Budapest Fabric Shopping

I was recently lucky enough to spend a few days in Budapest and as well as sight seeing – there are some great things to see including Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion and Heroes’ Square to name but a few – I took the opportunity to do a little fabric shopping.

Is it just me who always googles fabric shops when I am visiting a new city? I somehow doubt it. My quick internet search came up with one particular shop that I wanted to visit which is called Máthé Textil Zrt and if you only have time to visit one then this is the one I would recommend. The shop sits on the corner of 2 busy roads and from the outside could easily be mistaken for a costume shop rather than a fabric shop but when you step through the main doors it is a little like stepping back in time.

Máthé Textil Zrt Budapest, Baross tér 4-5, 1087 Hungary

The shop is set out over 2 floors and looks luxurious with dark wood throughout from the cutting tables to the shelves and also the staircase which dominants the centre of the ground floor and splits into 2 directions for the 2nd floor.

The best comparison I can give is like stepping into an old fashioned library but the shelves are stacked with fabric instead of books. There is a very good selection and all of it is easily accessible so that you can take a good look and feel it. My words really can’t do justice you really do need to go and see it for yourself. Even if you don’t want to purchase fabric it is worth a visit just to take in the splendour of the place. Price wise there is something to suit all budgets and fabrics range from cotton to jersey, wool, lycra, fake fur and more so there is a good choice. I purchased 3 pieces of fabric:

The first fabric was my husband’s choice and he wants me to make him a shirt (I made hime a couple last year using the pattern the ‘The Gentleman’s Wardrobe’ book) – it is a cotton fabric and is about 150cm wide, it feels good quality and worked out at what I think is a very reasonable £4.52 per metre.

Likewise I chose another cotton of the same width for myself – I have had 2 metres of this and again it was £4.52 per metre. I currently have absolutely no idea what to make with it? (please hit me with some suggestions) but it is a little unusual and I don’t think I would find similar back home so I couldn’t resist.

After coming away I realised that I hadn’t taken any photos of the interior – I got too carried away with stroking all the fabric. I actually went back on our final day to take photos and came away with some chambray, this worked out at £9.33 per metre which I think was reasonable, I already have some very similar fabric in a different colourway which I paid more for. I plan to make a simple shift dress for the summer.

The other shop I purchased something from was at the other end of the main town and is called Fortuna Méteráru Bolt, this was a smaller shop which seemed to be mostly jersey fabrics and I bought just enough of this pink textured jersey to make a Tilly and the Buttons Nora Sweater.

Fortuna Méteráru Bolt Budapest, Váci út 10, 1132 Hungary

The rest of the shops we pretty much stumbled across whilst roaming around the streets and I am pretty sure there are far more than the ones I will mention below:

Méteráru Kis Méteráru Budapest, Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út 23, 1065 Hungary

This shop is along the main road that runs through the city and is definitely high end. We went in for a browse, but when the assistant started getting down bolts of Dolce Gabbana Silk to show me I realised that the fabrics on offer would be way out of my budget. Don’t get me wrong the 2 members of staff where lovely and the fabrics were beautiful and obviously very high quality. I just felt a little intimidated by the fact that nothing was likely to be in my price range.

Kezimunka Mesebolt Budapest, Üllői út 16b, 1085 Hungary

This was a small fabric shop that we passed every day on our way from our hotel (Hotel City Inn) to the main town. The shop sells mostly cotton as well as haberdashery and embroidery kits.

Hobbymuvesz Budapest Üllői út 32, 1085 Hungary

Again this was along the same road as the one mentioned above and is very much like a Hobbycraft type of shop. Most of the fabric appeared to be cotton, they also had a good selection of fat quarters.

I Love Textil Budapest, Teréz krt. 3, 1067 Hungary

This was a budget fabric shop with mostly cotton and jersey starting at around £1.00 per metre.

Torok lakastextil Kft. Toro Budapest, Király u. 70, 1068 Hungary

We passed this shop when my husband was looking for a vinyl record shop. I didn’t go in but looking through the window it appeared to be more home textile fabrics for cushions, curtains and such.

