Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life


New Look 6252: Wrap top in pale yellow silk

I have had a small left-over of this beautiful eri silk from Weaving Destination for a while. Small pieces are always a challenge to use up, but are often ideal for making sleeveless tops. I paired the fabric with New Look 6252, which I have made once before.

New Look 6252 with fabric. Eri silk and spotted cotton lawn in pale yellow

For some reason which I can’t now recall, I decided immediately to make View C again. Possibly I was influenced by the success of my last version or it was just laziness. View C is the view which has the ties at the back and only uses 1 metre of fabric according to the envelope, although I think I squeezed it out of less. Like my previous make, I didn’t like that the ties were just one layer and finished by hemming. I decided to make my ties with two layers, so no wrong side of the fabric is visible when it is worn. Sadly I didn’t have quite enough of the silk to cut the tie piece four times, so I used some spotted cotton lawn for the reverse side of the ties. The colour isn’t really a match, but I think they look acceptable together. I also used the cotton lawn for the arm-hole finish.

New Look 6252 in Pale yellow silk

I just whizzed through the sewing on this one, because it was a familiar make and I think I made a really good job of the insides and making sure the finish was good. And I didn’t try the garment on once…probably a mistake, because I’m not that happy with the fit. I’m not actually sure what went awry here, but the armholes seem to be bigger and I have a bit of armhole gape. How did that happen? On top of that the whole top rides up too, so that I find that the bust darts don’t sit where they are supposed to. Given that the top is actually drafted to my measurements (see the previous post) this is not supposed to happen. I suspect I may be over-compensating for the larger armscyes and tying the top tighter? Then I have a problem with the fabric, it doesn’t want to behave! It “puffs” out and doesn’t want to sit correctly. I have under-stitched the facing and I gave the facings an extra iron before this photo shoot which seemed to help. I must admit I felt rather let down when I first tried this top on, because it hasn’t lived up to my expectations.

New Look 6252 with a cardigan over the top…let’s not look at those gaping armholes!

I wonder whether I am being overly harsh in my assessment though. I don’t think the photos look too bad. Please let me know your thoughts. Does that bust dart look way out? Can I tame the “puffiness”? Do I dare to take my beautifully finished arm-holes apart and take in the side seams a smidge to improve the fit? Will that make me fall in love with this top?

I haven’t yet finished my improvements to the wrap trousers yet. Once I have done that I’ll take some more photos with the two makes together.


Revitalising an old make: Wrap and Go Butterick 6720

I have noticed recently a frustrating thing with my wardrobe. I’ve now been sewing my me-made wardrobe for a while and I have lots of fantastic clothes, in colours and styles that I enjoy. But I still find that there are certain makes that I struggle to pair up with anything else in my wardrobe. It isn’t because of clashing colours. I’ve refined my colour choices more as time goes on and with a more limited palette it is so much easier to find good combinations. Plus, a little foray into more adventurous pairings earlier in the year (in #sewhappycolor2021) added a few more good combinations to the mix. No, my particular problem surrounds silhouette and style combinations. Sometimes I think two items from my wardrobe would work well together only to find that they look inexplicably awful in combination. Sometimes a voluminous top can look great with flares and then sometimes it can look overwhelming.

I made a pair of wrap trousers two years ago from a vintage 70s sewing pattern (Butterick 6720) and I have worn them only a handful of times and mostly on holiday because they happened to be in my suitcase.

This pair of trousers gives me quite a headache. The biggest problem is that I haven’t got a top that looks right with them. Looking back at the photos I took just after I made them, my preferred choice was the make-shift bandeau, although not really a look for out and about (only the beach). Clearly I need a fitted top with such a voluminous pair of trousers, but there aren’t many contenders in my wardrobe.

Wrap and Go PantSkirt
With a make-shirt bandeau top

I bought New Look 6252 specifically as a possible pairing with the trousers. At the time I bought it I had 1 metre of feather-print cotton lawn in my stash which I used as a trial. I loved the result; it was one of my favourite makes of last year. Sadly, I don’t think the two prints really work together, but I had always intended that first top as a trial run.

New Look 6252 FrontView
New Look 6252 Front View

Now it’s time for me to make a plain-coloured top to go with the trousers. I remembered that I still have a small left-over amount of this eri silk from Weaving Destination and I thought that the pale creamy-yellow hues of the silk would go well with the trousers. There isn’t much f the silk so I’m going to finish the ties with the spotted cotton lawn.

