Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Fabric Finds in Barcelona

Now ............. a delightful fabric find in Spain.  It's not just for beach holidays!

After five days in the cloud, wind and small amount of sunshine on the Costa Brava we spent the final two days of our spring break in Barcelona.  Tourist sites ticked off it was time to find couple of the gems this city has to offer to a sewing fanatic.

Although Las Ramblas is great for strolling and people watching and yes, you have to marvel at Gaudi's unfinished Sagrada Familia, it was the fabric shop finds that got me reeling like I'd stumbled across Aladdin's Cave.  Stumbled not really being the right word as the plan was to find them beforehand,  and it took a bit of head scratching and map peering, and more than little footwork to find these gems.

 I had read via The Sewing Forum and Sewing in Athens blog the location of the fabric stores in the city and (heaven) there were three all in one short street!  The easiest way to find these wondrous retailers is to take the Metro to Urquinaona where the Street Caerrer de Roger de Lluria is just north of the Metro stop.  You can see directions on the Google Map here.  The shops are clustered in a small area near the metro end of the street and very easy to find.

Kicking off with an explosion of colour with all types of fabric on offer was Ribes y Casals with an eyewatering amount of bolts and rolls.  There were some great bargains to be had and, indeed, I had some.  Purchases included soft jeans fabric as one of my post Me Made May promises to myself was to make a pair of jeans and the perfect fabric in the form of a soft pale demin was on offer here.  Others amongst the haul included some soft multi coloured georgette for a top, a beautiful polyester silky fabric in pale blue with a "paintsplash" pattern, some striped jersey, 30 cms of soft lilac with tiny sequins to mix with some (as yet unfound) jersey for a tee and some wool suiting in a dark grey check to make some trousers that actually fit me as shop bought never fit at the waist and hip at the same time.

Fortunately for me, with my limited Spanish, a lady in the store that speaks English was dispatched to help me with my purchases.  She explained how many of the fabrics were on sale and I managed a purchase of 6 pieces for just over 50 euros.

By this time Mr P was tiring of waiting in the sun so I helpfully directed him to an establishment called Casa Alfonso just across the street for a refreshing beverage. This place is very worth a mention, if not only for your long-suffering other non-sewing half  to relax as it's one of the best little cafe bars Barcelona has to offer.  In my case it was a mid-shopping glass of wine stop off as I recharged my batteries ready for part two of my fabric shopping expedition.  I also highly recommend the chocolate cake!

Look! They even had a table made from a vintage Singer treadle machine!

A large selection of charcuterie is on offer in case you fancy a snack, or a little non-sewing related something to take home.
Anyway, back to the important stuff!  Fortified with cake I meandered on to the second shop, conveniently next door to Casa Alfonso, Donna Teixits.  

This shop was smaller than Ribes y Casals, but every bit as worthwhile a visit. As you can see there is a huge choice and shown here are a variety of mainly poly cottons.  Hmmm, this took some time, especially as the shop was busy in any event.  

Here's some of the goodies I managed to bag to increase my stash.  Included were some soft baby blue cord for 3/4 trousers, grey poly cotton with hearts - soooo cute - as yet undecided on it's construction, some grey cotton satin (not shown but in the making and soon to be blogged) and 3 metres of fabulous monochrome glasses/moustache/hat print (I'm salivating at the thought of a 50s style dress already!)  Mr P also picked out some blue check poly cotton for a shirt - he definitely earned that one and I really must make him something soon for being so patient.

There was also another shop a little further up the road but, after two hours and 100 euros, I thought I best call it a day!  Maybe I'll check it out on a return visit one day - or maybe someone else can check it out and blog about it.  I think it's called Teixits y Retalls.

Anyway, enough fabric shopping for now, if ever that's possible, and I'll leave you with a pic of a quirky building somewhere between Placa de Cataluñya and Urquinaona.  I felt I was being watched as I passed by.

I'd love to hear about any fabric finds you've made abroad and tips for increasing your fabric collection. 

Happy Sewing

Linda x


  1. Hello Linda, thank you for this post - I'd love to visit Barcelona one day :) Ohh... and you have chosen many pretty fabrics, I especially love the grey poly cotton with small hearts. Can not wait to see it in pretty garment :)

    1. Hi Hana. Barcelona is well worth the visit and for such a long trip for you it really would be good to visit London too, although you may end up having to post fabric back to your home address!! The grey poly cotton is cute isn't it - I' haven't decided what to do with it but, of course, it will be blogged once it's made up.