What Happens When I go Fabric Shopping

I went to the annual Sewing for Pleasure show at the NEC in Birmingham this Thursday with one of my students/friends.  I had a wishlist of sorts for fabric & a definite shopping list for interfacing.  This pile is the result (minus the interfacing).

A tempting pile of fabric goodness

A tempting pile of fabric goodness

The first day of an exhibition is always the best one, the stalls are still fully stocked & you get first pick of all the loverly goodies!  Our first stop was Gill Arnold for interfacing.  I had run down to the smallest, scrattiest scraps so was desperate for whole metres of the fabulous interfacings she sells.  Leaving her stall with £60 of interfacing made me ridiculously happy!  How excited should someone be when all they’ve bought is interfacing??

Gill Arnold's stand

Gill Arnold’s stand

Then we made a run for Rosenberg’s.  The problem with knowing that a particular stand is guaranteed to have the sort of fabric that would bring out the worst in any fabric hoarder is that that’s the place we all want to be!  So elbowing your way through a crowd 5 people deep takes determination.  Unfortunately, it also takes bad manners, something not lacking in quite a few of my fellow shoppers….  We decided to move on to other stands & come back…

Rosenberg's

Rosenberg’s

Apologies for the blurred photo, I was being run down by a mobility scooter!

Anyhow, we enjoyed hunting down goodies to fill our bags, one of the surprise finds of the day was Fabric Affair.  We almost missed this one, only a need for the cloakroom brought it to our attention! Location…  They’d travelled from Ireland with the most amazingly soft tweeds & linens.  I thoroughly expected the tweed to be prickly like Harris tweed, so was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be as soft as mohair!

Fabric Affair with Irish tweed & linen

Fabric Affair with Irish tweed & linen

Those patchwork quilts at the back of the stand – they’re tweed!…  Go to their site, buy their stuff, it’s great!  🙂

For those of you who like indie patterns, we found a company based in Lyme Regis, Dorset.  Sew La Di Da have created a range of vintage inspired dress patterns & I love their packaging!  If you’re close enough, you can attend sewing classes at the studio.   Well worth a visit.

Sew La Di Da vintage inspired dresses in calico on the stand

Sew La Di Da vintage inspired dresses in calico on the stand

And the packaging of the patterns…

Sew La Di Da pattern packaging

Sew La Di Da pattern packaging

Another new-to-me stand was Doughty’s.  They had the usual patchwork fabric offerings and some soft furnishing stuff – but what really caught my eye was their huge stock of ex-Paul Smith shirtings.  I needed a drool bucket.  I forgot to take a photo of their stand in my weakness, but rest assured, they have just about every colour you’d want for a man’s shirt.  Not only cotton shirtings, but cotton canvas also, perfect for a summer jacket – or some trousers…

So what did I get….  Well, I wanted some linen for a bolero, fabric to make a cute little boy’s 1940s dungarees & shirt, something gorgeously different for a 50s dress & something for shirts/blouses for me & a fabric for a cropped jacket for Belle.  In the end I think I did ok, see what you think.

Small check cotton canvas for a cropped jacket

Small check cotton canvas for a cropped jacket

Plaid & checked Irish linen with pale denim for vintage boy’s outfit

2.5 metres of checked pure Irish linen from Fabric Affair for a 50's dress

2.5 metres of checked pure Irish linen from Fabric Affair for a 50’s dress

Cotton poplin for a sleeveless blouse & linen for a bolero from Rosenberg's

Cotton poplin for a sleeveless blouse & linen for a bolero from Rosenberg’s

This linen is fabulous & I bought it to make a bolero to go with a 40s dress I want to make, but managed to convert yards to metres incorrectly & bought too little!  Boo!!

ex-Paul Smith shirtings from Doughty's

ex-Paul Smith shirtings from Doughty’s

An amazing cotton lawn for a friend.

An amazing cotton lawn for a friend.

So now I need to get cracking on the sewing!  None of this needs to find its way into my stash boxes….

Advertisements

11 responses to “What Happens When I go Fabric Shopping

  1. Ooooo, I am so envying that lawn and your collection of Irish linens! Some day, I’ll make a trip to the lovely UK with empty TRUNKS so I can bring back loads of lovely fabric. And thanks for the pattern company links. They are new to me, too.

  2. Great haul! And I am so impressed by the fact that you have proper plans for each piece of fabric you bought. When I go fabric shopping I tend to end up with heaps of fabric that will “make a lovely dress/coat/skirt/etc one day, surely”…

    • That is how I usually tackle fabric shopping, but I had a strict budget, & really wanted to buy specifics this time. Now I just need to make it all before it finds its inevitable way into the stash boxes!

  3. Wow…I wish I’d gone now! That looks like the best show in years. It’s not usually that well represented for the dressmaking side. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the Rosenberg link…I didn’t know they’d got a website now! That’ll be dangerous. And the other links. I’m off for a browse. Where’s my bank card…….

  4. Pingback: Oh Dear.. | Mercury – Handmade Fashion·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s