[Note] Hello - this is an old post that I’ve moved over from my Tumblr. I’ve just copied the words and pictures across.
Someone (hello someone!) asked about London fabric shops and it was all too long to fit into a tweet so here is a tumbl instead
For cheap and eclectic fabrics go to Goldhawk road. Though these shops are slowly disappearing, and set to disappear less slowly as the renovation of shepherd’s bush market continues, this place is the absolute bizznzz for cheap and eclectic fabrics. As well as having plenty of standard fabrics- you know the sort of stuff you could walk into John Lewis and pick up, it is also one of the best places in London to buy African Wax prints. Fabric from here is also the cheapest you will find in London
For great service and lots of indie patterns go to Raystitch. As well as having a well maintained and easy to use website, Raystitch has a nice physical shop. They run sewing classes in their basement. They have a very good range of fabrics for dress making, as well as a lot of quilting weight fabrics. They also stock a large number of indie sewing patterns, books and magazines.
For flashy stuff go to Berwick St. I’ve never found a fabric shop on Berwick St where the customer service has been good. The shop assistants are always a bit bored by my n00b questions and fiddling about trying to convert the fabric measurements I need from yards to metric. But -BUT- they do have some of the best fabrics in town. Here are the two places I’ve been to, there are plenty of other great shops there though selling basically any fabric you can think of.
Cloth House 1 (98) has the best range of specialist technical fabrics I’ve seen. They stock reflective fabrics and reflective tapes, they stock lycras, and all kinds of things I don’t even know the name for. They also have a very nice selection of reeeeallly expensive luxury brocades. Downstairs (and a bit more down to earth) they have suiting wools in one section and the most comprehensive selection of jerseys I’ve seen.
Cloth House 2 (47) seems to stock only dressmaking cotton. They have every cotton you can imagine, from sensible-person pinstripes for a suit, to bright florals for dresses. They also have a good range of checks, Japanese prints, and ikat prints.
For failsafe cotton lawns go to Liberty. Liberty has a well established reputation for their floral prints, and are a must visit for many visiting sewists. Although they specialise in ditsy flowers they do usually have a couple of less pink prints- the mountains t-shirt I sewed is from there and they infamously did a New Aesthetic print once which I’d love to have a metre of. Liberty prints come in at about £20 a metre which is a lot, but you are getting the best dress making lawn weight cotton available.
For quirky cotton prints go to MacCulloch and Wallis who have a good range of quilting weight cottons as well as being good all round. They have a decent website too so you can check out their selection before you visit. Another thing I particularly like about M&W is that they have sample rails on the shop floor, so you can grab a pair of scissors and walk cut a bit off to keep and then if you want it the shop assistant will go fetch the roll for cutting your piece.