Wednesday 16 November 2016

Fabric shopping in Barcelona, tourist edition

When I was planning our trip to Barcelona I did some research on the whereabouts of the local fabric shops. Don't you agree fabric makes the best holiday souvenir? Much to my surprise it was harder than I expected to locate the shops. Some broken links on Artisan's Square and bloggers mentioning a severe lack of fabric shops in Barcelona didn't bring me any closer. Eventually I found a small lead on the blog of Barcelona based designer Paco Peralta and took it from there. Some google sessions later I had four fabric shops marked on my tourist map. Best news: three of them were on the same street!

This triple fabric shop bingo can be found on Carrer Roger de Lluria, a small street in L'Eixample district, only a few blocks away from Placa de Catalunya. Not hard to find, but also easy to miss if you don't know where to look. We took a detour through the little street when we were walking from Sagrada Familia towards our hotel in the city center. It's rather close to Gaudi's Casa Mila, in case you need to deposit a travel companion at a nearby tourist attraction first ;)

La Casa del Retall - Teixits, 
Carrer Roger de Lluria 9

A small shop, selling lots of knits. A quick scan of the collection showed a lot of fabrics I can easily buy at home. I even discovered the same floral print I was wearing, albeit in a muted olive green colourway. Reasonably priced fabrics for every day wear.

Ribes & Casals
Carrer Roger de Lluria 7

Next door: Ribes & Casals. A very large fabric shop, selling all kinds of fabrics from quilting cotton to silk, lace and suiting. The top picture of this post was also taken here.
While I looked around Mr Foxgloves, who is not a frequent visitor of Dutch fabric shops (to put it mildly) was photographing like crazy. Apparently he's attracted to texture: lace, feathers, faux fur and tweed.

I was tempted by the silk section but most fabrics were either too warm or had too much contrast for my colouring. Ribes & Casals has a large bargain basement which also houses the home decoration and haberdashery department.

Donna Teixits
Carrer Roger de Lluria 6

Across the street is another fabric shop with a deceptively small store front. I found this shop the most interesting one of the three. A section of bridal and evening wear fabrics with beautiful guipure lace, silk dupioni and sequins. The back of the very deep store houses a section of special fabrics for fancy costumes and FC Barcelona home decor fabrics for soccer fans. Only one picture taken at Donna Teixits, as the attention span of my photographer started to fade...

Speaking of fading. As much as I liked the print, you can see why it was a big no as it made me look tired and washed out even during a very relaxed and sunny holiday!

In the end all I bought were some notions, and of course the latest issue of pattern magazine Patrones which can be found in most newsstands, together with the Spanish edition of Burda Style. It's a coat special with coats in the style of Ralph Lauren, Karen Millen, Pepe Jeans and Prada.

The fourth shop on my list was closed when we passed by during a late night walk but if you're interested in Japanese fabrics or organic cotton Nunoya on Carrer de Trafalgar 14 is the place to be!

While this list is by no means a complete overview I hope it can be helpful for future fabric loving Barcelona visitors!

Friday 11 November 2016

Concord tee goes Barcelona, part 2

You can take a girl out of her garden, but you can't take the gardener out of the girl.
Touch all the plants, sew all floral fabrics!

By now you'll all recognise this pattern, it's Concord tee #6. Thanks to mr Foxgloves I finally have a decent picture of the back.

The fabric is a dark blue cotton/rayon jersey,  a bit less stretchy than the fabric I used for my previous shirt. As a result the neckline ended up slightly higher. I opted for 7/8 length sleeves to balance the busy print.
You can spot some pooling at my back. I don't think this indicates the need for a sway back adjustment, my other Concords are perfectly fine. It's more likely caused by a less forgiving fabric or being (temporarily?) too tight at the high hip. Guess that's where all the tapas, sangria and palmera cookies went.

There's nothing to tell about fitting and construction that I didn't already mention hereherehere or here so I'll leave you with some Barcelona action pictures of my new shirt.

Outside Gaudi's Sagrada Familia:

Inside the breathtaking masterpiece:

In my natural habitat:

And drinking sangria at the beautiful Placa Reial:

When we returned to our hotel I found my Concord tee nightie stylishly draped on the bed. That night I dreamt about imaginary tiny waistlines ;)

Next: Barcelona fabric shopping adventures!

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Concord tee goes Barcelona, part 1

¡Hola, I made another Cashmerette Concord tee! It's my fifth version of the pattern so I can't blame you if you're getting bored, but hey, there's sangria, music and pretty pictures of Barcelona too!

I used a viscose knit fabric, changed the sleeves to full length and hand stitched all hems. I don't like the look of twin needle or coverstitch finishes and although it takes a little longer I like the invisible hems on this shirt. I redid the neckband, as I initially thought it would be nice to have the white stripe on top. It just didn't look right, the rhythm of the stripes looked a bit off. Next time I'll check the look before stitching, ughh!

Using 4-way stretch fabric definitely influenced the fit at the shoulders. Or maybe it was the bag full of tourist essentials I was dragging along, but the left shoulder looks slightly dropped in the top picture.

Window shopping at the Passeig de Gracia. I guess you are all zooming in now to see that jacket behind me. I know I would!

Isn't it gorgeous? Sleeve perfection. Sigh.
But I digress, as we were heading towards the famous Casa Batllo.

Later that day, in the stunning surroundings of Museu Picasso, my stripes felt like an appropriate neutral amidst all vibrant colours. It was such an impressive visit!

Clingy fabric and horizontal stripes are not my best look, so I always envisioned this shirt as a layering piece. (I'm wearing it right now, with a black jacket and bright red shoes and accessories)
Luckily the temperatures in Barcelona were much higher than we expected so jackets and cardigans didn't get much wear. Oh well, who cares about clingy tees. Not me after some sangria!

White sangria with lemon and oranges, divine!
And of course 4-way stretch means plenty of room for tapas.

If you're ever in Barcelona and have the chance to go to a concert in Palau de la Musica Catalana, don't hesitate! It's a beautifully decorated concert hall, designed in Catalan modernism style and built between 1905 and 1908. 

The most beautiful venue for a concert of the Maestros de la Guitarra:

To be continued....