Saturday, 23 June 2018

Liberty of London and holiday ephemera

As you may have gathered from the number of garments I have made from Liberty fabric I am quite a fan. This fandom extends to their store in London which I have loved since my first visit back in the 1980's.  I don't know what it is about the mock tudor building but I could wander around for hours window shopping. It is a wonderful slightly quirky building with well curated stock that is just a visual feast.

The history of the store is fascinating and it is hard to believe that it was built in the early 1920s. A brief history of the store's heritage can be found on the Liberty website here.
Creates Sew Slow: Liberty of London
A fabric mecca - Liberty third Floor
Creates Sew Slow: Liberty of London
Amazing women's fashions on the first floor & Arthur's Restaurant on the second floor
Creates Sew Slow: Liberty of London
Liberty exterior - lovely entrance through Wild at Heart florist

A bit of Liberty fabric

On this trip I was particularly interested in looking at the Liberty Sungleam Sequins fabric.  I had drooled over it on-line but was reluctant to purchase any without seeing it first. OMG it is an absolutely sumptuous amazingly glorious fabric (did I use enough superlatives to convey how special it is?).  Unfortunately Liberty have started their summer sale and this fabric is all gone.

The sequins are tiny and individually secured on to the silk backing. We had trouble identifying how it had been made as the silk is still white on the back and the colour seems to go all the way through the sequins. But after seeing the print on one edge where there are no sequins it was decided that the fabric was printed after the sequins had been added.

The other fabrics are lovely as you would expect from Liberty, but the sequin one is special.
Creates Sew Slow: Liberty of London
Clockwise from upper left: Small Artists Bloom B Sungleam Sequins; better picture of the sequins; Winter Floral tana lawn; a linen from the Italian mill Ratti; and Tresco C conway linen
Creates Sew Slow: Liberty of London
Clockwise from left; Mitsi A;  Mitsi E and Carline C (all tana lawn)
A small foray in the haberdashery department resulted in these three patterns coming home with me.  The purchase of the Merchant and Mills Camber set was heavily influenced by a sample in the fabric department using a Liberty linen (of course not the one I ended up buying).

Creates Sew Slow: Liberty of London
Creates Sew Slow: Liberty of London

Creates Sew Slow: Liberty of London
Possible button options for my Vogue 8430 Green/Pink Kantha jacket
There was a Liberty tote bag which I coveted but decided was a bit too extravagant, so reluctantly left behind. However immediately the Liberty sale started I snaffled it at half price, with a silk scarf and a bit more fabric.  It would be rude not to when Liberty only charge £10 to ship to NZ, although you do pay VAT. In my defence I used the birthday money from my Aunt to purchase the tote bag and silk scarf.

Creates Sew Slow: Liberty of London
Liberty Orion Print Merion Tote Bag
Creates Sew Slow: Liberty of London
Liberty Ophelia Foulard Scarf - had to show the unboxing as it was just so pretty
Creates Sew Slow: Liberty of London
Clockwise from top left: Mabelle Hoxton velvet; Adelajda Sycamore linen;
Garden Gingham tana lawn; Poppy's Patchwork tana lawn

MacCulloch & Wallis

Located to the east of Liberty is MacCulloch and Wallis, a wonderful shop which sells fabric but I am more interested in their haberdashery.
Creates Sew Slow: MacCulloch & Wallis
MacCulloch and Wallis, 25 Poland Street, Soho
I spent over an hour on their lower floor scouring through all of the haberdashery offerings. Coming home with a small yet satisfying parcel of goodies in a reusable cotton bag.  Reuse of your cotton bag will save you £1 off your purchase, instead I have it to keep as a souvenir.

Creates Sew Slow: MacCulloch & Wallis
A small haul of toggles and cord ends plus a 70cm double ended zip

Berwick Street, Soho

A bit further east from MacCulloch and Wallis is Berwick Street which has a number of fabric shops and whilst I walked along and went into most of them I bought nothing this time.  I have in the past got some wonderful fabrics from here but it is definitely not a cheap place to fabric shop.

Creates Sew Slow: Berwick Street, Soho
Clockwise from top: Misan Textiles, The Silk Society; The Cloth House; Berwick Street Market; and Borovick
My favourite shop is probably Misan Textiles (the one in the photo, not the one closer to the Oxford Street end of the street).  This is definitely not a cheap shop but I love the way the fabrics are displayed.  I have a wonderful Sewing Workshop Opal jacket made from a cashmere knit purchased here.