New Look 6252 pattern with eri silk and spotted cotton lawn

My second problem with the trousers is that I just don’t find them comfortable. So, you may ask, why am I bothering to put so much effort into trying to get a top to work with them? Well, I think the problem will be relatively easy to resolve. The elastic is too tight; I inserted it in a hurry just before I went on holiday and it was simply just the wrong length. Also, I wonder whether I would be happier with wider elastic at the waist. If I copy the elastic width and length from my pyjamas (which are very comfortable) I think that will resolve the issue. I think that converting the tie so that it is also elastic, with fabric ends for extra comfort, will complete the necessary amendments.

Given these problems I’m now working on resurrecting the trousers and creating another New Look 6252 to go with them. I have a few other ideas both for the trousers and another top if I don’t quite manage to reach the top/trouser combination zenith that I am aiming for.


Repairs and Alterations (2018)

I’m fully aware that this is definitely not the most exciting blog post that I’ve put out in the last year. I wrote a similar post about last year’s alterations – the stats on the website reveal that alterations and repairs just really don’t enthuse people! Actually, they don’t enthuse me either, but this post is a tiny “pat on the back” to celebrate of all those unglamorous jobs that I have done this year and keep as many items of my wardrobe in working use.

Last year, I made three alterations and I can say that those items were worn far more as a consequence this year. This definitely provided some impetus for me to tackle some more alterations and repairs.

First of all, I didn’t do many repairs this year, but I did colour code my black socks. Black socks annoy me since they never seem to pair up properly. They look similar, but then you find that you have one that is greyer than the other, or they are different lengths or the band is different. I sewed little crosses into the inside of the socks at the band with embroidery thread in different colours. Now I can easily find the other sock in a pair!

For the alterations, again, I picked three items that needed something doing to them. They ranged from simple to time-consuming.

Red Sorbetto Top

This is another Sorbetto top from my wardrobe. My main complaint about it is the bias binding finish on the arms. The bias binding is a polyester satin binding and it’s probably intended for “craft” rather than dress-making use. It is too thick to use for this top and somehow the finish means that the bias binding sticks out and looks strange at the arm-holes.

I had been wearing this top layered with a cardigan all the time to hide this problem.

To make the adjustment I took off the bias-binding from the armholes, and reapplied some new bias-binding made from the same fabric that the top was made from (a claret-red poplin). I decided to keep the black satin bias binding at the neckline, because this works well with the black lace at the centre front, and somehow the shallower curve at the neck doesn’t warp the bias binding finish quite so much.

I am now more confident wearing this top without the cardigan with its new armhole finish. I have also concluded that I do need to make some more sleeveless tops, but I would create them from a custom-fitted bodice. I do have my doubts about the fit of this top, although it’s probably a fussy, finicky sewist gripe. I think the bust dart should be a little deeper, which would prevent the gaping at the armhole (minuscule that I know it is)

Effort required 5/10

Happiness 6/10

Red Sorbetto Top altered to use self bias-binding on armholes

Red Sorbetto Top altered to use self bias-binding on armholes

White Dobby Top

This top required a major alteration. Due to the method I used to add the yoke to the top, it ended up being too short at the front. The alteration took me ages (so long that it merited its own blog post), but I feel now that the top is far more wearable.

Sadly, I just didn’t wear the top this summer as much as it probably deserved. I’m not even sure why that was. But then, this year was a year of surprising wardrobe choices as it was so hot in the summer and we had lots of snow at the beginning of the year.

Effort required 8/10

Happiness 6/10

White Dobby Blouse

White Dobby Blouse

Silk top

I mentioned in my last post that I was gutted that my new silk top on its first outing managed to end up with huge greasy stains on it. These were very noticeable on the front of the blouse and also on the sleeve. I used some washing up liquid and after several spot washes the greasy seams have diminished substantially or even disappeared. It’s a little hard to judge whether my stain removal has been fully successful as I was doing this as we’re in December and have limited hours of daylight here. I took the photo below outside and I really can’t see the stains anymore so I’m super pleased. I’m very happy that the top has been rescued.

Effort required 3/10

Happiness 9/10

Lekala 4220 blouse

Silk blouse without the stains

Sadly there are still some items that need alterations. I have tried over the last couple of years to make sure I am totally happy with a garment before I move on to making something else. This often requires wearing the item for a few wears just to make sure I’m happy. Overall, this tactic has meant that I have added fewer items to the alterations pile. Having said that I did finish my Ruri sweatpants just before I went on holiday and I found, on my return, that doing yoga in them was annoying as the waist band just wasn’t tight enough and I spent too much time hitching them up each time I moved. Unfortunately, I’d started on to my next make before I found this out, so the sweatpants got added to the alterations pile.

