This morning I was in a quandary. I didn’t know if I should stay in and sew a much-needed cotton summer dress (as you’re probably sick of hearing, the UK is in the midst of a heatwave), or should I pop up to Finsbury Park to have a rummage around a factory sale? Needless to say, the fabric sale won, although I set myself a spend limit because not only do I not need any more fabric, my long-suffering housemate Mr I is threatening to leave if I buy any more. Although just think, then I’d be able to take over his room for my stash…anyway, we trotted off to the sale and I thought I’d just give you a quick rundown of what I bought and my sewing plans for it.

The sale was happening at FC Fabrics, which is the fabric outlet for a fashion college and studio. They have loads of really cool and reasonably priced fabrics, especially knits. We rocked up just after 10am and having been to factory sales before I was a little worried that we might have to join a massive queue, but thankfully it wasn’t too busy at all. Everything was priced at between £2-4 a metre, with jerseys being at the cheaper end. This is unusual, as I tend to find knit fabrics a little more expensive than wovens as a rule.

It’s not a massive sale – just a large-ish room with around 100 bolts of fabric and lots of remnants. This was fine with me as I think anything bigger would have overwhelmed me. Just one note if you’re thinking of going along – the vast majority of the fabrics are synthetic fibres, so this isn’t the place to go if you’re looking for boiled wool or Tana lawn.

The fabric was helpfully sorted by colour, and I grabbed a few jewels. The poor woman on cutting/till duty was a little overwhelmed and there was a fair old wait to have my fabric cut, but her assistant materialised (groanworthy pun – I hate myself) a little later and got things moving.

Here’s my haul and plans for it:

White, grey and emerald sweatshirting/jersey

I plan to use these to make some autumn staple separates. I want to make a Coco (def with a funnel neck for me) with the green and a couple of Agnes tops with the white and grey. I’m a sucker for a puffed sleeve!

Next up was this very 1970s navy, red and cream stripe poly jersey. I’m not sure what to make with this – I’m pondering an Agnes top with some simple elasticated waist wide-leg culottes to make myself a faux jumpsuit? What do you think?

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Having the ‘sensible basics’ box well and truly ticked I went bananas with some crazy and extremely impractical choices.

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I absolutely had to have this yellow floral scuba although I have no idea what I’ll do with it. It’s a large print and I’m small, so although I might like it as an Abi jumpsuit, in reality this would swamp me. I might make it into a Coco dress with the Crafty Pinup’s ruffle sleeve hack, or maybe the Simple Sew Bella dress, which is very similar. What do you think?

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I have to admit that I have no idea what I’ll do with this other red/pink scuba, which looks like a piece of modern art-porn crossed with a dystopian nightmare. It’s a scuba crepe which has a lovely peachskin feel and that digital print is nothing short of stark raving bink bonks. To get an idea of scale, the above image shows around a square metre and the print is so big I didn’t even realise it was lips until I got it home and photographed it. I have two metres, so suggestions on a postcard please!

My final purchase is the one I’m most pleased with. It’s some heavy jade green and black tweed, and cost the princely sum of £8 for two metres (second pic shows the weave). I thought it would be a great fabric to have a crack at making a winter coat with, and at this price it won’t be the end of the world if I cock it up. I’m tempted to make a simple collarless cocoon type coat like this Simplicity 1284 I got free with Sew magazine a while back, but I also love the Simplicity 1197 that Abi made last year. Which is your favourite?

This completes my fabric haul! Only seven items is quite reasonable for me, and I managed to come in well under budget at just £25. I’ll definitely be going back the next time they have a sale, hopefully having achieved some of my sewing goals.

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