Sydney Stash Shopping

It's the school holidays here, and I've just come back from 5 days in Sydney. We stay with my parents, and the kids enjoy being thoroughly spoiled by the nonni and hanging out with their cousins. Meanwhile, I catch up with friends, and do things I don't get to do too often living where I do. This time around I went to the Archibald Prize exhibition (and scratched my head at the winner). And I managed to squeeze in a bit of fabric shopping. Naturally.
First I visited Pitt Trading, in Ramsgate. Before we made the tree/sea change move to the South Coast, I lived within walking distance of this store. In those days (about 13 years ago) it was in bigger premises, just up the road. And I remember it had a lot of spandex and dance fabrics. Now it is in smaller premises, and about a quarter of their floor space is given over to "vintage finds"- jewellery, manchester, laces, etc.
The fabric selection is not overwhelmingly large, but good. It is generally displayed in colour groups. Fabric info is pretty sparse. If it is there at all it is noted in biro on the end of the roll. That being said, the service is good. When I asked about the composition of a rather nice knit, the assistant was only too happy to do the burn test for me. And when I enquired about wool crepe, another assistant went to see if she could find some for me (she did, see below).
This is what I came away with:
A gorgeous border embroidered velvet. I bought enough for a skirt, but I'm wondering if I could eke out a shift dress out of this. If I did, it would have to be one with a side zip I'm thinking. Then again, I would probably get more wear from a skirt. Decisions, decisions.
A cherry red wool crepe, to appease my husband who reckons I always wear brown. Well, I don't. I bought this thinking of making the Colette Peony, but am wondering if I make a shift dress whether I could squeeze a skirt out of it too.
Amelia liked this sweater knit, so I bought it for her and will probably make the Tessuti My Fave Top from it.
 I also managed to get to Cabramatta to trawl the fabric stores there. It's been a while since I've been there. Plenty of people rave about Cabramatta, but I've had mixed success. The stores are really geared to the wedding/bridal party/formal market. While we were there, I think we were the only customers not interested in formal fabrics. There were numerous gaggles of wedding party customers ooh and aahing over the bridal fabrics.
That said, there are plenty of  "normal" fabrics to be had. Unfortunately, the method of display - fabric rolls stacked up on their ends 10 deep-  makes it hard to see what's there. And if you see something interesting but have to move a dozen rolls to see it, you kind of get put off. Well, at least I do. And access is a problem - my rather large feet have trouble finding space in the aisles, and I always feel as if I'm about to trip over. Yeah, laugh if you must, but this is a problem! My patience gets tried. And the selection is heavy on polyester, which is not my thang to wear.
So, I didn't find anything to tempt me in Cabramatta. Amelia found the fabric on the left, a polyester that we are planning to make a Colette Truffle dress, to wear to my baby brother's engagement party.  The colour in this photo is nowhere near what it is for real. It is a much more blue based red, almost a maroon.  The fabric at left, another polyester was picked up at Pitt Trading.
Still, the Cabramatta sojourn wasn't a total waste of time ... I enjoyed this rice noodle soup from one of the dozens of Vietnamese restaurants.


  1. Shopping in Cabramatta is definitely a sport, one in which you don't always win unfortunately. Last time I went I came away with groceries from the Asian stores but no fabric. Looking forward to seeing your projects

    1. Yes, "sport" describes the experience. The food stores make up for it though!

  2. Last time I went to Cabramatta (um, must be 20 years ago)I am sure I got polyester poisioning ;). Glad to hear there is more variety now. Your Pitt Trading finds are gorgeous, I love that border print.

    1. Heh, polyester poisoning. That's apt! And thinking about it the border print is more accurately a border embroidery. I'm pretty pleased to have snaffled it.


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