Do you find it difficult to avoid the lure of sewing new things, rather than fixing, sometimes even easy problems with the items you already have?


Lekala #4220 – The Sumptuous Silk Party Top

The theme last month at The Monthly Stitch has been Slow Sewing. This coincided well with my desire to make a beautiful top for the Christmas party season. I must admit that this is the first time I’ve actually sewn anything specifically for a party, firstly because I don’t get invited to many (boo hoo!) and there are always far more practical items that need to be sewn.

SIlk top (Lekala 4220)

Silk top – back view

The fabric is a luscious silk from Britex Fabrics in San Francisco and it has been languishing in a bag, occasionally stroked, and replaced, because I feared to use it. I’d also been worried about what to make with it. It needed to be simple and unfussy in design and yet elegant – enter Lekala #4420 pattern.

I did make a number of modifications to the pattern, both to perfect the fit and satisfy my whims. Here’s a summary of them:

  • The sleeves were narrowed by about 12 cms
  • The centre front seam was dispensed with and the front cut as one piece
  • The bias binding applied to the neckline was finished as a tie at the front (instead of using a decorative clasp, which I was sure would be difficult to find)
  • Two upper back panels were cut, just like on a mens’ shirt
  • A little extra (2cm) was added to the centre back, although Lekala patterns are custom-made from your own measurements, the patterns are derived from your circumference and I have to add little at the centre back and take the equivalent amount away at the centre front to get the fit right.
  • Pleats were used instead of gathers to accommodate the width of the sleeve in the cuff

Silk Top (Lekala 4220)

Silk top cuff

I sewed the top using silk thread. I’d not used silk thread before and it does have different properties to the usual polyester or cotton; I noticed, in particular, that it goes through the fabric very smoothly and also as a consequence, it is easier and less damaging to unpick. Quite a handy property when dealing with a delicate fabric!

The instructions are rather brief with Lekala patterns. I’ve written about the first steps in making this top here and I realised that I probably should have constructed the keyhole at the front differently. Given that I had converted the front of the top to one pattern piece, I could have made a more polished finish, by cutting the keyhole in the fabric after applying the facing. As it was, I followed the instructions and struggled to get the facing to turn neatly to the inside. There was also no mention of under-stitching in the instructions. I did this anyway and it did improve the finish, but it is irritating realising a better methodology after you’ve done the work (deep sigh!).

I used French seams throughout and the blouse looks beautiful both inside and out.

Silk Top (Lekala 4220)

Silk Top – Front View

All in all, this top is everything that I could have wished it to be. It looks great with jeans or alternatively with wide-legged trousers, which is what I would wear for a Christmas party.

After the Christmas Party:

I wore the top to the party. The temperature can be hit and miss at these venues and I was lucky that I didn’t have to wear a cardigan over my top, although the long sleeves were welcome. Among all the glitzy and shiny dresses that my colleagues wore, my top didn’t stand out at all and was scarcely noticed. Somehow though I take this as a compliment because sometimes just clothes that “fit in” can be deemed a success, can’t they?

Silk Top (Lekala 4220)

Silk Top – Front view complete with greasy stains

Here’s the less good news though. The venue was rather dark and sometime during the evening, I must have split or my top rubbed against something rather greasy (possibly chocolate brownie) and I have several grease stains on the front and right sleeve. They are rather obvious on the photos, although not so noticeable under artificial lights. I have no idea how it happened (although I do have a track record for spilling dinner down my front, the amount, and certainly the sleeve location suggest more that I leaned against something). Altogether I’m really rather sad about this. Worse still, I didn’t even notice the stains until I tried on the top again for my photos which means the stains have been on the top for days. Does anyone know the best way to remove greasy stains on silk?

SIlk top (Lekala 4220)

Silk top – still looking good from the back!




An update – Christmas party clothing plans and decluttering action

I have realized I haven’t actually written very much this month. I think the rush to get my contributions for Independent Pattern Month at The Monthly Stitch on the blog resulted in posting everything all at once, rather than the pacing that I normally do.

This post is therefore more of an update on my current makes and what I’ve been up to recently.

