A Quick Trip to London

Last week I was in London for work, and I managed to squeeze in fabric shopping alongside a gallery visit, meetings friends and the course I was there to attend. I arrived on Tuesday afternoon and headed straight to Walthamstow to meet Shivani, Kathryn and Claire to experience the joys of the market and the infamous Man Outside Sainsburys.
TMOS/TMOLB's stall

To be accurate, his stall was actually outside Lloyds Bank that day, so he was TMOLB instead of TMOS, but I still felt like I was visited a sewing world icon. I was delighted that Shivani, Kathryn and Claire were there to show me the area because I wouldn't have found him by myself. They also knew which shops were worth visiting too, and I made some purchases:
Black with white spot viscose from TMOS/TMOLB at £2.50/m and Arrow print voile at £1.50 from a nearby shop plus two 8 and 9 metre elastic bundles for £1 each

I was delighted with my purchases and really impressed/jealous at the amazing fabric resource that the market and surrounding shops are. So much cheap fabric! Although I spent less than two hours there, it was lovely to see Shivani again and to meet Kathryn and Claire, who I know via blogs and social media.

The next morning I had time to visit the Barbara Hepworth exhibition at Tate Britain. It was great and I loved seeing her beautiful sculptures. A few I had seen before in places I've worked or visited, so they felt like old friends, and it was wonderful to see them all together in the wider context of her work. Her carved wood works are so tactile that it was hard to resist giving them a stroke. But I did resist, of course! I don't have any exhibition photos, but I did take this picture of the very photogenic staircase in Tate:
After my course that afternoon I had a bit of time to kill, and by chance this shop happened to be on the same street as the course venue:

All I can say is Wow. This shop has a beautiful selection of wax prints, with prices from £20 to £75 for a 5m+ length. You can see a selection of wax prints on their website - and if I hadn't already bought the 2 lengths of fabric I had allowed myself for the trip, I would have been sorely tempted. I really love the Voila for You Vlisco range, which are really great geometric patterns.

From Empire Textiles I wandered along to find MORE shops selling wax prints, such as Middlesex Textiles and a host of smaller independent shops. I spent so much time looking that I had to do a bit of a rush back to Euston to get my train, thought luckily I was still in good time for it.

Then back on the train it was on with my knitting:

Have you visited the fabric shops around Middlesex Street? I saw so many beautiful wax prints that I think I might go back and visit again next time I'm in London, and actually buy something this time!

Thanks Shivani, Kathryn and Claire for meeting me and showing me the delights of Walthamstow Market, it was fab.

K x


  1. It was lovely to meet you too! You packed so much into your trip - wow! I really fancy the Barbara Hepworth, and I just love Tate modern anyway so I'll need to get to that. I haven't been to those fabric shops, thy sound brilliant though!

  2. I didn't know about fabric shops there! I moved to London just under a year ago and I have just moved to about 20 mins away from Walthamstow so I am forever talking myself out of a sneaky trip there! now you have just given me somewhere else to visit - thanks :)

  3. Sounds like a lovely trip. I need to go to Walthamstow next time I'm down!

  4. What a fabulous trip. Your fabric is lovely. I have never been to the shops around Middlesex Street but thanks for the tip. I LOVE wax prints and have some waiting to be a shirtdress if I ever get the time. I would love to go to Walthamstow Market but ran out of time last time. Now I just need a meeting to go to. :) Xx

    1. They do also sell online...:-) The flat rate postage for Empire is £8 to the UK though, so if you were getting a few bits or had clubbed together, that would be worth it

  5. Nice buys. I didn't know TMOS sometimes moves! The Hepworth exhibition looks great, it's on my to do list this summer.

  6. What a fab trip and you scored some lovey fabrics there. The Hepworth exhibition looks wonderful. I must try and get there...it's only up the road!


Thanks for reading and commenting - I love to hear what you have to say