The Sewing Place

Fabric finds

RJR_38

Fabric finds
« on: August 13, 2019, 15:25:31 PM »
So this morning I went to Walthamstow as recommended by my class instructor last week to buy some fabrics for us to ‘learn and practice on’. I was surprised how many shops there were. There were at least 15 fabric shops and 4-5 Haberdashery shops plus several market stalls as well. They mostly cater for the Asian and African communities so think bold colours and prints. The Haberdashery shops were like nothing I have ever seen before - literally Aladdin caves with ribbons and things hanging from the ceiling in one shop!

Lots of the fabrics were bold lace type fabrics with lots of bling attached - so not for me. I was quite interested in the African wax fabrics as I do like bold prints for dresses and skirts and they are 100% cotton. While some were too bold for me I did find some that I think I will wear if the garments come out well. Wax fabrics come in standard 6 yard cuts (about 5.4m) and they varied in price from £15 for the most expensive to £5 for the cheapest. At £5 for just over 5m it is perfect fabric to learn on and a toile won’t be needed.

They had a lot of viscose and chiffon fabrics as well (in plain colours, more muted prints and bold prints) as well as quite a bit of scuba in plain colours. I think these fabrics are beyond a beginner but it is worth remembering. They also had quite a good shop for home decor fabrics (varied leatherette and thicker curtain fabric etc).

I’m sure I will go again - just to stock up on ‘practice fabric’ if nothing else!

I think I am going to make a simple dress out the green fabric, a half circle skirt from the black and the white/peach one. The pink flower one is a 3 yard cut from one of their remnant bins I spied on   [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]  top (£3!!) I think it will make a great back for a pink quilt I am making my sister

Ohsewsimple

Re: Fabric finds
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2019, 15:32:45 PM »
Wow, very jazzy.  Look forward to seeing them made up.

snoozi soozi

Re: Fabric finds
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2019, 21:02:47 PM »
Gorgeous, I love african wax fabrics  :loveit:
👓 changing the world, one stitch at a time

Lilian

Re: Fabric finds
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2019, 21:21:51 PM »
I've never used African wax fabrics, I get the impression they would be quite stiff. Does it drape much?
Willing but not always able :)

Nevis5

Re: Fabric finds
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2019, 05:05:50 AM »
I've wondered about the drapiness too, @Lilian  .  I think they soften up with a wash.  I like the pink floral one @RJR_38  in particular. 

We used to live in Walthamstow many, many years ago, before I got my first sewing machine. I'm kicking myself now at the loss of opportunity to add to my stash!!  There were a few fabric shops then, but it doesn't sound as though there were as many in those days as now. 

Good haul, @RJR_38  !  Enjoy sewing them up x

WildAtlanticWay

Re: Fabric finds
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2019, 08:11:15 AM »
@RJR_38  What a wonderful find.
Do you know if any of them sell online via a website or Facebook? I love the bold African prints but can’t get them over here.

RJR_38

Re: Fabric finds
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2019, 08:13:52 AM »
When you buy them they feel very smooth and stiff like paper - not at all what you would want to wear but that is the wax. After the first pre wash it softens up considerably and after 2 or 3 washes it is like any other heavier cotton (think quilting cotton weight). I found a great blog from Juliet who was on the sewing bee using these fabrics

RJR_38

Re: Fabric finds
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2019, 17:42:08 PM »
@RJR_38  What a wonderful find.
Do you know if any of them sell online via a website or Facebook? I love the bold African prints but can’t get them over here.

@WildAtlanticWay I don’t think any of those shops sell online but I have bought fabric from africanfabs.com before for something else. They ship from the Netherlands and it is quite reasonable. They are obviously not as cheap as the market shop finds but they were about £6 per yard from memory which is pretty reasonable. Remember though that African Wax fabric is only 45” wide

Marniesews

Re: Fabric finds
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2019, 19:14:23 PM »
@WildAtlanticWay  if you like African prints with a modern vibe, Urban Stax have some lovely examples. Some are specific sized pieces while others are sold by the yard. Not as cheap as africanfabs' cheapest range but some very interesting prints. They also ship internationally.
Aka Jacky F in a former life...