Fabric and more tailoring and dressmaking partners

By Asaad Abdo
on April 19, 2017
With 0 comments

Welcome to Dubai...

- The place where you can visit a new restaurant daily and still not get to all of them.
- The place where you can frolic on the beach 10 minutes after leaving school with the kids.
- The place where you cannot decide where to travel during Summer vacation and now:

- The place where you can have your own couture wardrobe made for you.  

Dubai | Tailoring and Dressmaking partners | Fabric and more

Couture Clothing: All the celebs do it, so why should we, right?

Fabric and more has made making your own clothes even easier than before, by partnering with selected, tried-and-tested, professional, trained tailoring companies throughout the city.     Gone are the days you need to schlep to Satwa and have your items shoved into a co-op bag in the hope they come back as requested.   More importantly, gone are the days when you have to put up with contorting into high-street clothing that was clearly designed for a amorphous mutant.

So, without further ado, here are the tailors that come with the Fabric and more stamp of approval.   Hurry along to visit and view a selection of our fabrics in store, and take advantage of the free delivery of our fabrics directly to the store.

Jumeirah:

Thread Up Tailoring and Boutique - ask for Hazel.  Besides fine tailoring specialising in Western and Indo-European sewing, Thread Up also stocks an amazing range of eclectic designerwear and kidswear, direct from up and coming Indian fashion designers.

Dubai Jumeirah | Thread Up Tailoring | Fabric and more

Tailor and Tweak (formerly Tailor and Co.) - Mercato Mall.   Once an alterations and hemming joint in the basement of Mercato Mall on Beach Road, Tailor and Tweak has expanded significantly and now offers a couture creations team.   That means you can pop in and drop off your favourite garment to copy, choosing from the fabric swatch booklet behind the desk or ordering online after you've visited. 

Mercato, Business Bay, Sports City, Silicon Oasis, Mirdiff | Tailor and Tweak Tailoring and Alterations | Fabric and more

Business Bay:

The Sewing Corner - Bay Avenue (Sheikh Zayed Road end).   A neighbourhood staple, The Sewing Corner takes so much pride in delivering a quality product, run by a happy team of trained tailors and dressmakers.   With other locations on The Palm and The Greens, get used to wearing clothing that will have everyone noticing.

 Tailor and Tweak - Bay Square (Al Khail Road end).  

The Palm Jumeirah:

The Sewing Corner - ask for Vijay!   Vijay is one of the nicest blokes you will meet and actually knows his fabrics and design.   What a refreshing change!

Dubai | The Sewing Corner | Fabric and more

Silicon Oasis: 

Tailor and Tweak - Cedre Shopping Centre

Greens:

The Sewing Corner - Panorama at the Views (next to Regent International School)

Sports City:

Tailor and Tweak - Meaisam City Centre

Mirdiff:

Tailor and Tweak - Carrefour end, opening April 28, 2017.  Yay!

 

So, no excuses to have your bra cup showing in your arm hole, a dress that's just a bit too short for your age, or a poorly cut dress.   You are a grown woman who deserves to look amazing.  If not now in this land of opportunity, then when? 

If we've missed an amazing tailor near you that works to the service levels we expect at Fabric and more, drop us a line so we can add them here!

Rainy day sewing with Coated Cotton

By Simone Hasker
on March 24, 2017
With 0 comments

How to Sew a Raincoat using our Eco-Coated Cotton in 13 easy steps.

Children's raincoat poncho easy
As much as we love beach days in Dubai, it’s also great to wake up to dark, looming clouds overhead for a change! With rain on the brain this Spring Break, this tutorial seems perfect for embracing these rare wet days - and if you're like us, you don't already have lots of raincoats just lying around.

Now, let’s jump right in to learn How to Sew a Raincoat…

Step 1

First off, we used 1.5 meters of laminate cotton for the exterior, and an additional 1.5 meters of cotton sateen for the lining. Using a pre-existing T Shirt for sizing.  Check out the amazing Coated Cotton Laminates we have in stock here - there is one to suit everyone in the house!

Step 2

You can actually omit cutting the armholes if you don’t want to add sleeves to the poncho.  We like sleeves for kids so they can still wear their backpacks and scooters in the rainy weather.  Tip: always make the sleeves longer than necessary to extend the life of your kids clothing!

Step 3

Step 4

The great thing when you are doing all of this with the laminate is that you are working with the wrong side constantly against the sewing machine, so you don’t need to worry about the ‘sticky’ factor.

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Now for the hood.  Grab a pre-existing hooded sweatshirt for pattern sizing. Be sure to add extra room around the back and top of hoodie for pattern for a nice roomy hood.

Step 8

Step 9

Step 10

Step 11

Step 12

We like using this method for hemming the sleeves as it eliminates any tricky sewing with the laminate.  Your machine is always on the cotton!

Step 12

Step 13

You will be thrilled with this poncho, and it will last for a couple of years (which in kid life is an eternity).  Cotton laminate can go in the washer and dryer, but better yet – just wipe off and spills and stains! And with all of the absolutely fantastic designs we stock in this fabulous eco-fabric – you just have to try working with it for yourself!

Got some skills?  Try sewing an inside back panel pocket so that the poncho can fold in on itself and turn into a bag you can carry around.  You know you want to.

