More Jeans & Other Makes too!

Hola peeps! How are you all doing on this fine Friday the 13th? Things were going pretty well for me until I had almost completely finished this blog post and Safari crashed and I lost it all. UGH!! (It actually happened twice, so I switched over to Google Chrome and that seems to be better.) And I don't remember everything that I wrote! I guess it's a sign to start over. Anyway, I'm back with surprise, surprise: another pair of jeans, but not to worry, there are some other new me-mades in this post too. Woo hoo!

So this ensemble consists of another pair of Ginger-Angel Hybrid jeans (Angers? Gangels? Ginangels?), a sleeveless Granville, and a Hemlock Tee. All worn shamelessly with my slippers! What can I say, I love my fuzzy slippers!

So let's start with the jeans. I don't really have anything new to say about the pattern, as this pair is pretty much exactly the same as my last pair.  What does make this pair special is that they are made from a gorgeous 9oz Cone Mill's Denim from Threadbare Fabrics. There is just nothing like a good quality denim. It's so much nicer to work with, it presses nicely, and the best part, it's recovery is amazing. I can wear these baby's for days and they totally maintain their shape. (And by days I mean, I can comfortably wear them four or five times before I need to wash them, unless I spill something on them, ahem coffee,  which is pretty common for me ūüėĚ). The 9oz denim might actually be a little light for a regular pair of jeans, but I just couldn't resist the colour. It's a slightly lighter shade than the regular indigo you usually see in denim. It's not showing up very well in these photos, but it really is a bit lighter. While the weight of this denim might be a little lighter than what I'm used to, it makes these jeans extremely comfortable, and stretchy (they almost feel like leggings)! I do miss the (ahem) support that a slightly heavier denim would provide though. Plus because I used a quilting cotton for the pockets, you can sort of see the pocket outline through the denim, but that is mostly my fault as I should have went with some lighter scraps, but who can resist surfin' cats?

When I got my hands on this denim, I debated making something else out of it due to it's lighter weight. I thought it might make a lovely Chardon or Brumby skirt, a shirtdress or a jean jacket, or even quilted with flannel for a cool Tamarack jacket, but in the end I decided a pair of jeans would probably get the most wear. I almost tried out this pull on version (which I think would be perfect in this weight), but I was too lazy to try a new pattern this time, and I really wanted to make another pair of Ginger-Angels as I wear my first pair a ton!

For something a little different I decided to go with some red topstitching. I remembered Amy's pair and I loved how the red looked against the dark blue. I'm not sure my red pops quite as well as it did on her pair, but I still really like it. I think one of the really cool parts of making your own jeans (and your own clothes for that matter) is that you can change up those little details. I'm also planning to add rivets, but I haven't decided on the colour yet. Any thoughts? (I have brass, gunmetal, silver and copper.)

Anyway, enough about the jeans, let's talk about the tops. The lovely striped number is a Grainline Hemlock.  I made a Hemlock months ago, and decided that the boxy, one-size fits all pattern just wasn't for me. It seemed too shapeless and long for me, but then I kept seeing cool ones pop up in my Instagram feed, so I decided to give it another go. I mean, the pattern's free, so why not? This time I decided to forgo colour-blocking, shortened the body by 2.5", and made it out of a stripey fabric. I mean you can't go wrong with stripes, right? I am so happy that I gave it another shot. I have been wearing the two that I made pretty much non-stop. It's amazing how something changes when you get the length right. The other one I made is striped too, but I haven't blogged about it. I think this fabric came from my February Knitfix pack from Girl Charlee. It's a french terry, but it is on the thin side; you can easily see the pockets of my Granville coming right though it, so it might not be the best for layering over tops.

All summer, I really wanted to make a pale pink Granville top. I even found the perfect fabric at Blackbird Fabrics (it's a beautiful Italian Linen just like this one), but for some reason, I never got around to making one . So in my recent fit of cutting out 5 Granvilles, I decided to include the pink linen. It's a little seasonally inappropriate, but I figured it would work well under sweaters, and worst case scenario: it just hangs in my closet for a few months and then I know it will get a ton of wear when it warms up in the Spring and Summer. I had planned to use some cute little buttons, but when I spotted these cool marble snaps in my stash, I knew it was meant to be. I know they came from Snap Source because they were still in the package, but I couldn't find them on their website.

