A Textile Weekend in London

This time last weekend I was in London visiting my penfriend. Sam and I started writing to each other around 1977 when we were 12 years old. We connected through the Girl Guides, she lives in Brisbane, so about 12,000 miles away. We’re pretty proud of staying in touch for so many years, it’s waned at times but we’ve kept going! It’s helped that now I’m married to an Australian we’ve been over a few times and managed to meet up. Anyway Sam is now in London for six months so we’re having several weekends together, this time it was my turn to go down to London.

SubRosa cross-stitch heart.I traveled down on the train, it’s only just over two hours, plenty of time to catch up on some cross-stitch.

Sam is living in south London, I happened to notice there were a couple of nice fabric shops within walking distance of her house so of course we had to pay a little visit!

First shop was Fabrics Galore, it’s certainly well named – it’s a good sized shop full of beautiful fabrics, some interesting ones too, like cork fabric (apparently it’s good for bags!)

I was trying to be good and aim for plain fabrics, as having analysed my stash a bit I realised I’ve lots and lots of patterned lengths but hardly any plains. I treated myself to a length of fine cotton with the idea of making some culottes, and also a heavier cotton in a pretty shade of lavender, which I am still hoping to make into a wrap skirt for our holiday!!

Another 15 minute walk and we were at Sew Over It, the shop that goes with the sewing patterns! It’s only a little shop, but it did have some very nice fabrics. Obviously it stocked the full range of Sew Over It patterns, but it also had a rail of clothes made up from the patterns, which I thought was very helpful. There was obviously a lively sewing class going on downstairs too.

I bought a dress pattern and a remnant of flowery cotton, so my resolve to buy only plains didn’t last too long!!

I loved their sign outside as well, I think I need one of those outside my sewing room!

In the afternoon we visited the Horniman museum, which was a bit more child orientated in places than we realised, but it did have an amazing collection of musical instruments of all kinds, from all over the world, I never new there were so many types of brass instruments! There was also an amazing view over London from their gardens! It was lovely to see a museum that was so busy and bustling with families.

On Sunday we spent the whole day at the Victoria and Albert museum. I must admit I haven’t been for years, probably decades!! I was amazed, it’s a wonderful place, especially for anyone interested in textiles. The V&A is a museum of art and design, so we saw wall hangings woven in the 1500’s, clothes embroidered in the 1600’s, handmade lace, old samplers, needlepoint, as well as furniture, stained glass, sculpture, crafts from all over the world. These gloves and the embroidered casket were absolutely beautiful.

We decided to do one of their free tours at 12.30. Our guide was great, he chose about a dozen items all around the museum all on a certain theme. Our theme was lacquer, so he explained all about the process of applying lacquer (very time consuming, like some pieces would have taken years!) and then showed us lots of very different examples and explained why they were special. We were so impressed with the tour we went back for the 2.30 one! I would certainly recommend these tours as otherwise it’s very easy to just wander round thinking ‘Ooh, isn’t that pretty!’

All in all it was a great weekend, more time with Sam, fabric shopping and a day at the V&A, perfect!



About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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12 Responses to A Textile Weekend in London

  1. tonymarkp says:

    Call me a dork, but I love all the word plays with “sew” in your photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. katechiconi says:

    It sounds as if the two of you are kindred spirits despite the distance (usually) between you. I’d also recommend a visit to the V&A for textile lovers, they have the most enormous collection and if you keep an eye on their website you get advance warning of what they’re going to exhibit. Definitely worth a train ride to London, but perhaps a tad far from Australia 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a lovely day out! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. anne54 says:

    Isn’t it fun exploring new fabric shops, looking for that hidden treasure. And another treasure is a friendship that lasts as long as your and Sam’s has.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. tialys says:

    When we were in Portugal there were things made from cork fabric everywhere. I didn’t succumb but my sister did when she was there so I now have a little zipper purse.
    I also try to steer myself away from florals and patterns when I’m shopping for clothing fabric – it rarely works.
    Sew Over It has some great patterns and I recently joined their PDF club online. I bought my daughter a gift voucher for one of their workshops for Christmas 2016 and she thoroughly enjoyed the Ultimate Trouser workshop she chose. I haven’t seen their bricks and mortar shop so thanks for the photo.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Catherine says:

    What a wonderful time and a great way to spend time with your pen pal! A really lovely story the two of you have. I love that sign outside the shop. And who wouldn’t love a day at the V&A?!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. KerryCan says:

    The trip to the V&A sounds fabulous–my kind of museum, with all the decorative arts. And I always try and take a tour like you described when I go to a new museum–it helps me see so much more than I would otherwise!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This sounds like an exquisite weekend! I want to visit the V&A museum someday and the fabric shop looked fun!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. amcclure2014 says:

    That sounds like a fabulous weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. tinaor says:

    Wow – how fabulous to still be in touch – I had penfriends at the same age but we all fell out of touch – nobody’s fault, it just happened. And what a great weekend! I have seen both those shops’ stalls at Knitting and Stitching Shows and promise myself to actually visit both one day!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Pingback: Eighteen for 18 Update | thecraftycreek

  12. jay says:

    I love the V&A. It’s such an inspiring place. Shaukat is a fabric shop close to it which is worth a visit.


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