My current make uses a beautiful silk fabric bought from Britex Fabrics in San Francisco when I was on holiday is California back in 2015. This fabric was expensive and has intimidated me for years! It has also taken me a long time to decide what to make with it. Well, obviously it needed to be a top, given that it is just 1 1/2 yards in length, but I couldn’t decide what pattern to use.

Eventually, I plumped for Lekala #4420. This top is a popular pattern and there are quite a number of these tops posted in the projects section on the Lekala site. The design is relatively simple; long-sleeves, relaxed fit, with pleats and a keyhole at the neckline. But simplicity is probably good with a light-weight, slippery fabric, like the silk I have.


Lekala 4220 Line Drawing

Lekala 4220 Line Drawing

Lekala 4420

Cutting out has been a challenge with the fabric, but I pinned it well, and made sure all my pins were only placed in the seam allowances as the pins leave holes in the fabric.

I made a couple of changes to the pattern. First I decided to cut the front on the fold, rather than cut two separate front pieces. I also, narrowed the billowing sleeves a little. This modification seems popular and has been used here and here.

The first steps have probably been the fiddliest – making the distinctive keyhole and the pleats. I’ve needed to also make lots of bias-binding out of the silk to use for the neckline.

Lekala 4220 neckline

Lekala 4220 neckline

I’m really looking forward to wearing this top. I plan for it to be ready for the work Christmas party. Oddly, I’ve never made anything specifically for the Christmas season before. It will be a first even if it’s only a top!

Lekala 4220 neckline

Lekala 4220 neckline

My decluttering progress has been slow and painful and I think I need to refocus on this. They say that the first step towards change is “awareness” and I’ve been aware for weeks that my decluttering strategy has not been freeing up space in my wardrobe, liked I hoped it would.

As a whole, the “Disney Declutter” strategy had been perfect for characterizing my clothes, but in terms of getting me to relinquish them it hadn’t really worked. I realized I needed more immediate and focused action and a strategy that would work for a working, time-starved person!

Decluttering (12-12-12)

Decluttering (12-12-12)

I read about the 12-12-12 challenge here. The idea is to locate 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate and 12 items to be returned to their proper home. I think this is probably an American idea, so I think I can substitute “throw away” with recycle. I think placing the number 12 at the heart of this makes the challenge achievable and yet it does stretch me. I can easily locate three or four items in each category, but 12 makes me think a bit more. I also like the idea of returning items to their proper home. In my house, things do end up just lying around and this will be a good incentive for tackling this.

This weekend, I did my first run at the 12-12-12 challenge. I can’t say that I got up to 12 in each category and I didn’t just apply myself to sorting out clothing. But, I think strategy uses a far more achievable  I’ll make it an ongoing activity.







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Weaving Destination Fashion Show Dress

I did wonder what I was doing with another sewing deadline looming, but as I sewed the last embroidered centre to one of the silk flowers on my Weaving Destination dress I felt I simulaneously sad that I’d come to the end of this project and at the same time breathed a sigh of relief that I managed the deadline. I have enjoyed making this dress. This may surprise for some of you, but this is only the second dress I have ever made! I rarely wear dresses and therefore prefer to make anything but dresses – skirts, trousers, tops etc…. Who else out there in the sewing world has more experience making trousers than dresses? I guess I’m just a little weird.IMG_0427

In my first post on the dress, I described using the book, Bias Cut Dressmaking to create my pattern. This book is particularly geared to lingerie patterns and as such there wasn’t a sleeve pattern at all. I’m a regular reader of the splendid Seamwork magazine by Colette and there has been a series called “Block, Paper, Scissors” in the magazine. In the July issue, there was an article on how to create flutter sleeves from a sleeve block. I used this tutorial to make my sleeve pattern.

My design was mostly cut and sewn on the bias, which creates its own difficulties, but after some reading around the subject, I  found that there were many techniques and recommendations that could help with the construction. Given all this, I’m particularly proud of the insides of my dress. It’s probably gratuitous to show lots of photos of French seams (much that I love them), but I’m very glad that I finished the armscyes on the inside of the dress with bias-binding. It really gives the whole inside a very polished finished.

Bias bound armscyes

I also used the same bias-binding for my hem. I think using bias-binding for the hem is a particularly tidy finish that looks good from the inside and the outside.


The silk ribbon flowers I’ve attached to the dress are made from recycled sari silk which I sourced from Yarnyarn website. The silk flowers were made quite simply. This excellent tutorial on youtube shows how the flowers are made with silk ribbons. Basically, you sew the ribbons into a loop and then stitch a zig-zag along the length of the ribbon. Pulling the ends of the thread tight, ruffles the ribbon loop into a ruched “flower”.


