Street Style Wales

Knitting, stitching, thrifting, crocheting


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Cloth House, Soho

photo 2Cloth House in central London has been on my radar for a while. I can’t even remember the first time I heard about it. Somehow I just knew it was there, amongst a load of other fabric shops. The best thing about now working in Soho is that I’m only a few streets away from these many fabric shops on Berwick Street and can visit them as much as I like during lunch or after work.

Cloth House is every bit as wonderful as you’d imagine. There are two shops on the same street; the first Cloth House sells a range of more unusual fabrics and a great selection of knits, while the second has a colourful selection of cotton prints and an impressive collection of notions.

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The second Cloth House, at no 47, is by far my favourite shop out of the two. I just love the floral and Liberty style fabric and there’s even a remnants bin where I got some lovely calico (more on that soon!). Every time I go into the shop, I leave with something in my hands which isn’t the best for my bank account but, come on, the fabric is just too beautiful not to buy. I found some lovely plain fabrics in there the last time I went in, which I know will make great Marthe tops. I’ve managed to resist buying them so far, but I will go back for a few metres at some point.
photo 4 photo 5If you’re ever in central London, I suggest a trip to Berwick Street (it’s walkable from Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road and even Piccadilly Circus tubes). You won’t regret it.

On a side note, did any of you watch the final of the Sewing Bee? My housemate and I literally whooped when Matt (and his eyebrows) won! Were you happy with the decision or did you want someone else to win?

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People Tree sample sale

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I cannot resist a good sample sale. Since I was in London anyway, last weekend I went along to the People Tree sample sale, just off Brick Lane. It was full of lots of beautiful, ethical clothes and there was even some of their designer collection on sale. I’ve featured People Tree before here and here and I really love their clothes. Plus, I have a hard time saying no to cat print dresses like those featured above.

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There were some lovely designer pieces on sale, including a range of Orla Kiely collaborations

The thing I was very surprised about was that there was hardly anyone at the sale. I’m used to sample sales where everyone is scrambling around, almost pushing everyone else out of the way to get that knocked-down dress (a bit like this scene from Friends), but happily, there was none of that and everyone was so kind and polite.

I was torn between these two skirts, but in the end I went for the one on the left

I walked away with a really nice, past season, polka dot skirt and a hat for the colder weather. I already own a pair of People Tree gloves and I bought some hand-knitted woollen socks some years ago, so I know that their wool lasts.

I kind of wish I could have bought more but with an already too-full suitcase to take back to Wales with me, plus a trip to Renegade craft fair immediately after the sale, I knew I couldn’t.

If you missed the People Tree sample sale, there is another one coming soon. More details can be found here.

Have you ever been to a sample sale? What has your experience been? I’m genuinely curious.


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Clarissa Hulse screen printing workshop

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When I was in London last month, I was invited to a screen printing workshop held by the lovely Clarissa Hulse. Clarissa is a textile designer who specialises in home accessories, wallpapers and fabrics. Inspired by colour, her designs are often taken from the nature around her (if you follow her on Instagram, you’ll know that she posts inspirations daily) and her style is eclectic and completely individual.

Rows of silk fabric are lined up in preparation for our workshop

Rows of silk fabric are lined up in preparation for our workshop

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Clarissa's wall of inspiration in her studio

Clarissa’s wall of inspiration in her studio

 

Her studio and shop is in Islington (what a lovely part of London!) and I made my way across the city one morning. There were only a small number of us attending the workshop, which meant it had quite a personal feel.

Firstly, Clarissa talked us through the process of screen printing and told us a little about where she gets her inspiration from. We then watched as she demonstrated what we needed to do and she produced a lovely cushion with colours chosen by a member of her team.

Clarissa explained the process of screen printing to us before we began

Clarissa explained the process of screen printing to us before we began

We each chose a fabric for the front of our cushions, a contrasting fabric for the back, a design and paint colour. I chose to make a maroon cushion, with a turquoise back and turquoise paint. There were many prints to choose from, but I stuck with a small floral design that had caught my eye as soon as I saw it.

Clarissa explained that we could do an ombré design if we wanted or print onto the fabric with two different paints, but I went for the simpler option of just using one paint colour as I felt it would look better on my cushion.

We then printed onto our fabrics, with her team giving us a hand so we did it properly and literally watched the paint dry for a minute or so. Once it was dry to the touch, we hung the cushions up to dry further, ready for them to be sent off and sewn.

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Printing the design onto the cushion and backing fabric

Printing the design onto the cushion and backing fabric

A close-up of my design

A close-up of my cushion

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The finished cushions, hung up to dry

A couple of weeks later, my cushion arrived, all ready and looking great. The best part of doing the workshop was that I had something pretty that I had made to decorate my home with.

I had such fun at the workshop and, although I’ve never tried screen printing before, I’d definitely like to have another go at it. And now I have another cushion to add to my collection at home.

Keep in touch with Clarissa via her website, her Twitter, Facebook page and Instagram.


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A trip to London

I spent last weekend in London, welcoming my brother back from a 12 week trip to Tanzania.

One place I always, always go to when I visit London is Liberty’s. The thing about Liberty’s is that I feel at home there and it’s so timeless inside that I can always imagine it through the ages.

Liberty’s always makes me feel at home

Some pretty plates on show at Liberty’s

Getting some crafting inspiration

Obviously, being the crafter that I am, I went straight to the fabric department. Unfortunately, I always find that you need a mortgage to shop there and, in the past, I’ve only bought small things like fabric covered buttons. But this time I was lucky enough to find a lovely piece of fabric, in the offcuts section.

This fabric offcut will make a lovely scarf

The fabric is a nice, long length and I think it’ll make a nice scarf. Plus, it only cost me about £6, so it’s really not an expensive project. Expect a DIY in the days to come, as I make this beauty into a wearable scarf.