After the success of the outer-suburb Craft Crawl, and after letting out pocketbooks recover from it, the lovely ladies of the Wellington Sewing Bloggers and I convened to do the CBD half of the Craft & Textile Lover’s Guide to Wellington as a Craft Crawl.
This one was quite fun because it really was a crawl (well, a stroll) – you can visit every one of the delicious crafty shops in central Wellington in one easy walk.
The craft crawl started out with just myself, Gemma of 66 Stitches (who writes exactly like she talks – and it’s adorable and always makes me smile! You have to imagine it in a very strong but quite attractive Aussie accent) and Juliet of Crazy Gypsy Chronicles (who keeps the sewing awesomeness of the WSB going in Palmy). At Stop 2 we were joined by Zara of Off-Grid Chic (Yay! A repeat from CC Part 1) and on stop 5 we picked up Sophie-Lee of Pins & Noodles (who manages to be a doctor and a talented seamstress – talk about overachieving!). Plus, we got to see two more bloggers at their shops!
We started downtown, right off Lambton Quay, at Arthur Toye fabrics, which isn’t properly on the Craft Guide, and which is shutting down in early 2014 (boo). I bought some bunny fabric (it has bunnies on it!), but didn’t take photos as it wasn’t an official stop. After Arthur Toye’s we headed downstairs to:
Stop #1: #13 on The Craft and Textile Lovers Guide to Wellington: Sherezad Silks, which is downstairs in the BNZ Centre off Willis St.
Swoon. Just swoon. Really! The problem with Sherezade is that I want to buy EVERYTHING so much that I can’t just choose one! Juliet had no such problem though. She wanted that red and gold jacquard!
And possibly these ostrich feathers:
I think I’ve narrowed down my desperate wanting of everything in the shop to particularly desperately wanting two fabrics, this large scale yellow and gold bizarre silk, or that glorious pale ivory-gold jacquard. But I can’t afford both, so I’m going to have to decide…
Unfortunately, I’m going to have to decide quickly as we found out that Sherezade is shutting up its physical shop early next year! Oh no!
Sales are nice, but it’s gutting to be loosing another wonderful craft shop. There are three shutting this year: Arthur Toyes, The Asia Gallery, and Sherezad. I think it’s been really hard for shops in the economic climate, especially with the earthquakes. Wherever you are, if you love your local craft stores, now is really the time to show them and support them as much as possible!
After mourning the looming loss of Sherezad, we headed a few streets over to:
Stop #2: #8 on The Craft and Textile Lovers Guide to Wellington: Made It, 103 Victoria St.
Made it is pretty much crafters heaven, because it’s full of gorgeous crafty things that someone else already made – so you get all the handmade yumminess without any of the frustration or guilt over how long it sat in your stash! And best of all, it’s part owned by one of the WSB herself: Elisabeth of The Sewphist!
At the shop Zara & Juliet drooled over jewellery, and books, and cards, and pretty much everything:
Juliet made faces at things she didn’t like:
And Gemma and I did Christmas shopping, and then Elisabeth took the official Craft Crawl picture for us (and I’m wearing the Bad Plaid dress!)
Next, it was just up Cuba Mall to:
Stop #3: #7 on The Craft and Textile Lovers Guide to Wellington: Knit World, Shop 210b Left Bank, Cuba Mall
Knitting and crocheting are hobbies I dare not take up because I don’t have enough space to have another stash, but oh, do I yearn for warm hand-knitted jumpers and pretty lacy scarves! I walked around Knit World picking up the yarn and cooing at it.
Even for a strictly-sewing girl like me, there is plenty to love and buy at Knit World, from sewing machines:
To totally adorable buttons:
Look! There are hedgehogs! And scottie dogs! And bunnies! And sheep showing their bottoms!
With our crawl halfway done, it was time to stop for lunch. We chose Midnight Expresso, for their comfy booths, chilled music, and delicious food which covered all the necessary dietary requirements.
Distracted by food, I had a brain blip and completely forgot to take us to what was supposed to be:
Stop #4: #4 on The Craft and Textile Lovers Guide to Wellington: Fabrics Direct, 97 Ghuznee St
I’ll be making it a point to stop in over the next few weeks, as Fabrics Direct does have some gorgeous fabrics!
Since we skipped it we headed straight on to:
Stop #5: #5 on The Craft and Textile Lovers Guide to Wellington: The Fabric Store, 15 Garrett St
The Fabric Store was particularly exciting, as we all had sale vouchers from being on their mailing list. Sophie-Lee bought trouser fabric, as did I (I’m making Wearing History’s Smooth Sailing trousers). Juliet was after the perfect broderie anglaise. Zara bought the most amazing zebra print fabric (with actual zebras on it) and the most glorious floral which I would never be able to wear.
And we all sighed and touched and petted everything else.
And then we got a bit silly and ‘curated’ an assemblage of leopard print fabrics with the idea that each WSB should pick one to make an item out of as a challenge:
Individually each of these fabrics is quite lovely, or at least unoffensive, and they don’t look too bad as a group, but in real life, together, they clash hideously. Gemma shrieked with laughter when she saw our grouping!
Stop #6: #10 on The Craft and Textile Lovers Guide to Wellington: Minerva Textile Books & Gallery, 237 Cuba St
Minerva was literally so glorious and distracting that I forgot to take photos. I was just overwhelmed by the textiles, and cards, and journals, and books. Oh…the books! Every decadent sewing and textile book you could dream of, from edge modern sewing, through textile history, and guides to every sewing and craft from knitting to Hawaiian quilting.
I was just so delighted I couldn’t get my camera out! I’ll have to go back and get you photos though!
Lucky last, and lucky #7, is
Stop #7: #19 on The Craft and Textile Lovers Guide to Wellington: Made on Marion, Marion St
We squealed over pom-poms and boutique quilting fabric, and stocked up on zips and needles and interfacing and other indispensables to finish all of the garments we were going to make with the fabrics we had just bought.
Then we collapsed on to the welcoming couches for tea and cookies, and to admire the lampshades that Maryanne’s lampshade class were just finishing.
Another wonderfully successful day! We’re so lucky to have so many great craft and textile stores in our area. Touring them is a must-do for the craftily inclined who visit Wellington!
How many craft or textile shops do you think you have within an hours drive of where you are? Have you ever tried to tour them all?