Monday, 5 November 2012

Fabric Shopping Splurge



Erm... so I bought quite a lot of fabric this weekend. Alas, I couldn't make it to Birmingham for Marie's Rag Market meet-up, but Handmade Jane and I nipped down to Goldhawk Road for a couple of hours. It's only the second time I've been, and it was a great opportunity to stock up on a wonderful selection of reasonably priced fabrics. In particular, I purchased a few drapey poly fabrics, which can be tricky to find in central London or online. I returned with a LOT of stuff but all great value and no random purchases - I know what I want to do with every single piece...





In every shop we went into, I kept gravitating towards polka dots, red, kelly green and monochrome. We made a joke out of it, but actually I think it's a really positive sign - to be confident about your "signature style" and stick to it, rather than returning home with a random selection of colours and prints. So I make no apologies about the fact that over the next few months you'll probably see a lot of navy and red polka dots, or monochrome pairings; nor will I feel embarrassed that there are three different types of chocolate brown polka dots in my fabric stash!

Do you have a signature style that guides you when fabric shopping? Or do you prefer to see sewing your own clothes as an opportunity to experiment with colour and print? Do tell!


Thanks Jane!

[Soundtrack: 'Remember (Walkin' in the Sand)' by The Shangri-Las]

40 comments:

  1. That synchro swimming ladies fabric is brilliant! Looking forward to seeing all your creations! I'm off to Birmingham next week so I may have to have a rummage at the rag market...

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  2. Looks like fun!! And great colours, nice and zingy. It's lovely to see the swimmers fabric, I made a dress from it, but if had made pyjamas I would see it more often!

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  3. I love your purchases! I wish I could go to London some time soon..

    Of which fabric is the snuggly skirt made of?

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    1. Thank you! The snuggly skirt is a thick tomato red corduroy. Yum.

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  4. Wonderful stuff! I went on a fabric splurge too this weekend, also coming away with a lot of specific plans rather than randoms. It's a very satisfying way to shop!

    I find I experiment much more with colours and styles when sewing my own clothes than I used to when buying ready made. I think it's beacuse the offer in shops is limited, and the thing I enjoy most about sewing is the fact that there is absolutely no limit to creativity. I also find it quite liberating that if I make something that turns out to be a bit out there, I make myself style it until I'm comfortable wearing it anyway. The same thing in a shop would get put back on the shelf, but I really like pushing my boundaries a bit, discovering new looks and having fun with them.

    However, I couldn't say I've ever had a signature style. I think this probably makes quite a difference in how one would approach things.

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    1. That's true, sewing really let's you experiment and create something totally unique. On the other hand, it also let's you make countless things in the same colour combination, and that's great too!

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  5. I'm with you Tilly- I've sewn too many things in fabrics that aren't quite my style, and they just get pushed to the back of the wardrobe.

    At first when I realised that I was gravitating towards the same colours & patterns, I was a bit embarrassed at my own predictability, but soon learned that I felt more comfortable in them and as a result probably looked better in them too!

    For the record, my fabric weaknesses are polka dots (what's not to love!), stripes, navy, red & white, but also jewel-ly colours like magenta, teal & purple :) Not particularly original, but you gotta work with what you like!

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    1. p.s. that looks like Jane sporting her awesome Abbey Coat :)

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    2. It certainly is! Thanks for noticing! x

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    3. You clearly have exceptional taste :) And yes, Jane's coat is absolutely gorgeous.

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  6. There's nothing wrong with gravitating towards polka dots, red and navy nautical prints, in fact I'd say it's a positively healthy way to be! I had a fab afternoon Tilly, thanks for being such a great partner in crime! x

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    1. We must do it again some time! Once my bank balance has recovered...x

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  7. Sounds like you had a great weekend! What can be better after fabric shopping to sit surrounded by fabric and make plans?

    Being able to sew opens unlimited possibilities - so I like to experiment and try new things.

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  8. Oooh, there is some lovely fabric there.. I particularly love the swimming ladies.

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  9. Oh gosh, where can I get some of the swimmer fabric ?

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    1. I've seen it a few times, including Ditto in Brighton and I think on a market stall somewhere. I can't quite remember which Goldhawk Road shop it's from though...

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  10. Fab, looks like you got yourself some lovely stuff! I also have the swimmer print in that colourway and the blue colourway ;o) Shame you both couldn't make Birmingham, you were missed!

