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).
they’ve stolen my trademark! The striped top is interesting.
Thanks for flagging this up, ten minutes from Bethnal Green tube would put it in my frequent stomping ground in London. Of course, I will have to remember that I’m on a fabric fast ……..
Thank you for such a lovely review following your recent visit to Fabrications for our eco fabric party with Offset Warehouse! It was such a good night and I enjoyed meeting you & the other CraftStars!
Gail – I established Fabrications in 2000, I wasn’t aware of anyone else offering what I do within the industry and using the name Fabrications. It’s been wonderfull to see changes in attitudes towards sustainable practises and the blossoming craft/ maker community which I am proud to be a part of! X
What a hoot and you are so lucky to have such a cool shop within traveling distance. Love that recycled dress and yes, I can see the pockets and waistband…so chic, no? Tie curtains and Tamara…sure I do remember her too…WOW what a great visit you had! Please make plans to drop in again and share your finding for the rest of us!
That’s a pretty neat dress she is wearing and I love the concept. There was a great shop I shopped at in Montreal as a student many years ago, in which they sold dresses made of recycled garments and linens. I used to have a reversible one made of old bed sheets with yellow flowers. They did not offer workshops, though I do wonder if there is more of a workroom concept here now, too. Interesting piece – I would love to hear more about Barley’s shop in future.
What a cool shop and group of people! Love up-cycling and transforming things into “new” things. It looks like you had a blast Kate! Lovely rosette!
What a good night that must have been!
My daughter lives within throwing distance of this shop (she works at King’s Cross) and now that she is sewing we are likely to visit but we didn’t get there when I was down two weeks ago due to lack of time. Unfortunately (well not for her!) on Friday she is hopefully exchanging contracts on a flat she has bought – yes, they finally made it onto the property ladder! They’re moving further out.
Good luck on the house purchase! I work in Kings Cross too. Maybe I can get her lunch?
I’ll pass on the message. She moves out of her current rented flat this coming weekend come hell or high water – they hope it’s to the new flat. I appreciate your crossed fingers!
I will email her this week.
The move went ahead successfully.