As I mentioned earlier this week, we visited Dublin on a flying visit last week as James was speaking at a conference, and I decided to tag along to visit some of his family over there. I first visited Dublin back in 2000 when I was a student and did the very American thing of visiting for St Patrick’s Day (hint: it’s absolutely rammed with Americans and Aussies!). We went back again in 2008 to see some family and also buy an engagement ring, and then I had to fly over a bunch for work around 2011-2013 but those trips were mostly in-and-out on the same day, dealing with a difficult client. But it’s been long enough now that I’m mostly over the pain of those awful work trips, and since I had a spare day to wander around the city centre, I thought I’d revisit a few of the fabric shops I reviewed back in 2008.
While I’ve got mixed feelings that the Woolen Mills is no longer a source for haberdashery (mixed because I’m sad it’s closed down, but happy because it’s now a sister restaurant to our favourite restaurant in Dublin, The Winding Stair), I’m pleased to report that Hickeys on Henry Street is still going strong!
Unlike last time, I headed straight downstairs to the fashion fabric and haberdashery floor, bought some Gutermann threads and zips that were on my list, then indulged in some amazing sparkly metal toothed zips even they were €5 each (ouch). Hickeys isn’t one of those stores that’s absolutely bursting with fabric, and to be honest, the prices are definitely on the steep side, too, but what they do stock is high quality. My previous visit’s purchases turned into this silver linen Burda dress and this silk blouse, for instance.
They had some quilted jerseys in a few different colours, so I bought a remnant of red to allow me to use up the last of some navy quilted jersey in my stash (leftover from a pair of Hudson trousers I made James last winter but was too ill to blog about!). But I fell hard for some geometric wool/poly coatings, which they had in blue and pink/purple colourways.
The only reason I didn’t buy them on sight was the €30/m price tag, and I knew I’d need at least 2 meters to make even the most basic jacket or coat, and that was definitely more than I wanted to pay, especially considering that I’ve got several me-made winter coats, a winter jacket I adore, and a warm cape I had literally just finished sewing. Plus, I have a small amount of space for my stash (and I like it that way), and coating takes up a lot of room. The arguments of “but you’d pay so much more for a coat of that quality” don’t really hold water though since I think the last time I bought a coat was around 2002?
So I left the shop, but since I was still in the city centre for a few more hours, I turned to the internet to help convince me not to go back and buy it.
You guys are jerks! 😂 I think I had more Instagram and Facebook comments than any other post, and nearly all telling me to buy it (if you were one of the few voices of reason, I thank you!)!
So I went back and bought 2.5m – my thinking was that I’d need a bit extra to match the obvious stripe/plaid in the design, and well, when you’re paying €30 a meter, what’s another €15?? Apparently Lisa at Paprika Patterns owns the blue colourway, having bought it at the Sweet Mercerie a while back (for significantly cheaper!) but I couldn’t find it on the site so I assume it’s sold out.
Luckily, I was able to fit it into my carry-on for the flight home, and then a few days later I had a lovely lunchtime meetup round the corner from our moorings with Rachel and Claire. Claire even brought me lovely gifts, in the form of fabric (I swear this girl knows my fabric taste better than I do!) and homemade gingerbread biscuits with “Sew For It” stamped into them. How clever is that??
But then after lunch, Rachel insisted we pop over to Fabrics Galore, which has been my local fabric store since we moved 11 months ago, but I’d been resisting going to because I knew I’d be tempted into buying lovely fabrics!
Yeah, I was right to resist temptation!! We met the owner, Paul, who turns out is good friends with Gill at Ditto Fabrics, and we had such a good chat as we shopped. Amazing fabrics spotted but not bought include: silver lurex denim (with the lurex woven in instead of painted on), cotton jersey featuring blue crabs in bow ties, a ton of luscious Yorkshire-milled wools, and the dark grey colourway of the same Liberty print I made my DKNY shirt from this summer!
But the real gem in the shop right now caught my eye like a heat-seeking missle:
That’s right – two amazing space-dyed supplexes, and at reasonable prices, too!! I bought some of the blue/lime colourway since it matches some lime/citron supplex in my stash, but the red/black/lime colourway is equally lush!
Both are medium weight (I’d personally make leggings or tops from it), a nice matte “cotton feel” surface, and really great stretch and recovery 9that’ll be the 12% spandex then!!). I suspected they were activewear when I saw them, but a quick fondle confirmed it, then the “Sports” printed on the bolt removed all doubt! They’re not listed in their online shop, so get thee to Clapham Junction, Londoners!! (Or you might be able to ring up and have them ship to you! Tell Paul I sent you!)
I’m not doing very well at keeping my stash small this week – perhaps I should just stay at home and sew for a while!!