I won a prize for the first time in my life! Ok, so it was actually before Christmas but this Christmas was quite a difficult one and I’ve been busy since so this is the first time I’ve been able to write about it!
Simplicity Patterns ran a twitter competition to win the May Martin pattern edit as well as a copy of the Simplicity sewing book ‘Simply The Best Sewing Book’ and I was lucky enough to win! I’ve never won anything before, even as a kid so I was really chuffed! I’d had my eye on both 1590 and 1254 since I’d been to the Simplicity blog meet and they’re both on my list to make this year. Click here to see what else is on the list for 2016!
The book seems pretty good too – full of lots of really useful info for beginner and intermediate sewists, although the more experienced would probably still find this a useful book to keep on their shelf! The pages are nicely laid out with clear diagrams and instructions. I will confess I haven’t yet used it but there is a section about pattern matching I want to read properly before bed tonight before I start cutting out my Granville shirt (some of you who follow me on instagram will already have seen that I had a bit of a meltdown and threw a strop about my shirt yesterday but feeling a bit more positive today!). There are a couple of patternless projects included too, including a kimono that looks like it might be quite nice to make up for the summer. If I do ever get round to doing it (let’s face it, productivity has been extremely low so far this year) I will be sure to blog it and let you all know how I get on!
Well, I’ve actually been back just over a week but I’m having a bit of a post-January, post-holiday slump so I’ve really struggled to gather the motivation to sew or blog anything at all. But it’s Pancake Day, I have pancakes AND wine so I figured tonight was the time to write about my trip!
I was only in Amsterdam for a few days so didn’t get to do a lot of exploring of all of the fabric shops in the city but the ones I did see were well worth the walking to visit!
First up was A Boeken. It is a massive shame they don’t have an online shop because this is one of the best fabric shops that I have ever been to! We visited on a Thursday afternoon and the shop was busy with home sewists and fashion students and it’s just such a treasure trove. The fabric was reasonably priced, from the jersey to the heavy sequinned fabrics and their range of haberdashery was very good too – they even had bra supplies as part of the standard range! My favourite section was the 3 walls of trims which I managed to get a sneaky photo of (not sure how to say “can I take a picture for my blog?” in Dutch yet).
I ended up only picking up 3 different trims in A Boeken (one not pictured because my mum still has it haha) but the choice and the quality was incredible – I hope I can go back again this year with an empty suitcase! First up is this beautiful dusky pink lace. I thought it was just so pretty and bought a couple of metres on impulse with the idea of making a bra and some undies with it. Any suggestions for bra patterns gratefully received! Next was this woven tape with a peacock feather pattern. I really love the simple design and
was drawn to the green, even though its not a colour I ever wear. No idea what to do with
The other trim was a double sided woven tape with blue and white traditional Dutch houses! It was similar to something I’d seen last year that I’d regretted not buying so I snapped up 2 metres this time. Again, no idea what to do with it but I wasn’t flying home without it!
We also visited the Albert Cuyp market and discovered several fabric shops dotted along side this buzzy market in the city. Although it was a bit of a gloomy day and a few stall holders were absent, the market had loads of stalls selling all sorts of goods. Wed gone because it was in the guidebook and hadn’t expected to find fabric shops too! Didn’t buy anything here as the fabric here was more expensive (plus the staff weren’t the most approachable – just a bad day?) so all hopes were pinned on our Saturday excursion to Utrecht.
The fabric market in Utrecht did not disappoint. An entire street filled with a market every Saturday dedicated to fabric?! What’s not to love! Saturday was a very rainy day and again a few stall holders were absent but there were still dozens of stalls. It was like being a kid
in a sweet shop. I hadn’t gone with a very long wishlist but I do wish I had taken a bigger bag because I found a lot that I liked! Prices were pretty reasonable on most stalls, and there were about a dozen stalls of €1 and €2 a metre fabrics, or 3 mix and match pieces for €5, and none of it was like the scary stuff you find at the bottom of a remnant basket here. I was looking for shirting for Hayden’s Christmas Negroni shirt and some lining for a forthcoming blazer, but there just wasn’t anything that I really loved enough to buy. I did find a mustard yellow version of the peachskin I used for this Belcarra as well as a green and orange graphic print that in hindsight I regret not buying. I was put off by th €8 per metre price tag, but that only works out to be about £6 permetre. Should stop being so tight… I did pick up half a metre of this fun
upholstery fabric to make cushion for my sewing room chair. I’m thinking hot pink dupion piping on the edges with ribbon ties to keep it on the seat for an ultimate Barbie Dream House look, and then I want to repaint the chair a minty green. Should look pretty cute hopefully – I will be doing a post about the project!
I really want to go back later this year and treat myself to some fabric goodies so I will let you guys know – maybe an Anglo-Dutch sewing meetup could be arranged! There’s a sweet little brown cafe right at the top of the road that does a seriously good apple cake…