First things first I’d like to thank everyone who visited my site and read the first post. It was quite overwhelming, I thought I would be lucky to get 10 people but there you go! You’re all awesome and If I start to get boring please be honest and let me know. (As my nan would say in her broken English “Don’t be shy”)
I had a very crafty busy weekend thankyouverymuch. A few of us from Craftwerk (the new name for the craft club for now) bought the new Till Walnes book “Love at first stitch” which is a brilliant dress making book by the author of the blog Tilly and the buttons http://www.tillyandthebuttons.com/. If you’re starting dress making for the first time I suggest that you visit her site for straightforward, practical advice for beginners.
So we needed fabric to make our beautiful creations so why not go to the mecca of fabric, Walthamsow Market as we had heard fables of unbelievably cheap fabric and notions.
As we went on a Friday that may explain the lack of fabric stalls, but we had more than enough shops to keeps us occupied.
In a lot of the stores you need to dig around and move stuff to find hidden gems. There is so much going on in some of these places that you could go a bit blind.
The first place we went to was the Textile House , we started strong as this was probably the best out of all the shops there for basic dressmaking fabric. When you walked in there was a table of fabric selling for an amazing £1.25 a meter. Most of the other fabric in there was between £1.45 and £2.75 and all of that at pretty good quality. We then moved onto several notion shops a few of them selling brilliant buttons at 20p each and coates moon cotton for 50p.
I won’t run you through every shop there. But as other blogs have said before there is a lot of sari type fabric and lots of poly cotton, polyester and nylons. Once we got to the 7th shop we thought we would have a break as all the fabric was starting to look the same.It was time for some food.
We found an amazing burger van called Aussie Burgers. My patriotic magpie eye spotted the flag swaying in the breeze from all the way down the other side of the street.
Richard the Queenslander chatted while I was waiting for my food informing us that all of the burgers were placed in a vacuum sealed water bath before cooking to speed up time. You could tell as the meat burgers were moist and generally amazing. It was reminiscent of eating a burger on the Great Ocean Road in Australia. Fillings were minimal but less is more and anymore would have taken away from the flavour.
His menu was limited to 6 burgers 2 beef, 1 chicken and 3 vegetarian burgers (brave for a burger van) and all hand made. MLP later commented that her burger from there was better than the one she had later at Brew dog. Even better to top it off was the chips which were covered in roster salt (any aussie will know what I mean when I say Red Rooster chips)
I’m not a food writer (isn’t that obvious) But I know what I like and I said Id give him a good write up. Totally good if your around go and see him, there is no seating around him and don’t sit at the open seats next to him as that belongs to a narky cafe owner who will send you away mid food. I also do not know him personally or got any free food so its honest. you can find him here http://aussieburger.co.uk/
Ready to continue on after that , we headed back around the end of the high street stores where the assistants were all generally very helpful (and sometimes a bit pushy) we found a great store that sold some nylon blouse fabric at 50p a meter! As I have never worked with this fabric before and I did want to make a blouse you couldn’t really get too upset if you completely messed it up. The ladies also picked up the black pattern flowers fabric for a quid a meter, I don’t think i had ever seen them so pleased with themselves.
The fabric in each store started to repeat itself and there was a lot of fabric I wouldn’t ever use. MLP then suggested that as we weren’t here for as long as we thought we would be why don’t we take the tube to Goldhawk road in Shepherd’s Bush as we had read there were more fabric dressmaking stores there.
As we left I forgot that I had seen not too shabby solid fabrics at £1.20 a meter. That stuff is great for backing cushions and other small craft projects, bits of test runs, even backs of pieced quilts (but not what I would use for the tops). So after a bit of a Doh moment we were on our way to Shepherds Bush.
After a 30 minute tube trip and a 10 minute walk up the right side of Shepherds Bush Green we reached well a lot of stores. We were under the impression that there would only be about 4 there…there we more like 20!!! Already exhausted and wanting a shandy (oh yeah the hard stuff) we started in the first shop.
