So you might have seen me talking about how I’ve been struggling with sewing for the last few months. Recently I’ve been buying the majority of my fabrics online with specific outfits in mind which is great but does kind of make it quite stressful- especially when you can’t find what you looking for, plus you never quite get the same feeling internet shopping for fabric that you do when you go to the stores. I’ve also been trying to be careful about the composition of the fabric I buy. I realised that I’ve been concentrating so hard on trying to sew staples, making good fabric choices and staying on top of my stash that I’ve kind of taking the fun out of sewing. Not that those aren’t all great things to do but I needed to let loose a bit.
So being in a bit of a sewing funk I decided to get back to the shops and get inspired by the fabric around me, and also be a little bit less of a ‘snob’ about the fabric I bought. I also gave myself the mission to try and get some more prints in my wardrobe- I love seeing other people’s gorgeous makes in lovely prints, but always end up chickening out for myself so this time I made myself promise not to buy any solid colours.
Of I went to one of my favourite places to go fabric shopping Walthamstow. I haven’t been for about 2 years since I moved to the other side of London but I was happy to see it’s pretty much exactly the same as before. I put up a few photos of what I ended up buying on my Instagram and received so many messages about them that i thought it would be easier just to do a blog post!
There are a few blog posts about Walthamstow out there- so I won’t go into detail about all the shops/market stalls and will focus on the fabrics I bought.
First up is my favourite store in Walthamstow: Saeed fabric shop (it’s down near the bottom of the hill). It’s a little bit more expensive than the other stores but tend to have pretty much every fabric you could want- from furnishing to wool blend suiting, jerseys and cotton lawns. I like that they tend to know what the fabric is made of and so far all the fabrics I’ve bought from them have been great quality.
I also got this aahh-maaazing cotton jersey (95% cotton, 5%elastane) for £8.99/m. I was browsing these beautiful bunch of white jerseys with cute black illustrations on them when the sale assistant told me to take the roll outside.
Curious I took it out and OH MY DAYS- in front of my eyes the cute black and white drawings of safari animals change colour.
Like I said- AHH-MAZING. Apparently it’s UV sensitive and the whole range has an extra element of colour once it’s in the light. The brighter it is, the brighter the shades. I obviously couldn’t walk away from it so got a metre. Not sure what I’m going to use it for though!
Just a few things that my lovely followers have sent me about this fabric-
-Don’t dry it outside, as the fabric gets more exposed to the UV light, the less likely/vibrant the colour change will be afterwards
-And the effect will dampen over time
Still. Worth it!
The leopard print viscose was a bargainous £2/m from the imaginatively named “Fabric Store” just a few shops down from Saeeds. This place is full of fabrics from 50p/m to £4/m. It’s pretty chaotic and you’re not gonna find out fabric composition in this place! And it’s probably a bit hit and miss selection & quality wise but hey- worth a try! On a side note- with leopard print seriously on trend, all the fabric stores are brimming with them! From beautiful chiffons to full on tacky glam- shiny and slinky! Unfortunately for me I realised that most tones of leopard print are too close to my skin colour and look a bit odd on me. But luckily I found this beige/cream colourway for my By Hand London Eloise dress instead!
My last two fabrics are from the similarly named “New Fabric Store”.
This is pretty much opposite the last one. This has a more asian wear vibe to the store (the kind of place I traipse around with my Mum when she used to buy fabrics for salwar kameezs) but at the back they have a whole treasure trove of fabrics.
The first I got from there is this really unusual loose patterned knit which is almost lacey (also £2/m). It has quite a bit of stretch. At first i picked it up and put it back down thinking I would never know what to make with it but my friend (who is a terrible fabric enabler!) convinced me to go with my hunch. Now I can’t wait to get stuck into it. And if all else fails- it would make a great throw!
The last fabric is a stunner. I was actually on my way out to pay for the cream fabric when this caught my eye. It’s a machine embroidered border print on black net. After seeing Elisalex’s beautiful birthday dress, I knew I couldn’t let this one slip through my fingers! It was £4/m and really is rather lovely! I think I’ll make my own birthday dress out of this for the big 3-0!
So that’s it!
Just thought I’d put that all down in my blog so you don’t lose the details. I’ll definitely share photos of my plans/sketches and progress as I try and make my way through this beautiful load of fabrics!
Oh and also- if you do go to Walthamstow- you have to check out the food stalls. They never disappoint! There’s a Falafel guy who makes one of the best rolls ever, and this time I had some Hungarian ‘chimney’ cakes which I’m craving right now!