Friday, May 31, 2013

Walthamstow market fabric shopping guide - as promised!

So yesterday I promised a guide to Walthamstow fabric market where I got the lovely jersey knit for my infinity dress. That's not all I bought...check out my haul!
Whenever I go to Walthamstow market I'm always surprised with what i come away with for such a good price. Clockwise from top I'll go around what I bought and what I'm going to make...partly to tell you what a steal some of it was, and partly as a permanent remninder of what I'm planning to make!

When you come out of the (underground) station, walk straight ahead until you reach the road where you turn left. That's where the market starts. The first time I went I was disappointed as there didn't seem to be much there, but wait for it - it gets better!

The first great place (in my humble opinion) is a fabric store (called Textile something?) behind a kitchenwares market stand selling saucepans and the like. There are some absolute bargains in there (check out my 66p/m, £1.10m and £1.65m fabrics below) and they also have real silk chiffon for about £6/m (and are very friendly)

Next is a stall outside tesco. That wasn't there when I last went as there were roadworks, but it does have some great stuff. A little further down there is a small fabric stall on the left hand side of the market selling mainly cottons, and the people also own a shop in the ajoining road (definitely worth a look).

The next part of the market you will find a few stalls selling trimmings, needles, zips, ribbon etc, and the stock of the shops lining the road is exhausting! You can pick up great stuff very cheap here, although I'm still dubious about the zips (they are v.v. cheap - I bought one and put it on a skirt and the zipper stuck) so that's probably the one thing I don't mind paying more for.

You'll reach Saaed's soon enough on your left. The shop has two fronts, the first with mainly upholstery and jersey fabric, the second with cottons and dressmaking. They're really professional in there and know a lot about the fabrics.

There are a few more shops after this at excellent value - the one next to Saaeds is where I got the Aztec jersey print below, and a few doors down the white and navy striped.

All in all I love going to Walthamstow - I always think I've spent an absolute bomb then remember that if I spent the same in John Lewis I would probably come away with about 3m of cotton!

If you have any questions on the fabrics, shops or anything, I'm not an expert on the market but let me know and I'll see if I can help. Right...onto what I got!...
Top flowery fabric: £1.10/m - 2m bought. This is a jersey fabric, and I'm planning to make a maxi skirt with elastic (possibly black?) waistband
Black fabric with bows: £1.65/m - 3m bought, I was planning to make the new sewaholic Tofino pajama bottom pattern with these, but I couldn't wait! So I used internet tutorials to make a pair of pajama bottoms, and kind of created my own waistband and I love them! I haven't taken them off much this week :-S and still have about 1.5m of the fabric left
Black jersey: £2/m - 2.5m bought. I mainly bought this for the top of my patterned infinity dress, and It was exactly what I needed. It will be great to have some black jersey around for odd projects here and there
Aztec patterned jersey: £2/m - 3m bought for £5. This was the end of the role hence why the shop was willing to sell it to me cheaply. I fell in love with the pattern on this and couldn't stop thinking about it for the bottom of an ifinity dress. Still have 1.5m left and deciding what to do with it. I'm wondering whether I could get away with something like this two piece dress but not sure my curves will allow that. I don't know if this dress would be any better - what do you think?
Pink t-shirt fabric: £1.10/m - 2m bought. I bought this with an easy t-shirt dress in mind, like this burda dress just to go over swimwear whilst on holiday
Greeny stretch fabric: £0.66 (!)/m - 2m bought. I bought this with another of the burda dresses in mind. What can I say - When I like something I stick with it!
Turquoise jersey fabric: £2/m - 5m bought. My most expensive purchase of the day! I made a short infinity dress from this (although the waistband is just a little too big
Flowery chiffon with black/white stripes: £1.65/m - 2m bought. Hoping to make a maxi skirt out of this but haven't quite decided how yet
Blue, white, red flower/stripe fabric: £1.65/m - 1m bought. To make more (short) pajama bottoms, although I think I might make them just below the knee rather than as shorts
Two white fabrics: About £1/m each - using them as linings for chiffon skirts and the jersey skirt (which I expect will be hot and sticky in the summer!)

