Saturday, July 21, 2012

fabric shopping in London

Let's start out my little review of London with the important stuff, shall we? Say, fabric? First off, I will tell you that fabric shopping in London gave me a great appreciation for my local quilt stores and the resources we have here in the US. We are very very lucky when it comes to fabric shops.

That said, I did enjoy exploring the fabric and crafty shops of London. I had done my research (what did we ever do before the internet?) and found a fabric shop very near our apartment and several others on Berwick Street, near Piccadilly Circus. Luckily, I have a very cooperative husband and as long as I was willing to explore every museum and palace within a 90 mile radius, he was happy to help me find the fabric stores. Gotta love that guy! Anyways, we did go find those shops and I was so disappointed. There was very little cotton to be had and most of what we did see was dated and cheaply made. The folks working in the shops didn't even look up when we entered, no friendly hello like I am used to here. Needless to say, I bought nothing.

Then we headed to Liberty of London and my faith in London fabric shopping was restored!
 Liberty is a wonderful old department store with a rich history and fascinating architecture. Inside however, everything is modern, eclectic and fun. We explored most of the departments and really loved it, but spent the bulk of our time, you guessed it, in the fabric department! I bought some fabric remnants and some treats for some of my sewing buddies. I could have spent a fortune there, but I didn't! I was good. Here are the two remnants I bought. Each one is almost 1/2 yard and they are 54 inches wide! That was a happy surprise.

One day when we were walking from the British Museum to the tube we happened upon Blade Rubber Stamps, an awesome rubber stamp and scrapbook store. I had fun checking that out and bought a couple of little things. The best thing was being able to get the newest issue of Mollie Makes, a good month or so before it will be available in the states. I love that magazine!

I had also read online about the shop called All the Fun of the Fair. I had mapped it out and knew exactly where it "should be" but we searched and searched Kingly Street and couldn't find it. Just when we were about to give up, we came upon a tiny alley leading to Kingly Plaza, and found an elevator with a list of store names beside it... and there it was! So up we went. When we came out of the elevator, this is what we found:
An adorable plaza tucked in between the buildings, not visible from the main streets. We quickly found the shop and thoroughly enjoyed it! It was tiny, but jam packed with fun crafty things, lots of yarn, embroidery floss & supplies, neat buttons, charms and odds and ends. The gal working there was chatty and friendly. I bought a few buttons, charms and some ribbon. Oh and cool magnets that spell out "MAKE" for my cabinet. I'm so glad we found the shop!

I'm sure there are wonderful crafty spots all over England that I didn't find. Some of the most wonderful bloggers I have enjoyed are British. It would have been fun to meet them... Maybe next time!


Lisa said...

Ahh Liberty, one day I will make something out of it. A top for myself of some kind!

Maria said...

Lots of fabulous shopping especially the Liberty one...

PunkiePie (Jen) said...

That reminds me of the hand-blown glass Christmas ornament store that we "found" in Poland 12 years back. It was just tucked away with no sign. The lady was about the close up shop for the night but with 5 Americans with money in their pocket? She stayed open another hour for us to shop our hearts away!