It still looks a little stiff, as I have't washed it since I made it and I starched it like crazy so it would be easier to work with. Linen always seems to stretch out and go wonky on me, and I found that spray starch really helped. 

Anyway, I hope that you all are having a lovely night, and please hug your loved ones tight and wish or say a prayer (or whatever you do/believe) for peace and the people in Paris. I don't really "pray" myself, but after crying while watching the news, I am trying hard to hold a space of love instead of fear (which I know is really hard), because a big point of these attacks is to evoke fear.

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We Now Interrupt your Regularly Scheduled Programming....

...to bring you the new denim source I mentioned in my last post: Threadbare Fabrics! Now before you get too excited, I should mention that it's not my new store, but I'm so excited about it, that it might as well be. Ha ha!

Threadbare Fabrics is a fantastic new LA based online fabric store, owned by my good friend Katie (you might know her from her gorgeous blog: Handmade Threads), and her dashing husband Jeremy. Right now they are specializing in the hard to find, but incredibly awesome Cone Mill's Denim, but they plan to expand to an even greater variety of handpicked garment fabrics in the near future.

While Katie and I have yet to meet in person, we have bonded through our blogs, Instagram and our common love of fabric and sewing. I discovered Katie on Instagram just under a year ago now, I think, probably looking at her Darling Ranges dress when I was thinking about making one for myself. (Do you guys do that before you buy/make a pattern? I always look patterns up by hashtag for inspiration and sometimes people talk about how the pattern fits and what not in the comments which is a big help. But I digress.)  I noticed that we both have similar tastes in patterns, and while she is quite a bit taller than me, our measurements are pretty close too (aren't we always looking for our sewing twin?).  We started chatting in the comments on Instagram and then on each other's blogs, and not long after that we started emailing each other these ridiculously long emails. It's mostly sewing talk, with a few bits and bites from our lives mixed in. And through all that we became friends.

When I first starting sewing (and even now) I was bursting with sewing talk, and I would chat to anyone who would listen (mostly John, my Mom and my sister) and watch as their eyes glazed over as I rattled on and on (well actually my Mom and John are really great about it). Anyway, it is so nice to be able to talk/write to someone who feels the same way about sewing as I do. I'm fairly shy, introverted and not overly social, so for me it's been great to make online friends within this fabulous community.

Anyway, Katie and I both talked about how cool it would be to have our own fabric stores, for me it's a pretty much a pipe dream, but for Katie it was a real and very possible dream). And now it's happening!! So of course because she is my friend, I want to do all I can to support her, which is why I'm writing this post. I think her shop is awesome, she is great at selecting fabrics, and if you are denim crazed like I am, I think you'll be happy to have a new source for awesome fabric to make beautiful jeans out of.

Today marks the Grand Opening of Threadbare Fabrics so Katie is offering a 15% off discount to kick things off. So if your interested (and no pressure at all if you're not), head over and enter DENIM15 at checkout.

Thanks everybody! I'll get back to the jeans posts tomorrow!

 

A Couple of Seamwork Patterns & A Giveaway!!

