Keep calm and shop!

New fabric at Empress Mills: The new Stitch It range – Natures Joy

I can’t believe that it has been so long since last writing! Again, I have been far from idle, even if just watching the news from the USA right now. I have a very dear and close friend in The States and I worry about her as things seem unsettled at the moment. I hope that following this election there is a peaceful transition and the country can resume it’s status as a democratic superpower on the world stage.

I have also been dealing with a few health issues. Not on the scale of Covid though and as I write, England is in it’s second lock down. Agree with the Government policies or not, I am sure everyone agrees that we must stay safe and the best way to do this is following the ‘hands, face, space’ advice. The closer we adhere to this general principles, the sooner we can safely get to see loved ones. Hopefully the newly reported vaccine is approved.

Still, this isn’t a political blog but one about sewing.

I have been working on making Christmas presents over this past few weeks so it is difficult to share what I have made without letting on what I am giving.

I can tell you, however, that I have activated my Amazon Handmade store! I didn’t even know until recently that Amazon had a handmade store. If you are a seller, it is handy because there are no monthly charges, just a one off charge, then commission on sales. If you are a buyer there are hand made various handmade items. Some look very professional so I might need to up my game a bit! A Google search for Amazon Handmade UK and type in Ripley’s Emporium of Craft will take you to store. There is only one item there but a few items will be added throughout the year.

With new constraints however, I thought it would be helpful to share with you some on line fabric shops I have used throughout the year and have received a good service.

Billow Fabrics: https://billowfabrics.co.uk/ I buy my wool felt from here as the range of colours is vast. While the range is limited at this on line store if you are a fan of doll making, Liberty and Tilda fabric it is one to look at.

The Cotton Patch: https://www.cotto npatch.co.uk/ very much a shop for quilting cotton that I use mostly for their range in interfacing, stabilisers and fusibles.

The Crafty Mastermind: https://thecraftymastermind.co.uk/ I don’t often use this on line store as I don’t really like the navigation on the website. That said they do stock two of my favourite printed cotton manufacturers, Ruby Star Society and Cotton and Steel, both of which are not generally held in stock at many of the quilting shops in the UK.

Cuddle Plush Fabrics: https://www.cuddleplushfabrics.co.uk/ I use this store for mostly food safe and waterproof fabrics but they do have a small range of plush and printed cotton fabric.

Dalston Mill Fabrics : https://www.dalstonmillfabrics.co.uk/ based in East London, Dalston Mill offer a small range of mostly bridal, dress and dance fabrics alongside some cotton and polycotton prints. The down side is that they don’t have a haberdashery section.

Dragonfly Fabrics: https://www.dragonflyfabrics.co.uk/ I love the quality of fabrics at this East Sussex store including eco and organic fabrics. They also sell a range of independent sewing patterns and haberdashery. Prices are not cheap but you do get quality. While this is mostly an on line store, they do have open days and, while they don’t have any planned at the moment they do advise that you can contact them if you would like to go to the store.

Empress Mill: https://www.empressmills.co.uk/ a shop based in Colne, Lancashire I occasionally find something. A good shop for more affordable fabrics. I love the new range of paisley design fabrics which I have as the main picture for this blog.

Flamingo Fabrics: https://flamingofabrics.co.uk/collections based in Dundee, this shop sells more affordable jersey fabrics, along with the usual quilting cottons. What I like about this is that when selecting the fabric drop down box, there is a sub heading where you can shop by product. For the novice clothes maker, this can be a real bonus.

Lovely Jubbly Fabrics: https://www.lovelyjubblyfabrics.co.uk/ based in Ferndown, this is another quilting shop that I have used this year, mostly because they have a good variety of more unusual fabrics.

Minerva Craft: https://www.minervacrafts.com/ I don’t often shop here but the range of affordable fabrics, patterns and all things needlecraft makes it worthy of note.

Plush Addict: https://plushaddict.co.uk/ I have used Plush Addict quite often for their large range of Shannon Fabrics, Smooth Cuddle 2 plush, to line the little baby slippers I like to make. They are based in Peterborough and have a range of home decor, quilting and dress fabrics along with some haberdashery and a knitting and crochet section.

Purple Stitches:https://www.purple-stitches.com/ One that is local to me and I have used occasionally and always forget about. They have a really good range of fabrics and haberdashery ranging from ‘rainbow zips’ to cork fabrics, doll making and bag making supplies. The website is easy to navigate and it is on my list to visit.

Ray Stitch: https://www.raystitch.co.uk/ a London based fabric store they sell a good range of quality dressmaking fabrics, including some organic fabric. Their haberdashery and pattern section is more than ample. Like Dragonfly Fabrics prices are not always the cheapest but the service and quality are worth paying a little more for.

Wool Warehouse: https://www.woolwarehouse.co.uk/ I tend to keep this store as a back up. It is similar to Minerva Craft in that it sells a range of fabric and needlecraft items including designer quilting cottons.

Not really a fabric shop …..

The Avid Seamstress: https://www.theavidseamstress.co.uk/ I wanted to add this one as a side as it is helpful if you are new to dressmaking. They don’t in fact sell fabric but instead concentrate on patterns and workshops. It is worth noting that, if you purchase a .pdf or digital sewing pattern, they offer a service to print the document onto pattern paper. They are based in Enfield for workshops and sewing classes but currently offering on line private classes.

Locally to me

Buying on line, while useful in times of lock down means that local shops can struggle to survive. No list of fabric shops would be complete for me then, if I didn’t mention the excellent and continued service of the following shops in and around Andover.

Quilters Dream: https://www.quiltersdream.co.uk/ more of a shop to go and see as Ricky is so hospitable. If you are lucky you may even be invited into the work room for a coffee. Definitely on my bucket list is to try Red Work one day.

Pennies: https://www.facebook.com/Pennies-Fabrics-Haberdashery-and-Wools-110496220321527/ a small shop that sells pretty much every kind of haberdashery you can find! Bias binding, ribbon and trimmings are sold by the meter, along with many other handy and useful haberdashery gems. While we are in lock down, send Penny a message on Facebook if you need anything and, when she is back open, head into Andover to see a much loved town centre shop.

New Threads: https://www.new-threads.com/ Meg is the encyclopedia of all things quilting and Maggie is and amazing, creative and talented seamstress.

Not really a fabric shop but local …

Beaker Button: https://www.beakerbutton.co.uk/ The wonderful Jen at Beaker Button is always an inspiration. Keep an eye open for her new Dorset Button book coming out soon. Also have a look on the website as more items have gone on line over the past 6 months or so.

I hope you have found this list useful and until my next blog, stay safe and well.

x

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