I am fairly certain that there are several others that I didn’t come across this time, google maps definitely seems to suggest this. I think I will have to save those for my next visit.

I hope you find this list useful if you are planning a trip to Budapest and please leave a comment below if you have previously visited and know of any other shops that are worth a visit.


Breaking the Pattern – Ruska Knot Dress

Like many others I was lucky enough to receive the ‘Breaking the Pattern’ book by Named Clothing for Christmas. The book is beautifully photographed and I particularly like the fact that each pattern consists of several different design styles.

First on my list to sew was the Ruska Knot Dress. The pattern pieces are all printed out on good quality paper and tucked away in the back of the book. It was initially my intention to trace the pattern but I will say I did get a little confused when doing this. The front of the dress (labelled 5A) is in 2 sections and from my point of view it really wasn’t clear how they join together? I was left somewhat scratching my head over this but then discovered that you can download the pdf files from the Named Clothing website. I decided to do this and then taped together the 58 pieces ( pdfs really aren’t as bad as I used to think).

Once this was done I really couldn’t understand why the pieces printed in the back of the book look so tricky to join? It is really a straight forward design I think I must have been having a senior moment!

I worked with the pattern pieces for my body measurements so this meant size 3 for my bust grading up to a 5 for the waist and then back down to the size 3 for my hips.

The instructions say that the dress requires 170cm of fabric that is 150cm wide. The fabric I purchased (a lovely Olive Green Modal from Sew Over It) is sold by the half metre so I decided to try and get away with 1.5 metres – I am only 5ft 2″ and the pattern is based on a height of 5ft 7″. I did have to play about with the pieces a little, (the top front piece is fairly wide because of the ties so this made it tricky) but I got there in the end.

This is one of those fabrics where it is really hard to tell if there is a wrong and right side so I decided to pop post it notes on each piece just to make sure I worked with them all the same side up

The actual sewing up of the dress went really smoothly, I would say the most time consuming part was the hem that runs along the bottom edge of the tie and up to were the 2 Front top pieces meet. It is simple enough to do but I just wanted to take my time and finish it off as neatly as possible because the stitching will be seen on the outside.

Once this was done then the 2 top front pieces are sewn right sides together along the centre.

The front of the garment has 2 layers at the top so you then need to place the top layer with the ties on top of the full length front piece with both pieces right side up. It is a good idea to tack these pieces together before going any further to make them easier to work with.

Once this is done then it is pretty much a standard sew – front and back pieces are sewn together at the shoulder seams (right sides together), the sleeves are put in on the flat and then the side seams are sewn up starting at the sleeve and sewing all the way down to the hem.

The final job was to add the neck band – this is slightly smaller than the neck on the dress so needs to be stretched slightly to fit. I also added a super cute label which I think adds a more professional finish to the dress.

I purchased the labels from Guthrie and Ghani during recent visit but they are available on line at any different places.

After a final good press it is ready to wear. I am please with how it as turned out, I love the style – dressy without being too smart – I prefer dresses that can be worn a little more casually rather than those that I feel need a special occasion so this fits the bill well. It is still smart enough to wear for a nice evening out.

The fit is good and I am happy with the length. I didn’t shorten the pattern pieces despite the fact that I am a good few inches shorter than the intended wearer but I don’t like to wear dresses too far above my knees.


Gentleman’s Wardrobe Jacket

This was my last make of 2018 and by far the most challenging make to date.

I have been promising to make my husband a jacket for a while , I have previously made the 2 shirts from the same book so decided that this would be a good pattern to use because the size seems good on him.

There are rather a lot of pieces (20 in total). The jacket is lined with 1 outer breast pocket and 2 lower pockets. There are also 2 breast pockets set into the lining.

Having gained a little sewing knowledge over the last 18 months the actual construction wasn’t too difficult but I did have an awful time adding the pockets to the outer fabric. I think the problem was caused in part by the difficulty I had in adding the markings to the fabric. The fabric was interfaced with tailors interfacing which is a dark grey colour so chalk or pen really didn’t show up that well.(If anyone can recommend a good method of adding markings to dark fabric then please leave a comment).