So way back at the beginning of March, Funki Fabrics contacted me with the offer of free fabric in exchange for a blog post mentioning their name and linking to their website. I have never been approached by any company  to do something like this before, so I was extremely flattered to be noticed, but a little apprehensive. It did feel good to have a company say that they value my opinion as a sewist, but I do understand that they are getting the benefit of free advertising as well.  I hummed and hawed for about a week about whether or not to do it. I mean there seemed to be a number of Funki Fabrics posts out there already (although not nearly as many as there are now), and honestly, it's not the type of fabric I normally would use (they specialize mainly in athletic and dancewear fabric - and let's be honest I'm not a good enough dancer to need dancewear and I am definitely not an athlete. Gym? What's a gym?). But in the end, the offer of free fabric and curiosity of what it might be like won out, and I decided to give it a go. I know that a lot of people have been made the same offer, so I'm sorry if this post is a bit redundant. A number of bloggers have made leggings and that seemed like the natural choice for me too, until I spotted this amazing cotton stretch fabric. I wasn't entirely sure what it would be like, but I requested it hoping it would be more my style, along with two other lycra  prints for leggings (Funki Fabrics offered me 4m in total). Anyway, weeks went by, and no fabric. It seemed like it must have been lost in the mail or something. It was kind of weird, because I have never had anything go missing in the mail, plus around the same time that FF sent out my order, I had ordered some denim from Ditto Fabrics in the UK and it arrived in just over a week with no problems. Luckily, the lovely people at Funki Fabrics were kind enough to send out another package, and it arrived about a week later. I was pleasantly surprised by the cotton stretch fabric, it is super soft and has a great 4 way stretch. I've only washed it once, but it washed up well and seems like it won't pill over time. I was going to make a dress out of it, but I didn't have quite enough fabric for the pattern I had in mind (poor planning on my part). Anyways, as I was browsing through my pattern stash, I was also reading the April issue of Seamwork. So far, I haven't found very many of the Seamwork patterns super appealing, but there was something about that Astoria pattern that finally made me want to try one.  And coincidentally, this Funki Fabrics cotton elastane flexlite was perfect for it. #winning

IMG_6543I had no idea what I would pair the Astoria with, so I decided I would just make the Bristol skirt from Seamwork too. It looked like a pretty good outfit on the model.  I wasn't super in love with the skirt at first glance, I mean it has a kangaroo pocket - interesting detail perhaps, but not necessarily the most flattering. Anyway, it seemed like it would be a quick and easy sew, and sometimes you have to try something to know if you like it.

Both Seamwork pdfs went together okay, I had a bit of trouble getting the lines to match up on a few pages, but for the price, I'm not complaining too much. The Astoria was a super quick sew, constructed with my serger and then topstitched with my coverstitch machine. The fabric performed beautifully, and was a perfect match to this little crop top.

IMG_6549When I first tried on this skirt, I wasn't overly keen on it, but looking at it now in these photos, I think it's actually quite cute. I think that it would be better with side seam pockets on my figure. I have a tummy, so the pocket in front kind of accentuates that, rather than flatters, and I'm not 100% thrilled with the elastic waistband either. It's really comfy, but for some reason I find it a bit bulky. I did not like the way the pattern instructions had you attach the waistband. You sew up the back seam, then press it in half, then you put the elastic inside, stretch and pin it in place, then you attach the waistband to the skirt, whilst trying to stretch everything to match. Um what?? That was so ridiculous to me. Why not attach the waistband, leave an opening, insert the elastic, and stitch up the opening. The end result is the same. So weird, and lots of unnecessary struggling - I even broke a needle!! Ugh! Anyway, if you decide to make this skirt, you might want to change that bit of construction.

IMG_6546For Astoria, I made a straight size Large, and I think it fits really well. I am in love with the neckline, the length, and the hemband. For the Bristol skirt, I made a size 12 (based on my waist measurement I should have made a 14) and I would probably would have been happier with a size 10. I also had to shorten the skirt by 3 inches.

IMG_6545The fabric I used for the skirt is a nice rayon challis that John picked out for me at Walthamstow Market. It's nice and drapey and perfect for a summery skirt. I'm not sure how much I will wear this skirt. I'm trying to be a skirt person, but I just don't seem to be. The Astoria on the other hand will probably get lots of wear. I think it will be perfect over dresses and I think it will even work with high-waisted Gingers. I also think you could lose the band and add a skirt for a Moneta-like look.

