I’m baaaaaaaack! It seems like a lifetime ago I was packing up my sewing chattels in South London. The last few months have been a whirlwind, to say the least. New home, new job, new life! I couldn’t imagine sewing even a few weeks ago but a few fabric shopping expeditions and the arrival of my sewing machine last week have seen the return of my sew-jo! I have enjoyed taking a break from sewing as it had become a little too all-consuming. That said, I’ve got a few nice new pieces that I can’t wait to get started on.
I wanted to share a few of my fabric shop finds. I’m slowly finding my way round my new neighbourhood and have been totally reliant on you fellow bloggers to point me in the right direction. So it’s only right that I do the same.
My first outing took me to the fabric shops of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which seem to be clustered around one area of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (Jalan TAR). The big stores were Gulati’s Silk House (162, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, City Centre, 50100 Kuala Lumpur, tel +60326983901), Euro Moda (126, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, City Centre, 50100 Kuala Lumpur, tel+60326940805), and Harisons (229-235, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, City Centre, 50100 Kuala Lumpur).It would also be worth checking out Jakel Mall: an entire fabric mall-sized shop, with everything from local polyesters and batiks to European linens.
Taste’s a subjective thing, isn’t it? I didn’t manage to part with any of my Ringgits. I found a lot of brightly colored synthetics that wouldn’t help me to keep my cool in the tropics. There were one or two reasonable cottons in the more expensive shops but nothing to write home about. I’ve since heard that there are other places for sewists in the know and have made my first trip to the legendary Australian craft superstore, Spotlight (Ampang Point mall, 2nd floor, Jalan Mamanda 3, 68000 Ampang, Selangor, and now there’s a new Spotlight in MyTown shopping mall, Cheras, which is better organised). Next on the itinerary was a very quick stop in Bangkok. In my one spare hour I headed straight for China World Mall: three floors of fabric heaven located in the Pahurat neighbourhood, on the fringes of Chinatown. Jill at bbkquilt.com talks about Kimono House (2nd floor) being an amazing place to find high quality cottons. She wasn’t wrong! I nearly hyperventilated when I saw Cotton & Steel fabrics on sale (approx USD 2 per metre)!
I bought some lovely fabrics here, including some shibori dyed cotton, and am dreaming about when I can next get to Bangkok. China World Mall is well worth a visit, particularly when speed is of the essence and it’s too hot to pound the pavements.
My last field report is from Hong Kong, where I’ve fabric shopped before. All signs point to Sham Shui Po according to Google. This is Hong Kong’s garment district, raved about by bloggers the world over. In previous visits I was never sure I’d found the exact block on Ki Lung Street as all I came across were wholesale shops with samples on display, and nothing like the frenzy of fabric buying that other bloggers write about.
This time I found Traveller’s Yarn’s post about shopping for fabric in Sham Shui Po and made a beeline for Moon Yue Piece Goods (125-127 Yu Chau Street). O.M.G. What can I say? This place was exactly as described. He sells end-of-bolt fabrics from high end designers and stocks mainly silks. So the big question for me is what am I going to make with 6 yards of Shanghai Tang silk??