A Sewers Guide To Fabric Shopping In Sydney

Back in May, before I left for for my trip to Europe I spent a good amount of time trolling through the internet looking for Fabric shops in the cities I was going to be visiting. I remember think how useful it was when I came across a particular blog post which listed a bunch of different fabric shops in London that had been recommended by another sewing fanatic. So when I got back to Sydney I decided to do  bit of exploring and research to help concoct my only list of Fabric store in Sydney. I realise that there are shops that I have probably left out in this but I fully intend to keep adjusting this post as I learn about them. I hope you guys find this post as useful I the "London Fabric Shops" post I read! 

Spotlight and Lincraft 
I am putting these two shops under the same umbrella, as they are both chain stores that sell a wide range of craft and hobby material. Honestly I think they are most definitely over priced, especially seeing as the fabric is only mid-range quality. This is where I used to buy fabric when I first started sewing and didn't know I had many other options.

Marrickville Road - Tan Hung, Jack Textiles etc 
If you are just starting your sewing eperience/career (and so likely to make mistakes when sewing) or are working on a very strict budget I would recommend shopping for fabric on Marrickville road, in Marrickville. As these shops are just around the corner from my work I am always ducking in to see whats new. They have a HUGE variety of fabrics and their prices are THE BOMB, I'm talking average $5 per meter! 

The Fabric Store 
I am IN LOVE with this shop. Were it possible to be wed to a inanimate object, I would marry this shop. Probably the most expensive of all fabric shops in Sydney but they stock some of THE MOST beautiful fabric I have ever come across. They are the best stockists of Liberty Fabrics that I have found in Sydney and they are renowned worldwide for their quality of fabric! If you are looking to treat yourself, this is where you need to be. 

Similar to The Fabric Store this shop is full of high quality fabric, most of which is remnants from high end designers (think Dior, Gucci, Chanel etc). Personally I think they have a nice range of jersey and stretch fabric as well as beautifully coloured lace. Tessuti also sell their own patterns, none of which I have had the opportunity to try but I have heard some lovely reviews! 

The Remnant Warehouse 
This fabric shop sits somewhere in between the Marrickville fabric shops and Spotlight/Lincraft. They stock similar quality fabric to Spotlight/Lincraft but at the affordable prices you find in Marrickville. The Remnant warehouse have a GREAT collection of cotton, which would be great for any quilters out there and are also well know for their second extension shop which is stocked full of really fun costume fabrics (think sequins and tutus etc). 

The Quilt Store 
As the name suggest this shop is actually a quilting supply shop, so a majority of the fabric here is quilters cotton - but who's to say you can't use these in dressmaking. They have some really fun prints  and they also stock some Liberty cottons. Beware though this is not the place to go if you are tight with the coin purse! Also if you are looking for a reliable place to take your machine for a service I would recommend The Quilt Store! My mum has been taking the machine that I am currently using to be serviced here for the last 15 years it is still running like a dream. 

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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - Book Review

*I wrote this post about 3 months ago but in the spirit of true procrastination it's taken me this long to take a photo to accompany the review post ...sorry about that*

With the film adaptation of "Me Before You" only recently out, I really wanted to get my hands on a copy of the book before I saw it on screen, and I'm really glad I did. 

It is chic-lit at heart with a bit of an off centre spin. It's got themes that some might find a bit controversial or confronting, which I think makes it a really unique and interesting book. 

"Will Trainor is the embodiment of everything a young man could hope to be - he's rich, incredibly witty, has a thriving and enviable social social life, he's attractive, a successful and determined business man, he's well travelled and a bit of an adventure seeker. HE'S A CATCH...and then he's not. 

After a terrible accident which leaves him glued to a wheelchair, incapable of doing even the most menial task, Will's flat out lost any desire to live. In a frantic attempt to alter Will's outlook on life, the Trainor family employ Louisa Clark. She's a an odd sight to behold in brightly coloured dresses and bumblebee tights and has no previous work experience in a medical background. Not a conventional decision for the Trainor family to make, but like I said, they're desperate. "

Will and Louisa's romance isn't at all textbook and it's not what you might think. You have just got to read this book but be warner…I turned into a blubbering mess in the last few chapters. 

In terms of Moyes' writing style, it was pretty casual (almost like sitting down to have chat with a friend) but well put together and thought out. It had all the details that you needed and wanted and nothing more (no babble).

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Floral Pussy Bow Blouse - Sew Over It Pattern Review

Pattern Size: I often rant about the difficult time I have with fit in most commercial patterns (I measure in at the size 14 but it always end up WAY too big), they often don't have the important measurements - the finished fit of the garment. However the Sew Over It patterns ALL have the finished measurements on the back of the pattern and they are very spot on! 