The Silk Society is an interesting experience.  At first glance it appears as though the stock is limited, although they do have remnants on display.  In actual fact they have folders of the different fabrics available. When you select a fabric a phone call is made to the warehouse and the fabric magically appears a bit later.

Borovick is probably my least favourite, the fabric can be a bit higgledy piggledy and for some reason I find it intimidating. No idea why when you consider all of my early fabric purchases were from the Sheaf market in Sheffield.

The Cloth House has a good selection of ethnic textiles - mainly Japanese and a good selection of denim.  I didn't investigate the denim this time but in the past it has mainly been non-stretch.

Berwick Street Cloth Shop (not pictured) is also a treasure trove and I nearly succumbed to a fabulous wool tartan fabric but amazingly I resisted. On a previous visit it yielded a hard to find piece of silk to be included in a Diane Ericson Fault Lines vest made from hand dyed (by me) indigo fabric from a class at the Houston Quilt Festival in 2014.  And one day I will actually use the piece of silk to finish my vest.

Berwick Street also has a market down the middle of the street which is interesting to see if you are not used to the English open air markets.

Heirs and Graces, Darley Dale

Cath recommended White Peak Embroidery after a conversation with a fellow Japanese embroiderer, so of course I had to go, especially when it is only about an hours drive from my Aunt's. White Peak is the partner shop to Heirs and Graces. White Peak originally hosted the embroidery and Heirs and Graces the quilting supplies.  These days the stock is not that neatly split, as there was a mix of patchwork fabrics in both shops and the embroidery was in the Old Chapel (the Heirs and Graces building). The Old Chapel has a classroom which was hosting a private wool spinning class when I was there.  Unusually my purchases were modest.

Creates Sew Slow: Heirs and Graces, Darley Dale
Clockwise from top left: White Peak Embroidery; Old Chapel classroom; Heirs and Graces in the Old Chapel
Creates Sew Slow: Heirs and Graces, Darley Dale
Two cross stitch patterns for needlework accessories and a teal/grey Japanese cotton
Creates Sew Slow: Heirs and Graces, Darley Dale
Velvet ribbon and Tana lawn bias binding

The magazines

Of course I had to have a look for sewing magazines whilst I was in England and despite only going into W H Smiths in Newbury I managed to acquire five magazines.  I was really lucky to get two copes of La Maison Victor one at the start of the holiday and the other at the end.

The three Simplicity sewing patterns came from John Lewis in Sheffield.  I wanted S8593 having seen it in the Sew Style Vintage magazine but as they were half price I succumbed to three. Whilst in John Lewis I also bought the peacock feather cotton fabric. The fabric is cut and you are given a little bar code card with the quantity cut written on to take to the cashier.  On the card is says dry clean only - for 100% cotton fabric - what is this obsession with dry cleaning?

Creates Sew Slow: Liberty of London and holiday ephemera
Sew Today (UK version of Vogue Patterns) and La Maison Victor issues 2 and 3
Creates Sew Slow: Liberty of London and holiday ephemera
Simply Sewing magazine including the Silk Cami by Sew Over It, the Eden Set and the City Backpack
Sew Style Vintage magazine including Simplicity Patterns K8049, K8460 and K1284
Simplicity Patterns 8593, 8506 and 8452
Creates Sew Slow: Liberty of London and holiday ephemera
John Lewis Peacock Feathers

Old London town

The first trip into London at the beginning of the holiday was on a dreary wet grey day not really conducive to taking pictures, but I did take two. On the other hand my second trip at the end of the holiday was a lovely sunny day (with rain showers that luckily happened when I was busily occupied in shops) and I took absolutely no views of London.

Creates Sew Slow: Liberty of London and holiday ephemera
Regent Street with the iconic Red bus and London taxi plus a few Union Jacks for good measure
Creates Sew Slow: Liberty of London and holiday ephemera
Walking down Regents Street
Creates Sew Slow: Liberty of London and holiday ephemera
The train journey home with the tell tale Liberty bag in the bottom left hand corner
Whilst taking pictures out of the train window on the way home I managed an outtake of my outfit. Of course there is no staged outfit of the day picture - far too busy for that (or forgetful).

Creates Sew Slow: Liberty of London and holiday ephemera

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