So back to Funki Fabrics. I also chose two really cool lycra prints to make leggings out of, and I used my trusty Cake Espresso Leggings pattern. I love wearing leggings for lounging around the house, and I wanted to see what this dancewear fabric was really like. I am happy to report that it's super stretchy with amazing recovery, and it wasn't at all hard to work with. I thought lycra would be slippery and hard to cut, but this wasn't at all. I think if you are looking for cool fabric to make a swimsuit out of, or maybe some kind of athletic outfit, or  even leggings, then this is the place for you. My little sister used to be obsessed with gymnastics when she was young, and she lived in spandex outfits because of her dream of becoming a gymnast. She would have loved and outfit made from this type of fabric. It's a little bit pricey (especially with shipping), but in my opinion, worth it for a speciality garment. They also have lots of stretch velvet, and I'm kind of kicking myself for not getting some of it. I may still, we'll see.... Anyway, here's my leggings:

Leggings-CollageYou guys know I have a bit of a batman obsession right? That's what really sucked me in - Batman leggings? Yes please!!

And now what you've all been waiting for: THE GIVEAWAY. Just after I finished up my Astoria, the original package from Funki Fabrics arrived (I know because they sent one via Royal Mail/Canada Post and one via DHL). I'm not sure where it was, or why it took so long to get to me, but it finally came. I offered to send it back to Funki Fabrics as they had already been so generous with letting me try their fabric for free, but they decided that I could keep it and do with it what I see fit. I decided I would do a giveaway.  So if you would like to win an exact replica of my order: 2 metres of a delicious cotton jersey-ish fabric, along with 1 metre of crazy Batman print lycra, and 1 metre of a psychedelic butterfly kaleidoscope lycra print, leave a comment below and I will enter you into the draw.

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I will leave the draw open until Monday May 4th, and announce the winner on Tuesday May 5th. Seeing as it will be me footing the bill for the shipping, I will ship to anywhere in the world so you can enter from anywhere - yay for no restrictions! Good luck everybody and happy sewing!

****This giveaway is now closed - to see who won click here.****

Fabric Shopping in London: Raystitch

Okay this is my final post about fabric shopping in London I promise (well at least for this trip anyway). I had heard about Raystich a few times through various blogs (here, here, and here to mention a few), and also when Janet told me in the comments that I needed to go there. I am so glad that I did because it's basically one of the coolest shops I have ever been to. I love everything about it. Even John commented on how cool it was. (Also, they have a fantastic website, and they seem to ship worldwide.) IMG_7710

Raystitch is located in Islington, kind of near the Camden area, I think. We took the tube there (the Northern line to Angel station), and then the bus about three stops. You could probably walk from the tube station, but it was pouring rain so we took the bus.

This shop has pretty much anything and everything you could wish for in a sewing shop. I have this totally unrealistic dream of opening my own fabric store/haberdashery and Raystitch is pretty much exactly how I would want it to be. It is absolutely stunning!

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Totally gorgeous right? Then you go downstairs where they have a nice class area, with a little kitchen and really nice bathrooms. There is even have a back garden!! I could totally live in this shop LOL.

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This charming little shop is filled to the brim with exquisite fabrics (tons of amazing apparel fabrics), patterns, books, zippers, buttons, knitting needles, crochet hooks, fabric dyes, tons of notions and pretty much anything you could ever need to sew, knit, crochet, or quilt a stunning project. There is fabric everywhere, but everything is super organized and beautifully displayed, so it doesn't seem overwhelming and it's easy to pick things out. I really loved that they had actual garment samples of patterns they sell. There were also lots of quilting notions and some gorgeous quilting fabrics. The staff was extremely sweet and very helpful too. I could have spent pretty much the whole day there. If I lived nearby, you'd probably find me hanging out everyday and taking all the classes they offer. I so, so, so wish there was something like this in Calgary. I can only imagine the community you could build around it.

By the time we got to Raystitch, I had pretty much blown through my fabric budget, but I wanted to pick up some patterns. Specifically a couple of By Hand London patterns, and some Merchant Mills patterns to save on the shipping. I ended up coming out with a bit more than planned, but I am super happy with my picks. John also picked me out two fabrics that I couldn't leave without too.

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I'm not entirely convinced that I'm going to actually make the Holly Jumpsuit, but I've seen a number of cute dress hacks and I love the wide leg pant, so it was an impulse buy.

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I also may have picked up a couple more unplanned things:

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I have been lusting after this coat pattern since seeing in on Sunni's blog (and then she made her Mom and sister coats too!), but I noticed that it is rated Advanced so I'm a little nervous about it now. But how cool does it look?

