If you've ever been to Goldhawk Road in London you'll know what a fabric Mecca it is. If you've never been you MUST go. It's THE fabric district in London comprising of at least 14 Aladdin's Caves right outside the Goldhawk Road Tube Station. As soon as you exit into the street ahead the sights and signs of fabric, fabric and more fabric loom into view.
Like a kid with a new toy, you dive into the nearest shop and immediately realise that it is a vast warehouse of bolts stacked from floor to ceiling and not just as far as the eye can see but on different levels too. In some, they are so crammed it's difficult to push past, especially with a rucksack on your back which was brought in the high expectation I might be tempted to buy a couple of metres!!
Oh if I'd only stopped after a couple but with so much choice, what was a girl to do?
These pictures will give you a little bit of the flavour and how exciting the whole day was for us. In fact I forgot to take any more pics after these as I needed both hands for touching and feeling the fabrics except for this one below.
Here you can see my friend and two of the pieces she bought. I learned so much from her during the day as I watched her focus on building her capsule wardrobe selections.
Her first choice was a gorgeous Liberty Print at a bargain price of only £12.00 per metre that had a pale green background with sage green and muted burgundy flowers amongst other tones of both colours. As you can see here she found a fantastic linen blend in the exact background colour for a pair of trousers and a skirt.
Later in the day and in other establishments she bought more fabric that picked out the burgundy hues. I could see how her method of bringing out that first Liberty print at every opportunity allowed her to focus on the exact matching colours keeping in mind the drape and handle of each piece so she knew what garment she had in mind to create her Autumn capsule collection.
This was a masterclass for me and although she probably hadn't set out to, had given me a much needed education on how to go about buying fabric.
When faced with so much choice my method has been to pick colours or fabrics that I'm drawn to. I adore bright turquoise and teal, I love pink and mauve but I don't like red or yellows. My problem is mixing the colours I like into a palette that allows me to tone with others to create an outfit. I don't think I've paid enough attention to this aspect of sewing. I've concentrated on the execution of creating a comfortable, well fitted garment that I am proud to wear but I've neglected to create a 'look' for me as a whole outfit.
I really need to stop making a top or a pair of trousers just because I can. I need to develop more than just the hobby of sewing and go beyond the garment itself.
I'm so grateful to my friend for showing me the direction I need to travel next and I'd love to see your comments below on this. Do you have a similar dilemma? Have you made items that work as an individual garment but with no thought to others in your closet?
What did I buy, I hear you ask? Well I wasn't in the same league as my friend and I did buy 5 pieces as well as some knit fusible interfacing but I'll blog about my purchases and what I have in mind to make with them soon.