Fabric Market in Utrecht, Netherlands

The one sewing-related thing I needed to do while in the Netherlands was visit the Saturday fabric market in Utrecht. The market runs every Saturday and takes up a road in the town. It’s called the Lapjesmarkt in dutch. I also wanted to get to Kantjes Boord, a lingerie fabric store in Amsterdam, but decided that my suitcase was full of enough fabric and I should save my money for the Baltic sea cruise. I also came across fabric stores in Estonia of locally made linen, but couldn’t see a print that grabbed me. There was wool yarn in Estonia and in Finland as well that was incredibly tempting and I am kicking myself for not grabbing a skein. It was so soft.

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Utrecht is a gorgeous city with canals and a university. Bikes are everywhere in the Europe so you’ll see a ton in my pictures.

Lapjesmarkt was amazing and I brought home just over 25 metres of fabric. It was enough for me.

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The street is lined with covered stalls that sell any type of fabric you can imagine. Cotton lycra was in abundance, as well as quilting cotton, but there was also a bunch of home textiles, leather and suede, silk, denim, etc. There were also vendors that sold zippers, thread, buttons, and other things. Everything I bought was quilting cotton, cotton lycra, or stretch denim. The prices are really decent even with the exchange rate in comparison to what is available for me here in Canada. We do pay a bit of a premium in Canada, but I also haven’t seen a lot of the prints available online in the USA or in store for less.

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Here’s the fabric I bought!

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1.5 metres each of quilting cotton (6 metres total). I got the quilting cotton to make a commemorative quilt for the trip. I plan on making a rag quilt and just need to get some solid colours and the quilt batting.

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2 metres of stretch denim. It is lightweight and will make a perfect shirt dress. It has little deer on it and stars.

I went nuts with the cotton lycra. Here in Canada, we seem to have a lack of good quality cotton lycra. I went nuts with all the choices. Originally, I set myself a budget of 100 euros and, in my excitement, I exceeded that by 80 euros. Ooops!

Here is all the cotton lycra:

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2 metres each of the glasses/bow ties and the fox/squirrels, 1.5 metres each of the feathers, bunnies, and giraffes, 1.4 metres (end of the roll) of the digital cats in crowns, 1 metre each of the pinapples and cherries, 3 metres of the flamingos, 2.3 metres of the jellyfish (end of the roll).

I have plans for Concord t-shirts, a Colette Myrtle maxi dress, Barrie Briefs, and much more. I can’t wait to start sewing.

After fabric shopping, we had breakfast at Cafe de Journal.

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Then unfortunately we had to return to the hotel because I messed up my shoulder carting around the heavy fabric. On the last day of our trip, though, we came back to Utretcht and saw more of the sights. It was a great last day. More on that later and the highlights of the trip. I thought I would post about the wonderful fabric market first since you will be seeing a bunch of this fabric very soon!

 

Thrifty Fabric Shopping

I kept hearing such awesome things about fabric at thrift stores from thrifty sewists. I was pretty skeptical, I have to say. It just seemed like a too good to be true scenario. Some of the people I talked to were also quick to say that sometimes it is good and sometimes it really isn’t. Visiting the stores on a regular basis made a difference for them.

There are two things that really appeal to me about shopping for fabric in thrift stores:

1) Buying thrifted fabric means you are ultimately buying something that could have ended up in a landfill. It’s a green solution.

2) It’s cheaper to buy thrifted fabric. My tendency was already to first shop in bargain sections of fabric stores.

Logically, I had to give this thrifted fabric a try.

I went hoping to find black fabric for a shirt dress to wear with our satin coloured ties at my show, Holodeck Follies. Surprisingly, I found just that. In fact, around 5 yards of just that in a poly blend with a good weight to it for dresses and it was still on the bolt! I didn’t take a picture of the black fabric, because…it’s just black fabric so…nothing much to look at there. But it was FIVE BUCKS!!!! SCORE!

I also scored the following:

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A sweeeeeeet metallic snake skin over a funky nebula-like coloured spandex. 2 yards! It’s going to be a sleeveless, shortened Colette Moneta. $6

 

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Cotton Sheets! White sheets printed with a plain pattern with blue, green, and yellow. I got two sheets, which will make a dress. Not sure what pattern yet, but I’m excited. The cotton is really nice quality.$8 for the two.

 

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Wooooool! It’s WOOL! About 2 yards of it. I’m hoping to get a short coat out of it for fall. It’s burgundy and brown chevrons herringbone. It’s also nice and thick. It came with a tag from the original store that put the price as $58 for 1.7 yards, but I got it for $8!

I spent $30 in total after taxes and am really pleased with the additions to my stash. I’ve decided to head to the thrift store and try out other locations once in a while.

I recommend not just looking at the fabric section, but also looking at curtains, tablecloths, and bed clothes, because they are all sources for fabric. I picked up a pink organza curtain for a show costume a few weeks ago.

There was also a bunch of bags with vintage patterns and sewing notions. Nothing I saw there interested me. The patterns are bundled in fives. It was difficult to see whether any of them would be worthwhile for me, as the ones on the outside were size tens. I am not even close to a size ten! /hugs fat gleefully

There was also thread in some of them, but I was not too keen on purchasing the colours. In the future, I am hoping to see funky vintage buttons. There is an antiques fair on Sundays at St. Lawrence Market in the North Market. There are always vintage buttons for sale there, but the prices are through the roof! They are gorgeous. I will likely get some vintage buttons for my wedding dress once I figure out the whole design/look of it. I’ll tell you more about that in another post. My wedding is just over a year away so I have tons of time to plan plan plan! 😀

In conclusion, I definitely recommend trying some local thrift stores for fabric. It may not be super great for your fabric stash depletion, but it’s definitely a fun experience and you can sometimes get some great finds. I’m lucky enough to have about four thrift stores within a ten minute walk of my house. I’m going to try out another location in a couple of weeks. The caveat to this is that I have to sew things in those two weeks to get my stash down. My boyfriend has also put a hold on me buying patterns until I get through a lot more of the ones I have in my stash. Of course, I might have made that agreement after buying Cake Patterns’s Pavlova… but we’ll not mention that…