The first pocket turned out fairly well, luckily I had done a pattern test recently which involved added welt pockets so pretty much understood the steps (I don’t think the book offers the easiest instructions to follow). Basically you have to place the pocket facing? on top of the jacket right sides together matching up the markings. The markings are then used as the stitching line. Once this step is completed it is time for the scary part – cutting between the 2 stitching rows. You then need to feed the pocket facing through the gap to the inside and smooth out all the edges.

When I repeated the process on the 2nd pocket things didn’t turn out as well. It did not mirror the first pocket and was very obviously a different size, I tried to extend it but it just wasn’t working. I ended up with 2 options – firstly, lots of unpicking and cutting out two new front jacket panels or secondly unpicking the pocket facing (bearing in mind I had already cut the hole in the fabric to make the pocket😭).

I really couldn’t face the 1st option so decided to unpick the facing and just re-cut new facing this time I used some basic white interfacing which I then marked up with a biro. I had to be pretty careful with the re-stitching bearing in mind that I now had a slit cut into the main body of the fabric but miraculously it turned out ok.

Once this was done you pretty much have to construct a second jacket out of the lining fabric, all seemed to go fairly smoothly until I came to add the sleeves and discovered I had a spare pattern piece! It turned out to be the side panel of the lining – I really don’t know how I missed this stage because I read and re-read each stage during the sewing process.

If I had been making this jacket for myself rather than for my husband I think I would of packeted it away in a bag and forgotten about it (I was getting pretty frustrated by the whole make by now) but I don’t sew for my husband very often so was determined to finish it. After more unpicking (thank you seam ripper) and re-stitching the lining was finally finished and then it was time to put it all together.

Joining the lining to the outer jacket had me scratching my head when it came to joining the sleeves – again I thought I was following the instructions but ended up with a twisted mess – the sleeve lining would not fit into the sleeve. So more un-picking. I then remembered that I had an online tutorial for the Sew Over It Chloe Coat so I ditched the book in favour of Lisa’s video and this made things so much easier.

So I finally finished it, I did end up making a couple of alterations, the sleeves were too long so I ended up chopping about 1.5 inches off the length – this meant loosing the button fastening on the cuff. I also took it in by 1/2 inch along the seam joining the back to the side panel.

My husband is pleased with it and has worn it (it was only ever meant to be a wearable toile), initially I wasn’t happy with it, I think I encountered so many problems along the way and I know every single fault so have been concentrating too much on that. I have now come round to the fact that it was actually quite an achievement, I only sewed my first item of clothing at the end of August 2017 and didn’t even know how to thread a sewing machine a month prior to this.

So yes I have come a long way pretty much learning as I sew and mistakes are all part of the process.

I don’t feel quite ready to tackle another jacket just yet but will try again at a later date and will hopefully improve on my techniques next time.

My Make nine for 2019

The New Year brings new sewing challenges. I took part in a couple last year which I enjoyed so the first one I have decided to take part in this year is the #makenine challenge which is being run over on Instagram at @makeninechallenge.

The idea is to select 9 things to make over the course of 12 months.

I have tried to put a little thought into my makes for this year and be more selective about my sewing, the aim is to add the items that are missing from my me made wardrobe currently or to sew things for particular events. Below are the items I have decided to work on for #makenine:

1. Simply Sewing City Backpack – I have had this pattern for a while now and have been wanting to have a go at bag making so this seems a good place to start. It is a good pattern for using up left over fabric from other makes (the patterned cord was left over from the carnaby dress I made a few months ago).

2. Deer and Doe Melilot Shirt – I picked up this pattern as a kit from Guthrie and Ghani when I went to SewBrum. I love the fabric which I had seen online previously and had been trying to source so when I spotted it I couldn’t resist. I have acquired a love for shirts since making the Kalle Shirt last year so the kit seemed a good choice.

3. Simplicity 8447 Vintage Dungarees – After a fantastic day last year at Goodwood Revival we decided to book again for this year. A big part of the event is dressing up. Last year I went in a 50s style polkadot dress so this year I thought a 1940s style outfit would be good and this pattern fits the bill.

