Monday, 19 July 2010

This is not a Fabrication!



Those of you who tweet, will know that I had rather a surreal shopping experience this weekend ... It was Mr Marmalade's birthday treat weekend - we went to London to see a show (oh! the corset costumes in that show!), but prior to that, whilst walking around, we found ourselves - much to my delight -  in Berwick Street!  Mr Marmalade is never too distressed about this because, apart from all the lovely fabric shops, there is a rather splendid music shop which he is quite happy to explore while I lose myself in silky fantasies (most of the fabric in Berwick street is far too expensive to buy!).

Before anybody changed their minds about the direction we were walking I quickly nipped into the nearest fabric shop where I have been umpteen times before, but where the price of most of the fabric is out of reach as this shop tends to deal in "designer" fabrics.  Inside, the male shop assistant was telling a young Belgian girl "Anything you see priced at £30/m is really £5" ... she was looking for fabric to make a Roman blind, and this was a silk shop!  Next he says in my direction "That applies to you too" ... I got the impression that this might be a "special special offer" despite all the 'Sale' stickers and I took full advantage!

On getting home and doing the lighter test with the fabric, it seems that not everything I bought was silk, but I think I did manage to get the bargain of the century nevertheless.  This is my haul ... .....


This isn't my usual style at all!  But my favourite shapes are hearts and stars - you should see my doodles ... and so I had to have it.  Only about 2.5m left on the roll, he let me have this for £10 even though it was priced at £25/m.  It was sold as silk and is very light with a lovely soft drape, but on burning it when I got home, it seems to be polyester or some other man made fabric. However, it is so pretty, that I don't mind and at less than £5/m who cares!!  I really do love it!





This is polyester, but it is sooooo smooth and sheer and silky!  It is wide enough to make a long dress, but I think this will be a classic knee length nipped in at the waist, possibly strapless, flared party dress.  The price tag on this roll was £20/m 




Remember the "Lady in Red"?  I imagine that her dress was made of this - you know, perfect fabric which drapes just right over curves, has a perfect "swing" factor around the legs and makes you look like a supermodel whatever your shape! ... It doesn't photograph very well.  Its a very heavy, smooth, crepe.  There was a lovely man in the shop at this point, looking for pink silk with which to make a fairy costume - Berwick Street is in the Theatre district of London and historically it was where all the costumers would go for their fabric - nowadays, costumers still shop here when they haven't got time to go elsewhere!  Anyway ... I consulted this lovely man who was obviously very knowledgable about fabric and kept ooohing and ahhhing at  the 'sale' prices (which were slightly more expensive than my sale prices!!).  He said, when I asked him what he thought this red fabric was as the roll was unlabelled, "It seems real" and he scrunched it up in his hands several times leaving no trace of a crease ... so I bought it, because there was only 3m left and if I'd left the shop without it, I may well have regretted it for the rest of my life .. it's the sort of fabric which makes you sigh ... and at £15 for the lot I wasn't complaining, i'm sure I would have paid triple!




And anyway, it's my colour!




After my crepe discussion with the Gay Costumer, he spied a ribbed roll on one of the shelves at his feet ... "ooooh DUPION!" he sighed as if he had discovered a long lost secret.  He pulled the roll lovingly off the shelf in order to caress and gaze adoringly at it as I had previously done myself before putting it back to "think about it".  However, with him huffing and puffing all over it, I decided that this was far too much of a bargain to miss. He ordered a couple of metres for himself - not for the fairy he was shopping for, so I said "i'll have some too"!  It's a very stiff, ribbed dupion silk.  Very couture I think.  I bought 2m for £18 - not so much of a bargain as I think I have seen this on Goldhawk Road for the same price, but this could be a shift dress and box jacket ...




And now for the Grand Finale!! THIS is the bargain of the century .. do you see it?  I have absolutely NO IDEA what to do with the 8m that I bought!!! Yes EIGHT METRES!!!!  The whole roll - a moment of exceptional insanity!  I will probably use it to carry out my secret desire to make a wedding dress.

This roll was rolled up with tissue paper.  It is a silvery 'oyster' colour and the beads are sewn on in star formations with silver thread.  It was priced at £45/m.  It is real silk - I burned some of it to test.  I asked the man how much - surely the 'sale' price wouldn't apply to this, but I HAD to know!    "£5/m" he said ... then unrolled the whole lot - and from behind the resultant cloud of tissue paper and silk organza he said

 "There's 8 meters here, you can have the lot for £30" ...



Who could refuse an offer like that!!!!  A stronger woman than I!






18 comments:

dottycookie said...

Ber-limey! You DID have a good weekend!

Vanilla Rose said...

It looks absolutely beautiful.

As a vegan, I would be very interested in knowing ways of telling silk from synthetics. What happens when you burn silk?

JuliaB said...

Hi Vanilla Rose. You test fabric by burning a little. If it burns with flames it is 'natural' fibre. If it sort of fizzles and melts, then it is synthetic.

Vanilla Rose said...

Thank you :)

Lizzet said...

Great finds!!! I love the black silky one... you must show us some pics of whatever you make :)

Billie Jane said...

OMG!!!! Those prices are insane... whether silk or not. Now, did you get the discount because he liked your face? or was he bored and decided to just liven his day up or what? It all seems a bit random... just the way it should be really! Shopping should always be like this!

twiggypeasticks said...

Ooo lovely, now tell me again who had a birthday treat this weekend :P can't wait to see what you create with it
Twiggy x

stephanie said...

Wow! Wonderful finds. How lucky!

Gina said...

Wow! What an amazing fabric haul - I'm drooling over that red crepe. Belated birthday greetings to Mr Marmalade!

Amy Johnston said...

What good luck! Enjoy! and definitely show us pics when you make the things up!

peppermintpatcher said...

Oh My Goodness! This is better than winning the lotto! That last fabric... oh, words fail me... beautiful!

Joanne said...

Dear me. It's a good job the buggy prevents me from heading up to town on the drop of a hat, or my already groaning stash cupboard would be in trouble.

Please make a wedding dress - it would be beautiful!

Lisa said...

I have fabric envy !! I seriously need a fabric shopping trip to London .

silverpebble said...

Wow - treasures and bargains! I'm very excited to see what you do with it all x

Sarah said...

Oh. My. Goodness! *faints* What incredible finds. I am in love with the 8 meters of organza with the beads...I would have bought the lot, too!

Lucky, lucky you! :)

Echo said...

What! Oh my god. Oh my god. You are the luckiest woman! What a find. Am jealous, well not really but wish I was there too... there's no way you get that sort of pricing in NZ....Sigh

JuliaB said...

I know I know! I could faint at the thought of it too! I am thinking of getting a special box for the silk organza! I just don't know where to put it to make sure it is in the safest position!!

Vonnie said...

You lucky so-and-so!

also, I think this may possibly be the first time I've seen a photo of you - you're gorgeous!