How-Tuesday 3: how to save yourself a packet

Morning all!

Today's How-Tuesday is all about how to save yourself a packet on a truly MAHOOSIVE range of fabrics - as long as you live near Walthamstow that is...

For those of you who don't live in London (or even the UK - hello, Russian spammers!), Walthamstow is here.

My good chum Shirley, knowing what a fabric junkie I am, suggested we go for a trawl through the market there, having seen a couple of blogs on what bargains and what choices could be had.  The most inspirational blog in question is here at Did you Make that? which is an ace name for a craft blog! Do pop over there, as Karen also took pictures for her blog, which I didn't as it was very cold and my camera was buried in my bag and the dog ate my homework, okay?

So we rocked up at Walthamstow Central station on a cold and clear Saturday morning, as early as we could, which for Shirl was 30 mins earlier than me (sorry mate) and we hit pay dirt straight away in a shop right at the head of the market.   There are two, both called Textile Centre, right next to each other.  One is full of pre-packed curtains, towels, duvets and so on.  Eek, we thought, uh oh.  Across London for some lime green bathmat sets...

But NEXT DOOR, the other Textile Centre was stacked high with rolls and bolts of fabric from as little as one teeny tiny pound a metre. I got some £3/m white blackout curtain lining for my monster curtain project (possibly more of which later), some £1/m smoky grey jersey for a new boat-neck top I'm planning and some interesting grey devore jersey, definitely more of which later, also at £1/m...

We wandered down the market, browsing and peeking.  It was cold, we needed tea, and then a double egg, chips and beans happened. Thus fortified, we ranged onwards, down the market itself and occasionally into the shops on either side. We totally indulged ourselves.  Honestly, stall after stall, shop after shop of rolls of fabric and haberdashery.  Something there for every taste and certainly every budget.  Many  of the owners really know their stuff too and are proud of their growing rep for choice and cheapness.

Three hours later, we staggered to the tube with bags bulging.  I was a bit dizzy and over-excited.  My bags contained, along with the items above:

  • 3m of soft thick mid-blue British wool and camel hair fabric - like 1950s blankets but softer and bluer - £3/m
  • 5m of dusky blowsy floral cotton - perfect for summer skirts and tunics - £1/m
  • 2.5m of almost Marimekko-like bold floral fabric in a mainly purple stiff twill/canvas - £3/m
  • 2m of stretch fusible interfacing - £1/m
  • a fistful of bright zips
  • a tumble of cotton reels in all colours, only 60p each
  • a new triangle of tailors chalk, long overdue and very pleasing to use, £1
  • 5m of pale grey grosgrain ribbon - 20p/m
  • bias binding in egg yellow and Irn Bru orange - 10p a metre
  • some huge press studs - or robot eyes as they are known in our house - £1
Shirley picked up some pleather/leatherette for a sofa re-awakening project of hers (she is a crafty one, that Shirl), as well as jersey fabric, notions and lots of other things I can't now recall.  Full shoppers, for sure, discussion of wheely bags for our next trip.

So, a totally awesome day out and an utter bargain to boot.  I can recommend Walthamstow Market from the bottom of my heart.  And THAT is a sentence I didn't expect to write before now.

Where do you go for your crafty bargains?  Londoners: I hear Brixton is pretty good, or do you rate Dalston?  World: where's good near you?

S x


  1. Hellooo,

    Yes, it was a very worthwhile trip to make. I also got 9m of light grey/blue fabric (£3 a metre) to make curtains for my bay window. Can't wait to get stuck in.


  2. BTW, I don't suppose you remember what fabric my curtain material is? The man who sold it said what it was but I've forgotten. I should wash it before I start sewing, but I'm not sure what kind of wash to put it through. I think it's a wool mix, so do you reckon if I just do a wool wash, it would turn out OK?

    1. hi chick, no I don't remember, sorry! A cool wool wash should be fine, surely? S x

  3. No probs. I washed it on 30 degrees and it came out OK. Now I just need to iron all 9m.


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