Birmingham Booty

In my last post I did promise to show you what was in that pile of bags from Birmingham. I honestly had gone with the intention of coming away with a few odds and sods, and a whole load of fruit and veg. Big fat fail there but look at this lot…


Who knows what – but it was £1 pm

I had barely arrived before I spotted these on the £1 a metre stall inside the market. It is usually fabric of dubious quality – fine for toiles and testers but not what you would really want to wear somewhere ‘nice’. However it is possible to find a pearl. The picture isn’t particularly good – the fabric on the left is a cotton/poly mix with some embroidery detail and ‘fluffy’ stripes. Oh, and it is a lemon yellow colour – not that you would guess from this. I’m planning to make another  Mizono dress from this since I have redrawn the pattern to be used without tucks and such. In principal it should be a quick job. The other stripe could be anything but I’m guessing mainly polyester. The plan is to test my trouser block on this and make something new that fits – everything is too big at the moment as I have lost weight through being ill. (Thankfully that is now dealt with – I have waved my gallbladder goodbye so no more pain should mean my weight stabilising). It will be good to have a tolerably presentable pair that don’t fall down all day. Oh the perils of having negligible hips!


Skulls and flowers jersey


OK, I have no excuses for this but it is hilarious and cheap as hell so I bought it. No plans at present, but it’s jersey so I know it will be useful in my now very relaxed (and a bit silly) wardrobe.




Bad photograph colour, gorgeous fabric




I saw Fairy with some of this jersey – I wish you were able to feel it cos’ it’s gorgeous. Very smooth and cool to the touch. The stall holder claimed it was a high end brand that would cost £££ but was selling at £3 a metre which was good to me. Bought  4 metres which should cover whatever I decide. Sorry for copying your purchase Fairy but I promise not to make whatever you do from it – you’re bound to be faster than me 🙂 . Again, the colour didn’t turn out very well but it is a red/grey combination. Check out Fairys blog for a better photograph. (In checking I see that she has already started hers! Good going Fairy!)


From the ‘Jersey Jumble Sale’!

One of the stalls that always shocks and excites Rag Market virgins is what I refer to as the Jersey Jumble Sale. This tends to be outside on a Tuesday and is an absolute hoot. You never know what you are going to find – nothing is tidy or measured, and it’s not unusual to find that you are in a tug of war with someone on opposite ends of a piece. Again there is a lot of tat there but if you have any idea what a ‘good’ cloth feels like you can sometimes get some treasure. sometimes you just get carried away and but lots because it’s there. *Ahem*. Clearly that wasn’t what happened here at all. Stop giggling back there!

I have already cut out and started a top from one of my neglected Japanese pattern books – ‘She Wears the Pants’. Not an inspiring title but there are a few things  I really want to make. Actually, I have been returning to these frequently for what seems like years so it’s certainly time for action. The fabric I started with was the lovely grey marl (top left). It is very soft and ‘easy’ on your skin so I suspect that this will be a good summer layering piece. I’m doing well on the top but have been halted until I decide on buttons. I want to try to finish from stash (there had to be something suitable in one of those tins!) but may have to shop.

The orange cotton rib is bog standard t-shirt fabric. Nothing special but ever so useful. I know I already have this in white and grey so there could be a bit of colour blocking coming on.

The grey stars. Oh, the grey stars. How many of you had a t-shirt with stars on in the 70’s. OK, you can include your mum if you aren’t that old. I loved mine and I know that The Management would be as jealous as could be if I make another from this. Sadly its a very wounded piece that definitely wont make two. Ah, sad.

The striped fabric is allegedly River Island, but is just as likely to be Treasure Island. It feels a bit like linen but wont be – but I’m already considering another ‘She wears the pants’ buttoned top from one piece. Oh yeah, I bought two pieces as I really didn’t want to be found a tiny bit short on this. I would lay strong odds on the black fabric in the same picture being exactly the same fabric as some sweatpants that The Management bought recently at M&S. It feels lovely and since I have just about lived in the pull on pants (not blogged! Sorry) I made from my leggings pattern and some warm lycra from Funky Fabrics back in January I have a fair idea what these will turn into.

So clearly I am going to be busy for a little while using this lot – and I know I shouldn’t have bought it really but I spent under £30 on the lot. Yes – all of it. Not bad is it, and it will wait patiently until I’m ready.

