London, UK

uk2There are plenty of other bloggers who’ve done far more exhaustive listings  of UK resources (see for example Tilly, Katie, Karen and Kathryn). BUT since I regularly get asked by friends where to go, here’s a little list just for you 🙂

  • Liberty (shop & online) – mock Tudor, timber-framed palace of dreams. I have been going here with my Granny for as long as I can remember and it still makes me beam. Sadly the fabric/haberdashery section is much smaller than it once was, but it is still well worth a stop to fondle the incredible prints. Fabrics are pricey, so look out for sales.
  • Cloth House (shop & online) – whitewashed walls, scrubbed wooden floors, vintage spools and rolls of muted-tone cotton and linen carefully disarranged. Not cheap, but excellent quality, specialising in natural fibres
  • The rest of Berwick Street (shops) – If you’re doing Liberty/Cloth House, be sure to check out the rest of Berwick Street’s fabric shops. I particularly like The Silk Society for its gorgeous partyfrock fabrics and super dooper friendly sales staff.
  • MacCulloch and Wallis (shop & online) – I hesitate to put M&W on here as the staff are (in my experience) consistently just.so.RUDE!! However, if you need specific haberdashery items or, say, 10m of Bremsilk in a particular shade, they may be the only show in town that have what you need. Just don’t expect to trade sewing stories.
  • Joel & Son Fabrics (shop & online) – Cloth-merchants to the queen, don’t you know. And in fairness it shows. Eyewatering prices, jawdropping quality. Brocades and silks and lace, oh my.
  • Sew Over It (shops & online) – Lisa Comfort is a force to be reckoned with: Two beautiful shops (one in Clapham and a new one in Islington), plus an online store, her own pattern line, a packed programme of sewing classes and a blog to boot. Amazing. One thing I like about the site is that it links between patterns and fabrics, so you can find the perfect combo.
  • Ray Stitch (shop & online) – My first experience of a sewing cafe, this place has a special corner of my heart. Packed full of pretty prints and lovely notions, the staff are friendly and knowledgeable. Downstairs is a teaching space, where (on non-class days) you can rent out the machines by the hour. You might even get a cup of tea if you smile sweetly 🙂
  • Guthrie & Ghani (shop & online) – Not technically London, but I have to put this one in. You may remember Birmingham-based Lauren from the Great British Sewing Bee. She is now the proud proprietor of a beautiful fabric shop and teaching space in Moseley, in the most incredible building, which she and her husband renovated themselves! In addition to the fabrics, this is a great place to go for a good range of haberdashery items and, having ordered from her online shop, I can say that Lauren is every bit as friendly, efficient and helpful as you might imagine.

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