I cut the size 10 and, tucked into a dress or pants (as you can see in the photos) the sizing is pretty spot. I wouldn't mind cutting it in a larger size next time as I don't always want to tuck my shirts in and the size 10 only gives me a little wiggle room around the hips.  
Fabric Used: I bought this fabric a few months back from The Remnant Warehouse in Alexandria, Sydney. I have forgotten exactly what it is but it feels like a really high quality Crepe De Chine (FOOLED YOU because it was only $6-8 for the whole thing). It's incredibly slippery so was a bit fiddly to work with but patience paid off because it worked beautifully with this pattern. 
Was It Easy To Follow: Yes, as always with the Sew Over It patterns, the instructions were very clear and thorough and I LOVE that they have their patterns in a booklet form rather than an A3 foldout, its just a lot easier to handle!
The pattern itself is pretty basic, no tricky skills required, but the recommended fabrics, such as silk, crepe De Chine etc, which tend to have a "tricky to work with reputation" can make it a little more complicated. I did struggle a little with attaching the collar-tie but that had more to do with lack of experience and how darn slippery the fabric was than poor instructions! Also, I decided to forgo the loop and button on the cuff, purely because Im lazy and I found that I was able to get the cuff over my hand without them! 

Did It Look Like The Photo/Drawing On The Pattern When You Were Done:  Yes very much so and on top of that it is very comfortable to wear!

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Pattern Haul and Sewing Plans for August

This video went up really late, unfortunately I was having some serious technology issues (I'm a bit of a grandma when it comes to technology). But what counts is that it got uploaded in the end and I think the computer issues have been resolved!

At the beginning of August I put myself on a fabric BAN. My obsession was becoming a catastrophe, I had nowhere to store all of the yards and yards (and yards) of fabric I was getting. I bravely decided to force myself to use up five things from my stash before I was allowed to buy anything more.

My ban did not apply to patterns, however most of the patterns that I have been getting lately have been gifted to me by/hand me downs from family. August looks like it's going to be a good month for budgeting.

In total there a six new patterns in this video with a mix of vintage and modern designs!

Hope you enjoy!

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Vixen Summer Wrap Dress - Pattern Review Vogue 8896

I cannot stop going over to my wardrobe, pulling out this dress and trying it on. I can tell that it is going to be my most worn dress for the coming summer and I am dying to take this baby out for a spin! 

In all honesty I've never thought much of wrap dresses, to me they seemed quite aged. But that changed completely when I can across two posts, one by the famed Mimi G and another by Suzanna from Create/Enjoy. They revolutionised the wrap dress for me, all of a sudden I couldn't stop thinking about them!

I am definitely more inclined towards the maxi version as it looks more elegant and summery! I am really looking forward to making more of these. 
Pattern Size: Despite the fact that I measured in at a 14 I decided to cut a 10. My reasoning behind this is that I have had a lot of issues with fit from previous McCall, Vogue, Butterick etc patterns (they always end up being WAY to big) and seeing as this pattern is designed for stretch fabric I figured I could probably get away with sizing down a good deal! 

Fabric Used: To be honest I don't know exactly what this fabric is. It's a jersey of some kind and based off the price I paid for it I would say that it's synthetic. It has a pretty good 4 way stretch and a moderate snap back. I bought it from (surprise, surprise) a cheap fabric shop on Marrickville Road in Sydney.
Was It Easy To Follow: 100%. It's a very straight forward pattern although there is maybe one thing that I will do differently next time - I will sew the waist ties on AFTER attaching the bodies to the skirt and hemming both edges, but thats just a personal preference. All in all it took me about 6 hours from cutting out to turning up my last hem to complete this baby. I did use an overlock whilst making this - for getting a cleaner looking finish - but it wasn't critical as you use a straight stitch the whole was through. BEWRAE hemming feels like it takes a lifetime, as there is quite a lot of skirt to hem. 

Did It Look Like The Photo/Drawing On The Pattern When You Were Done: Yes, it's really very spot on and a rather flattering and feminine fit. I was worried that the skid might not look as full and billowy at the bottom when I was finished but it did!
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Fabric Haul 2016 - Sew Over It, The Remnant Warehouse and Marrickville Road

In my downtime I really love watching fabric haul videos on Youtube and I really wish that there was a larger sewing community established on Youtube (and in particular an AUSTRALIAN sewing community).

I find Fabric Haul videos really inspiring. There is SO much freedom to express your creative self in sewing and I love seeing what fabrics are trending and hearing about what patterns/garments people invisible them becoming.  

So recently I decided to sit myself down to record a few of my recent finds in the hope that it might do the same for you - to inspire you to create something unique, help you figure out what to do with that one particular fabric you bought 2 years ago and has been gathering dust in a dark corner of your cupboard, discover new pattern brands or where to get good bargains or good quality fabric. 

I want to encourage more men and women alike to pick up a needle and get sewing because the results can be so incredibly rewarding. 

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