4. Megan Neilsen River Dress – I tend to wear dresses regularly during the warmer months and like to go for more casual styles. I like the look of this pattern and think it will look good in this plain lightweight denim/cotton that I picked up last year.

5. Sew House Seven Burnside Bibs – When I attended SewBrum last year I spotted a lady wearing the most fabulous purple corduroy dungarees and when I spoke to her she told me it was the Burnside Bibs pattern, I have been lusting after a pair ever since and picked up the pattern during the Black Friday sales. I have fabric on the way from Guthrie and Ghani.

6. Closet Case Ginger Jeans – I have decided it is time to finally take the plunge and make jeans, I wear them often and currently have to wear rtw so if I want a fully me made wardrobe then I need to give it a go. I don’t currently have the fabric for this make yet so am on the look out for a dark blue denim.

7. Cocowawa Pumpkin Cardigan – Cardigans are great for layering and I particularly like the longer version of this after seeing some lovely makes on Instagram. I received the pattern as a present for Christmas but haven’t chosen the fabric yet.

8. Named Clothing Ruska Knot Dress – Again this was a Christmas present, I like all of the patterns in the book but this is the one I want to make first. We are having an evening away at a lovely hotel in the Cotswolds at the end of January so this is my planned make for our evening meal, the fabric I have chosen is a lovely khaki modal jersey from Sew Over It.

9. Tilly and the Buttons Francoise – This pattern as been in my to do pile for over a year now and it keeps getting put to one side for other makes. We are going away for a short break in April for a 60s weekend, I picked up some retro looking fabric from the fabric swap at SewBrum last year because I thought the print was very 60s so hoping this pattern will give me the look I am aiming for.

So that is my Makenine, I think I have a good selection with some new challenges to stretch my ability. I have also tried to have a purpose to sewing the items I have selected. In my previous post I said I wanted to sew slower and I think these makes will be challenging enough to give me reason to slow down and learn new skills.

I would love to hear what sewing plans you have so please feel free to add a comment about your planned makes.

Sewing Roundup 2018

With 2018 drawing to a close I decided to look back through my Instagram account and remember what I had been sewing. I set up my account at the beginning of this year to document my sewing progress for my first full year as a sewist.

I was quite shocked to discover that I have made 42 items of clothing this year!😲 (3 of these for my husband) and this made me somewhat reflect on how I am going to change my sewing for next year.

I love sewing – since I gave up work at the end of 2017 it has become a bit of a lifeline, one of the main things to gives me focus and keep my mind active. I sew every week, my husband works so I often find myself alone during the day and sewing and the radio have become my companions during those times.

I realise I need to change the way I sew so going forward into 2019 it is my intention to sew slower but still sew often. This year several of the things I have made have been quick sews, for instance I have 6 Southbank Sweater Dresses in my wardrobe now. This is one of my favourite outfits and most of them are worn often but I whizzed each of them up on the sewing machine in a couple of hours.

Sometimes it is good to have a quick sew but next year I want to challenge myself with more complicated sewing not just to slow myself down but also to push myself and to increase my sewing skills.

I am currently deciding on my #makenine for next year (this is a challenge over on Instagram), I will post about that in my next blog. I want the makes I decide on to stretch my ability and to be things that are currently missing in my me made wardrobes – I have been putting off trousers for a while now so that could be a good place to start.

My Proudest Makes

There is a new hashtag over on Instagram which was suggested by – #myproudestmake. This got me thinking about the things I have made this year and which ones I am most proud of.

I have to say I am proud of all my makes (bar a couple of things that went wrong and have not seen the light of day). If someone had said to me a couple of years ago that I would me making my own clothes to the extent that I now wear me mades every day I don’t think I would of believed them. But here I am with a fairly extensive me made wardrobe. I have yet to conquer jeans/trousers or underwear but other things I just don’t tend to buy anymore confident in the fact that I can make it myself😀

I couldn’t come up with just 1 item as my proudest make so I have chosen 4.

