This week I met up with a friend who is a sewing dipper inner and outer. You know, one of those annoying people who won’t sew for a year then in an afternoon she’ll whip up a gorgeous perfectly fitted self-drafted dress. We were talking about sewing and she asked where the best places are to buy fabric, so I thought I’d share my favourite places to shop for the wondrous thing that is material…
In the last couple of years there has been a boom in independent fabric and haberdashery shops online. Super business minds are going it alone and creating beautifully curated collections of fabric that we can peruse without even leaving our homes. Some of my favourites are:
www.sewmesunshine.co.uk: Sew Me Sunshine is run by a lovely lady called Harriet. She does epic Instagram stories detailing new-in fabrics, patterns, and disastrous trips to the post office.
sewlo.co: Lucy is the brain behind Sew Loco, a hub of every type of fabric you could want for all your dressmaking needs!
thecraftymastermind.co.uk: This isn’t on the cheaper end of the online market, but if you’re looking for some extra special fabric with a quirky twist, the Crafty Mastermind is your place to go.
www.fabricgodmother.co.uk: Run by Josie, Fabric Godmother is an explosion of print and colour.
www.minervacrafts.com: This is a family-run business that went fully digital in 2017. Minerva Crafts is huge; there’s absolutely loads on their website, and their sale section is always brilliant.
It takes some time, but there are some real treasures to be found in charity shops. I’ve stumbled across huge sheets and fabric remnants for a couple of quid, it just takes perseverance and patience to keep checking back! Another good place to find second hand fabric is at car boot sales, like this 3metre+ whopper of floral cotton that was just £3!
I also always check eBay, but find that it’s best to have a vague idea of what you’re looking for. I’m currently on the hunt for some Orla Kiely-style fabric to make some curtains for my living room so I keep checking listings for any bargains. I’ve also recently been following some stash clear-outs on Instagram. Accounts like @greatbigfabricdestash list a photo of the material, a brief outline of the fabric type, the dimensions and the cost, then the first person to comment ‘Sold’ gets to buy the piece – such a good way to minimise waste! If you search ‘destash’ you should find any current accounts from sewists having a clear out!
Lastly, I’m keeping an eye on Freecycle and Gumtree with the hope that someone will be having a clear out and have bags and bags of fabric that they just want taken away for free. One day…one day….
With so many good online retailers, it’s easy to forgo the simple pleasure of fabric shopping in person. One of the best places to go for a good perve and fondle of fabric is of course Liberty. At around £25 per metre it’s not somewhere to go and buy on a whim, but they really do make the most beautiful fabric and prints, plus the whole shop is just amazing.
On the far more affordable end of the scale is Walthamstow Market. The market has really changed in the last few years and I’ve found that although there are a couple of good market stalls selling trimmings and sewing accessories, the shops lining the market are better than the market itself for actual fabric.
Another of the London biggies is Goldhawk Road, but to be honest I’ve not been for ages, so for a better insight why not have a look at Sewisfaction’s blog post all about it!
Last but by no means least is Maggie’s Fabrics in Lewisham Market. Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, this is a family-run stall that has been in the market for decades stocking top-notch high quality fabrics at amazing prices. Follow them on instagram @maggiesfabricslondon
So that’s a brief round up, I’m sure I’ve missed loads of really good ones, so please comment with your go-to places for fabric and sewing supplies!