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Fabric bunting… retro style

I love looking through old bits of fabric; there’s always some interesting patterns and colours.

I was given some old pieces fabric which had been sitting in my Grandmother’s sewing machine cupboard. They must have been there for a good few years because they smelt quite musty. I loved the vibrant colours and retro style patterns, and at the time I needed some fabric to make buntings for my daughter’s 1st Birthday party, so I washed them and gave them new life.

I used four different fabrics for one of the buntings: on one side I combined a blue geometrical pattern with an orange/brown flowery pattern; on the other side I used plain bright red and a lovely bright green with white and blue flowers. I love the strong contrast in colours: blue versus orange, red and brown, and bright red versus bright green. I sewed the flags onto a red satin ribbon. I prefer to use ribbon rather than bias – I find it’s more decorative.

This bunting is still hanging up in the dinning room, well after the 1st Birthday party. That hint of colour on the wall just seems to add a little jolliness.

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Welcome to fabricMagic.net!

This is my first post, so I thought I might introduce myself. My name is Rachel and I have been fortunate enough to be able to take a few years off work to spend time with my daughter Lily-Méabh who was born in March last year. Neither myself nor my partner were keen on putting her into daycare at such a young age and missing out on all her ‘first times’ so I’m now spending a lot of time in playgrounds and at playgroups which is actually a lot of fun.

When I’m not playing with Lily-Méabh, like all other stay-at-home mums I’m doing the laundry, cleaning, cooking…

And when I’m not playing, doing laundry, cleaning or cooking, I do yoga. I have been practicing Iyengar Yoga at the Marrickville Yoga Centre since May 2008. I love it! Before Lily-Méabh was born I attended 4-5 classes a week; I now do 2-3 classes a week and I have also just started the yoga teacher training course, which is great.

My other major interest is photography, but more recently I have also been very keen to take up sewing. Both my mother and my grandmother used to sew, mostly clothes (dresses, skirts and blouses), but also curtains and cushions. My mother made most of my clothes when I was very little, back in the day when it was still cheaper to buy fabric and ‘make-your-own’. I made a dress or two for my dollies; I even made myself a skirt once!

I’ve never been big into sewing but I have always known how to use a sewing machine and how to measure and cut fabric. I grew up watching my mother and grandmother design and make all sorts of things. My grandmother was very much into making ‘things’ herself rather than going out and buying them; I think because, firstly she couldn’t easily find what she wanted, as she was very particular about how she wanted things to be; secondly, I think she did really enjoy coming up with ideas and designs, and more importantly, solutions to improve or fix things, making them just the way she wanted them; and finally, I suppose she was a proud housewife and enjoyed making her home her own.

When I started preparing for Lily-Méabh’s arrival (and at that time we didn’t know if we were going to be having a boy or a girl), I discovered three things about nursery bed linen: 1) it is often expensive  2) it’s either pink with flowers and butterflies or blue with cars and dinosaurs and  3) the design is so simple I could easily make it myself!

I didn’t end up making my own nursery bed linen. I only really started preparing for the birth a few weeks before the due date and at that stage the last thing on my mind was sewing. In fact, the only thing I wanted to do was sleep! I bought cotton sheet sets from Target which are extremely basic in design (all one colour) but reasonably priced.

When we started preparing Lily-Méabh’s room (which was just a few months ago), I tried to find some nice curtains for her room but the ones in the shops were either too short or too long, or I didn’t like the design. In the end I found some fabric that I liked and made the curtains myself.

Since then I’m constantly going into fabric shops for a ‘quick look’. Well… this has been somewhat of a disaster as I can’t stop buying fabric! There are so many wonderful patterns and beautiful colours and textures…

I think I have developed an obsession for fabric and making my own ‘things’, and that’s how the concept of fabricMagic came to be. It’s amazing how easy one can change the look and feel of a room with just a bit of fabric.

Below are a few of my favourites…

Cute forest animals

Beautifully oriental

Blue bikes, green bikes, old bikes, new bikes…

Imagine these fabrics hanging down the side of a window or spread over a sofa…

Imagine how they would change the look and feel of a room…

Fabric is magic!