Winter Coat patterns + Simply Fabrics Brixton

I have been thinking about making a wool coat for my daughter and saw some beautiful ones  at the Hand made Fair last weekend. I don’t think I could ever justify spending nearly £200 on a child’s coat no matter how beautiful so have been looking at patterns and fabrics online. I also went to Simply Fabrics a few years ago and remembered they had a selection of coat material so thought it would be worth going on a little outing.

The shop (or rather two shops on the same road) has been mentioned on a few blogs, including on Tilly and the Buttons, so is not such a well kept secret any more but is a great place to pick up something unusual at a good price.

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photo 2 There are some beautiful wools and unusual technical fabrics, including Japanese wools and coated silks. I spied some lovely delicate Roland Mouret silks and a shelf of Liberty silks, lawns and wool blend fabrics. They also had dupion silk, linens, jersey and faux fur fabrics. In the end I came away with a piece of faux fur to make my daughter a gilet for the winter and some Liberty Lifestyle Garnett fabric in a colourway which I’m fairly sure is sold out elsewhere. The prices are amazing also – all the Liberty fabric is £12/m, and most of the other fabrics are much cheaper.

I also wandered into the Brixton market which was a real surprise – quirky shops and wonderful places to eat. We stopped at French and Grace where we enjoyed a delicious mezze plate before heading back home

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As for children’s coat patterns, here are a few that are in the running:

Make it Perfect Serendipity coat

I made this last year for my daughter so of course I could reuse the pattern. I do love this coat and it was adorable, so will definitely consider it if I don’t find anything I love more.

Sydney by C’est Dimanche

This version is stunning but I’m not sure my French is up to the challenge! The Volga pattern is also lovely. I like that you can add on variations to the patterns to change the look, but they start from age 4 so think I’ll have to save these until she is older.

Stylish Double breasted coat by Dear My Kids

Another double breasted coat – can you see a theme? I do like classic shapes on young children!

The Bubblegum Coat by See Kate Sew

I love this pink version, it has a more modern look, maybe a bit more sixties because of the big buttons.

Cecily by Citronille

Another classic coat, this time by French company Citronille – again a little deterred by it being in French but could give it a go with the help of Google Translate!

School Days Jacket by Oliver + S

This is a different style with a practical hood and nice finishing details, but also looks a little more challenging.

Of course, I haven’t had a chance to look at the Simplicity etc pattern books and I’m sure they will also have some great patterns. For now I will start thinking about fabrics and colours and hope to get going before the cold sets in.

Reversible Staple Dress

I bought the Staple Dress pattern from M is for Make a couple of months ago, and thought it would work really well with a reversible gauze I bought a couple of years ago. I couldn’t really think of a pattern that would make the most of both sides until I came across this one. As you can see, the reverse fabric shows through because of the dipped hem so I thought it made an interesting contrast.

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This is the ‘wrong side’ of the fabric, but I wear it just as much this way round. Sorry about the wonky photo!

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This is the best photo I could get of me wearing it! Unfortunately there is never anyone on hand to take a picture for me.

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I do like having pockets, and actually made the whole dress with pockets initially, which meant that it was not reversible. I had a change of heart so had to rip out all my sewing and overlocking, and started again! The second time, I used French seams on both sides, which provided a neat seam on both sides. For the bottom of the skirt, I cut a separate piece of fabric on the bias and sewed it all around the edge (same technique as for the neck and arm holes). Unfortunately my sewing machine was not working well and the fabric kept pulling – I only thought to change the needle after I had nearly finished, and the tip was broken! I did one row of shirring as I don’t like things too tight around my waist.

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I wore my new dress on an outing to Dulwich (to buy Annie Sloan chalk paint, more on that later!). The photo above was taken in Ed on North Cross Road, and we finished with a latte and raspberry financier at Gail’s.

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Brand New Knitting Group in Penge

I am really excited about our brand new knitting group in Penge! The idea came about after I enquired about local groups, and although there are several in the vicinity (Bromley, Croydon, Crystal Palace), there were a few knitters in Penge who were interested in setting something up closer to home. I had recently looked at the Alexandra Nurseries website and thought it sounded like a lovely venue, and another Raveller kindly offered to go down and have a chat with Sarah who runs it.