Although silk is quite light-weight I was still mindful of the possibility of it dragging on the fabric so I adding a little square of cotton as backing to my flower and then sewed it to the dress.

Back of ribbon flowers

The finishing touch was a few stitches of pale-coloured embroidery thread for the centre of the flower.


And here’s the finished dress. Sadly I didn’t get a lot of choice about the weather and it was absolutely tipping with rain when I took these photos. I do feel like I’m about to go to a wedding, very elegant and way too dressed up for posing in the park!




I’m taking part in the Weaving Destination Fashion Show!

I waited a little while before writing this post, since I wanted to get my sewing underway, before I shared this news. I have decided to take part in the Weaving Destination Fashion Show in Edinburgh again this year.

Weaving Destination is a social enterprise based in the State of Assam, North East, India. It helps vulnerable women including women living with HIV and survivors of human trafficking. For more information, take a look at the Weaving Destination website

Weaving Destination produces hand-woven silk and cotton products using traditional patterns. They include silk scarves, and silk and cotton fabrics. These can be bought on their Etsy site.

I’m really pleased to be able to support this event, and support an organisation that promotes fair-trade values and create sustainable employment. Plus the weaving destination fabrics are beautiful, take a look at last year’s fashion show.

Last year I sewed a halter-neck top and wrap skirt for the show.

Top and Skirt

Click here to view the video from last year’s entry.

This year, I was dying to get hold of some of the eri silk. I’ve gone for creating a simple dress, cut on the bias. Below is my design sketch. I’m not much of an artist, but I hope it gives some idea of the final garment.

Design Sketch

For the pattern-drafting I turned to a book I found in the library – Bias Cut Dressmaking. I have to say that normality has returned as far as sewing books are concerned. I really found this book hard to get on with. The concept of the book is quite simple; first of all it outlines how to make basic blocks, for example a bodice block and then this is altered in simple ways to create various different garments, for example a halter-neck dress or a princess-seamed dress. For someone like me who has limited knowledge of drafting I thought it would be ideal. Sadly, and I truly feel sorry for the author, the book is poorly printed and poorly edited. There are several pages where it is virtually impossible to read the text, because of a printing problem. The page appears to be mostly grey. There are numerous occasions when the figures don’t tally with the explanations. For example, the text on one page mentioned figures 1, 2, etc. but the labelling didn’t exist. After spending some time assuming that the first diagram on the page was figure 1, I found my assumption was wrong and the middle diagram of three was figure 1! This was a small problem in comparison to the difficulties I had with the bodice block, where lines were labelled wrongly or not at all. Altogether this book was a challenging experience and at times I really felt like throwing my toys out the pram. In fact, now I’ve looked on Amazon, this book as got some truly depressing views.

Despite the book, I’ve managed to draft a pattern and I have cut out my dress. I was really apprehensive about this; I always feel like that when I’m about to cut into a beautiful piece of silk fabric. It’s a nervous moment! I’m been busy over the weekend sewing the dress and I’ll share some photos soon……


#1year1outfit – Tanked up!

I’ve been incredibly busy in the last month with my makes for Indie Pattern Month over at The Monthly Stitch. It’s no surprise that I’ve got behind with my posts. I made the Myla tank during June and even posted about it on The Monthly Stitch, but unfortunately I hadn’t managed to get my buttons until recently and I wanted to post about it here only once I’d completed it properly.

Myla Tank

The fabric I used for my tank top is an organic peace silk from Organic Silks. It is grown and woven in the UK (in Hertfordshire, to be precise). I shibori-dyed the fabric at a workshop run by Botanical Inks, that I attended back in April.

The fabric drapes well and feels very light, and but I only had 1 metre to play with. Fortunately, this was jsut the right amount for the Myla tank. I love the split back feature and the idea of the buttons on the front.

Myla Tank Back

When working out the fitting for the Myla tank I made lots of changes to the pattern to the point where I had changed virtually every part of it. First of all, I have quite a short body, so the length was shortened….by loads. I had to completely re-design the armscyes as these were completely the wrong shape. I’d been reading DixieDIY’s post about making the Myla top and we are fairly similar is terms of general body shape (I think, or perhaps I just flatter myself!) Anyway, Dixie mentioned that there was quite a bit of gape around the armscye and suggested that a remedy would be to change the shape of it, so for smaller busts make the armscye flatter or less curvy. I did this and finally after a lot of messing about got an armscye that I was happy with. This problem is something that I have noticed on ready-to-wear garments. Sometimes the arm hole gapes so much it looks indecent and the tank is one of those garments that in the past I have tended to avoid.

