Remembrance of things past

I visited the UK recently, and knew I wanted to snag some fabric as souvenirs, so that I could remember the visit with a garment or two. The pieces I came back with (and arrived home to; more on that below) are getting me excited for my autumn sewing, currently put off while I re-arrange my living situation and create a brand-new sewing space (stay tuned!).

First, while in Edinburgh I stopped at Edinburgh Fabrics, an absolute paradise of tweed and tartan. There were LOTS of things I wanted, so it was very hard to decide. Eventually I settled on this beautiful pink and olive tweed, and picked up two meters.

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I know that I want to make a waistcoat, and I’ll likely have enough to make a coordinating skirt, especially if I panel it in with a solid wool. I snapped some pictures of this lovely waistcoat in one of the shops on the Royal Mile for inspiration:

Obviously it will look different with the check pattern, but I think with some carefully placed seamlines it could be really lovely!

We headed down to London for the end of the trip, and I knew I was ready to splurge on some Liberty Tana lawn, which I’ve eyed up at the Liberty store every time I’ve been there. But this time, someone had told me about Shaukat, which is just a skip and a jump from the V&A, where we spent most of one day. They stock a HUGE selection of Liberty, more than the actual Liberty store on Regent Street. My main goal was a classic floral, hopefully to make the new Colette Penny shirtdress, and it was a REALLY hard decision. I finally settled on this bright colorway of the classic Poppy and Daisy print, picking up four meters, which should be more than enough for the Penny!

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I would have been happy just leaving with that, but my heart snagged on this bird print that I hadn’t seen before. Sort of an art deco update of their classic Strawberry Thief pattern, it’s aptly named the Strawberry Feast, as I found out with some googling. I think I’m going to let the print shine in a simple, vintage-inspired top like the Colette Sencha.

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One of the reasons I didn’t pick up any of the classic Strawberry Thief pattern, though, was that I already had some coming my way! I’d ordered a 2.8 meter length from Katsfabrics on ebay that showed up while I was away. I love just about every colorway of this print, but these pretty autumnal tones have me thinking about jumpers or other layer-able pieces for fall. Any suggestions?

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And finally, while at the Balenciaga show at the V&A, I found major inspiration in the beauty of floral embroidered fabrics used in some of the creations:


It reminded me that I’d had my eye on this embroidered mesh from Emmaonesock, waiting for it to go back in stock; when I checked my phone on a break at the museum, it was back in stock and I bought it right then and there!

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I’m not sure when I’ll get to using it, but I’ve been sketching up ideas.


I think I’ll always connect it with this trip and the beauty of the fashion and textiles at the V&A. The all-over profusion of flowers calls to mind their unicorn hunt tapestry, for instance, and glimmering delicacy of the jewelry gallery. In that respect I’m very comfortable calling it a souvenir, too!


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