First up is my Sew Over It Chloe Coat, I love this coat, I purchased the online sew along (half price when I got it) which I found extremely helpful and I learnt so many new skills along the way. Originally I intended it to be a wearable toile, the fabric was purchased from eBay and was so much nicer than I expected when it arrived. The pattern is quite a vintage style and a think the fabric suits it perfectly and the make turned out so well this as become my main coat rather than a toile.

I have had some lovely comments about it and I recently purchased some pin badges from Pink Coat Club which I wear with pride on my coat, I am happy to advertise the fact that yes I did make it myself.

My next proud make is the dress I made for Goodwood Revival which we attended this year, again there were a number of techniques that I learnt and all the seams are finished neatly on the inside which is something that I want to achieve more of next year. If you would like to read more then I wrote a blog about it:

My third proud make is my Kalle Shirt, I have never been a big wearer of shirts before but this as definitely converted me and Sheona over at Sewisfaction was kind enough to mention me when they started ‘Maker of the Week’

Last but not least would have to be the shirt I made for my husband, this was my first venture into making clothes for someone else and although it was quite a challenge at the time it turned out well and I have since gone on to make him a couple more.

I would love to know what other people would choose as their proudest makes?

Instagram Sewing Challenge – OWOP Southbank Sweater

There are several challenges throughout the year over on Instagram many of them including some great prizes. I have followed several of them with interest and have got some great inspiration from them (along with an ever increasing list of things I want to sew). I have taken part in a couple of them and this month it was time again for the One Week One Pattern challenge #OWOP18 This challenge was first started back in 2012 by Tilly and the Buttons but I only discovered it last year (my first year of sewing) when I participated for the first time with the Delphine Skirt from Tilly’s ‘Love at First Stitch’ book.

The challenge is fairly self explanatory and basically involves wearing the same pattern over 7 days – this can be one item of clothing that is worn in a different style each day or 7 of the same pattern in different styles, fabrics or hacks.

This year I took part with the Southbank Sweater Dress by Nina Lee – this is a favourite for me at this time of year so I actually have 6 of them in my wardrobe and therefore had no problem showing a different style each day. My makes can be seen below with the links were possible for the fabrics I used.

Animal Print from Birmingham Rag Market (No longer in stock)

Navy Stripe – Ponte Di Roma

The challenge was run this year by Sewisfaction and each day a different sponsor offered a prize – there were some great things on offer from gift vouchers to patterns and even an online sewing class.

I have seen several things that I feel I really want to sew including a great hack for the Deer and Doe Melilot shirt (I received this pattern for my birthday) by . The winners were all well deserved but if I had to choose a favourite from the winner over the week then with the Sew Liberated Stasia Dress in a stunning art gallery knit fabric would be my choice.

With so many entries then it must be a really difficult choice selecting a winner each day, these are some other makes that really stood out for me during the week:



I think this dress is absolutely stunning and love the colour and print of the fabric.


I love all of Sharon’s Trapeze dresses, this pattern is definitely on my radar now, it’s difficult to say which one I like the best but I do love this elephant print.

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The final day of #owop18 and my final #newlook6106 skirt. That fabulous fabric is a cotton/linen print by @lecien_fabrics . (Swipe to see selvedge of the same print in another colour way that gives you all the details) The cute blouse is a #simplicity2154 in a beige polka dot cotton. Love this outfit 🙂which had a busy day today – hosting the monthly Sewing Day at Castle Ward, whilst simultaneously dressing house guides for another living history day. Busy but good day 👍 Many thanks to @sewisfaction for hosting and organising this week, it’s been fun to do! And hello to today’s very kind sponsors @guthrieghani and @cocowawacrafts #skirt #imakemyclothes #imakemyownclothes #memadeveryday #isewmyownclothes #sewover50 #sewistsofinstagram

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I am a big fan of skirts in unusual and quirky fabrics so I think the print on this skirt is a great choice and matched with the cardigan is a brilliant combination.

Why not pop over to Instagram and use the #OWOP18 hashtag to have a look at all the lovely makes and now I better start planning for next years challenge.