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Arts & crafts

Recommend a dress fabric shop

(57 Posts)
mollie Wed 19-Mar-14 18:33:28

Further to our discussion in The Sewing Bee thread, I wanted to ask fellow sewers for their recommendations of fabric shops with the idea of spreading the word and building up a small directory. MK has lots of craft fabric or furnishing fabric shops but not many dress fabrics outlets (that I know of) other than the very limited and very expensive John Lewis. There's a great market stall but I'd be happy to travel a bit to somewhere that has a nice range ... so, where do you buy your fabrics and trimmings etc.?

Mamie Wed 19-Mar-14 18:38:08

When I am in the UK, I go to C and H in Tunbridge Wells. They have quite a few branches in the south.
Here in France, there is a good fabric shop nearby. Unfortunately it is so utterly chaotic I have never managed to get served. hmm

J52 Wed 19-Mar-14 19:00:35

I mentioned a shop in Shrewsbury, in the Sewing Bee thread. There's also a good one in Oswestry.

Hopefully JL will improve their selection. It's not very good unless you live near London. X

dustyangel Wed 19-Mar-14 21:28:41

Tatters in Staines High Street is very good and another that I haven't used for some time but still seems to have a big selection and plenty of customers is The Fabric Box in North Camp, Farnborough Hants.

tanith Wed 19-Mar-14 21:34:06

Our Dunelm Mill shops have quite a good range of fabric and trimmings.

Juneypam Wed 19-Mar-14 22:44:01

Northampton has the Fabric Warehouse, I've never been as I gave up sewing years ago but you can google it to see what its like.

MiceElf Thu 20-Mar-14 06:22:49

Rolls and Rems in Lewisham has a huge selection, it's muddled and messy but sells all sorts of sewing related items too.

shysal Thu 20-Mar-14 08:28:54

Mason's in Abingdon is another muddled place, but like an Aladdin's cave. There are 3 shops, for dress fabrics and notions, haberdashery and craft, and knitting wool with furnishing fabrics. Last time I visited they were still doing the calculations and adding up on your paper bag, although I hear they have progressed to calculators at last!

mollie Thu 20-Mar-14 08:46:53

Why are our fabric shops like that? Every one that I know is like it! The most beautiful fabric shop I have ever seen was in Florence (0f course) and it was all glass, shiny floors and polished wood counters with chandeliers but what an array of fabrics! I stood outside, too intimidated by the suited assistants to actually go in but I'd love to go back!

Nonnie Thu 20-Mar-14 09:26:14

Don't sew but know people who do and one who does for a living. They recommend the Fancy Silk Store in Birmingham which is almost in the market. It is a jumble, not a posh laid out store but it has loads and loads of fabric, everything from weddings to patchwork. Only been there with a friend but it seems to have everything.

mazie Sun 23-Mar-14 13:47:54

When I do dress making for either myself or grand children I get most of my fabrics from the travelling fabric man, M Rosenberg and son. The website gives a selection of the fabrics, but there are way more than on the site when you visit one of the shows. He is based in London and visits sites mainly in the south east at various times of the year. I having been buying from him for longer than I care to remember and always come away with more lengths than I thought I wanted. The prices are very good and the quality of the fabrics is amazing.
Abakhan based in north Wales, but has stores in the north west, is another great place for fabrics of all types. I've visited there a few times and again have always bought more than I intended.
Hope this helps.

Soutra Sun 23-Mar-14 13:53:16

Mollie I am told there is an amazing fabric shop somewhere in Bletchley with every possible type. Can't vouch for it or even tell you where it is, but if you find it and it is any good - please let me know!!

tiggypiro Sun 23-Mar-14 14:24:01

It's a bit far to go ( !!! ) but Britex fabric shop in San Francisco is absolutely fabulous. Just has to be seen to be believed and has fabrics that are out of this world. I am drooling just thinking about it.

