Update from The Fabric Social

“Late last year, The Fabric Social sent over Anissa Dove to work with the wonderful MBoutik Myanmar on sourcing and product development. Anissa was an instant hit with our Bagan based project partners, and worked closely with them to develop new weaving patterns, colour schemes and natural dye processes.

Our second collection with MBoutik featured natural dye made from tree bark, thanks to the ingenuity of Maw Maw (an MBoutik woman and head of the Women Craft Producers Association). The collection also uses the gingham and chequered motifs native to the Dryzone of Myanmar where our partners work.

One of our Burmese tailors Hnu Wai Wai has put her newfound garment tailoring skills to work and is the now the go-to designer and tailor for wedding outfits back in her village. The women continue to work collectively in their new tailoring unit that we helped establish.”

Cute Little Woolly Pot!

Our recent indigo dye class inspired Kirstie to create this cute little woolly pot! Kirstie’s beautiful yarn shows the amazing subtleties of hand dyeing yarns, such gorgeous shades of blue!

A Fabulous Indigo Blue Day!

A great sunny day meant perfect drying weather for a range of beautiful fabrics created by 4 enthusiastic stitchers! Very technical patterns were stitched at speed to produce some amazing effects; another successful indigo class!

The Cambodian Charitable Trust

A couple of years ago I came across the Cambodian Charitable Trust which was setup by Denise Arnold of Tauranga. The board members include patron Theresa Gattung and ambassador Nadia Lim.

As some of you may know both Yvonne and I are keen advocates of education and in particular that of young girls and women. Provenance has previously donated to The Cambodian Charitable Trust because of their focus on providing free, quality education to vulnerable children, especially girls. You can not only donate to this worth charity but also volunteer. Check out their website for more information on what they do and how you can help.



What’s Happening at Provenance 2018?

Provenance will be holding the following classes on Auckland Anniversary weekend 2018 (January Saturday 27th, Sunday 28th & Monday 29th)

  • Indigo Dye Class $200 NZD – January Monday 29th

Spend a magical day learning to dye using a natural indigo fermentation vat.

We show you how to:

* setup your own indigo dye vat (indigo kits available @ $30ea)

* simple shibori techniques

* dye using our indigo vat

Maximum of 8 people per class.

All materials included plus morning & afternoon

  • Eco Dye Class $100 NZD – January Sunday 28th

Spend a fun filled 3 hours learning to dye with Japanese indigo using a non-fermentation method as well as experimenting with other easy eco dyeing techniques.

We welcome people new to textile dyeing and those who have dyed before but just haven’t had the time, space or equipment to experiment further!

Maximum of 8 people per class.

All materials included plus morning tea.

  • Kimono Artwork Class $80 NZD – January Saturday 27th

This is a new class for Provenance but one we hope will be a lot of fun and inspiring!

We provide a base fabric pattern and take you through a simple process of layering fabrics to build a 3D kimono. This class allows you to be as creative as you like; you are welcome to bring your own selection of fabrics, threads, beads, fabric paints etc…

Maximum of 8 people per class.

All materials included plus morning & afternoon

Jo Dixey – New Book Release!

Jo Dixey has recently released her new book “Stitch People” which covers 20 projects on modern embroidery techniques. Grab a copy at your local book store today!

Jo will be stitching at All Things Bernina in Westgate Auckland on the 16th September and the Women’s bookshop in Auckland on October 7th.

Handmade in Japan – Kimono

Recently came across this great episode from the Handmade in Japan Series.  Beautiful handmade Kimono’s made on the remarkable island of Amami Oshima in the southern oceans of Japan. Amazing artistry!
Was very interested to see the use of mud in dying the yarn black which is used in many cultures the world over, including Maori here in NZ who traditionally used mud to turn the flax of Piupiu’s black.


Clutch Purse Instructions

You will need:
• Fabric to cover the outside sell case of your bag (A)
• Inside lining (B)
• Fabric for dividers
* If you are using a fine fabric fuse with a suitable fusing to stabilise your fabric and to help stop glue seepage

Other tools required:
• Scissors
• Fabric Glue
• Strong glue for the assembly (450 or Bostick)
• Small paint brush
• Wide paint brush for the fabric glue application
• Pelmet Vilene for the dividers
• Elastic for the sewing kit

Outer Shell Cases

1. Using fabric A cut 2 pieces at 25cm x 15 cm (minimum) centring any pattern.

2. The notched edge of the shell casing is the top edge, mark a North/South, East/West. Now apply the glue to the front of the shell, smoothing out with the wide paintbrush.

