Liberty – London. Having watched the series last year on this famous store, I have been very keen to get there and experience this very beautiful and famous store. I was not disappointed. The entrance, wooden staircase and general atmosphere are all absorbing!
The selection of Tana lawns are fantastic, seeing the patterns, unfolding the fabric, feeling the quality of the thread count, and the drape is incomparable to ordering a couple of meters online. There are also linens, jerseys, silks and denims along with a very ‘delux’ haberdashery. The fabrics range from £22 to £45 a meter, you do get quality and a massive variety of pattern options, but you are paying the very top end for these fabrics compared to other suppliers of Tana lawns, such as Ditto!
Ditto Fabrics – Situated in the North Laines in the heart of Brighton. The shop is wonderful, there is a huge variety of really good quality fabrics at really competitive prices. Gill the owner, is extremely knowledgable and helpful, it was a joy to meet her, her enthusiasm and passion for fabrics makes it must for all keen sewers. Ditto has some wonderful Italian cotton lawns, linens and the quality and range of fabric is excellent.
“Gill Thornley established Dïtto fabrics in April 1983. She has been addicted to material for as long as she can remember and still loves running Ditto after all these years. Gill loves sewing and puts her fashion degree and years working in the trade to good use many times a day in the shop. The experienced makers and fashion graduates on the Ditto staff share her zest and knowledge of all things fabric, sewing and fashion and they all love helping people choose the right fabric for the look they want.”
“My aim has always been to provide an ever-changing, exciting and inspirational range of sewing fabrics at competitive prices”
Raystich – Islington, London. I have known about this shop through internet shopping, for some time but have only just had the pleasure of visiting it. They have some great fabrics including the designer Nani Iro double gauge Japanese cloth – which I’ve been meaning to try for ages! They sell fabric by the 1/2 meter and are on the pricey side, but they do offer some great lines. They offer sewing classes and advice by a team of staff and they are all very knowledgeable about their stock. One of the wonderful things I appreciated on my visit was seeing patterns made up, they keep garments made during their workshops so that customers can benefit from seeing patterns made up in different fabric types. They stock a huge amount of independent patterns and as I said before, a huge array of beautiful fabrics .
Shopping online with Raystitch is also a great experience, you can search for things in different ways, I particularly liked selecting a pattern and then seeing what fabric they recommended. I bought my Merchant and Mills workshop book from these guys and another perk was that there was no postage charge.
“Rachel set up an online shop in 2008 and moved into shop premises in Islington in 2011. The shop operates over two floors and incorporates a sewing school downstairs. Happily, the sewing bug is rapidly spreading and the well-stocked shop is now a mecca for fabric lovers of all kinds – dressmakers, crafters, stylists, interior designers, male and female, young and old – there’s something for everyone.”
Merchant and Mills – Rye, Kent. I have shopped on may occasion through their on-line shop and have yet to travel to Rye. I did however go the the annual knitting and sewing show in Alexandra Place and saw all of their beautiful haberdashery wares and fabrics there. This is the company I have used the most to date for buying both patterns and fabrics. They source very beautifully made fabrics from across the globe from British Oilskin to Iberian Wool, produced traditionally from Mills to Indian handwoven block prints.
“Carolyn Denham and Roderick Field are Merchant & Mills.The company was formed in 2010 to elevate sewing to its proper place in the creative world, respecting the craftsmanship it entails. They produce a range of card patterns and really useful kits and in profound contrast to the pretty, flowery image of the average haberdasher, they present superb and unusual notions of sewing in stark, utilitarian packaging.”
Hansons – a large warehouse of fabrics, wools, patterns, cottons and many craft supplies – situated in Sturminster Newton, Dorset – just a few miles away from me – very handy! It offers some wonderful supplies and at reasonable prices. They stock all vogue, butterick, new look and burda patterns and the team of staff are very helpful.