Fabric Shopping Shanghai Style

My family and I just returned from a nine-day trip to Shanghai and Hangzhou and I don’t even have to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed fabric shopping in Shanghai. There were fabrics which I have never seen and at pretty good prices too. That said, I only had time to visit one fabric market! There are probably a few others worth visiting in Shanghai if you have the time. The place I went crazy fabric buying is called the South Bund Soft-Spinning Material Market. It is located at 399 Lujiabang Lu in Puxi.

Here you will find three floors of fabric stores with all of them provide tailoring services to those who do not sew. Due to space constraints, some of the stores display smaller pieces of the fabrics they sell. Once you have placed your order, they will go to their storage which might be 10 minutes away to fetch your order. If the fabric is more pricey, they might request for a partial deposit in case you change your mind before the fabric arrives. For a small fee, your order can also be delivered to your hotel. There were MANY stores selling silk and linen. I bought quite a bit of linen as they were available in an amazing number of hues. While linen is readily available in Singapore, they are usually from Japan and comes in more subtle shades. My purchases include these lovely linen in lime and cherry as well as a black linen piece with embroidery.

The only cotton (excluding cotton jersey) with a slight one way stretch which I could previously find were the stretch cotton sateen I found at Spotlight (like the fabric I used for this dress). These were slightly heavier than ordinary cotton but I loved them for the slight stretch. There was one store at the materials market which sold my dream fabric, stretch cotton! These look and feel more like ordinary cotton and are lighter than sateen. I love them in these plaid/ gingham prints!
Here’s a picture of the store in case you are visiting Shanghai and are interested to give these stretchy cotton a try, just like me.
Located at the ground floor,  it’s store 157. What I really love are these stretchy cotton with a satin like finishing from the same store. The photos do not do the fabric justice as the effect of the finish is not well captured. I bought them in black and lavender but it’s also available in apple green, turquoise and white.
I was also on a look out for wool fabric for my Lady Grey but didn’t find one that I wanted for the coat so I think I might turn my muslin into a wearable coat. Instead, I was attracted to this border print wool fabric which I want to sew into a simple tiny coat someday. The seller couldn’t tell me but I suspect this is a designer fabric.  It is only available at store 238 on the first floor. In fact, there were many unique wool fabric at this store so it is worth checking out!

Also spotted were stores specializing in a wide variety of denim and jersey fabrics. Most store owners speak some English so communication should not be an issue. Besides fabrics, I snapped up elastic laces and buttons at the market.  A happy and satisfied shopper! Just wished I had more muscles and space in my luggage 😛
I almost forgot to mention that I received a hundred spools of threads just before I went on vacation. I’m so blessed as I won a giveaway on Sew Retro sometime back. It’s a good mix of colors that will last me for some time 🙂
In my last post, I mentioned that I would be attempting a Self-Stitched Shanghai vacation. I am in the process of sorting out the photos and will do an update soon. Meanwhile, I am gonna start on my Lady Grey. I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t complete that before my trip with all that packing but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Shanghai’s weather was very mild so I wouldn’t have needed it anyways.
I hope you have all been well! I have missed blogging, sewing and responding to comments for the past two weeks so I’m gonna start getting my sewing groove back!
Have a blessed week everyone!

Holiday Wardrobe Project

I am planning a simple holiday wardrobe for my trip to Shanghai in October. Yes! Shanghai!  Can you imagine me going crazy at the fabric markets!!! I am going nuts just thinking about it LOL! If you have shopped there, I welcome tips, recommendations and any information 🙂

From now till end September, I wanna sew a few essential pieces to squeeze into a luggage I am sharing with my hubby and kids. With kids around, we always try to travel as light as possible.

I figured layering is the way to go. The weather has become temperamental. It was just 40 degrees Celsius (typically, it should be 30) in Shanghai a few days ago and by past years’ records, typical weather in October should be 15 to 22 degrees Celsius. My plan is to sew my first fall coat, first cardigan, first pair of jeans and to create a few coordinating knit pieces to bring along. At the same time, I am hoping that all these pieces will be versatile enough to be wore back home.

1) My first coat

I am gonna tackle the coat first. I have the Butterick 5295 sewing pattern but I am constrained by my stash busting effort to sew this-Insufficient yardage. Major major bummer! So, this pattern has got to wait.

I considered some coat sewing patterns on burdastyle where I chanced upon my dream coat named Alden.

This looks so retro. I love the back details! But alas, I still have a fabric constrain issue. I relooked at my stash and reluctantly let this go. It shall be made for my next fall holiday. It has been raining so much in Singapore, I just might get to wear this here if I use a waterproof material.  I convinced myself that Alden has got to wait. Stash busting is my priority at this point. That’s when I met Esther and got totally inspired by this lovely cosy version made of woven and knit fabric by Kitzler. I checked the yardage required and am a happy woman! By mixing knit and woven, i have enough to get this going! What an ingenious idea! Thank you Kitzler!

2) My first cardigan

I fell in love with this long cardi from Japanese sewing book ‘Les couleurs francaises’ but never thought I would actually make it.

The good news-I have the fabric for this in green! The bad news- the pattern is not provided. But, they did provide pattern for a shorter similar version (image below) and the sew gutsy in me said I’m not gonna let the lack of pattern get the better of me. I shall modify this to create a slightly longer cardi.

3) My first jeans

I am still tossed between making jeans from Wendy Mullin’s Sew U pants pattern and a high-waisted pair from burdastyle’s bella pattern. Afterall, the shorts version is so comfortable. The only certainty is I’m making this pair of jeans out of the only denim fabric in my stash, in Indigo.

Here’s what bella jeans look like. I love this pair by the Cupcake Goddess.

But, I am equally smitten with this Sew U pair by Le Printemps Jolie

What do you think? Bella or Sew U jeans?

4) Twinkle Sew Tops

These two tops from Wenlan Chia’s Twinkle Sew caught my eyes when I was going through my sewing patterns and I hope to create them in cotton jersey fabric from my stash. I have heard issues with printing out the CD Rom patterns but would still love to give them a try.

This project is going to be challenging. I have only sewn knit fabric twice.  Knit fabric. First Jeans. First Coat, First Cardigan. I’m ready.