english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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SewBrum 2016 Wrap-Up

SewBrum 2016

The 2016 SewBrum meet-up took place on Saturday 24th September.

I’m not planning to publish a weekly vlog, but I am planning to publish one every so often when I have something to share. I filmed a little bit of footage during SewBrum which you can view below:

As in previous years, the day whizzed by! We started the day by taking over the Edwardian Tearooms at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery – and I do mean taking over. From there, we wandered across town to the Rag Market, and nearby Barry’s Fabrics and Fancy Silk Store. Rhiannon introduced me to a stall in the Indoor Market which specialises in wax print, which I hadn’t spotted before, and Charlotte recommended a nearby stall which has a huge selection of cotton and novelty prints.

SewBrum 2016

Over 100 of us traveled into Moseley Village in the afternoon to visit Guthrie & Ghani for shopping, chatting, a pattern and fabric swap, and charity raffle. The raffle, plus donations given for tea and cake, raised £465 for the The Eve Appeal gynaecological cancer charity.

SewBrum 2016

Huge thanks to everyone who came along, I hope you had a good time & managed to meet some new-to-you sewists. It was lovely to meet people I haven’t chatted to before, as well as to catch-up with friends, including some I’ve never met in person before.

SewBrum 2016

There have been some great blog posts, plus a lovely vlog about the day by The Fold Line. Links below!

Steely Seamstresshttps://steelyseamstress.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/sew-brum-2016/

Almond Rockhttp://almondrock.co.uk/sewbrum-2016/

Thimberlinahttps://thimberlina.wordpress.com/2016/10/02/sewbrum-2016/

The Ruined Motherhttp://ruinedmother.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/sew-brum.html

Red W Sewshttps://redwsews.wordpress.com/2016/10/02/sew-brum-so-good/

The Sewing Directoryhttps://thesewingdirectory.blogspot.co.uk/2016_09_01_archive.html

Mokshatrim: http://www.mokshatrim.co.uk/single-post/2016/09/27/Sew-we-meet-again-SewBrum

Sew Essentialhttps://www.sewessential.co.uk/blog/sew-brum-2016/

SewBrum 2016

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Craft Shops Et cetera in Paris

Paris Navigo Card

(Our Paris Navigo travel cards)

Me and Phil spent last week in Paris. While we were there gay marriage was legalised, with France becoming the 14th country to legalise gay marriage.
French Newspaper Headline, April 2013

It was only the second time we’d visited Paris, so there was lots we wanted to see. Amongst the sites and galleries we managed to squeeze in some shopping. This post outlines some recommended shops and will be followed by a more general photo post showing some of the inspiring colours, patterns and shapes I photographed whilst in Paris.

Craft Shops

At the foot of Sacre-Coeur (near the funicular and off Bd Rochechouart) you’ll find Paris’ fabric shop district. Once you get near you can’t miss it as you’ll spot the colourful rolls of fabric lined up outside the multitude of fabric shops. The largest of these (and the largest fabric shop in Paris) is the Marche Saint-Pierre, which is visible from the steps of the Sacre-Coeur.

Paris

Marche Saint-Pierre Location

If you don’t find a suitable fabric in Marche Saint-Pierre, there are many similar shops located in the surrounding streets. In these stores you’ll find Liberty fabrics, as well as a wide selection of fabric types (printed cottons, felt, toile, lamé…).

Paris

Paris

For designer fabric brands (Michael Miller, Kokka, etc) and just for the pure joy of it, visit Moline Mercerie. Moline Mercerie is a truly lovely shop which stocks a full range of haberdashery supplies including lots of buttons, ribbons, books and patterns.

Paris

I was very good and restricted my shop to some offcuts of a couple of the lovely fabrics they stock.

Moline Mercerie Fabric

In the streets around Sacre-Coeur the focus is largely on fabric but you’ll also find shops stocking knitting and embroidery supplies, and cute boutique shops.

Paris

Paris

Embroidery fans should also visit Bonheur des Dames located in the Viaduc des Arts (near the Bastille and Gare de Lyon metro stations). The Viaduc des Arts is a row of beautiful glass fronted shops but the majority are only used as displays for artists and businesses so there isn’t much shopping to be done.

Paris

While in France don’t miss the chance to check out the wide selection of craft magazines available.

French Craft Magazines
(Craft magazines in a supermarket – you’ll find lots more in a decent newsagent)

I purchased two Burda magazines while there (also available in English and a number of other languages, but I couldn’t resist getting them while there to read on the metro).

Burda Magazine

If you haven’t bought one of these magazines before they are well worth a look. They contain a huge range of patterns so there is bound to be something you’ll like. The patterns inside range from easy (pyjama trousers) to mid-difficulty (reprinted vintage dress pattern).  A few pictures of the patterns on offer, and the instructions and pattern pieces are below.

Burda Magazine

Burda Magazine

Burda Magazine

Burda Magazine

Burda Magazine

Burda Magazine

Burda Magazine

I did eye up some other sewing magazines but they focused more on children’s clothes or some (like Simplicity) seemed aimed at an older audience.

Comics

I’ve long loved the Album comic store chain. As children/teenagers me and my brother used to look out for Album shops when holidaying in France with our parents. The very best place in Paris for comic shopping is on and around the Boulevard de Saint Germain (near Notre Dame) where there are three Album and two Pulp comic stores.

General

More generally, Faubourg St-Antoine, previously a furniture-maker district, (the end nearest to Opera National de la Bastille and Bastille metro) has a number of home ware stores (Habitat, Muji, Maisons de la Mode) as well as high street fashion (Petit Batou, Kookai, Gap, etc).
Petit Bateau Catalogue
Petit Bateau Catalogue
(Petit Batou catalogue)

The streets around Centre Pompidou (Rue Rambuteau, etc) are good for cheap eats and high street shopping, and it is generally a bustling neighbourhood with shops open late – no doubt influenced by the  Centre Pompidou’s late opening hours.


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Happy craft shopping in Manchester

Manchester is a bit of a haven for craft shopping. The absolute best shop (in my humble opinion) is Fred Aldous, a three story craft shop. It’s a local business and has been in business (in one form or another) since 1886. We made two trips there in two days. They also sell online, so i’ll be able to get my Fred Aldous fix between trips to Manchester. I restricted myself to stocking up on linocut printing supplies, but they have supplies for a wide range of crafts as well as lovely gift items.

Also particularly interesting is Manchester Craft & Design Centre which houses various small studios populated by local artists. There’s a nice mixture of crafts on show, including jewellery, textiles and painting. Pictures below:

Manchester Craft and Design Centre

Manchester Craft and Design Centre

Both shops (as well as numerous others) are located in the Northern Quarter, which also houses a multitude of independent boutiques, vintage shops and cafes.