Now for the stripy fabric...I wasn't planning on buying this, but went in the shop and it completely grabbed my eye. The stripes are narrow in the middle and widen out towards the top and bottom. I'd love to make a flared over the knee dress with this, where the narrow stripes are around the waist. The closest I've found is this beautiful dress but I wonder whether it needs a plain colour to really show off the back. What do you think?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A hefty break

Well that was a long break since my first post - over three years in fact - and a lot has happened in those three years:

I've started sewing - more on this later but I love it
I've made so many more knitted projects, and really need to get back on that after a short hiatus
I bought a flat! Yep, a fully fledged, grown up, mortage ridden flat
I got a new car (its yummy)

So things have definitely changed. For the better? Yes I think so, after all why would we try to move backwards in life right? Whatever we do we do because we think it will make life better for us or those around us, even if it's just because it gives us enjoyment at the time.

So...onto sewing. My parents bought me a sewing machine last year for my birthday (I found a nearly new one on gumtree) and I've been making a number of different things, and have recently ventured into dressmaking, making some dresses, skirts etc. I was recently lucky enough to be able to splurge on an overlocker from some leftover Christmas money which has made everything SO much easier. Over the weekend I made two infinity dresses and a pair of pajama bottoms (which I haven't got out of yet - love em!) Here's the first one I made - it was difficult to get the printed jersey pattern to match up, but as luck would have it the width of the pattern repeat was exactly the size I needed for one skirt panel. The next one I made I used a circle rather than tube skirt, made the straps thinner and made it shorter:

Check out a post tomorrow on my fabric shopping guide to Walthamstow Market - I love it! And I have enough of this patterned jersey left to make something else - not sure what though. Any suggestions?

Love x

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Another frog joins my stash

Well, unfortunately, as I suspected, the Gentleman socks were slightly too big with 80 st. I thought they might be ok because 80 st is the mens M size, and the mens L size is 88 st, but I will have to frog these back. I don't know yet whether to cast on and make another pair with either less stitches or smaller needles, or whether to make a different pattern. I've frogged the last 3-4 pairs of socks I've knit...will I ever get my groove back?

Love x

You knit? You mean like in the old days?

I had a friend over for dinner yesterday and it never ceases to amaze me how amazed people are that I knit! When I told her that I had taken up knitting she was thoroughly surprised; but once she saw the socks I had made and the beautiful yarns that I had she has made me promise to teach her to knit.

I have now managed to start the pattern for the Gentleman's socks for Dad, which is looking really good, although I am worried that the socks will be too big. I cast on 80 st for the foot with 2.5mm needles (I'm a fairly tight knitter), but will get my boyfriend to try them on for size tonight so that I know whether to frog or not to frog.

Still waiting for the boyfriend to purchase me some yummy yarn for being so nice at the weekend and picking him up at 1.30am! I expect that he will try and get out of it by buying me dinner instead...not if I get my way! Food or yarn; no comparison!

Love x

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Welcome one and all!

Hello all!

Welcome to my new blog, where I intend to share my goings on. I expect a fair amount of my blog to be about my knitting adventures; what's on the needles and what's being frantically pulled off the needles when it all goes wrong!

At the moment I've just started some socks for my lovely Dad for Father's day in June, the patterns is a twisted stich ribbed pattern, and I'm using a brown, blue and slightly orange 4ply sock yarn (it looks better than it sounds!) I cast on using JMCO method on the train this morning - I always get a few odd and bemused looks from knitting on the train, but it makes the journey go super fast (so much so that I wish it would last longer sometimes!). I will be away from my parents next week so am hoping to get most of the socks done then when my Dad isn't around to see them before they're finished and blocked.

I've also got on the go a pink shawl for my friend for her birthday, in a pink 4ply sock yarn using 4.5mm and the travelling woman pattern on ravelry. My first shawl and at the moment I'm really pleased with how it's turning out, and I think it'll be a nice size once it's blocked. (Pics to follow later).

This week I'm also eagerly awaiting the arrival of Wendy Johnson's new book Toe-Up Socks for Every Body. Amazon have posted it out so it's just a waiting game now. I already have my eye on the diamond & cable socks for another of my good friends, who's birthday is also in June - May will be a busy knitting month to get ready for it all! At least with all of these socks that are currently in the works I can use my new sock blockers which I made last night following a brilliant DIY guide found on ravelry (check out my project page for info: lizziep85). I used them for the first time last night and the socks came out brilliantly. The recipient is a dear friend of mine, who deserves lovely squishy socks, so I'm hoping she loves and cherishes these just as I have whilst making them.

Love x