In addition, to the armscye gapiness, I also found that the neckline plunged way much too. Even the smallest size didn’t really give me the decency I prefer! So, although I had to completely redraft the neckline, I hope I still caught the spirit of its shape. It isn’t really a straightforward scoop, it’s more angular than that.

Myla Tank 3

Finally, the whole body ended up being thinner than that in the pattern too. Now this gave me some real headaches. The one criticism I have of this pattern is that there are no notches. And yes, it is a simple pattern, so you could get away without them. But, with all the changes I made to the pattern I suddenly realised I really didn’t have a clue how the two lower back pieces overlapped. Anyway, I had to do a pile of measurements on the pattern back pieces to work out the intended overlap on the pattern as it was, and then translate this to my own version. By which point there was lots of sighing about my weird body shape!

Anyway, with my fitting problems out the way, the construction was quite simple. I used French seams throughout. The silk wasn’t too difficult to sew. Strangely, it was a good deal easier than the cotton/silk blends that I’d used before. I didn’t have any problems with creating self bias-binding. Previously I found with the silk/cotton blends that I couldn’t get a crease to stay on the fabric for more than a few seconds.  This silk could be pressed quite easily and it kept the crease applied to the fabric. The fabric though is very light-weight, so much so that the top turns out rather transparent and I will need to find something better to wear underneath. Actually, it does make me realise that this fabric would make some rather lovely underwear.

The only fiddly bit I found was creating the decorative placket at the front. I had to be very careful using pins with the fabric as they left holes in it that showed. This wasn’t too much of a problem with cutting out, as I just placed the pins within the seam allowance so any marks wouldn’t be seen. However, this did create a problem when sewing on the decorative placket. In the end I tacked it is placed with very small stitches and hoped it wouldn’t move too much when I sewed. Of course, it did a little and it isn’t completely straight. It would have, I’m sure, ruined the garment if I’d unpicked and tried again, but with the addition of the buttons it isn’t too noticeable.

The buttons are small porcelain buttons from Poppy Ceramics. These are created by Jo just down the road from me; I’ve finally found at least something super-local to use for the #1year1outfit. I think they are really cute little buttons and surprisingly strong. Jo challenged me to try and break one of them and it is completely impossible! I think they’ll be fine in the washing machine!

Myla close-up


Fabric Temptation


I’ve been on holiday for the last two weeks in California. And these days no holiday is complete without a visit to a fabric store. Jess of Wardrobe Ecology kindly gave me a fantastic list of fabric stores in the Bay Area. It was such a pity I didn’t get time to visit them all and with transport limitations, Britex Fabrics, in San Francisco itself, was the easiest to see. Apparently it is a bit of a San Francisco institution, although I didn’t know anything about the store before I arrived.

The store exudes an atmosphere that reminded me of an old-fashioned department store and is spread over no less than four floors. One whole floor was devoted to notions. You cannot imagine my delight to find a whole wall of buttons.

Wall of buttons

First on my shopping list were some jeans buttons and “rivets” (as they seem to be called in the US). I have been meaning to make a pair of jeans for some time, but I don’t know anywhere that sells rivets in the UK.


Next, I went upstairs and looked at the selection of knit fabrics. I selected a Japanese tissue knit in black and aquamarine. Again, these light-weight knits are a rarity in the UK.

Finally, I made my way to the floor selling silks. Jess’s comment that this is a “high-end” fabric store was certainly spot-on. I spent a long time “fondling” a beautiful Versace silk print and trying to justify buying something at $125 a yard. Fortunately, a lady came in and decided to buy some plain green washed silk for her son’s Peter Pan costume. (Really, do people buy quality silk fabric for children’s costumes?) Anyway, I was so taken with the fabric, that I decided to get 1.5 yards of the same washed silk in blue. It will made a truly luxurious blouse.

I am very grateful to the lovely lady who engaged my son in a long chat about dinosaurs, so I could give my full attention to my purchasing decisions!

Fabric purchases at Britex

The staff were incredibly helpful and knowledgeable and the check-out experience was delightfully retro. No electronics at all, just old-fashioned cash registers and hand-written receipts. It was like stepping back in time. With my purchases packaged up in similar fashion to any designer shop, I felt I’d had a truly amazing shopping experience!