was such a fun place to live in our 20s, but when we decided it was time to think about a family we couldn't resist the temptation to move back to the South Island to be closer to our families and enjoy the slower pace of life down here. So far it has been a great decision.

Since having Thomas life has changed a bit. For a start, I'm a mum now and that really has changed the way I view the world. The smaller things mean more, and for me I discovered that I have a strong (but previously largely repressed) creative side that needs indulging. I've always been more of a numbers girl (I still work 3 days a week at Deloitte in their Corporate Finance team) but the more creative things I worked on the more I realised I needed to keep on creating. So, I decided that I needed a way to balance these two sides of me. And, when I was constantly struggling to find the kind of fabrics that I wanted to indulge my love of sewing the way to create that balance,, was born. Now I get to work with gorgeous fabrics all day, plus I have the admin side of running a business to keep my brain busy. So far, it's been perfect (although it does mean a lot of late nights!).

I decided on the name fabrication for my business for a couple of reasons, but mainly because I love the way it incorporates the word fabric with the act of creating something out of that fabric. For me, one of the most exciting parts of buying a new piece of fabric is dreaming of all the hundreds of uses that it could be put to (but if you're like me, finding the time to actually turn the material into something is the hard bit, and so you end up with a box or a room or a house full of fabric, of possibility really). It's this idea that I wanted to capture with the name of my business, and I hope I've done that.

Well, there's lots more I could tell you, but this will have to do for now. Thanks for reading my first blog - I hope you've enjoyed getting to know me and that you'll visit again in the future.