Take one incredibly talented sewist, put her in the first series of what would become cult viewing on the BBC, The Great British Sewing Bee, and the rest is history. Now Lauren Guthrie has a beautiful shop in Birmingham, selling lots of gorgeous fabrics and offering workshops for other sewists to perfect their skills; not to mention being a published author of Learn To Sew With Lauren. I took a trip down to Birmingham to take a look…
Set in leafy Moseley, Guthrie & Ghani is a treasure trove of fabrics; their window displays (check some of them out on Instagram) draw you in and you don’t want to leave! As soon as you enter the shop a feeling of calm washes over you. There are so many beautiful knit and woven fabrics to catch your eye but somehow the shop feels very airy. You’ll be spoilt for choice from their range of jerseys, cottons, denims…not forgetting the patterns, haberdashery, wool and embroidery sections. Be very careful as you pass their Liberty range…it’s very hard not to pick out practically every bolt.
Unique (or at least the first I’ve seen) there are a range of samples of garments made up from the patterns and fabrics in store, as well as a lovely full length mirror for you to hold things up against yourself. It’s so helpful to see some patterns made up and I’ll be honest, there were some items where I’d completely overlooked the pattern but in the flesh I really liked them. Also on the rail you’ll find the Simple Sleeveless Top and Yoke Top all made up.
I was very restrained and just bought some marl jersey for my autumn sewing. I’d spied it online and waited until I went in so I could feel the fabric; I wasn’t disappointed – with soft jersey on one side and brushed cotton on the other I’m going to be very cosy. Claire was so helpful as I was torn between two colours and recommended I take both rolls to the mirror to try them against my skin in natural light; I’m so glad as until then I was leaning towards a bluey-greeny-petrolly marl as opposed to the purply-lilac.
Claire was also very knowledgeable and shared tips that some of their workshop attendees found useful. I was really impressed with the level of service – you certainly don’t go in there just to buy fabric and leave!
I can’t wait for my next visit and I’d love to pop back for one of the workshops to enjoy a whole day there…in the meantime I have a mental list of the other fabrics I resolved not to buy all in one go!
If you like this post, why not read my review of the Learn to Sew With Lauren Pick Your Pockets Skirt.