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It’s Sew You!

Whether you feel the creative muse calling or just want someone to sort your soft furnishings out The Cambridge Fabric Company is worth a visit.

The Cambridge Fabric Company

I took a fantastic little course last week on cushion making (oh my days, hand me my velvet Alice band and phone the WI, I’ve morphed into my mother!).

The Cambridge Fabric Company

The last time I played with a sewing machine was whey back in school when I spent three weeks unpicking an apron – so come on, credit where it’s due, look at this cute little number I made. Shops like The Cambridge Fabric Company are hard to come by – they’re a traditional haberdashers and fabric shop but with a modern twist which you should know about as it’s a fantastic friendly shop with some cracking courses coming up.

The Cambridge Fabric Company

Ths shop has been in existence for a while but it’s recently been taken over by Katie and Sarah who are so passionate about what they do that’s it’s infectious. The shop is bang slap in the centre of Cambridge, just off the market square and opposite Jamie’s Italian (lunch is sorted then) and my course was a morning job – we started at 10am (very civilised) and finished about 1.30pm. It was all very relaxed – there were four of us, not surprisingly all women (though don’t allow me to be sexist if any Muddy men were desperate to get jiggy with a needle and thread), and it was actually really good fun. Our tutor was Stacey, who runs many of the courses and was very encouraging of my pathetic efforts, and was really chatty and friendly.

The Cambridge Fabric Company

The room itself is below stairs – there’s a door tucked away at the back of the shop and you head down to a slight rabbit warren of rooms. The workroom itself is very shabby chic, a bit rough around the edges but charming with it. It’s a little dark but there are plenty of lamps dotted around and once we all got going it was very cosy.

The Cambridge Fabric Company

Evidence that I did actually do some sewing.

So in just over three hours, I learnt how to use the sewing machine, I made a cushion, learnt how to put a zip in and to add pompom trimming – pretty good going I’d say. The course included all the fabric and extras but some people brought fabric with them which they wanted to use. I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed the workshop and how therapeutic it was. Having to focus on a creative project enables you to switch off to all lifes niggles and it’s very relaxing.

The Cambridge Fabric Company

This Sunday they’re running a pyjama making course and Stacey was suggesting making Christmas PJ’s. I’m not a massive fan on novelty Christmas fabrics but the shop has some pretty Scandi inspired ones in in stock in a warm brushed cotton that would look super on the mini-mudder. I’m seriously gutted that I can’t make the lampshade making course on Sat 28 Oct – they have some great styles in the window for inspiration so I’ll be keeping an eye out of for the next one.

Upstairs the main shop is a such a bright inviting space rammed with bits and bobs, fabrics, quilting patches, trimmings, lampshades, haberdashery and craft ideas that would make great presents for creative youngsters and adults alike.

The Cambridge Fabric Company

Clockwise from top left: Ticking Black and Bleach (£14.90); Ticking Blue (£14.90) Double Width Red Stripe (£19.90); Flamingos (£21.90) and Daiquiri (£13.90); Rover Linen (£13.90) Twinkle Dust (£13.90)

They have a great selection of British design fabrics and they specialise in cottons and linens – if you like the French ticking look they have some great rolls in neutrals with reds and blues.

They also offer a made to order service makes for curtains, lampshades, blinds and soft furnishings at affordable prices. Katie and Sarah, and all their team, are helpful and knowledgeable so if you’ve stuck on a project then pop in and pick their brains, better still if you haven’t got the time (I hear you), get them to sort it out for you. They also host private parties – great for a bunch of mates that want to get creative, kid’s birthdays and hen parties – they’ll taylor the class to suit your needs.

It’s a young little company, full of ideas and enthusiasm with exciting plans for the future, possibly including interior accessories. It’s worth checking out all the courses, even if the ones I’ve mentioned don’t quite float your boat. Give them a whirl if you feel the creative muse calling and let me know how you get on.

The Cambridge Fabric Company, 7 Peas Hill Cambridge CB2 3PP. Tel: 01223 778744.

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