Tuesday, 22 May 2012

We have a new Website

After a long time in development we are very proud to unveil out new Website.  If you pop  along to http://www.fabric8online.co.uk  You will find what we believe is a clear and easy to follow web-shop. I thought I'd give you  a brief tour here.

Along the top are the basic categories , So if you want fabric for dressmaking the just click Fashion Fabrics , for quilt making  and other crafts then click the Craft Fabrics section and so on. There are also sections with free patterns and a Clearance section where you can pick up a bargain. All this is pretty much self explanatory, However, if for an example you were to click on Fashion Fabrics you will find we have made it easier to find the fabrics you want. Clicking on Fashion Fabrics brings up a list of all the different groups of Dress Making fabrics we have.

Cotton,  Dress Linings and NetsFleece and Furs,
Jersey , Lace & Tulle , Linen , Organza & Chiffon
Polycotton,  Sequin and Lamé,  Silks and SatinsVelours and Lycras,   Wool as well as a section for special events labeled  Celebration Fabric a section for those fabrics that never quite fit in, Other and  Sew Magazine Features for fabrics that have made it into this fine magazine.

Let us assume you have decided you want to make a wonderful creation in Cotton. On clicking Cotton you find your final options.Here you can quickly narrow down your browsing to Plain CottonsPatterned CottonsCanvas, and Seersucker & Lawn. There are of course search boxes through out the site should you know exactly what you want. However we like the site also to be set up so you can browse through our stock in a quick and logical way. Please have fun on our website and let us know how you find it. Happy Sewing!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Why I love to sew

Most of the blogs on this site tend to be rather factual in nature. They may be a simple "how to" tutorial, or ideas of how you can use your sewing skills in new and interesting ways. I tend not to talk too much about myself, and anyone who's met me at the shop will tell you that's quite out of character :) This blog is slightly more personal in nature, but I hope you find it useful. In past blogs I may have hinted at an interest in performing magic as well as a few physical difficulties which I face. This blog is about the latter. I'm lucky, I'm disabled but managed to land a job (with a great boss and great co-workers who help adapt things to my needs). I'm also lucky in that I sew.

  Sewing for me is incredibly therapeutic. On days when my back is good I can sit by my sewing machine and spend a day happily being creative. On other days when I'm not so well I can  lay back in a support chair and hand sew, or design new creations. Then on days when even that is too much I can read books on fashion as well as books on sewing techniques and patter drafting. Finally when I'm feeling so bad that I can not even hold a book I can look at my collection of hand crafted waistcoats and feel a sense of pride and knowledge that even if I feel bad on this one day, there are other days I can make beautiful things. The sense of achievement when finishing a garment is something I think we all can  share. However to a disabled person that sense of achievement can be tenfold.

An example of this was yesterday. I really wanted to be productive, however my back didn't want me to move much. So I picked up some medieval trousers I happened to have hanging around that needed altering. They were completely  closed at the front. I have to put a front opening and fly in, because some of the stitching as on show and this  is a medieval re-enactment garment I had to do some hand sewing.  And thus a day where I would normally have accomplished  little actually became I day when I did a fiddly little job i'd been putting off for a while.   So if you or your friends have any sort of injury or disability  have a long think. With jut a little help and adaptation you can get them involved  in our wonderfully creative craft.

Please use the comment if You can think of other ways we can help people to sew, knit or craft

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The Retromancers

Craft and sewing tins and cases 
Retro is huge. Ironically retro has been huge all through history. We've often looked back to the past for inspiration and sometimes accidentally (or not so accidentally) re-write it to give us a specific emotion, be it a sense of happy nostalgia, pride or hope. In the last century and a bit we saw this stepped up by the Victorian antiquarians. This group of middle classed gentlemen  would to to rekindle costumes and traditions from the past, for example Christmas day. Many of the traditions we hold dear to  for Christmas were actual re-inventions of Tudor and dark age traditions, given a Victorian twist. These enterprising gents also re-invented the role of Town Crier. When making a costume for a Town Crier I was told to remember this isn't a medieval costume, it's a Victorians idea of a medieval costume.

Retro and Modern fabrics
  Ok maybe it's time to quite the waffle and talk about WHY i'm talking about this. In recent time we've had a lot more retro. I've already blogged about polka dot weddings,  Cos play of 80's and earlier sci fi and have been to my fair share of ballroom parties where the theme was World War 2. We've selling a lot more retro fabric in the shop and have just  received some retro sewing tins. Colchester just hosted a wonderful Retro Fair . And I think I finally understand the spiritual appeal of these things. The aesthetic appeal was obvious, they're pretty! But there's a deeper meaning. The Victorians looked back because they felt a sense of achievement, proud of how far they had come with their industrial age.  We are looking back at trying times, such as the blitz and the years following the war when basic necessities were hard to time. We're not looking back at the times of excess when there were bountiful resources. In these tough days of economic gloom we're reminding ourselves, we have been through a lot worse as a country,a nd indeed as a species. We've been through hard-ship before, and yet we triumphed.