29 June 2011

Doing the FANDANGO!

A few long weeks ago, the buzz word across the blogosphere was "Fandango!" Specifically it referred to the Fabulous Fabric Fandango, a  fabric shop expedition to London's Goldhawk Road, super-efficiently organised  by Karen of Did You Make That? But you probably already knew that, right? With somewhere between 30 to 40 sewers there on the day, it would be hard to have missed the feedback.
DSCF2158I'm a very late with mine, but I'm pleased to finally share my spoils and my intentions for them.
Like several others I arrived keen to see what Goldhawk Road had to offer and categorically stating that I could not possibly buy any more fabric as I had no storage left and a broken sewing machine.   Of course, if I found a real bargain, or something for Miss Mango's summer wardrobe, that would be okay... 
I actual left most of the dozen shops empty-handed until the end of the afternoon when I whipped back round a few to pick up the fabrics I really wanted.  So what's a sewing blog post without pictures of gorgeous fabrics to drool over? 
DSCF2612      DSCF2649
    Spoils for Mango                                                           Spoils for Molly
Because of the fabric restrictions I had to buy with a purpose, so for everything I bought, I had an idea in my head of what pattern it would be used for. And what's a beautiful fabric without a fabulous pattern to partner it with?
DSCF2614     DSCF2618
Clockwise from left: DSCF2621
Brushed cotton lace fabric, really soft and pretty.  this was a free sample and so generous there is enough to squeeze the cute bolero out of it!  Its 100% cotton so could be dyed.  It is £4.99p from A1 Fabrics but I just found it for £2.50pm in Walthamstow!
Lemon floral needlecord £4pm.  Perfect summer weight and hard-wearing.
Red floral needlecord £3.50pm. So cute, will be making a pinafore dress with it
Patchwork fabric, cotton £3.50pm.  DSCF2623
I want to do something with lots of tea-dyed lace and frills for this a la Daisy Kingdom.  Haven’t quite got the picture in my head or the right pattern  This one might make a starting point.

The trip had a second impact on me and one that Karen may not have envisaged. The second part of the fandango for me was all about the patterns.  I already knew what I wanted and could pretty much lay my hands on them straight away, however as I headed for the pattern box I noticed a few mailing envelopes stuffed with patterns laying on my bedside table. And on the hall stand.  And in my filing in-box.  And on top of the fabric stash.  And in a box in the cupboard under the stairs. About time I filed those I thought.  So I gathered them together and pulled out the pattern boxes (divided into costume, children,  mens and ladies). To discover they were all full if not overflowing.  Ahh.
So I ended up spending two days emptying boxes, dating patterns, adding protective covers, reconsidering my filing system and putting patterns away - in chronological order. And I've yet to go through the costume and fancy dress box.   Thanks Karen!  But the exercise was worthwhile and I pulled a few more cute patterns for Mango to be teamed with fabric fro the overflowing stash:
Hot pink needlecord (ebay) for the pinafore teamed with vintage style cotton (Fabricland £2.22pm) blouse.  Hoping this won’t be too much pink!


Summery gathered cuff dungarees in navy floral brushed cotton.  I’m recycling the fabric from a slip dress I made about 14years ago and haven’t worn in at least 10 years.  Its lovely fabric though and very comfortable for Mango.


Red tartan for the jumper dress. Just hoping it won’t be too large a print and drown the poor girl.  Will see when I’ve laid the pattern pieces on it.

As for my spoils. Well, again I know what I want but this time I have no patterns to match (how can this be?), so I shall be kept busy drafting / adapting / frankensteining patterns to fit my ideas. Here’s the fabric in close-up and a rough idea of how it will end up.
DSCF2651  V2561V2267
Gorgeous floral poly-cotton fabric on an eau-de-nil background £3.50pm.  Idea: Full skirted, tea-length dress with simple, square neckline bodice.  I love the skirt from V2561 and the bodice from V2267.
DSCF2652  3738
Green floral needlecord £4p.m.  This fabric just pops and I had to have it! Pinafore style tunic length top, very simple and unfussy. S3738 is the closest illustration of what is in my head.
Teal blue sand crepe-de-chine, £1.99p.m  This has a lovely weight to it and almost designs itself.  While playing with the fabric I decided to do a long drapey skirt and empire draped surplice bodice. V8360 is more-or-less what I have in mind. 
DSCF2654 Gorgeous blue and pale grey tweed fabric.  At £2.50p.m I’m  not anticipating this has much of a wool content but it has a lovely soft drape and great spring/autumn weight.  I know exactly what I want from this having drooled so often over Couturier Dimanche’s beautiful weskit and skirt ensemble (click here).

DSCF2653 DSCF2658
Cocoa brown poly taffeta (with a lovely pink sheen to it) £2.50p.m. Wine coloured viscose stripe fabric (with a metallic thread running through it for sparkle) £2 p.m.  The latter has an incredibly soft drape to it, the picture does it no justice. 
I’m going to use these to make Victorian outfits, I’ve set no decade limitations so I am undecided on patterns, but I have quite a few original drafting instructions as well as the Janet Arnold Patterns of Fashion books and modern costume patterns to draw ideas from.  I also really like these from Ageless Patterns, I’m totally in love with #1181 the blue silk ensemble. 
AgelessPatterns_1102AgelessPatterns1181 AgelessPattern1181-Louis-Seymour
There are also some lovely options at Truly Victorian (shown below). Too many to choose from in fact, it will be a while before I get onto making anything with these fabrics!
So with all this luscious booty to choose from, do you have a favourite fabric or pattern?


  1. oohhhh..these look so much fun! Excellent fabric finds! And I am bummed I missed you at the fandango...I could have definitely done some shopping with you--look at those steals!!

  2. Lol, it was so chaotic that day, I wonder if the shopkeepers have recovered from the seige yet?! Would have been lovely to chat properly with you but hopefully we'll meet on another trippette, still can't believe how much travelling you did in 24 hours!

  3. What beautiful fabrics!
    Sadly, the fabulous fabric shops of Goldhawk road are at threat of demolition.
    You can read the full details on Melissa’s blog:


    Please spread the word,join the facebook group, write to the council and lend your support in any way you can. Otherwise fabric shopping trips to Goldhawk road may sadly become a thing of the past.