The Knitting & Stitching Show 2015: Fabric and sewing highlights

Posted by Suzie on Monday, 12 October 2015 at 14:33
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The Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace is a quilter’s dream, but I can’t help but feel that contemporary dressmaking is a little under-represented. Never the less I did stumble upon some interesting fabric finds in amongst the tidal wave of floral cotton lawn fat quarters.

Montreux Fabrics, a company specialising in that hard-to-find yet versatile fabric; jersey. They’re launching an online store soon. I picked up a couple of meters of gorgeous geometric print fabric with no particular purpose in mind (maybe something from the Drape Drape book? If I ever feel brave enough).

Geometric print jersey from Montreux Fabrics

Geometric print jersey from Montreux Fabrics

OK, I confess I did come home with some fat quarters, but they are far too special to chop up into small pieces for patchwork.

Fat quarters of Japanese fabric from Japan Crafts

Fat quarters of Japanese fabric from Japan Crafts

These beautiful pieces were from Japan Crafts, whose stall was overflowing with stunning fabrics, kits and authentic materials. Owner Katie Chaplin told me she visits Japan four times a year to source fabrics… and to scour second-hand shops for vintage kimonos!

Katie Chaplin of Japan Crafts

Katie Chaplin of Japan Crafts

My favourite fabric discovery of the show was something much closer to home. Merchant & Mills, based in Rye, Essex and founded in 2010 describe their brand as “profound contrast to the pretty, flowery image of the average haberdasher”, a sentiment I can certainly get behind! I was drawn to their inspiring stand by their extensive range of top quality utility fabrics, from Harris tweed and felted wool, to sturdy denim and slubbed linen, much or it British-sourced, fair trade or organic.

Merchant & Mills utility fabrics and patterns

Merchant & Mills stand utility fabrics and patterns

They produce card patterns (more durable than paper), and have published a Workbook of sewing projects for artfully designed garments that are simple, wearable, practical and stylish. Their unique trimmings collection is also well worth a look.

Merchant & Mills trimmings

Merchant & Mills trimmings

If the busyness of the Merchant & Mills stall is anything to go by, the modern seamster at Ally Pally for has an appetite for quality over chintz, and I am eager to see where they take the utility aesthetic.

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  1. Chris L says:

    Hi Suzy
    I just love K & S too. Please could you let me know how to subscribe to your blog. Thanks

    • suzie says:

      Hi Chris,
      Thanks for your comment. You can now subscribe to get email updates, of you can use good old RSS and the feed-reader of your choice. Links are in the footer.

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