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So, there you go, now have enough fabric and patterns to keep me going for months on end. Who am I kidding, you can never have too much fabric, am I right?

Anyway, if you ever go to London, I would definitely recommend a visit to this shop. I absolutely loved it! Totally worth checking out!

Fabric Shopping in London: Walthamstow Market

Are you sick of hearing about fabric shopping yet? Good, me neither LOL. I have been to Walthamstow Market before and I blogged about it here. It's a really great place to go for bargain shopping. Sometimes that means super cheap deals on cheap fabric, but there are also some good deals to be had on some quality fabrics too. It's a bit of a ride to get there, but both times I've been, it's been worth it. For us, we headed to Shepherd's Bush tube station, and took the Central Line to Bank station, where we changed for the Victoria Line that took us all the way to Walthamstow Central station. I think it probably took us around 40 minutes or so. From there, it's a short walk to the High Street, where the market is. I was under the impression the market was only on Saturdays, but I discovered this visit that the market is open everyday except Monday. You can find pretty much anything you could imagine at this market, but there is a lot of junk too. It's actually Europe's longest outdoor street market, so it's something to see, and great for people watching too. IMG_7676

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There are fabric shops along this street and as you walk further and further, you'll find the higher quality shops like Hussain Fabrics and Saeed Fabrics. Unfortunately, by the time we got down there I had my hands full so I didn't take any pictures of those two shops. Hussain Fabrics has some fabrics, but Saeed is the one with the nicest fabrics on this street, but it can be a bit pricey in comparison too. They were having a bit of a sale so I got some good deals on cottons, and a couple of wools.

If you read Karen's blog over at Did You Make That?, you have probably heard mention of the man in front of Sainsburys. He runs probably the best stall at the market in my opinion. Great deals to be had and some really great fabrics. I would got all the way there just to buy from him.

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I did discover however, that he is not there everyday and he is not always in front of Sainsburys. He told me (well actually one of his son's told me) that he is only in front of Sainsburys on Saturday, and then on Tuesday and Thursday he is in front of Lloyd's Bank which is about halfway down the street to Sainsburys. Monday the market is closed, and they just aren't there on Wednesday and Friday. (You might be asking yourself, what is this Sainsburys. Well it's a grocery store on the high street - I would say if you start at the train station Sainsburys is about halfway through the entire market.)

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IMG_7682It was difficult to get really good photos as there were people everywhere. This was probably the busiest fabric stall.

Anyway, I got a wide range of fabrics: some super nice wools, some cottons, some wool blends, some cotton lace, and some silk, and then I got some viscose and some poly blends. I don't mind buying some cheapies because they are great for muslins and wearable muslins, and some of them are really pretty. Here's a look at what I will be hauling home:

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These photos don't really do justice to these fabrics, but I'm sure you'll get to see them again when I sew them up. Anyway, I hope this was helpful to you, and I hope you get to visit this market too!

Fabric Shopping in London: Goldhawk Road

IMG_7515 When I first starting reading sewing blogs, I kept hearing about this amazing place in London called Goldhawk Road. I wasn't sure if it was  a market, a store, or a street, but what I was sure about was that I wanted to go there. Great deals on apparel fabric? Yes please!

So the next time we were planning a trip to London (which was when we came last spring) I showed John where it was and asked to go there. He discovered that it was just a short bus ride from our hotel (for your reference, if you get to Shepard's Bush tube station which is on the Central Line - you can catch the 237 bus and it takes about 3-5 minutes to get to the first fabric shop on Goldhawk Road - about 2-3 bus stops) and so we went.

