Adoring all things vintage, whimsical and downright quirky

Category Archives: knitting

Why are there no fabric shops? Why?

 

I have been thinking of creating a resource for those in my local area of Bristol and Bath for some time now as I have been growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of fabric shops in the South West.  

In London, there are more places to grab a fabriky bargain than you can shake a stick at so bear with me. Here goes:

 

My local haunt is The Nylon Shop on Two Mile Hill in Kingswood (no website sorry!) It smells bad but it’s cheap and has a good range of fabrics, often with new ranges coming in. The have mountains of felt for smaller projects and I bagged some great little trimmings for next to nothing to embellish my bags with. It’s a good all rounder and is open quite late so you can always pop there after work. Next door has this strange little shop full to bursting with feathers and findings, fake fur and other fripperies that can add some pizzazz to your projects.

 

 Fabric Land, York House, Bond St, Bristol – 0117 942 6155

Enter with caution! Is it me, or do you want to be inspired while you are shopping for material? Now, I don’t mean to be mean but unless you are searching for some nasty wet-look fabric for that fetish outfit you’ve been considering making or are a mum in desperate need of a nativity costume for Emily and Jack’s debut performances, then this really doesn’t have much for you. Ok, that’s a bit harsh – it has good cotton, a range of handy things like netting and calico and felt but in terms of getting some stylish textiles, I really wouldn’t bother.

 

 
Avon Textiles – St. Nicholas’ Market, Market Gate, BRistol – 01454 632 279

Yet another mixed bag to be found at Avon Textiles, tucked right out the way at St Nick’s Market off Corn Street. I went there, eyes full of promise, a happy heart, and returned with my little face crumpled and frustrated. It was old and smelly (again? C’mon people, get a glade plug-in! Heard of Febreeze anyone???) It had lots of putrid flarey old fabrics and lots of punky neon netting which I saw lots of A Level students buying to incorporate into for bizarre art projects but that was about it – plus it was quite pricy. So be warned, not all it’s cracked up to be.

 

 

 
Shannon, 68 Walcot Street Bath 01225 424222

 

Hurrah! This is more like it! Shannon is an exclusively Scandinavian store and has…wait for it…Marimekko fabrics in store! Yay! It ain’t cheap but it certainly is pretty. Don’t need to say anymore, just visit if you get the chance (note to above fabric shops: atmosphere goes a long way!)

 

 

Eastville Market, fabric supplies,  Eastville, Bristol, Avon BS5 6XY, 0845 355 2264

Cheap cheap cheap, often naff but good for buttons, bits and bobs for crafty projects. Cups of tea sell nearby for about 40p and the best bit is, it’s right next to the following resource…Yes, you guessed it – IKEA!

   Ok, so I sometimes ramble on about Ikea but to be honest, I’m so strapped for places to go, that Ikea offers a very reasonable and tasteful alternative. I have made many a cushion from treasures found at the Swedish furniture superstore.

 

 

And that’s all folks. Isn’t it sad? For  such a creative and diverse area as the South West, this is all I have managed to find – yes there are John Lewis, Cath Kidson and Laura Ashleys in abundance but it’s the little folk that I care about. So please, please, please, let me know if there are any others I have missed – there are bound to be but the issue is that I haven’t been able to find them, anywhere. Marketing goes a long way, eh?

 Until next time….

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Well, who would have thought it? Crocheting is back in again.

 

I have long been a secret crochet fancier and when I was a poor student, my home was swathed in macramé and crochet style plant pot holders purchased for a few pence from the myriad of charity shops I frequented.

 Crochet is back

 

However as time moved on so did my tastes. I will even go as far as to say that I felt the whole crochet lark was, ahem, a little passé. How wrong I was! This wonderful arty craft is back with a vengeance. I have noticed it cropping up in the wonderfully styled photographs in a plethora of interiors mags and I am truly delighted.
Much of the mainstream popularity of crocheting has been thanks to Erika Knight who kicked off the revival with her books – which are beautifully produced and full of inspiration.

 jewelery box

However, there is also a huge – and I mean HUGE – crochet community on the web.  Here are just some of my favourite crochet -inspired bits and bobs, including a few tutorials to get you started if you are new to all this.
This funky monkey is from Niche Stores – they do a good rang of cute and quirky products that not everyone will have found – a real treat!

 

 

These cushions are a work in practice from a very creative young lady who goes under the name of Moline – check out her amazing designs at Etsy 

 

And if you are after inspiration to create your own crochet clothing, it isn’t all shapeless cardies and beenie hats, Knitboy’s creations stick two fingers up to crochet’s fusty reputation – likewise, Alessandra Hayden’s beautiful bag below is testament to how tasteful a little touch of crochet here and there can be – visit her profile for the full measure of her talent…

 

Beautiful skirt

 

 

 Asian-inspired crochet bag

 

In fact the more I started researching, the more I found. Goodness me!
So here are the pick of the bunch for tutorials and inspiration – all that’s left is to get those fingers crocheting!

 

http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Cottage/3606/tutorialpage.html

 

http://crochetme.com/

 

http://www.beehandmade.com/

 

http://moonstitches.typepad.com/moonstitches/2007/11/rhubarb-scarf.html

 

http://applehead.typepad.com/applehead/2008/01/a-good-start.html

 

http://goodhooking.blogspot.com/2006_03_01_archive.html

 

http://www.coatscrafts.co.uk/Crafts/Crochet/Projects/Crochet+Project+-+Corsage.htm

 

http://www.purlbee.com/the-purl-bee/2006/9/6/vintage-crochet-pot-holders.html

 

http://www.primrosedesign.blogspot.com/

 

http://indiefixx.com/2008/02/26/tuesday-tutorial-stitch-school-with-primrose-designs-a-contest/

 


bigbuttons41.jpgForget zips, leave Velcro be, buttons is where it’s at.

Indeed, I have gone barmy over buttons this week and have been eagerly seeking out the best places to buy your buttons – if anyone knows any more, please let me know and I can add them to my list which will be appearing shortly on the right side of this blogski.

big pink button                   big pink button                    big pink button

One cute little on-line shop is Josy Rose which caters to all sorts of whimsical crafty bits n bobs including jewellery findings and the like. I particularly like these pretty little ‘mother of pearl’ buttons which can look really vintage when coupled with a lacy fabric.

Josy Rose buttons

Likewise, Vintage Buttons– which actually, does what it says on the tin, offers lots of Victoriana and kitsch buttons that will give a little oomph to your vintage-inspired creations.

 big pink button                    big pink button                   big pink button  

One of the best places to snap up a bargain button is on eBay. One of my regular haunts is Button Heaven as they have a selection from 1930s to 1980s – I recently got some fabulous Bakelite beauties here and have already been embellishing my bags with them.

If you live in London, you are certainly well catered for as there is a host of shops – one I have heard good things about is The Button Shop in Forest Gate however, they don’t have a website, well only a landing page, so you will have to visit in person like in the olden days.

 big pink button                     big pink button                     big pink button  

For buying in bulk, then wholesalers like Jaycotts are a sure bet  and for cute buttons to stitch onto any knitting projects or if you are sewing for children (see cute Japanese fabrics in my last post) then Knit and Sew do a good range.

big pink button         big pink button          big pink button

So there you have it, at the moment that is what my studious research has produced – there just have to be more button shops around so please let me know if you come across any worth adding.