Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Out and About - Birmingham

I have been out and about again! This time I was accompanying my mum down to Birmingham for the Festival of Quilts show at the NEC. However whilst I was down there I took the opportunity to peruse some of the other sewing related gems Birmingham has to offer. 

Birmingham Famous Rag Market

Last time I was in Birmingham I sadly missed the chance to go to the Rag Market, so this time it was at the top of my list. One word...WOW! This place is incredible. I think it could be summed up as being a slightly chaotic mix of chiffon, bananas and fish. It is a little treasure trove of goodies and for people (like me) who love to have a thorough rummage whilst shopping this market is perfect. 

I have found that in a lot of markets the stall holders can be really pushy and pester you to buy thing however this was not the case in Birmingham. Everyone was very chilled out and there was no hard sale. As for the prices yikes! After spending the previous day at the festival of quilts looking at designer cottons prints some of which were going for nearly £25/m I nearly jumped for joy when I saw lace for £7/m,  cottons for £3/m, net for £2/m and even some jersey for £1/m.

Check out this wall of zips! Not only was there loads of fabric at the market but there was also an abundance of notions including buttons, elastic, ribbon, lace, trims and everything else you can think of.
Needless to say a made a few purchases. I wont bother detailing everything but I bought several solid colour stretch fabrics, some chiffon to have a play with, several zips because you just never know when you'll need one and also a dozen buttons because I just can't help myself!

Just to prove that there was bananas too.

Fancy Silk Store

I also popped in to the Fancy Silk Store across the road from the market. I was totally overwhelmed by the volume of fabric. It went all the way to the ceiling! I only had a quick look in the shop as I didn't want to be tempted in to buying even more but they looked like they had a fantastic selection of cottons and jerseys as well as a large selection of wool and suiting fabrics.

 The only thing I would say is that due to the volume of fabric and the way it is stacked up, I think that you would need a lot of help from the shop staff to reach the bolt you were thinking of buying. I was a bit worried that if I yanked a bold to hard the whole wall might come down.

Guthrie and Ghani

I didn't take any photos but I did hop on the number 50 bus out to Mosley to visit Guthrie and Ghani. I took the same trip in March so I knew what to expect and I already had my shopping list together. My plan was to buy the Colette Hawthorn and Macaroon patterns, however, by the time I arrived at the shop I decided (mainly because it was howling a gale) that instead of the Macaroon I was Colette Anise Jacket instead (sorry macaroon maybe next time). I am waiting for the fabric shops at home to get their winter stock in before I buy fabric for the Anise so for just now I only bought fabric for the Hawthorn. The Hawthorn as a dress requires quite a large meterage so I decided to just buy enough for the top version. I figured that way I ca work on any fit issues I might have with the bodice befor I invest in a larger quantity of fabric. So in the end I settled on this bluey grey linen effect cotton, which I think will make a lovely crisp top.

Also I was really excited to see that GandG are stocking Deer and Doe patterns now, I think they might be on the list for net time too. Also I just want to say thanks to the great staff at GandG I was given some excellent recommendations for breakfast (Cherry Reds) and coffee (Yorks Bakery Cafe) in the city centre.

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