I buy quilting fabrics from market stalls in Northallerton and Easingwold. Boyes stores have some fabrics but not a huge choice. Furnishing fabrics are much easier to source locally.

Sook Sun 23-Mar-14 15:03:51

I buy from Abakhan which has branches in the Northwest and Wales, also Textile Express which has branches in Oswestry and Shrewsbury, you can buy online from both. Never quite the same as visiting Aladdins cave in person.

mollie Sun 23-Mar-14 16:08:14

Soutra - this is another aladdin's cave-type shop that sells household/curtain fabrics mostly but some dress fabrics if you can dig them out! It's one of those shops that is overwhelming but has things that you didn't know you needed! It's muddled, messiness puts me off but otherwise it probably is really good value... (unless another shop has opened since I was last in Bletchley - had better find out!)

Charleygirl Sun 23-Mar-14 16:24:56

I do not sew but I agree, Dunelm Mill appears to have a good selection.

Soutra Sun 23-Mar-14 19:00:46

Sadly, I suppose the decline in home dressmaking has dealt the death blow to many small fabric shops. There is a revival in knitting and "specialist" wool shops though where you can get advice, exotic wools, patterns, instruction - and in my case an emergency repair on a very complicated and expensive long waistcoat I had just finished and worn in to show. If anybody is in my area, The Wool Shop in Olney with wonderful Ana (Spanish) dispensing advice and enthusiasm in equal measure! I know this is advertising, but worth it. As the French say "Vaut le voyage"!!
I used to buy all my fabrics and patterns from a little shop near Richmond station (about 40 years ago!) and also Laura Ashley where I bought remnants of both dressmaking and furnishing fabrics which were made up into little pinafores and dungarees for the DDs.
John Lewis has reduced its dressmaking fabric section to a fraction of what there used to be but on the plus side it is now on the top floor, tucked away from all the hustle and bustle and best of all next to the coffee shop!

Stansgran Mon 24-Mar-14 08:29:34

Rita's in the market in Durham and she has a warehouse at Langley park. But really for patchwork. There is also a hotchpotch of a material shop in the main pedestrian area below the Post Office and opposite M&S but down a flight of uneven stone steps. I've no idea of the name.

glammanana Mon 24-Mar-14 08:38:14

Abakhan also here on Merseyside they have the most amazing fabric's and sell really good bundles of trimmings/buttons/lace and even a massive selection of wool,hours can be lost just browsing their around the store.

glammanana Mon 24-Mar-14 08:39:41

^^ just browsing their store,got carried away there. oops!

Icyalittle Mon 24-Mar-14 08:53:33

Cloth of Gold in Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire: not very big, but lovely dress fabrics, AND well organised.

Versavisa Mon 24-Mar-14 09:58:10

I keep hearing that Goldhawk Road in Shepherds Bush has several interesting fabric shops, but haven't got there yet. Does anyone have first hand experience of them?

mollie Mon 24-Mar-14 11:18:26

I can see me adding 'fabric stores' to all my pre-holiday/visit planning with a budget for fabric attached! Lol! Just visited my local Dunelm (it's been a while) and they get the thumbs up for haberdashery and sewing stuff (bigger selection that our local JLP but they don't sell dress fabrics, which is a shame but understandable. Can't have it all...

penguinpaperback Mon 24-Mar-14 16:13:16

I'm hoping fabric shops might eventually find their way back onto the high street the way wool shops have. I can remember the lovely clean smell of fabric and the crunch!? of the scissors in my local Gordon Thoday. It's just not the same buying online. I have bought small amounts of fabric from Cath Kidston but only when there's a sale on.
Our local John Lewis sells a small selection of linen now and I think there are still some Amy Butler designs available.

penguinpaperback Mon 24-Mar-14 16:24:17

Hmm don't know if JL still stocks Amy Butler, just had a look.
This link might be useful, if you scroll down to the UK you find quite a number of fabric shops selling Amy B and no doubt others beside.