After all my recent failed attempts to buy fabric in London, Cambridge and Ethiopia and silly purchases online I decided to pull my finger out and head into Edinburgh.
We have a few options here in Edinburgh for fabric shopping. Whilst some of these shops are relatively small they have a great diversity of fabric to chose from. The slight bugger is they are quite spread out. Today I headed over to Bonnington to Remnant Kings.
Remnant Kings, Bonnington
Tis an ugly looking shop on the outside but inside a lot of fun can be had. The ground floor is given over to upholstery fabric. Upstairs is the dressmakers paradise though. It recently changed hands from Mandors to Remnant Kings and it seems to have made this place even better. These is a wider selection of wool and tweed fabric, and a great selection of dress fabrics.
Today there was also a sale which means oopsie my credit card slipped and fell into the card reader!
Today’s purchases were:
Slinky gold satin for the Sewing bee vivien blouse
A silky grey and purple elephant print fabric for Tilly and the Buttons Mimi blouse. This may also count as a ‘Nerd’ make for December’s monthly stitch considering I work in conservation and one of my current projects is supporting NGO’s working on the illegal wildlife trade including ivory. However there are exactly 3 days left of December so it is highly unlikely I’m going to get this done in December.
Some fun fabric for a mystery project (its not a mystery to me but must remain a mystery until the person who receives it sees it).
Any finally I raided the off-cuts pile and pick up these 3 fabrics including a pink cord which I think will become a nice copy of a bread and jam dress the little girl got for Christmas. This whole pile of fabric cost me the princely sum of £31. Not bad for 4 items of clothing!
For other fabric shops in Edinburgh here’s a few places I’ve been to
Edinburgh Fabrics, Clerk Street
This shop is small but flipping brilliant. The choice of fabrics in here is mind boggling. They’re pretty well known for their excellent choice of good wool and tartan fabrics. They’ve also got some lovely quality lace and high-end dress fabrics. In amongst all the fabrics they’ve also got an excellent haberdashery. I enjoy going for a browse here before getting the train to London for work. That prevents me from spending too long in here (because I’ve got a train to catch) and prevents me from buying too much (because I’ll only have an overnight bag I can fill).
The service in here is also excellent. I think all the staff are from one family. Considering how busy they always seem to be they answer all questions – stupid and clever – with innate patience.
Mandors of Edinburgh, Bonnington
This used to be where Remnant Kings is now so this is a significant downsize for them. They also have a large shop in Glasgow which I’ve not made the journey for yet.
I have to admit I stopped going to Mandors because of the way one of the shop assistants behaved towards me when I took my baby daughter in with me. I had her in a car seat and she was fast asleep when I came in so I put her down on the floor while I wandered round looking at fabric. When I turned back one of the shop assistants had taken her blanket off and was in the process of unbuckling her car seat. When my daughter started to cry because some strange woman was poking her the shop assistant had the audacity to suggest that my daughter needed feeding and if I just handed over a bottle she’d do it. If you’ve ever been sleep deprived but desperate for some ‘me’ time you might understand why I felt it necessary to do a mental count to ten before I throttled the woman.
Anyhoo stories of baby bothering aside they used to have a good selection of fabrics here. Today the shop was shut so I couldn’t go for a look. Its in a bit of an awkward bit of town for parking so I’m not sure how much I’ll ever be using this shop in future.
Pins and Needles, Tollcross
I used to live just along from here. I went in a few times and got bits and bobs from the haberdashery section but never fabric. They’ve got a small selection of fabric but it was probably destined for ladies of a different generation to me!
There’s another shop about 2 doors along which appears to sell excellent fabrics for salwar kameez. I’ve never ventured in but one of the girls in my sewing class was going to check it out and left us know what it was like.
The Dress Fabric Company, Bruntsfield.
It’s been years since I went in here. I went in here when I’d first started making clothes and was freaked out by the cost of the fabric. This is a beautiful shop though for expert sewers looking for quality materials. I think they also make wedding dresses for people too. I may take a stroll in soon but I tend to buy cheaper fabric and try to tart it up. I’m on a tight budget most of the time!
After that you’re really talking about the big chains like John Lewis, HobbyCraft and Dunelm Mill. So its a small selection of fabric shops here in Edinburgh but 2 of them are complete gems.