Our first visit there was extremely overwhelming. It took me a few shops to warm up, and even consider buying anything. (I know right! That does not sound like me at all - I love to shop!) It wasn't that things were overly expensive or anything like that, it was that each of the little shops was crammed with copious amounts of glorious apparel fabric, and I had never seen anything like it. Stacks and stacks of apparel cottons, rolls of suitings, bolts of waxed prints, shelves of silks, jerseys, chiffons, and crepes - amazing! A far cry from what I am used to in Calgary (two or three chain stores with mostly quilting cottons). Anyway, I wrote a blog post about it last time, but this time John helped me keep track of which fabric came from which shop. Unfortunately, I didn't do as good a job at keeping track of prices, but the most expensive fabric I bought was £12 per metre and the cheapest one was £3 per metre. I think the average came out to be about £5 per metre which is a really good deal in my book especially for the quality.

So here we go, get ready for lots of pictures. I hope you don't mind me sharing all the fabrics I bought with you. I just figure that, that is probably the most interesting part (exactly what you could buy if you were to visit here), but the side effect to that for me is now you will know how much of a fabric junkie I actually am, and exactly what is in my stash. LOL. Stashing isn't the same as hoarding is it?  Anyway, shall we walk down the road? Lets!

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This shop had tons of African waxed prints. John is not really a fan, so I didn't get any myself, but there were some really gorgeous ones. I ended up with this bottom weight plaid which is really lovely. It will probably become a skirt.

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This shop was fantastic, will a very friendly gentleman inside. I recognized some of the fabrics inside as ones I had bought last time. Some great deals on cottons in here. Here is what I came away with:

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This store was one of my favourites, but it is a touch more expensive than some of the other ones (depending on what you buy). The two printed cottons I got were £10 per metre but they are absolutely gorgeous, and the two solid shirtings were only £3 per metre.

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At this shop, I picked up this plaid fabric (in the photo below). I was convinced it was silk, but the shop proprietor assured me that it is 100% cotton! I swear to you it feels just like silk. It's amazing! I think it was about £4 per metre. My go to amount to buy for fabric is about 2m. Unless I know for sure what I am going to make out of it (or if it's really expensive then I only get 1m). I have found that because I am short, 2 metres is usually enough for a fit and flare dress, or a button down shirt or any shirt really, or for a skirt with some generous scraps leftover (depending on the length that is). I do my best to use up my scraps - they are great for underwear, contrast facings, pockets and my favourite way to use them is for contrasting yokes and inner collar stands on button down shirts (ahem..Archer..cough, cough).

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This is a beautiful printed cotton that John fell in love with, and the striped fabric was in with the African waxed cottons, but it doesn't really feel like cotton. I asked the gentleman that rung me up, but he said he wasn't sure. He said it was probably a viscose cotton blend, so who knows how I'm going to wash it. LOL

This brought us up to the tube station and a Costa coffee shop where we decided to have a break. One of the fun parts about shopping on Goldhawk Road is that there are loads of fashion students shopping for school projects, so the people watching is brilliant. We got a seat by the window, had a latte and a coke and enjoyed watching the people go by.

After a rest, we were ready to concur the other side of the street, so off we went.

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This was a really large shop where I bought quite a few fabrics last time. This time I didn't find quite as much, but we did walk away with this lovely cotton. Are you getting a feel for my colour palette yet? Well mine and John's colour palette really.

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This shop was really busy, and yes those are flamingos! I think it's a rayon or some kind of poly blend but it has a really nice drape and I love the pink flamingos. I also really loved the colour of this plaid which will probably be my next Archer.

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And this brings us to our final shop:

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This is another place for bargains on Liberty fabrics. They have quite a few Tana Lawns and also a number of Liberty silks among many other fabrics. The staff here are all very nice and very helpful. The older lady that took my money was incredibly sweet and quite funny too. I walked away with this gem, yet another Liberty print. I didn't find any current Liberty prints here and the selection is nowhere near Shaukat, but still really good deals. I think this one was £12 per metre. Woo hoo!

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So that was pretty much it for us on Goldhawk Road. Pretty awesome, huh? I think there might be a few more shops past where we stopped and crossed the road, but not many. There weren't a ton of notions in any of these shops, but I think there are a couple of haberdashery shops up the road a bit as well.

Hopefully this helps you a bit if you ever get a chance to visit London. This would definitely be one of the must do's on my list for fabric shopping in London. You can hit a bunch of shops all at once and get a lot of bang for your buck as they say.