Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fabric and Hundertwasser in Vienna

One of my favourite places in Vienna is the Hundertwasser Museum. I loved it just as much as I did 12 years ago. The girls really enjoyed it too. 
The museum shop is wonderful too and of course I needed some Opal sock yarn based on Hunderwasser pictures.
Komolka is conveniently located in the main shopping area, so I ran in for a quick look. So many fabrics! Upstairs was beautiful silks, laces and evening fabrics.

Downstairs was everything else you could possibly want. As they were going into winter there was lots of warmer fabrics, the wools were so lovely. We still had a long time to go so I restrained myself and didn't buy any fabric in Vienna, but if we were near the end of the trip I would have definitely bought a coats worth of wool.

Vienna with children - there is a great playground in the Stadtpark, the Botanical Gardens are lovely to wander (or run) around and the zoo is fantastic!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Madeline Dress in Liberty Hello Kitty

 One fabric I knew I had to find in Japan was Hello Kitty Liberty lawn. Thanks to a little help from Instagram I found some at a shop called Pakira in the Nippori fabric are of Tokyo. I forgot to take a photo of the front of the shop, but it is near the start of the street as you come from the station on the left, on a corner. It is full of Liberty and some other fabrics and there were a few rolls of Hello Kitty. Olive chose this one.
I used the Madeline Dress pattern by Peach Patterns. I have made this for Olive every summer and I still love it. It is so quick to sew and all the pieces go together perfectly. It's already been worn twice so I think the search for the fabric was worth it.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fabric Shopping in Paris

When searching for fabric shops in Paris I came across Malhia Kent. It is situated under the Promenade Plantee which was the inspiration for the High Line in new York. We loved walking the High Line, so we planned a walk and the everyone really enjoyed it. We stopped for lunch in a park and a play in a playground.* Malhia Kent weave their own fabric using all sorts of textiles. They sell pre cut pieces at quite reasonable prices. The pre cut pieces are quite large, 2-3m, from memory. I only bought a remnant because most of the fabrics are quite bulky. Down the stairs are rolls and rolls of beautiful fabrics. If you wanted to make a Chanel inspired jacket or and amazing coat this would be the place to go. Right next door is Le Bonheur des Dames, a cross stitch and embroidery shop.                            Paris has an entire street of fabric shops at the foot of the Sacre-Coeur. We were staying in Montmartre just a couple of hundred metres away - in this apartment with the best roof window! (I swear I don't plan any of these coincidences, I did get quite lucky finding fabric shops on this trip!!). The twins and I went for a walk there one day. We climbed the Sacre-Coeur and admired the amazing view of Paris and then wandered down the hill. It was a Wednesday and unfortunately quite a few shops were shut for a Cultural Day including Marche St Pierre which sounded amazing in everything I had read about it. Their coupon shop was open, this was full of 3m pre-cuts of all different fabrics. I bought a really nice piece of black and white silk. Tissus Reine next door was open. They have these small odd size mannequins showing the fabrics made up in all different designs. 

They have lovely fabrics , including a huge range of Liberty and these amazing silks, unfortunately these were out of my budget or I would have bought them all.
For more information on fabric and crafting shopping in Paris Christine Haynes has an article in Seamwork. 
Top: remnant from Malhia Kent
Bottom: Black and White silk
*Travelling with a 4 year old meant lots of playground stops - there is also a good one in the Jardin des Tuileries close to Angelinas who make the best ever hot chocolates and macarons, and they do take away!

Thursday, November 24, 2016


We spend a week in London and could have easily spent longer. We were busy the whole time and there were things we still didn't get to see or do. 
I wasn't planning on going to Goldhawk Road, but then I realised it was only a couple of stops from where we were staying so I managed a quick visit. I didn't buy much as it was towards the start of the trip and I knew I would be dragging it around for weeks. I think I managed to have a quick look in most shops and know if I lived in London I would be there all the time. I think I saw every sort of fabric you could want. There were a couple of shops with very nice fabric with price tags to match, but most had quite good prices.
 I didn't have too long in the V&A but I loved what I saw and wished I could have had more time to wander by myself. The twins and I did see Undressed: a brief history of underwear, (I wish I could have taken pictures, but you weren't allowed to) it is not a huge exhibition, but it was fantastic and if you get a chance go and see it!
 I loved these 70s blouses in the Fashion Collection, I think I need to make some similar.
Shaukat was on my list of shops to visit. I have ordered online from there and I couldn't pass up the chance to see so much Liberty in the one place. I make most of Chris' shirts now so he was happy to come and choose some fabrics for himself.
It took us a long time to choose. We were lucky it was not busy so the girls could sit in the corner with an iPad. I had read about how the staff were not friendly so I expected the worst, but they were quite helpful.
The Tate Modern was amazing to wander around and they have the best shop full of amazing books and other things.

 Top: Liberty lawn from Shaukat
Bottom: Shirting fabrics from Goldhawk Road

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Padded Ipad Case

Hello! I'm not sure anyone is still out there, but I am back. We just took our girls on a epic trip around Europe and then Japan and Hong Kong. I had big plans to blog while I was away, but I never seemed to find the time and it was easy to just use Instagram. I didn't have much time to look for craft  and fabric shops while I was away, but I did a quick google search when we arrived in a new city in case there was anything close by to where we were staying or going. I am so grateful to all the bloggers who had written about crafting and sewing places they found on their travels and to fellow Instagrammers who messaged me about good places to go so I thought over the next week or so I would share places I found and it may be a help to others. 
But first a little something I sewed the morning before we had to leave when I should have been packing.
My wonderful husband bought an iPad Pro for us to take with us as he knew I had pattern writing to do, and illustrations to draw while we were away.
I knew unless I made a bag for it I would somehow damage it, or lose the pen, so I made a simple case. It is really just a giant pencil case with a long pocket inside. To give it a bit of padding I used scraps of cotton batting and quilted a diamond pattern. 
It held up really well and everything came back and in one piece!