A fabric tour of Birmingham…
I’m pretty lucky living in Birmingham, because it is home to the Rag Market and a fair few fabrics shops just in the centre of the city. The Rag Market is just amazing, you can buy any kind of fabric you can think of (as well as an absolute wealth of haberdashery stuff) and the prices are definitely reasonable, with room to haggle if you’ve got the nerve!
If the Rag Market doesn’t have anything to tempt you, then you’ll find a few fabric shops in the vicinity.
I have to tell you about Barry’s Fabrics though. What an Aladdin’s cave of loveliness! Barry’s is the kind of place you’d never know about unless someone told you (unless you generally hang around the back streets of Brum!). I have to thank my friend Sally for introducing me to this one. It’s behind the Rag Market, and let me tell you, it’s a long walk if you’re carrying an uncooperative toddler!
Just look at this:
I don’t believe there’s any type of fabric in the world that you wouldn’t find here and I’m pretty sure you could find fabric on any theme you’d like too. There are some absolute bargains to be had here too. The fabric I bought for my GBSB halter top was from Barry’s and was about £5 per metre (and I’m sure they even undercharged on that!) If you look hard enough, you’ll also find some genuine Liberty fabric hiding amongst the other bolts. I keep looking at this golfer print, but I can’t decide if I like it (in fact, now I’ve gone to the trouble of photographing it, I don’t think I do!):
I get a lot of fabric from Barry’s, mostly because of the prices (especially if it’s for my girls or myself) but I just love looking around in there. The only problem is I always buy more than I went for!
Just out of the city centre,in Moseley, is Guthrie & Ghani, another favourite of mine. It’s just the most beautiful-looking building (and if you read Lauren’s blog you’ll see how she and her husband transformed it from the run down building it was before). Inside is equally as beautiful, especially the wall displaying all of their yummy fabric. G&G is also the only Birmingham stockist of beautiful Liberty fabric; I challenge you to go there and not be tempted by something!
G&G also has the most amazing workshop space upstairs, which I loved when I went to Sewing Bee Sunday. They have a fab list of workshops, and I keep promising myself I’m going to save up and do one soon.
Birmingham obviously has a lot more fabric shops than that, but they’re the ones I use the most and would recommend. Testament to how great they are, a SewBrum meet up has been organised by English Girl At Home to go to all three. I’m definitely going, anyone else up for a spot of fabric shopping?!