Monday, June 17, 2013

Upcoming Overseas Adventures...

Anybody that has seen me in person in the last few weeks can attest as to how ridiculously excited I am about my upcoming holiday to Europe. (For the record, at the time of posting it's 26 sleeps to go!!!). As it's coming up quickly I had a couple of things I wanted to ask and tell those of you in (or that have recently visited) Europe.

Firstly I wanted to tell you about one of the things I'm the most excited about; the darling Claire of 'sew, incidentally' is organising a meet-up in London on the 3rd of August. I am so ridiculously excited about this, I'm really looking forward to meeting everybody that comes to the meet-up, so if you're in the area (or able to visit the area) on the 3rd of August I hope you consider coming along, it'd be amazing to meet you. All the details of the plans for the day and how to RSVP are on her blog here.

PS: It says over there that it's hometime 5-5:30, but I'm staying in London that night, so if people want to hang around longer and go for dinner with me and my boyfriend that'd be fun too.

Anyway, that's what I wanted to tell you, now what I wanted to ask...

I, like many others, enjoy partaking in some local culture when I'm visiting new places, and of course for me that involves visiting local fabric stores, other sewing related attractions. So, if you have any suggestions or recommendations for places/stores you think I might find interesting in or around the following places please let me know (both sewing related and unrelated!), I'd be very grateful:
- Macclesfield
- The Peak District
- Edinburgh
- Birmingham
- Bristol
- London
- Paris
- Fontainebleau
- Orleans
Thanks in advance for any intel! (Also, if you're in any of those areas and fancy meeting up for a coffee or such be sure to get in touch!)

PPS: For anybody thinking they can break in and steal my fabric stash while I'm on holiday, I don't live alone and my flatmate isn't on holiday while I am ;)


  1. Exciting!! 26 sleeps too long, I'm sure. :)

  2. Many of the fun Paris fabric shops are in Montmartre, just up the hill from the Anvers Metro station. Marche Saint Pierre, Reine, and the many 3-meter-length shops are all worth visiting. If you're in Paris in August let me know and I'd love to meet you!

    1. We'll be in Paris the weekend of the 27/28th of July, if you'll be around then? shoot me an email!

  3. Will you have to throw out all your clothes to fit the fabric in your bags?

  4. Yay!! I don't know yet if I can make the meetup, it's not looking likely, but would be great to meet you! I'm in Birmingham (aka Brum) so things to do:

    Sewing related:
    Birmingham rag market
    Barry's fabric superstore
    Fancy Silk Fabrics
    (All in the same area within 5 mins walk of each other)

    Non sewing related:
    Birmingham Bullring (if you are into shopping)
    Sarehole Mill (area that inspired Tolkien to write The Hobbit/LOTR)
    Cadbury World
    The Balti Triangle for Indian food
    I'm sure there's loads more but I can't think of anything else off the top of my head!
    Also Stratford upon Avon is v nearby for Shakespeare stuff

    Hope that helps! Let me know when you're going to be around if you want to meet up for fabric shopping!

    1. What's your email address? I'll email you dates that I'm in brum, we can see if anything might work...

  5. Macclesfield! Why? It's surrounded by lovely countryside, but the town isn't up to much. There is a silk museum - I've not been - as it used to be the centre of uk silk manufacturing.

    1. Because my best friend lives there. We will be using it for a base to spend a couple of days with a hire car visiting the peak district :)

    2. I figured that there had to be a reason (as it's the first time I've ever seen it mentioned in the same breath as Paris!) The Peak District is beautiful - makes me feel patriotic.

  6. See you on the 3rd! Can't wait and check out Roisin's blog I Can't Believe It's From Dolly Clackett as she recently shopped in Paris and has some great tips!

    1. i'd seen that post, and plan on coming back to it nearer the time :) I'm looking forward to seeing you on the 3rd.

  7. Ooh have fun! Long time lurker here. Definitely while in London go to Shaukat ( Much bigger range of Liberty prints and cheaper than going to Liberty!

  8. And when in London...

    Things to avoid - Leicester Square, Madame Tussauds, Aberdeen Steak Houses. All are shite.

    Transport tips - buy an Oyster card (it'll save you money on travel); on escalators, stand on the right, walk on the left (to avoid being thumped by a Londoner); and Get a walking map from the tube station as it's often easier to walk (things that look far away on a tube map, aren't necessarily so).

    Fabric - Check out Karen's shopping guides (

    Food - I'm always tempted to recommend the UK heart attack approach - fried breakfast, fish and chips, curry, sunday roast. The UK has the best curries outside SE Asia, so get one in Brick Lane in London or in Birmingham.

    Our parks are fab (especially Regents Park, Hampstead Heath and St James's Park being personal faves). But the reason they are lovely and green is that it rains a lot. Bring a cagool!

    Markets - Spitalfields and Portabello for clothes / homemade things. Borough Market for Food. Walthamsow market for fabric.

    Free stuff - a lot of museums and galleries are free, so check out the Natural History Museum (but avoid weekends unless you want to negotiate lots of children looking at dinosaurs), the Science Museum, or one of the two Tate Galleries (Tate Modern is a very impressive building and you could pop over to take a look at Shakespeare's globe while you're by that bit of the river).

    Walking tours - I've never been on one, but they have an odd appeal to me, espcially the Jack the Ripper one. Which would take you to some non-touristy, but interesting bits of London.

    And if you wanted to spend a day walking and seeing some sites, here's a little walking tour I thought up (with a bit of sewing interest thrown in)....

    ....start at Westminster to see Parliament and Westminster Abbey. Head up Victoria Street and take a right into St James's Park (which is a lovely park). Cross the Mall and look left and there's Buckingham Palace (don't bother paying a fortune to go in).

    Walk through Green Park and turn right onto Piccadily to check out the smart shops and pop into Fortnum & Mason (and perhaps treat yourself to a swanky tea).

    Take a right off Picadilly onto St James's Street so you can check out the bespoke tailors on Jermyn Street (and perhaps bump into the amazing shopw where they still hand make shoes).

    Then you can walk left onto Regent Street and pop into Liberty (which is an amazing shop and building, not just for the fabric). Then walk back down Regents Street, through Piccadily Circus (which is also rubbish) and then onto Trafalgar Square at which point you will probably be in desparate need for a pub and a pint.

    And if you're feeling tough, get a bus up the Strand (the # 23 for example - don't pay for those tourist buses) and onto St Paul's Cathedral.

    Have a great time.


  9. Definitely head to the V&A in London , they have a wonderful historical clothing collection. Goldhawk road of course is great for fabric too. I also loved the natural history museum and it wasn't even sewing related!


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