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Alexandra Nurseries is a beautiful independent garden centre, gift shop and cafe in Penge

Thankfully, Sarah was enthusiastic about the idea so I visited myself soon after, and thought it was wonderful – beautiful vintage china, quirky gifts and of course, an amazing selection of plants! The upstairs space is a relaxed setting which will be great for informal knitting, tea-drinking and cake-eating.  We have decided to start off the group on Sunday mornings every fortnight and see what happens. So if you are a knitter, please join us for the first meeting this Sunday (17th March) at 10.15am! If you’d like to join the mailing list, please email se20knitters@gmail.com for updates.

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Even if you’re not a knitter, if you are in the area its a great place for a gift or a leisurely lunch.

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I love the furniture and vintage tins, and have my eye on these little packets of seeds below!

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As an aside, it’s really great to see so many new independent shops and cafes in Penge, as well as interesting events like the SE20 Craft Fair on 7th April. I would love to have been there but will unfortunately be away that week. It sounds really good, and is a 5 minute walk from me! I hope I can make the next one, and perhaps even have a stall there.

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Sunday on Columbia Road

A free Sunday means a stroll down either Brick Lane or Columbia Road. Yesterday, I chose Columbia Road. It’s not especially buggy-friendly, so I left S with his dad and wandered down. It’s amazing how so much bustle and colour can be hidden away until just before you turn the corner into the road itself.

My lovely new shoes!

As I hadn’t been there for a while, I took my time and explored all my favourites. Far Global is a treasure trove of antique pieces from India, including these beautiful turquoise cabinets. They are expensive, but would add amazing character to a room and be a loved heirloom to hand on to the next generation. In fact, I made an enquiry on one and am waiting for an email – I’m thinking it would be perfect for all the craft bits and bobs. It’s a bit smaller in scale to these ones, and has glass doors.

Ryantown, the wonderful Rob Ryan shop didn’t disappoint with lots of beautiful new cut outs and quirky designs. This design almost made me teary:

It’s of a child being comforted by his mother. Somehow (maybe now I’m a mother myself) I found it very poignant.

Next stop was the new (to me anyway) Jessie Chorley shop. She used to have one upstairs, but I think the new shop will get much more footfall and introduce her nostalgic, delicate style to many more people.

That’s me pulling a face in the mirror

As usual the flowers were the biggest draw for most people. People were walking away with armfuls of sunflowers, gladioli, roses and peonies. I love peonies, so brought a bunch home too. I also stopped in at Beyond Fabrics which stocks a great range of fabrics from well known designers e.g. Moda, Alexander Henry, as well as lots of beautiful vintage ribbon reels, and ready made items such as aprons and tea towels. I spotted a blanket by the talented Tree Fall there too.

So if you haven’t been there yet, put Columbia Road down on your To Do list for London, it’s medicine for the jaded urban soul..

Brick Lane Farmer’s Market

A new farmer’s market has just opened a stone’s throw from the house.

It’s at St Matthias School, just off the Bethnal Green Road end of Brick Lane.

The vegetables looked splendid, and were surprisingly inexpensive. And it feels so much better if the money goes straight to the supplier rather than a faceless supermarket chain.

There were lots of tasters there too – delicious bread, cheeses and cakes galore. We bought some goats cheese rolled in garlic and sweet red pepper, and multi seed bread which we had for lunch.

I also wandered back via Cheshire St, and discovered that Shelf were having a big clearout. I got a lovely red bus poster for S’s room, and the most amazing wooden magnetboard (marked down even more than on the site!). I love the twig magnets!

Ella Doran Sample Sale

I do love Ella Doran, and was really excited when I discovered our new home was practically next door.  I did enquire into getting one of her amazing custom roller blinds when we were decorating, but it was just a little over budget! So when I saw there was a sample sale going on, I had to pop in and have a look. The roller blinds are heavily discounted, but a ready made roller blind is quite a specific buy and they didn’t have the right size. They did have this lovely one available though, if anyone else is interested!

I did however pick up a pretty melamine tray, which I do actually need as we only have one fairly heavy one which is awkward to clean.

Lovely isn’t it? These trays are usually 20 pounds, but the seconds are discounted to 10. I can’t see any major faults myself. There are trays, coasters, cups and other random things in the discounted sections too.

Some older poster prints are on sale too between 2 and 5 pounds which is truly amazing, so I got a couple of those too.

and then some coasters which were fairly cheap to give as gifts. I am tempted to keep one set, I must admit.