Bemberg Lining: The Italian connection

Tuesday, June 23

It is an acknowledged fact that sewing is enjoying a revival in the UK, largely thanks to the Great British Sewing Bee. This has in turn led to the revival in fortunes of various sewing machine vendors, and the proliferation of many sewing related businesses. I feel everyday on the blogosphere there is a post about a new online fabric shop, or independent pattern company. Thats all well and good. The more new companies that come up, the more choice we as consumers enjoy. There is a limit to this resurgence though. Have you ever tried to find good quality lining in the UK? Don't get me wrong, we do have good quality lining, but just not at a budget friendly price. Not at the prices enjoyed by those Americans. They who seem to have everything.

Most of what is readily available here in the UK is regular anti static lining fabric, which does not inspire. Our cousins over in the US wax lyrical all the time about Bemberg rayon lining. A snoop around the Mood website revealed it was being sold at $6.99/yard. Back home, you can find the same thing here for £12.90/m, or here for £11.94/m . MacCulloch and Wallis also sell a version of this called Bremsilk at £11/m. I have for a long time now been on the lookout for this lining at a more affordable price but my forays into the Goldhawk road shops were largely unsuccessful. No one knew what I was talking about.

Fortunately, I recently fell across a post by Sylvia from the Sewing Princess blog, on Italian fabric shops. A couple of them had user friendly websites in English and I spent some time going through each of them. And what do you know, I came across the Pinotti website, and its massive collection of cupro bemberg linings, and other type of linings.

So I got out my calculator, did some maths and ordered 25 metres of white lining, because I could always dye it to any colour.  They have a fixed postage rate to the UK and other parts of Europe of €21,90. So with delivery and tax, it came down to €5.82/m (£4.13/m). Tidy!!

The delivery was by DHL and took a couple of days mainly because they sent me an email about wanting my phone number for communication purposes, and I did not see the message on time. As soon as I sent my number, my parcel was dispatched the same day. Plus they wrote to me in English. All in all, the service was really good.

Have you been using this lining here in the UK? If yes, where do you normally buy it from?

Work in Progress: Sewing Room

Monday, May 25

Ever since we moved from London to Northampton last year, I have been looking forward to the day when I would finally sew something in my sewing room. I can't remember if I mentioned this before, but the house we bought had a double length garage, and the old owners converted part of it into a bar, with a proper pub setting. My husband fell in love with the house, I suspect, because he had visions of doing the same thing when we moved in. Unfortunately for him, and since I am awesome, I managed to convince him the room would be better used as my woman cave.

It has taken 9 months, but the sewing room is finally in a state to be used. It is by no means finished, but the foundation has been laid. So here are a few pics of said sewing room.

Machines all laid out on sewing table, next to one of the two bookcases housing my sewing books and magazines.

The husband made a cutting table by doing an Ikea hack using 12 Lack side tables. I totally decided to do this after Mela posted a picture on instagram of her husband and father in law building one for her.

All the fabric I own found a home in an old Ikea wardrobe we had in our old room in London.

And here is the man of the hour with his tools.

My Babylock Enlighten overlocker is giving me life at the moment.

Same goes for this bad boy I won on ebay. The auction was for 213 spools of sew-all thread along with the display case. The person selling them was closing down her business I think. I feel like a proper dressmaker looking at this baby.

There is still some work left especially with my pattern storage. I plan on buying a filling cabinet from an office supply shop to store my patterns, and I also need to find solutions for all my other notions. The space behind my sewing machines is crying out for something. I originally intended to use pegboards there but those things are so scarce here in the UK. I saw a few places selling them for more than I am willing to pay, so I have to rethink that.

I also need to buy a new iron, and think of a way to have a pressing station . For now, all my pressing tools and rulers have been placed under my cutting table. I also need a few wall shelves and wall art. Slowly but surely, I will get there.

How do you organise your sewing notions?

In other news, I spent last saturday at the Millenium Hotel in Mayfair, London, having afternoon tea with a couple of my friends, for my baby shower. My friend and I decided to do a joint baby shower as we are due a week apart. I am currently 34 weeks preggers, and I feel it.

 I totally deserved that glass of champers. Its been a long 34 weeks.

What have you all been up to? Anyone working on a sewing room makeover?