Dublin fabric stores

I had a fantastic time in Dublin last week and managed to spend a lot of money at all of the fabric stores in town. So if you’re looking for fabric stores in Dublin to visit sometime, here’s a quick guide to take along…

Hickey Fabrics at 5 Henry Street

This one looked a bit corporate from the website, but I was pleasantly surprised by the shop itself! It’s set on three levels, with the ground floor mostly being curtain and upholstery fabrics, the first floor being bridal fabrics, and the basement being fashion fabrics and haberdashery. I mostly stayed downstairs, and I was really impressed by the mix of really nice quality fabrics – lots of standard corduroys, denim, knits, satins, fleeces, and anything else you could think of. I got an absolute steal on a length of 100% silk charmeuse – it was originally €42, marked down to €10!! There were a handful of other silk prints marked down, too, but I fell in love with this navy, silver, gold, and teal print. There was only one Spring/Summer pattern I had any interest in, Burda 7783, so I bought that and found the most wonderful grey linen/lurex blend to make it in! I also snagged a one metre remnant of teal satin, and had a sweep through the haberdashery before finally stocking up on Gutermann thread. All the London stores decided to inexplicably switch to Coat’s Duo overnight, which is more expensive for less length and makes me shudder at the memory of the quality of the American Coat’s and Clark thread. So I bought huge spools of all the neutrals in the hope they’ll last me a while.

The Tuxedo-Inspired Suit

If you’ve been following along, you’ll remember that my grandmother visited the Pendleton woollen mill in the 1960s and bought two 2 yard remnants of 100% wool navy blue suiting fabric for $6 each (so $12 total). In August, she gave these to me, saying she’d never got around to sewing up anything with them and she thought I’d make better use of it.

I’d already finished the jacket portion of this tuxedo-inspired suit (the show piece from my F/W 07 Collection), and you can see the first photoshoot of that here.

The trousers were far more straightforward than the jacket, however, so they didn’t take nearly as much time or seam ripping to complete! I wanted to tie together the satin accents of the two pieces so I opted to add a thin stripe of navy blue satin ribbon to the outside seams of each trouser leg, which I think gives a subtle sheen as I move. The integral belt/waistband of this pattern really evokes a sort of cummerbund, too, and raises this design above just a normal trouser suit.

The Most Worn Awards

I’m nearly finished the tuxedo-inspired trousers which are made from the same vintage Pendleton wool as the tuxedo-inspired jacket – I’ve just got to hem and turn up the bottoms and they’re ready for a photo shoot! But in the meantime, if you’re a Pattern Review member, take a second right now to go vote in the One Fabric: Wool contest in which said tuxedo-inspired jacket was entered. Go on, I’ll wait.

So finishing up such classy threads has made me stop and think about which parts of my wardrobe I actually wear most on a day-to-day basis. I absolutely love making the smart ensembles and special occasion wear, especially since the aim of my FW/07 Collection was to increase my business attire, but I tend to wear a lot of basics in my otherwise very casual office. I think looking through the garments I wear most often might help to give me some focus as I start mentally planning what I’ll be sewing this spring…

Fehr Trade Most Worn Awards

(in no particular order)

  • Black leather handbag – I use it to haul all my supplies, lunch, mittens, iPod, and everything else around every single day. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Forty Year Wool Jacket

I’ve been working on the jacket portion of my tuxedo-inspired suit (the show piece from my F/W 07 Collection) for the better part of January now, and I finally finished it this week. I cut out the pieces for the trousers at the same time to ensure I had enough fabric for both (I do, with about a half yard left over!), but sewing both at once would’ve really just resulted in missing pieces!

"You want me to do WHAT?"

Last night after dinner I thought I’d go work on my blue Pendleton jacket. I knew the next step was to create and attach the upper collars (that will cover most of the satin lapels), and so 2 pieces for each lapel, plus the back (collar) facing, it shouldn’t have taken more than a half hour or so. Two hours later, I was mentally exhausted and I felt like I’d come away from an entire day’s marathon session.

I know I only just moaned about this pattern yesterday, but I ended up doing something last night I’ve never, ever done before in sewing: I got out a ruler and measured two pieces to see if it was actually physically possible to join them.

The seam in question:

Wool, satin, and lace

I’m making good progress on my tuxedo-y suit using my grandmother’s vintage Pendleton wool. I’ve done the single welt pockets (a first time for me!) and the construction of the jacket body, and I’m now working on the many collars and lapels. The placement of the welt pockets (which are hidden under a front flap) is way too high, though, and the pockets are too narrow to be useful, though – this is the second time I’ve had BWOF jacket pockets be waaaay too narrow for my hands to fit through, so I must remember that for next time.

Gift and Receive

Things were a bit hectic in the leadup to Christmas this year, seeing as how we were starting from scratch in our own place this year. Sewing ornaments and other decorations took up most of my time, but I was able to fit in two sewn gifts in the few minutes I had before work in the mornings, sewing with very numb fingers in my heater-less sewing room.

Red vines

I have such a thing for red corduroys. I’ve probably owned about ten pairs over my lifetime, and they have all been worn multiple times a week until their inevitable downfall. For the last few months, however, I haven’t been out shopping very much and when I have been out in stores, I haven’t been able to find any cherry-red cords anywhere.

So in my American fabric buying orgy I picked up some bright red baby wale corduroy to make my own. The fabric was a bit thinner than I was expecting (more shirt weight than trouser weight) so I hope they don’t wear out prematurely, because I’m stupidly happy with them!

Beware the ravenous pandas!

If you have never felt or sewn bamboo fabric before, stop what you’re doing and go buy some right now. Seriously. I’ll wait.

Bamboo jersey is as soft as cashmere, as easy to work with as cotton, machine washes without much shrinkage (or loss of softness), is antibacterial (so if you make workout gear in it it doesn’t stink half as bad as even the techno wicking stuff!), and all the wrinkles steam out of it in the time it takes to have a shower. Honestly, this stuff is wonderful, and I can’t wait until more colours are available and I’m buying every single one.

This wrap dress pattern is originally from the May 2006 Burda WOF, but it’s proved so popular that Burda have released it as a 2 euro download pattern, too. It really is the perfect wrap dress – necklines that don’t move, secure fastenings (two snaps are concealed beneath the decorative belt), and best of all – a full frontal overlapping skirt panel so you don’t have any surprises on a windy walk to work! Coupled with the luxuriously soft bamboo, this really is like wearing pajamas…


Due to popular demand, the latest addition to my FW/07 Collection is the Go Patterns little black dress, 4001. This dress is not one to be taken lightly, as you’ll remember from my fitting session – it’s much more of an exercise in couture techniques than a quick dress you can whip up in an evening. At several points I got a bit frustrated with my glacial progress and the amount of hand sewing, but the end result is just… breathtaking.