I’m lucky to live in London for a lot of reasons, but one of them is certainly the access to great fabric stores and the frequency of meetups at said stores with other like-minded sewists. They usually occur every few months, but with my crazy social and running events calendar, it’s usually really difficult for me to attend. However, this time around, the meetup coincided with a “stepback week” in my running (a planned lower mileage week to give your body a break) so I only had a one hour run on Saturday morning before the meetup. Yes, I realise the craziness of using “only” in that sentence.
This post is more about my own shopping and acquisitions from the day, and I know from past trips to Goldhawk Road that I really need to be strict with myself or risk returning home broke and dragging binbags full of fabric behind me. So I came prepared with a shopping list and only £50 cash to spend (in the past I’ve actually left all my cards at home, too!).
Things on my shopping list:
- Stretch lining for the swirl sheath dress
- Power mesh in black & beige (for both lingerie & activewear linings)
- 2m heavy jersey for a travel skirt
Here’s a shot of my total haul. Not only did I get everything on my list, but I stayed within that £50 budget for the day (which included lunch & drinks!).
My first purchase was the power mesh – 1m of both black and beige from A-Z Fabrics for £4.95/m. They had loads of colours, too, and I was glad I bought it there when I saw shortly afterwards that Classic Textiles was asking £10.95/m for theirs! I didn’t buy anything at Classic this time around, but I was tempted by the ponte knits by the door.
I’m glad I held off on those, too, though, because A-One Fabrics had the most perfect heavyweight, almost neopreney jerseys which will be perfect for my travel skirt, and in a ton of colours. I eventually decided on the royal blue over the turquoise, and ended up getting 3m as it was the last on the roll, for a total of £12 (so I’ll probably make some leggings too).
I don’t normally go to Fabric House (in between A-One and Classic), but I’m glad I did this time because lo! they were the only shop on the ‘Road that had stretch satin lining, and in a fantastic silver colour, too. Perfect for my purposes, so I bought 3m, I think for £12-15. Seriously, though, I had no idea stretch lining was such a tall order – I asked at A-Z, Classic, and A-One and none had a single length!
I also grabbed a thin, navy viscose lycra jersey from the array of colours at Fabric House (2m for £7 I think, so comparable to Tissu’s in both quality and price), and I got into a lengthy conversation with the owner when I saw he had a bowl full of bra notions. Turns out he just bought up all the suppliers from a lingerie-maker who’s retiring and literally had bin bags full of lingerie supplies behind the counter! I think I’ve sold him on the idea of putting together kits, ladies, so you’re welcome!
We were then a bit late to meet up with the group at the amazing Liz Cafe, just two minutes’ walk down Goldhawk Road from the fabric shops (7 Goldhawk Road, Shepherd’s Bush, London W12 8QQ). It’s only been open two months, but it’s a) a super chilled cafe with b) really great quality, healthy, freshly prepared food and homemade cakes, and c) family owned and happy to host a gaggle of sewing ladies.
Seriously, this place is great, and I highly recommend we turn it into the unofficial sewing cafe!
After we all ate our fill, there was the Epic Swap! I brought along a bunch of patterns, fabrics, books, magazines, and craft kits, after a big clear out of my sewing cave, and I was very happy to pick up only a few bits in return – a lovely orange printed silky satin (I say “silky” because my burn test was inconclusive but it really feels like silk)…
…a peachy lining fabric (seen with the stretch lining a few photos back), and a terracotta cotton sateen that’ll be perfect for a Hummingbird skirt. I was also gifted two bright orange lengths of wicking lycra, too!
Clearly my colours of choice for Autumn are oranges and blues!
PS: The status on Save Goldhawk Road – they’re still fighting! There’s an article on the latest legal development here.