How could I not fall in love with a shop called Fabrications?
It is not easy to get to. I had to take two buses from work (Kings Cross). It is a ten minute plus walk to the tube station at Bethnal Green. The nearest railway link is London Fields. If you go to Woolcrest it is in walking distance.
The philosophy of the owner-designer-maker Barley Massey is essentially about upcycling. For her upcycling is recycling plus. She explains:
For me upcycling is not only the process of transforming, giving new life, stories and meanings to waste materials but I see this resourceful approach as a framework to do more with less and to action positive social and environmental changes within ourselves, locally and globally
Fabrications has just started stocking ethical fabrics, which is how I discovered it. Calling itself a “mini department store” it also stocks
- glorious yarns and knitting equipment (including giant needles)
- kits, toys, cards and presents
- sewing machines and patterns
- stylish upcycled clothes
- household goods such as cushions
- downstairs there is a craft room where a wide range of courses are laid on, taught by Barley and a range of other talented women.
When I arrived Barley was wearing beautiful embroidered jeans. Within minutes she had changed into a lovely upcycled dress made from a pair of men’s trousers. The waist band worked beautifully as a stand up collar. You may be able to see the pockets on the back shoulders. In between is recycled tie fabric, tied in a big bow. She is wearing a black T shirt underneath but she said this was an oversight. You can see the upcycled tie curtains and tiles in the kitchen area.
I joined a brief workshop on how to make a rosette. Not only did I make a rosette (well two actually), I also sat next to Tamara Melvin who is also strongly committed to recyling. You may remember her face from the Great British Sewing Bee (series 2).