Its strange when I’m at home I would say “£5.00 a meter that’s really cheap”but after the onslaught of £1.00 fabric I went into cheapskate mode and just though “oh £5.99 that’s expensive, I’m going to need at least 2 meters that’s 12 quid, I dunno.”
Now I’m going to have to go back in the summer as there was some lovely fabric there that I should have bought but my inherited tight arse gene would not let me.
Goldhawk Road is definitely much better for quality dressmaking fabric. They are more expensive at anywhere between £2.00 and £12.00 a meter. But if you’re standing in your local C&H fabrics looking at their prices you know that this is still bargain basement stuff. I did pick up a lovely denim look Chambray for £1.75 a meter bargain!
If you are planning a trip just pace yourself and wear a good pair of shoes as it is knackering.
To finish the day we did go to the brew dog pub in the same street, It was great, 30 odd different kinds of beer and probably some of the best onion rings I have ever tasted.Its pretty hip with the big bearded, thick rimmed glasses tribe so I was glad we got there around 5 and got a table.
So here is our haul
Green cotton £1.10 meter, Black flowers, £1.00 meter, polka dot £4.00 a meter
Denim look cotton £1.79 meter, Berries £1.20 (we all bought some of that) Teal fabric £1.10 meter (I bought all they had left)
Spotty fabric £1.75 meter, floral lawn £1.10, stripes fabric 50p meter
I know its obviously not easy to get to London and as I do quilting, which there was no fabric about for. I went back and ordered stuff online, so as a few people have asked where I shop so here are the main places I buy my fabric from.
and if your government does not tax the crap out of you when you order stuff from overseas, or you find the shipping isn’t too bad then from the U.S.A
etsy is generally very good for fabric from the states.
If you know of or can recommend any other let me know!
I’m going to do a separate entry about Craftwerk (craft club) as this is a very long post.
On the music side…
My spotify playlist this week is a bit all over the place but before that , I discovered an amazing band from Melbourne called Bombay Royale.
its a mix of Bollywood, disco, funk rock and everything else. A great music to put on and summer afternoon or to perk you up when your in a funk. The new album “The Island of Dr Electro” has been playing loudly in my house. (please anything to give me a break from Frozen!). If you only want to listen to one song give Henna Henna a whirl.
Ive also listened to the new side project from Jay Watson of Tame Impala. I’m always envious of multi instrumentalists, especially when it sounds this amazing. Its in keeping with the dream sounds from Matt Berry last week.
Well at the start of the week I was in quite a mellow mood hence Shadowboxer by Fiona Apple I haven’t heard it in donkeys. I’ve put in some brilliant Bowie. (Is he ever not brilliant?) .The radio had played the Verve song History I had forgotten what a brilliant song it was. The rest is the ipod on shuffle and other bits I’ve found over the week.
I have finally got around to watching a Gene Clark documentary. Gene Clark was the singer and songwriter for the Byrds but left at their height to make solo projects. I haven’t finished watching it yet but It would be wrong to not add something off his amazing album “Like no Other”. I found this album while I was working At Virgin Megastore. We would get boxes full of back catalogue and would play Russian roulette and play the first thing that came out, on this occasion it was Gene Clark and I was so glad it did, Its brilliant. It reminds me a bit of Dennis Wilson’s album “Pacific Ocean Blue” which is another great great album. Listen to both if you have never heard them.
The new Sebastien Tellier album will be out shortly which looks like its a concept album based on Brazil. I think his an amazing artist and does not receive the recognition that he deserves outside of France. I’ve put the new single on but If you like that try his album “Politics”
I’ve also added a track off the new Neil Young album Letters home. I not really a Neil Young fan. But he has recorded the album on some old 1947 voice- o-graph booth at Jack White’s studio and it sound like it could have come directly of that era. It really is amazing, crackling , muffled , worn like a well played piece of vinyl. So I included his version of Dylan’s North Country Girl.
Does anyone else think War on drugs sounds like Bryan Adams?
Its late so no 1001 album in this post. Ill pop it in the next one.
Thanks for reading to the very end!