If you’re feeling crafty….


I’ll be upfront – I’m not in the least bit crafty. I have no natural talent with threads, needles, felt or fabric and embarrassingly, I’ve never had to try as I have an army of clever family and friends who are only to happy to hem the odd pair of jeans or whip up an art smock.

In saying that, I appreciate lovely fabric designs as much as the most devoted quilter – the only difference between them and me is that they have something to do with beautiful fabrics other than just admire them. So, if you have a legitimate use for some divine patterns, look no further than Matatabi.

Matatabi is an Etsy shop featuring Japanese fabrics, although they are far from the traditional patterns you might expect. Instead, Matatabi prints have a decidedly retro feel. There is an emphasis on animals, cute characters and all things French. Scrolling through the huge and very appealing collection, I suddenly found myself thinking that I actually really needed some fabric covered in hedgehogs and mushrooms – who knew?! I also particularly like the deer and the elephants as well as the ‘fairytale’ images such as Snow White (see above).

Matatabi also has some very quaint ‘finishing touches’ including Babushka buttons and printed edging tapes (below). Fabrics are mostly sold in 50cm x 55cm pieces. Prices vary depending on the pattern, however most range between US$3.50 – $8.00. The Babushka buttons are US$5 each.

Matatabi ships internationally from Japan.


Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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