Beijing fabric finds

And we’re back from Beijing! 🙂

Steve and I had a fantastic time over there – it’s a surprisingly pretty city, despite the smog, and we went wandering around exploring every day. Lots of fun! I’ll post photos and tell you all a bit more about what we did there once Steve finishes sorting through the hundreds of photos he took. 🙂

But in the meantime, I wanted to show off some fabric that I bought over in Beijing. I did intend to go over there and buy up some silk, but I found the prices were a bit steeper than I expected and, not speaking Chinese, it was quite hard to figure out how to haggle the cost of fabric! So I ended up paying the listed cost in pretty much all cases, since I didn’t have a huge amount of other options. (I’m not even sure if you’re meant to haggle the price of fabric over there – does anyone know?!? Just in case I get to go to China again sometime, it would be good to have the inside scoop beforehand!)

I’m pretty happy with my finds, though. Yes indeed.

First up, the ‘blue’ collection!

Blue fabric collection

I bought both of these pretty blue fabrics from a fabric store that wasn’t far from where we were staying. (Of course, we had to search maps, take the subway and wander the streets for about an hour looking for the place before we discovered it was about 15 mins walk from our accomodation! A good way to find random parts of the city, it turns out. 😉 )

The darker blue with the peacocks and flowers on it is a polyester – not a type of fabric I’d usually buy, but it was so pretty I couldn’t resist! It worked out to be about $10 per metre (I bought 4 metres). I envisage this becoming a pretty 1950’s style dress (no surprises there, right?!).

The lighter blue with the flowers is quite a heavy silk. It’s got gold threads running through it, which adds to the weight. A bit more expensive, it was around $19 per metre (eek!), making it some of the most expensive fabric I’ve ever bought! But as Steve kept telling me, we were in China, so therefore I should buy some silk. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with this lot – due to the cost I only got 2.5 metres, and it’s only 75cm wide. I was originally thinking about making a 1950’s wiggle dress, but with the gold thread I’m not sure when I’d wear it as I suspect I’d feel it was a bit too ‘dressy’ for work. Hmmm. Currently I’m contemplating a pencil skirt instead, but I think I’ll leave it a while and see what it wants to be turned into……

And now, the ‘cartoon’ fabric collection!

Cartoon fabric collection

Both of these came from a little shop we stumbled across on our last day. I think the shop was actually to make made-to-order bedspreads and duvet covers – there were lots of images of duvet and sheet sets tacked up around the walls, and a couple of women wielding sewing machines in the back of the store. But I spotted ultra-cute fabric, so had to go in and have a look! I think we left the shop people shaking their heads over the craziness of foreigners – one of the customers in there spoke a little bit of English and asked what I was going to use the fabric for and they were all a bit taken aback when I said I’d be making dresses! What can I say? I do like me some random dress fabrics, yes indeed.

The top one is a cute lightweight cotton drill, with little Hello Kitty cartoons all over it. So cute! And only about $6 a metre – bargain! I got 4 metres, and I might make a dress out of it. Or, if I decide it’s a bit much for a dress, I’ll be using it as panels in a dress.

The bottom one was a must-have due to the crazy cute print, especially the semi-English-but-doesn’t-really-make-sense text on it. Crazy times! It’s pretty lightweight, so I’m thinking maybe a full skirt if I lined it. I just had to have it because of the print, though. It makes me smile. 🙂 And at just under $5 a metre, why not, eh? 2 metres of happiness went home with me from that bolt of fabric!

I love the way some shops wrap up your purchases in China. They wrapped up my fabric bundle like this:

Fabric bundle

Brown paper and string – how cute is that?! We bought some books while we were there, from the foreign languages bookstore, and they were wrapped up in paper and string as well. So, so awesome. “Brown paper packages, tied up with string…”.

The last fabric I got is this pretty rose-printed stuff:

Rose fabric

It came from a store in the tourist-y part of town, so was kinda expensive ($10 a metre) but it was so pretty I just wanted it. They had just over 2 metres left, so I got the last of it. Hopefully there’ll be enough for a dress, as that’s what it’s crying out to be! (One day, I may branch out from making dresses. They seem to be my ‘thing’ this year, though….)

So there we have it – five lovely lots of fabric, all the way from Beijing! I know I would have spent more than I should have on them, but too bad – they’re all pretty, and since I was on holiday, I was allowed to! And now I can make pretty dresses and be reminded of our China holiday, yay!

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6 responses to “Beijing fabric finds

  1. Hi Kat, pleased you had a great time. The fabrics are great, looking forward to seeing them made up into dresses. I am going to Vietnam in a couple of weeks, and looking forward to fabric shopping – I’m told there is lots to choose from ….. oh dear!!

  2. Ooooo…these are lovely! I would have snatched the peacock fabric up in a minute, too – it is just too fabulous to pass up! I look forward to your fabulous creations 🙂 Glad you had a good trip!

  3. Kat you have to make a 50’s dress out of the Hello Kitty pink, it is my favourite! But then I have a green hello kitty dres (50’s style) too. Which I made as a kind joke and it has become my favourite! Whenever I wear it I get fantastic feedback from randoms in the street!

    If you make a full dress out of it, we will NEED to do a photo shoot!
    I love the peacock too.

  4. I need to find a Hello Kitty Dress – then we could have a Hello Kitty Fashion Shoot.

    Seriously – how rad would that be? I have some ears from when I visited Sanrio Puroland in Tokyo (although they are Kuromi ears not Kitty – but Kuromi is my favourite!)

  5. Pingback: Pink Kitty blouse | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

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