Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fabric shopping in Madrid - Part 1

Aaahhh Spain. Great people, beautiful scenery, fabulous food, vino and Patrones at every news stand. What more could a sewist want? 

I must be an obsessed fabric shopper as I´ve been taking photos of fabric shops as I´ve been coming across them, although I hadn´t spotted that many. This was on the main shopping strip in San Sebastian.

Time to rectify the situation, so Metro pass in hand, I went on a tour of those Madrid fabric shops I could find. Oh for a Madrid shopping guide who sews! But in his/her absence an internet search made do.

I'm not pretending this was a very successful fabric trip as you will see but I did check out quite a few fabric shops.

The 1st port of call was Cadena at Calle Reina Mercedes, 5. I got mightily lost as soon as I got out of the Metro, but it turned out to be a few minutes walk from the Alvarado Metro stop. I got to the address and thought 'huh?' as this is it.

But continue round the side of the building and along the unsalubrious back and voila - the shop!

I've vaguely heard of Cadena magazine but I have to confess I don't know much about it. Do the magazines just display their fabric range and don't have patterns? Lovely fabrics but woo! Very expensive. I couldn't find anything under 49 euros a metre which was for a jersey knit.

Empty handed I Metro'd my way back to the City centre and Gran Via station and visited Julian Lopez at Gran Via 27. Mercifully easy to find.

It's quite a big shop with very formal looking gentlemen cutting the fabrics. There's a wide array of fabrics with a focus on formal fabrics and brocades. There were some nice blouse weight silks that took my eye but hmmm...still 29 to 40ish euros a metre.

There were some wonderfully wild fabrics too. I wonder what you would do with the third from the left below? It was net with folded strips of studded leather.

I think Julian Lopez has shops in other Spanish cities too. I also came across their shop in Seville.

With the spotty fabric room for flamenco dress fabrics.

But back to Madrid, my next shopping destination was El Cortes Ingles.  This department store chain sells everything under the sun, including in the case of the main Madrid store at Puerto del Sol, fabrics and haberdashery.

I managed to leave my camera battery and phone in the hotel so no pics but in a corner of the 2nd floor is a small fabric and knitting wool section. There is a reasonable selection of practical fabrics and a small stash of lovely silks but again - very expensive at 59 euros a metre.

More of my fabric shop expedition in my next post.....

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Patrones 307

Greetings from London!
Yes I'm a bit further afield than usual.  I'm off to Spain with a stopover for a few days in London on the way.

Spain is going to involve lots of train journeys so I'm travelling light and avoiding buying anything. That has been a challenge in London but I´ve managed one sewing foray.  A while ago I bought some fancy press studs online from MacCulloch &Wallis.  They have some lovely notions on their Website so I wanted to visit their shop and in the end, came across it by accident.

Sometimes the online shopping website can be quite different from the real shop.   The website is very up to date but the shop feels far more traditional.   There are 3 small and tightly packed floors; the 1st fabrics, the 2nd bias bindings, buttons and notions, and the top trimmings. Did I buy anything?  Umm no.  I was rather tempted by more press studs, saw the long queue and slunk away. 

Just as I was leaving home for the the airport the postman delivered this month's Patrones and I shoved it in my bag. In retrospect taking a Spanish pattern magazine TO Spain is a bit weird. This is the advance autumn edition.

A rather conservative one this month.  Lots of coats  and some shirts, summery tops and girls and boys clothes.

'Autumn breeze' is described as 2 short coats, a knee length skirt and 2 blouses perfect for cooler days.  Not that you could probably tell from my photo, but the coat above is interestingly shaped with sectioned sleeves.
The next section is Urban Girls with city work styles.

Next up 'New Coats'.


There are 3 summery tunics.

And 3 dresses with the theme of retro prints.

And last but not least, some shirts and trousers for girls and boys.

I'll be keeping my eyes peeled in Spain for the next Patrones which is the full autumn issue.