There’s every possibility that I will be diverted but I would like to make these up fairly quickly. I’m trying not to get into a situation where I can’t decide which option to use by just cutting the pattern ASAP and stopping the indecision. We’ll see how long that lasts!

Do you use your more recent fabrics first, or work from any system at all? I’d be interested in how you all use your stash.

Anyway, keep sewing and using that stash!


25 Comments on “Birmingham Booty”

  1. Chris T says:

    I tend to use the newer fabrics in my stash, although I did recently drag out something I bought in the 80s, for a Cuttling Line. However I am afraid the excitement of a new purchase always interests me more, I am now working on a Sandra Betzina tunic with fabric purchased from Marcy Tilton last year. Unfortunately I live too far away from Birmingham to sample its fabric delights but Walthamstow market is not too far.

    • New fabric is exciting – and often has a freshly minted purpose that you can enjoy getting stuck into.
      I must try to visit Walthamstow market at some point when I visit my daughter.

  2. jay says:

    I can look at fabric for hours. Your new additions look super, I’m already imagining them made up. The lemon one isn’t showing up well on my screen, but I defer to your judgement about it. My favourites are the one you’re sharing with fairy, the grey an of course, the stars.Sorry to hear you’ve been battling with gall bladder. I ditched mine a few years ago and haven’t missed it yet!

    • It’s a dreadful photo – as is the shared jersey pic. I’m newly enthusiastic again about sewing – and all my clothes are a bit big after an enforced low fat diet. Good to hear that my gb won’t be missed- certainly isn’t so far 😀

  3. Roxane says:

    OMG! I would think I had died and gone to heaven if I had a fabric resource like that! Looking forward to seeing the results!

  4. You lucky lady! Enjoy using it (all)!

  5. CurlsnSkirls says:

    Ah, a bit of Fabric Therapy is always welcome! Lovely additions to your collection.
    How do I use my fabrics? Any old which way and generally quite slowly. No rhyme nor reason, I’m afraid!

    • There’s never a good enough reason to turn down a fabric shopping trip.
      I’m a bit of a fabric dredger. Dig when the need arises (if I even get round to putting it away😀)

  6. Sarah says:

    I tend to choose the fabric from the substantial ‘pile’ and then look for a pattern in my rather large bag of patterns. Just how I feel at the time !

  7. What a haul! I am very envious of the grey knits…nice grey knits are so difficult to find.

    I’m sewing entirely from stash at the moment to save money and it’s stimulated some unexpected creativity. I made a list of all my fabric and all my envelope patterns and tried to match things up. But it has taught me I really shouldn’t stash prints or bold colours. I have a few pieces in my stash that constantly baffle me; I simply cannot come up with a use for them.

  8. tialys says:

    What a shopping spree! I’m going over to the U.K. next week and will be foraging for fabric with my daughter but I won’t be able to buy as much as you as I’m flying hand luggage only 😦

  9. I love the skulls – if I could make a pair of jogging pants or leggings for a race out of those it would be perfect – It would catch my mood perfectly! I see fabric for a certain dress or whatever I have in mind, buy it, stash it and by the time it come around to making, let’s say a top – I look at all my stash and just grab whatever works, new or old, whether it was meant for a top or not. Plans change! Saying that, I have a couple of pieces of fabric that can only be dresses but I still haven’t found the dress it is meant to be!

    • Sadly it’s t-shirt rather than sports fabric – but I agree it would be a kick ass leggings print!
      I’m glad to not be the only person with fabric that defies purpose 😉

  10. sewruth says:

    You know, it just might be worth my while to hop on a plane and accompany you bunch of reprobates next time out if I could come home with a haul like this.

  11. mrsmole says:

    As a person who has an aging drawer/closet/huge bins of gorgeous fabrics acquired over the past 35 years…adding more would just be the end of me and the overcrowding in the other sewing room. I love the stars and the skulls…call me crazy but both make a statement, “I ain’t dead yet!” I don’t miss any of my parts that have been removed over the years in 3 different countries…they do make you lighter in weight and spirit!

    • I’m not certain what the oldest piece in my stash would be, but I know I really shouldn’t be adding to it! I agree with your assessment ‘re the skulls and stars. Elderly rebel that I am 😂.

  12. Evie Jones says:

    That’s a jolly good haul! You’ll have fun sewing them all up. Enjoy!

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