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  11. Love those colours and patterns....they are going to look fab! :)

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  12. Love the snuggly skirt and blouse combo. Oh, who am I kidding...I love them all!

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  13. I love the pyjamas!! It gets me wanting to make pyjamas too!

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  14. The swimming ladies fabric is so cheeky! Can't wait to see the corduroy skirt

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  15. I like so many different things I couldn't possibly settle on a "signature style," at least as far as fabric is concerned. I almost always pick traditional/classic style patterns though so I guess that's my style.

    The red and blue and the red and jade or sea-green look really nice together.

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  16. I like the swimmers pyjama material. Would be great as a wash bag too.

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  17. Lovely purchases Tilly! I think it's good to have a signature style, or to at least know what you like. I tend to gravitate towards certain colours - deep pinky purples and teal blue feature heavily in my wardrobe, whether purchased items or handmade.

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  18. It's never 'quite a lot' if you left more in the store than you took with you ;) My main signature would be my refusal to wear anything which restricts my breathing (ex: corsets) or ease of movement (ex: wiggle skirts, stiletto heels).

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  19. I definitely have a particular style that I stick to when fabric shopping. I have strayed from it before to experiment but I never like my purchases or what I make with it. I always go back to what I like.

    On another note, I'm absolutely in love with the printed fabric that features the girls swimmming. If you ever clean out your stash, please don't throw that away. This girl would take it in a heart beat!

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    1. I've seen it around quite a bit, I'm sure you can find it somewhere online with a bit of searching. Good luck!

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  20. I love going fabric shopping- its so fun. Wherever you went looks lovely, better then where I usually pick stuff up! :)

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  21. These all look fabulous, Tilly - I especially like the snuggly skirt/blouse combination you have planned.

    I think my signature style has got to be novelty prints - it seems like all the fabric I have bought in the last 6 months or so has some sort of fun print on it. Oh and anything fairly brightly coloured, as well! x

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    1. You definitely have a signature style, Roisin. And an awesome one at that.

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  22. This will all be wonderful made up, Tilly--can't wait to see them. And I love that tomato red corduroy--yum!

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  23. Tilly, you must go to Birmingham's famous Rag market. I can guarantee your'll come away with bags of amazing fabrics and trimmings for just a few pounds. I was only there last week stocking up. If you do make it to Birmingham you must visit the fancy silk store which is opposite the market- 3 floors of fabrics. Also the custard factory is worth a visit. http://www.custardfactory.co.uk/home/shops/

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    1. Ah yes, I've been there a few times for work / Flatpack Festival and usually try to sneak off to look at fabric a bit! That massive shop is overwhelming, non?

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  24. I'm totally with you on the 'signature style'. A friend of mine has a wardrobe that consists entirely of black and white items - and it really works for her. Imagine how easy it would be to coordinate your outfit with that wardrobe? While mine varies a little more, there is a very strong theme of navy blue and red - and I definitely have a thing for stripes! I'm actually on holidays in Tasmania at the moment and I only packed navy blue, red, black, white and denim. It's wonderful because everything goes with everything!

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  25. I'm actually on the other plan right now, I took a look in my closet and decided I can't buy anymore blue or brown fabric. I mean, it's great to know what you like, but for my own part I need to branch out a little and expand my color choices. :) I have a definite weakness for corduroy that I don't plan on curbing, though, and yours looks yummy!

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  26. I WAS experimenting, but all I really ended up with was a closet full of perfectly nice clothing that I never wore because it wasn't "me". I took a good look at the things I actually wear, and decided to expand on that. Now all my clothing is lace, velvet, or tulle in black, red and purple, haha, but I love it all, and it's much easier to put an outfit together!

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  27. Tilly I am just the same over black background ref florals. I have red flowers of every kind and size on black backgrounds! I must have been a gypsy in another life - not the new kind, the old kind with big earrings who read tarot cards and played the tambour...

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  28. I have three brown quilting fabrics with white polka dots left over after making baby quilts... There's something so classic and gender-neutral about brown with polka dots for quilts.

    I realized in high school that half of my shirts were navy, and most of the rest were green or purple. I deliberately make my staples cool colors now, with some fun clothes in bright colors for contrast. Right now I'm really into magenta as my pop color, it looks so good with navy.

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  29. I need some polka dot for winter clothes I think! Nice fabric you choose!%))

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