3. Allow glue to become tacky. Whilst this is happening organise your fabric ready for placement

4. Place the face side of the fabric face down on the table.

5. Now place the tacky shell onto the fabric lining up your N/S W/E marks. Turn the shell over with the fabric now stuck in place and smooth out the fabric over the shell working from the centre to the outer edges. You will have to pull the fabric to get a smooth finish.

6. Carefully apply the glue to the sides and allow it to become tacky, then pull the fabric down to cover the sides. Draw the excess fabric to the corners and pinch together, you will now have a small triangle shaped fabric sticking out at the corners.

7. Apply a very small amount of glue to the fabric corner and fold the long side over the short side and allow to dry. There will be excess fabric on the outer edges leave this until the glue has dried and then it can be trimmed off at the shell edge.

Repeat for the other side.

Inner Shell Cases

1. Cut you lining fabric 25cm x 15 cm (minimum); fuse if necessary

2. Apply glue to the inside shell case and sides (wait till tacky)

3. Place lining onto the inside of the case working from the centre out, smoothing out any wrinkles. Again pinch excess fabric in the corner and glue down.

4. Allow the glue to dry before you trim the excess fabric away.

This is where you insert your dividers (see instructions below) before you glue in your outer shells, or it could get messy!


*This is the only time you will need a sewing machine

Cut 2 pieces of fabric at 15cm x 20cm – sides
Cut 1 piece of fabric at 15cm x 18cm – centre
Cut 2 pieces of pelmet Vilene or fusible extra firm Vilene at 15cm x 20cm
Cut 1 piece of pelmet Vilene or fusible extra firm Vilene at 15cm x 18cm

1. Take the first side piece of fabric and with the face side facing you fold the fabric in half-length wise.

2. Place Vilene or fuse fusing to the now folded back side of your fabric.

3. Double stitch down the short sides

4. Snip corners, not to close to the stitching, and turn out so the face side is now facing you and press. Then turn in the raw edges and top stitch close.

5. Repeat for the second side and centre piece.

6. The side pieces now need to be folded – evenly fold into concertina creating a W shape.

7. Now take your centre divider and sandwich it into the middle of the concertina. Stitch down the edge about 6mm so you secure the centre divider, repeat on the other side.

Putting it all together

1. Working one side at a time apply your strong glue (450 or Bostick) into the short side channel and the raw edge of your divider.

2. Allow the glue to become tacky then press the edges of the dividers into the inner side of the channel, making sure your dividers are clear of the hinges.

3. Repeat on the other side.

4. You will now have a frame with the divider only

5. Apply strong glue to the inside channels and on the edges of the shell cases (allow to become tacky), then place outer shells into the channels and press firmly. You can put a gentle weight on the shell until the glue is dried.

“Exotic Wildflowers” by Mary Metcalf

The very talented Mary Metcalf used 5 of our recycled silk sari scrap packs, with some left over!, to make this brilliantly coloured 1m x1m square quilt. Crochet flowers and wool leaves, plus lots of close quilting and pin-tucking for texture. Mary said it was “Lovely working with the silks once I had backed them with a light iron on interfacing.”

The quilt has been accepted to the Expertise Events – Tradition with a Twist competition and will be travelling around Australia and NZ until December 2016. You will be able to see it at the Hamilton Quilt & Craft Fair in September.

Thanks Mary for sharing your photos!


Metcalf Exotic Wildflowers 02 (595x640) 010516

FREE Tea Cosy Pattern

Provenance Tea CosyTo fit a 2-3 Cup Teapot

What you will require…

  • 2 balls of Provenance recycled silk sari yarn (50m) or 1 hank of spun recycled cotton sari yarn (50m)
  • 6mm knitting needles

How to Knit Two Sides of the Tea Cosy…

  • Cast on 21 stitches and work 32 rows of garter stitch (knit every row) this will create one side of your tea cosy. When the side is complete thread the stitches onto the remaining yarn and pull tight to gather; secure ends of yarn.
  • Repeat this process for second side.

How to Assemble Your Tea Cosy…

  • First weave in the tails of the yarn.
  • Pin sides together at the bottom and top of the cosy and fit over your teapot.
  • Pin to fit around the spout and the handle making sure the openings are quite loose as this makes the cosy easy to put on and take off.
  • Using a blanket stitch in either embroidery thread or ordinary sewing thread stitch sides around both openings.
  • With the left over yarn make loops to decorate the top of the tea cosy.