Friday, 22 January 2010

Fabric shopping in Brisbane

My latest fabric shopping was not really in Brisbane, but in the inner suburbs. I have spent the last few days staying in Toowong, and took the opportunity to visit some shops, none of which I had been to previously.
Unfortunately, the photographs I took of the shops are refusing to download from my camera, so you will have to make do with fabric acquisition photos at the moment.
The first place on my list was Sckafs Fabric at Indooropilly. This shop advertises in Australian Sewing with Stitches, and I have wanted to check out their trim section for a long time.
I was surprised to find that this shop is right inside the Indooropilly shopping centre (mall), next to Myer. The rent must be horrendous. The shop is large, well stocked, with garment-suitable quilting cottons, lightweight suitings, and lots of special occasion fabrics, and the staff know what they are talking about. I was very gratified to have a staff member come up to me and compliment me on my Japanese print dress, especially as she commented favourably on all the things I liked most about it myself. However, when I asked about cotton and rayon knits, she laughed at me (nicely) apparently I will have to stick to the internet for these fabrics.
I bought 2 colourways of a 20%poly, 80% cotton (or something close to this) woven textured blouse fabric with an elastic thread woven through it. I appreciated the fabric content markings on every roll. Sckafs is not an inexpensive store, but I did not expect it to be. The fabric I bought was on sale, and $20 per metre, and is destined for a work blouse for my daughter, and a travel blouse for me. I also bought 2 ruffle trims, at $3 per metre and $5 per metre. These were a frivolous purchase. I was on the hunt for men's cotton shirting fabrics, but there was very little here (white only), and I did not buy any.

I had some trouble finding Gardams which is in the same suburb. It is in a warehouse type strip mall on Coonan Rd, and in my 2008 refedex this address appears in Oxley, instead of Indooropilly. I was a long time customer of Gardams in Adelaide St in the city, but had not yet been able to visit the shop at this new location, which is not terribly close to the station, particularly on a 35 degree C day. The shop is large, nicely laid out and the staff are very good, but I did not find men's shirting cotton here either. There was any colour I wanted, so long as I wanted chambray blue. I was a little disappointed, as in the Adelaide St shop, I had always been able to find one or two good quality, manly but not too boring shirting fabrics for my husband (the price was generally considerable).Instead I bought fabric for myself. I bought a liberty remnant, which I think I was lucky to get ($40 per metre instead of $60), a silk satin remnant ($30 for 90cm), and a made in Japan cotton print (a little stiff, but I like the print) at $24.80 per metre, including the 20% off for the January sale.

On the other side of Brisbane, I took a diversion. My husband found this leatherworking shop, Crispin's, at 28 Kedron Park Rd, Wooloowin as he wanted to make a kangaroo skin wallet. It is open to the public on Wednesdays, 9-4.30 and Thursdays, until midday. Most of their sales are by mailorder, and apparently they are working on a website at the moment. This is a terrific shop, it is full of all sorts of leather - sheep, pig, cow, kangaroo (small pieces only) ostrich knees, perch, crocodile, NZ possum, even cane toad. The colour range in the leathers is amazing. There are also hundreds of bucklets, rivets, eyelets, corners...
I have been thinking about making a leather jacket since NancyK made one for the 2008 SWAP, and despite not having this jacket on my radar when I walked into the shop, I walked out with 2 dark brown tanned sheepskins, at a total cost of $93.10. The leather is incredibly soft, and the very helpful lady staffing the shop gave me lots of tips on how to work with this. I am putting it away for a few months to mature.

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Carol said...

You're a brave girl working with leather. I've just bought some scraps of leather from a store in Byron to use as corners and handles on a bag I want to make and even that little bit of leather sewing is making me nervous! I will be watching with keen eyes once you get going with this. Good luck!

Mary Nanna said...

Ah how lovely to go fabric shopping! We are so lucky in Auckland with the most fantastic fabric shops and they are really reasonably priced.

I am totally in awe of you taking on a leather jacket. I once sewed a leather skirt and it was really easy. Gorgeous Fabrics (I think I read it on their blog) has a great tutorial on sewing with leather - if you haven't seen it already it's definitely worth a look. For me the only hard part about sewing with leather was knowing that I could absolutely not make a single mistake - that the skin, once punctured, is punctured forever. The better the sewer I become, the more things like that make me nervous! Maybe I've just learned too much about how many things can go wrong.

However, a leather jacket is a very special thing, and one made to measure even better. It's worth the risk!

Vicki said...

Leather jacket - nice! It will be there when you are ready to tackle it. It looks very soft.

Sue said...

Snap! That Japanese cotton is the one I used in HP peasant top - it is very pretty. I was at Gardams today (in the city) and was admiring that red retro print.

I look forward to seeing how the leather is to work with - custom made leather jacket...yum!

gwensews said...

Oh, nice fabrics. Have a great time with them!

Maree said...

hello K
Unfortunately Brisbane is very limited for quality shirting - Gardams has the biggest range. I was in both stores last week - city has stripes in black/white, red/white - but limited - I came away with nothing for myself - but did buy the mandatory blue for my husband. On your next trip you might like to try Bargain Box at Ipswich or Capalaba (bigger store) - I have found good quality lightweight cottons there for myself. Another place is Funky Fabrix at Mitchelton - online too (you can search by fabric weight) - all retro designs - maybe not suitable for your husband (?paisley)- but some lovely fabric. Good luck.

Sharon said...

What gorgeous leather. Might have to check this out when I go to Brisbane in May to visit DS. I've already got Sckafs on my list.

I will also be watching with keen eyes, as I would love to tackle a leather jacket, but the thought keeps me away LOL.

Janine said...

Nice haul!
Leather's not too bad to work with - paperclips for pins, leather needle - you'll love it. The smell alone is worth it - just love the smell of leather.