European Insider Top Tips

This section of my blog isn’t a fully comprehensive list of all that is available in Europe, just some pointers from the European high street and some online sources based here in Europe. 

I hope that this section is useful for you and you share my passion for European goods! 

Fabric Sources

Munich Fabric Start, Munich, Germany – A twice yearly International Fabric Trade Fair for the fashion industry held in Munich, Germany. Entrance open to registered businesses connected to fabric retail or the fashion industry only. See www.munichfabricstart.com for more information. Website available in English and German.

Hollander Stoff Markts, Germany – inspired by the fabric markets popular in Holland, these open-air markets are usually held over the weekend in various cities throughout Germany – each one is held on one day in one city and then it moves to the next town.  The markets are big events and the vendors are a mix of German and Dutch although many speak English if necessary.  They are very popular and well-attended and there are usually many bargains to be had.  All sorts of fabrics and patterns and sewing supplies are on sale at varying prices and qualities.  Details of the dates of upcoming markets can be found on www.stoffmarktholland.de. The new spring 2014 programmes starts on March 1st 2014 in Oberhausen. You can see examples of fabrics I’ve bought from these markets here, here, here and here.

La Droguerie, France – a French craft store with branches in several cities throughout France.  Sells craft supplies including fabric, sewing patterns for the family produced in-house, knitting patterns and yarn, trimmings and jewelry and bag making patterns and supplies.  Not a cheap shop but a great one-stop shop for a wealth of crafting supplies.  They have a website –  http://www.ladroguerie.com for more info and an online shop, only available in French .  In-store I’ve found the staff to be helpful and some do speak English.

Tissage Gander, Alsace – Perhaps the last family-run weaving company in Alsace, France making kelsch fabric, the traditional fabric of the region still woven in the same way that it has been being produced for hundreds of years. Has a website for more info but no online shop http://www.tissage-gander.fr.  Has factory shop around the corner from the weaving mill and the family running the business are extremely friendly and helpful and can speak a bit of English. You can read my review about them here.

France Duval-Stalla – French fabric company selling many ‘Made in France’ fabrics and also a selection of organic fabrics.  Can buy online from website http://www.franceduvalstalla.com and website available in English. You can see an example of their fabrics here.

Lebenskleidung.de – Berlin based shop and online shop selling organic woven and jersey fabrics.  Winner of Global Sustainable Fashion Award for Product Sourcing 2013. Their website is available in English and German and I believe that they ship worldwide. The only catch with buying fabric from them is, you have to buy a minimum of five metres of almost everything they stock.  They do have a vast selection of organic woven and jersey materials though and the online shop http://www.lebenskleidung.com is being run by a youthful and enthusiastic team and my dealings with them have been very positive.  I first met them at Munich Fabric Start, a fabric trade fair for the fashion industry held in Munich, Germany twice a year.  It is also possible to buy their fabric at Dawanda.de, an online marketplace that is the German version of Etsy.com. You can my see my use of their fabrics here, here, here, here, here and here.

Anita Pavani Stoffe – This is one of my main sources of quality and Italian designer fabrics. They have an extremely wide selection of and specialise in natural fabrics such as linen, cotton, wool and silk. The website http://www.naturstoff.de is available in German and English and they also offer a registered company discount. Samples can be ordered of all fabrics although you may be charged a nominal fee for some of them. Shipping available worldwide. You can see my love of their fabrics here, here, here, here, here, herehere and here.

Shaukat, London – This is my ‘go-to’ source of Liberty of London Art Fabrics. They offer the Liberty tana lawn cotton printed fabrics at a very competitive price. Shipping worldwide. http://www.shaukat.co.uk. I heart Liberty prints and you can see examples of things I made from them here, here, here and here.

Patterns 

Citronille Patterns – a French independent sewing and knitting pattern and supplies company.  Sewing patterns for children and women and teenagers as well as children’s fancy dress.  Also stockist of yarn and knitting patterns. Some patterns have English instructions although the majority are in French.  Online shop http://www.citronille.fr with worldwide shipping. You can see Citronille customer photos and reviews of their patterns at http://fancitronille.canalblog.com. You can see my review of one of their patterns here.

Minikrea Patterns – an independent Danish children’s sewing pattern company. Patterns available in Danish but English translations available to print out from www.minikrea.dk. Offer many children’s basic patterns such as leggings and t-shirts with many optional pattern pieces to customise and adapt the designs. You can read my review of one of their patterns here and here.

BurdaStyle Magazines – German monthly magazine with multi-size pattern pullouts available globally in many languages. You can see reviews of my BurdaStyle makes here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Website available in English http://www.burdastyle.com.

Retail 

I’m not a follower of fashion, but I do enjoy browsing local brands and finding inspiration and details that I can use in my makes. I have therefore also included some of my favourite retail outlets. When possible, I favour brands that are still made here in Europe and adhere to sustainable business practices.

A.P.C. Online Shop – French fashion store for adults in Paris with online shop.  Clean and simple designs with a big dose of Parisian chic.  Certainly not cheap but inspirational for self-made wardrobes.

Zadig and Voltaire, France – 

Sessun, France – 

Marc O’Polo, Germany – 

John Smedley Knitwear – Historical heritage British brand of knitwear in Merino wool and Sea Island Cotton.  I wrote more about them here.

Finkid – Finnish children’s and women’s brand designed for the outdoors and action. Great Scandanavian styling. http://www.finkid.de also available at http://www.zalando.co.uk

Collegien, France – Slipper socks Made in France. Online shop available in English and has worldwide shipping. See my review of them here. http://en.collegien-shop.com

 

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