I had a wonderful day out on Friday, fabric shopping for forthcoming classes at SewJoBaker and a little personal fabric shopping too (but don't tell anyone!). There are quite a few places I like to go fabric shopping (more in a later blog) but on Friday I went to Goldhawk Road in West London. It's really quick from Chelmsford, considering how far west it is, and took me around 70 mins to get there (only one tube from Liverpool Street on the Circle /Metropolitan line).
Turn right as you come out of the tube station and you will be greeted by around 15 (!!!) fabric shops, packed to the rafters with wonderful fabric of every description. It really is a fabric lovers paradise. The only place I've experienced with so many fabric shops in one area is the Garment District in New York.
Most of the shops are well staffed and they are keen to show you their fabric. If you are shy and reserved this can be a bit off putting - but I think the best approach is to embrace it. Say hello and explain what you are looking for or that you are not sure what you are looking for and just want to browse. Sometimes the shop keeper will have just the thing you are looking for, tucked behind rolls of other fabric that you never would have found by yourself. It's also useful to talk about what you are going to make, they are genuinely interested and might have some useful tips or fabric care advice.
I bought some beautiful Liberty Tana Lawn (a buttery soft cotton which is a dream to sew and wear) for making PJs and Kimono dressing gowns. Made in Liberty fabrics, these are a luxury garment and also perfect as a present for someone special.
These amazing fabrics are from Classic Textiles - which is probably my favourite.
A close second is Misan West which is down at the far end of the road on the right hand side. It sells some very luxurious and quite high end fabrics - but if you visit the sale section upstairs you are bound to find a bargain. I bought 2m of taupe silk velvet for £25 (which would normally retail at £65 PER METRE!). I am planning a little evening jacket, kimono style to wear with jeans and heels or a little black dress.
I am currently looking for the perfect fabric for a wedding guest dress (the wedding is in February and the pattern I have in mind is the Rose dress from Sew Ladida Vintage which requires around 4 metres). I spotted some gorgeous jaquard in Goldbrick fabrics (it was an ex-designer fabric from Italy) and fell in love - until I found out that it was £85 per metre. Oh well, I guess I need to keep looking!
Goldhawk Road is probably not the place to go if you are looking for quilting cottons - but for dressmaking fabrics, there is probably nothing you can't find!
If you are planning a big fabric haul - I recommend taking a little wheelie case (or someone strong to carry your bags!)
On the way back to the tube, I had a wander through Shepherds Bush Market and found the perfect bobble trim for the customisation workshop this week...what do you think?