Today is a very large sponsor update, welcoming new ones and filling you in on some of the changes that others have been undergoing.
Next Dorte and Simon (a different Simon, although I do love the idea of there being one Simon that runs himself ragged flitting around simultaneously being the husband of several different fabric shop owners because his sewing addiction is so great) at Dragonfly Fabrics have several new things in: a range of poplins designed independently by Sarah Campbell-Lloyd who has the fabric specially printed in India (some of these prints already have form a geometric pattern with the way the design is placed, so would look fantastic fussy-cut to create even more unexpected patterns); a new collection of beautiful linens; and they've also extended their range of boiled wool fabrics. I should say that these fabrics are expensive. Really expensive. But I've felt these boiled wools in the past and they are fantastic quality and I think there are occasions when I actually set out with the purpose of sewing something of a quality I can't justify buying from a designer...so although the sewing cost may amount to £60 to make a winter coat or jacket, that's a lot less expensive than the £350 I may wish I was able to spend if buying something off the peg. This summer on the cooler days when I've reverted to jeans, I've been wearing them with this fitted jacket (below) made from a Ponte Roma jersey that I bought from Gap kids (as it's plain navy hopefully you can't tell it's a children's jacket from the outside and I try to keep the pink seam bindings hidden!) and I'm now considering remaking it for Autumn, possibly in Dragonfly Fabrics' boiled wool in grey/blue or maybe a sombre black.
Frumble, run by Monica, Matthew and Chris (although I like to think that one or both of the latter may be Simon again using a pseudonym). Frumble are a unique fabric shop with a quirky sense of humour, where things that fall outside the mainstream fabric ranges are stocked. You can find fox in socks; skeletons diagrams that seem to be taken straight from my secondary school's biology lab walls; prints of bats and spiders to delight my nine year old boy who appreciates realism over cartoonery; a variety of moustaches; some finely drawn vegetables; Black cats who tie their tales into love hearts; Black cats in a dark room who can barely be seen save for their glistening eyes; a selection of named dogs that I feel strangely drawn to because I like things that have been christened in some way*; painterly penguins; a fabric landscape of English country pubs; a farmer's market of different food stands; some beautifully drawn ghastlies. The list of surreal and unexpected fabrics is almost endless. This is the place to go if you are sewing for someone in particular and wish to create something that reflects their quirks and idiosyncrasies. Or just if you wish to sew something more unusual (they do actually have lots of regular prints too, but it's their off-the-wall ones that I've chosen to share here as I've enjoyed looking through them so much). One of my favourites is this canine newspaper print below. I zoomed in so that I could read some of the stories and they made me laugh imagining how much my dog-obsessed husband would love it.
Frumble also have a beautiful selection of cotton lace that I think would be wonderful for dressmaking (just because that's the particular sewing phase that I'm in at the moment, but it's probably wonderful for lots of other things too). I love the way the lace has been used on this (shop-bought) top below where it takes the place of any tucks, pleats or yokes that might have otherwise added visual interest. All the openings are also edged in a different lace, but because of the simple fabric it doesn't feel overly fussy.
Which brings me onto my next lovely new sponsor, because Claire of Timeless Fabrics actually stocks a fabric just like this. Timeless Fabrics is an online fabric shop filled with a carefully chosen selection of fabrics for both dressmaking and quilting. The white dobby fabric similar to that shown above is here and they also stock it in black. I have something of an obsession with dobby fabrics: I love that they are simple, but not dull or plain. You can see a top that I made with white dobby here, and a top that I made with white dobby that I'd dyed blue, here (I've also included a photo below).
Claire also stocks some of the beautiful Nani Iro knit fabrics. Nani Iro fabrics tend to have a unique feel to them and, true to form, this is unlike any other knit I've laid my paws on before - it's thicker, but oddly light at the same time (I know this because Kerry very kindly sent me a sample of it after I'd swooned over a gorgeous t-shirt she'd made from it, but it doesn't feel fair to Kerry to let you swoon over it right here, as she actually bought her knit fabric from one of her own lovely sponsors). This isn't a flowing knit, like a bamboo or viscose jersey - it's got more body than that. If you used it to make a summer skirt, my guess is that it would stand slightly proud of the body, rather than clinging to every curve, which I think would look super as an above-the-knee skirt with a few pleats at the waist.
Those in Hampshire may be excited to know that Timeless Fabrics is also branching out to also inhabit a real shop in Milton-on-Sea. You can follow the blog for more updates on this.
I have a few more fabric shop-related things to tell you about maybe next week, but in the meantime, eyes right, if you want to snaffle up some fabric from any of my other lovely sponsors.
* I've no idea who will be stocking this as it's not been released yet, but while I was on the subject of named animals, I re-remembered my delight at finding that in Aneela Hooey's next fabric collection there is a white cat called Bella, just like our own large white fur ball who goes by the same name, as well as the names of lots of lovelies that we know in real life. I keep meaning to show my children this as I know it will delight them too. They are currently out with grandparents, which is why I'm finally able to write this blog post, as between the adventures we've been up to and working on Squeebles, there hasn't been a huge amount of time for anything else. In my last post I told you that I was reading Maggie O'Farrell's 'Instructions for a Heatwave'. When my sister read that, she wrote to me and told me that she'd love to read it as a two-person book group where, in her words 'one of the members has novel-induced narcolepsy and the other doesn't know what to do with a bucket' (this stems back to a time when we saw a small enamel bucket that we both pondered buying for aesthetic reasons, but were slightly stumped over what its intended purpose could be, before she took it up to the counter and enquired in all seriousness 'what would normal people do with this?'...which nearly a decade later still makes me laugh). My sister had just come back from the Hay Festival where she'd listened to Maggie O'Farrell talking about just that book. I happily Amazoned her a copy to arrive the next day...and have since continued to fall asleep each night after reading a line and a half. My sister is now nearly finished, while I still have it to look forward to all summer long, possibly the rest of the year. How is your summer?