I love that word, haberdashery, it is such an old word and there’s no other word that quite sums up all the bits and bats you need for sewing, ribbons, trims, laces, threads…
I was in London last weekend meeting up with my penfriend from Australia. We started writing through the Girl Guides when we were 12 years old, 40 years ago!!! There’s been times when it waned, but we kept in touch. Now I’m married to an Australian so we go over to Australia to see family every couple of years so we have met a couple of times over there. This year has been a bit different, she has been working in London for six months, so we’ve managed to meet up for three lovely weekends. It’s been great to have a bit more time to chat about this and that. Last weekend was the final meet up before she goes back to Australia.
I took the train down to London, I started sewing June of the Joyful World stitch-a-long. It has a very cute bear on it, sitting next to a hive of honey bees. It amazed me that with just a few stitches, you could tell it was a bear, I started with the nose, added the eyes and already you could see what it was! Two hours on the train and I made reasonable progress.
I had the afternoon in London before my friend finished work. I decided I didn’t need any more fabric (I know, a rare moment of rational thinking!!) so I wouldn’t tempt myself by going down Goldhawk Road. I decided to look more at embroidery threads and trimmings for my cross-stitch smalls…
Well that didn’t work!
I took the train one stop to Kentish Town, where just opposite the station is Delicate Stitches and the London Bead Company. It’s beads at the front and all manner of embroidery threads at the back. I love the threads there but I do find it all a bit overwhelming, there’s just so many types of thread. It’s also a bit of a higgledy piggledy shop with an old fashioned feel to it. I think half the problem is that I still feel pretty new to embroidery, I might see a gorgeous thread, buy it, it then just sits in my box as I don’t really know what to do with it! I did treat myself to some overdyed stranded cottons, mainly in colours which I think DMC and Anchor are lacking in with their variegated threads.
One more stop on the train and I was at West Hampstead where I found the Village Haberdashery. It’s a lovely light shop with a wide range of sewing things, I did succumb to some Kona Solid quilting fabrics, they had a great range and I hadn’t appreciate the subtle colour range before. I bought four fat quarters in pale colours that I think will be useful for embroidery.
Next I caught the bus to Oxford Street. My original plan was just to find McCulloch & Wallis and then go to the other end to VV Rouleaux. I decided as I was in the area to have a wander through Liberty as it is a beautiful building. I’m always a little disappinted with the fabric department in Liberty, as I remember when it covered about three floors, one for cottons, one for wools and another for silks, I’m also a bit narked that none of their fabrics are made in the UK anymore. Anyway, I digress…as I walked towards Liberty’s I saw the windows were covered in big signs, Up to 50% off!!! Oh dear…
I do love the way they display quilts over the panelling in the atrium.
I walked out with a 3m lemgth of Tana lawn with nearly 50% off, it’s a beautiful smudgy pink design, I think it will make a really pretty summer dress or skirt. I picked up a couple of lengths of trimmings too from their bargain box.
Round the corner I finally found McCullock & Wallis on Poland Street, I’ve been meaning to find this shop for a couple of years but I always got distracted by the shops on Berwick Street which is parallel. Berwick Street in Soho used to be my haunt for fabric shopping back in the 80’s when it was still a decidedly seedy place at night time.
McCulloch & Wallis is a beautiful shop, gorgeous fabrics on the ground floor and a huge range of haberdashery in the basement, I loved the way everything was displayed by colour, and I’ve never seen so many zips!!
On the ground floor I fell for a gorgeous fine cotton lawn, it feels like silk. I’m sure I’ve seen a couple of tops made from it on the internet. It’s a charcoal grey background with pink flying geese. I love it! I just bought a metre as it was quite expensive for me, so I’ll have enough for a simple top.
After all that shopping I ran out of time to get to VV Rouleaux in Marylebone, so that will have to wait for another visit…or a mooch on their website!