Tag Archives: Shopping

And If You Ever… Fall In Love Again…*

Thanks to the 90s boy band E17 I’ve never forgotten that this postcode equals Walthamstow – the home of the longest street market in Europe.

When asked where’s the best place to buy cheap fabric the first response is usually this market. There are many blog posts about it for example here, here and here. I’ve been meaning to visit for ages and thought a trip there this weekend before going back to work would be a good idea.

I should have waited. Too soon after the New Year, the market lacked atmosphere and the weather was a miserable grey. The TMOS (The Man Outside Sainsbury’s) I had read so much about wasn’t there with his marvellous stall. In fact there were no fabric stalls out but all of the fabric shops minus one were open.

Wandering listlessly between shops I realised when not buying cotton fabric I’m really unsure about what to buy. I’m not a fan of jersey, polyester or anything like nylon. Although I was persuaded by the reeaallly cheap prices to some fabric…

e17_fabric

Both are variations of polyester I think. Yes, I did just say I don’t like polyester but the light pink was 50p a metre! The other (to use for lining?) was £1 a metre. Bargain!

Hmm…what shall I make…?

I plan to return to Walthamstow market later in the year, when the weather is warmer.

*Go here to see one of E17’s best hits (a cover of a fab rnb song).

Fabric Shopping Across the Channel

Paris_street_art

So to make the most of the Summer before returning to part-time study I went on holiday this month. Hurrah! I knew I wanted to incorporate a first time journey on Eurostar and from there it became a trip to Paris, Florence (on an overnight train) and onto Viareggio in Tuscany. Much fun it was but this is a sewing blog so let me focus on that.

paris_owl

 I see owls everywhere, do you?

I researched the bloggersphere thoroughly for info on fabric shopping in Paris and thankfully there’s much guidance here, here and here. So while there I went to Montmartre, the location of the beautiful Basilique du Sacre Coeur and numerous fabric shops. The first two – Marché St. Pierre and Tissus Reine were the largest fabric shops I’ve ever been to. Floors and floors of all types of lovely material. I was overwhelmed by the choice and so with no particular bargains to be found I had the sinking feeling of being too early in my sewing adventures to fully appreciate all the delights before me and make wise purchases.

I visited all the fabric shops in the locale that I saw. Some were stronger on home furnishing fabrics, another a haberdashery with some fabric. The busiest shops were the two ‘coupon’ stores. This is where pre-cut fabric is sold in 3-4m and priced up ready to purchase. Again lots of choice but more affordable this time. These shops were very busy, clearly popular with the locals so I joined the hunt for bargains. I bought these:

paris_fabric2

The red and pink check/plaid on the left is 100% cotton and cost 18 euros. The middle one is a much brighter green cotton print than my camera phone has captured. it’s quite bold and I do have my doubts about it. It was 15 euros and the third is a neat woven cotton ideal for a smart skirt, a smaller piece that the others this was less than 10 euros.

In the shop were I bought the red and pink fabirc there was a wonderfully colourful range of tweeds. Lovely to touch and screaming Chanel style suit! I decided to buy some on my next trip when I’ve more sewing experience. That’ll be something nice to look forward to.

I did research fabric shopping in Florence and two websites mentioned an amazing fabric warehouse called Gori Tessuti. It didn’t seem far away so worked out a route from central Florence by bus. It was beautiful – huge room full of rolls and rolls of fabric but dear reader, I couldn’t buy any of it. The blogs I’d read failed to mention it was wholesale/traders only! Oh the woe. There was fabric as far as the eye could see:

gori_florenceGori Tessuti

I left emptied handed but chuffed at my navigation skills (got to and from central Florence without any problems). I didn’t see any other fabric shops in Florence as the warehouse was the only place I had planned to visit.

Fabric shopping in Paris was lovely and Florence a disappointment but really this was a small part of the trip. I did so much – went to the top of the Effiel Tower, joined the scrum to see the little Mona Lisa, Michaelangelo’s statue of David and ate plenty of gelato to name but a few things. It was a lovely holiday.

effiel_towerThe Eiffel Tower

florence_duo

The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore or Il Duomo di Firenze

viareggio2Viareggio