Our 10 secrets for finding the best tailor

By Simone Hasker
on February 28, 2017
With 0 comments

Top 10 Secrets to Finding the best Tailor - Fabric and more

When you’re a special size and most clothing hasn’t been made with you in mind, the only way you’re going to find a great fit is if you get things tailored. It’s not fair, and can get expensive…believe me, I know.   I am six foot tall, have a long torso, a size 10 waist and size 14 backside.   My breasts were once a E now somewhere down (literally and figuratively - pardon the pun) around a D.

In fact, even if you’re not a special size, there’s no way clothing manufacturers are going to get things completely right for your body.  Or get your pant inseam perfect. Or know your bust:waist:hip ratio. To expect a mass produced item of clothing to fit you perfectly is a pitfall a lot of women fall into, and quickly leads to fitting room depression when clothes don’t fit. Sometimes we get lucky and find items that fit amazingly, or close enough to squeak by, but to bypass a great item just because it needs a hem, or go your life without a button down shirt because nothing fits off the rack, is no way to live.

And once you get a few things tailored, perfectly, just for you, a whole new world of fashion will open up to you.  Okay, so how do we go about finding a good one?

Here are some tips from my experiences, and other resources, to help you find your new best friend.

1) Find tailors with high review ratings in your city. We've been busy over the past few years testing and working with many tailoring companies in the UAE.   From bridal, to uniform mass production to copying my favourite Laura Ashley shorts in three colours of linen.   To save you the headache, you can view our select listing of our favourites here.

2) Ask other women. Know any perfectly tailored and well dressed women? Chances are these chic ladies have a fabulous tailor helping them out. This also works for impeccably dressed men.  Bet you didn't know all the major celebrities have EVERYTHING tailored for them - that means t-shirts and jeans too!    

“…everything you will ever see on a celebrity’s body, including their outfits when they’re out and about and they just get caught by a paparazzo, has been tailored, and the same goes for everything on What Not To Wear. Jeans, blazers, dresses – everything right down to plain t-shirts and camisoles…Nothing on the show or in People magazine is off the rack and unaltered.  

We ignore the actual size numbers on the tags, find something that fits an individual’s widest place, and then have it completely altered to fit.  That’s how celebrities have jeans that magically fit them all over, and the rest of us chumps can’t ever find a pair that doesn’t gape here or ride up or slouch down or have about four yards of extra fabric here and there.”  

Clinton Kelly - What Not To Wear

3) Look for tailors that advertise as specializing in custom menswear. Tailors knowledgeable in menswear tailoring should be able to handle your most difficult of alterations, no sweat.  PLEASE be careful when it comes to stretchy fabrics though - this is a completely different skill set.

4) Ask high end boutiques and clothing stores where they send their clients for tailoring. Most of these stores have a reputation to keep, so will work with the best of the best.

5) Skip the dry cleaner tailor. Unless all you need done is a simple pant hem, these tailors aren’t usually as skilled as one who has their own shop.

6) Skip the cheap sweatshops. They are often in a hurry, inundated with items, and disinterested. They won’t take the special care with your garment a privately owned tailor shop will take. It's no wonder so many ladies have been put of the idea in the past.

7) Make sure they understand you. This may sound a little patronising, but honestly, just because you get a head-wobble response or a "yes madam", it doesn't mean that your message actually got through.   Also, if they don't make notes of what is required, nor give you a receipt as proof you even took your item to them - run a mile!

8) Bring an easy, starter piece to be altered before you bring out the really expensive or complicated ones. Things like a pair of jeans that needs hemming or the waist taken in is good. That way, you can get a feel for the tailor’s work, before handing over anything of value to get altered.

9) Talk with the tailor, not at them. Tell them what bothers you about the garment and ask them what alterations they think it needs. This way you can get a feel for just how knowledgeable they really are (and how well they speak your language!). The mistake I made at first was telling the tailor what I thought the garment needed, and never asking them for advice. They made my alterations, but I was never satisfied. Why you ask? I’m not a tailor! I don’t know what a garment needs!  I'm the fabric lady!

10) Make sure your garments are worth the cost of alterations. Don’t spend extra money to get an item altered if it’s going to have a short closet life. Avoid altering cheap fabrics or cheaply manufactured items. I’ve made this mistake, and ended up tossing tops I’d had shortened after only a few washes because they were cheaply made and ended up piling/fading like crazy. Never again!

Now go out and find yourselves a tailor! And then add your new amazing tailor to the comments below to help other ladies in your city look as fabulous as you do.

Would you like some thread with your cappuccino?

By Simone Hasker
on February 16, 2017
With 0 comments

Whether you are in need of a change of scenery or you don’t have your own sewing machine at home, these amazing cafés are the perfect solution! What sets them apart from the rest? They double as sewing studios! The concept is similar to that of a cyber cafe, but rather than having computers, visitors can enjoy a cup of coffee and a piece of cake while renting a sewing machine by the hour. Let’s take a tour around the world to some of the hottest sewing café’s out there.

KINKIBOX, Berlin *Friedrichsain, Germany

1-Berlin Kinkibox

Kinkibox is a cute, hipster, vintage workshop where you can use the sewing machines to work on your personal projects while enjoying a cookie and a hot cup of tea! They also offer a few sewing courses for beginners!

PAPIOTA CAFE, Bucharest, Romania

2-Bucharest Papiota Cafe

Papiota (meaning spool in Romanian) is a huge coffee shop cum bar that combines a creative environment with amazing food and good music for an awesome place to get your work done! During the week the place is perfect for chilling with friends at the sewing tables and during the weekend it transforms into a crowed bar with a DJ. The décor is inspired by the industrial Soviet Union with steel shelving, industrial lighting, racks of yarn spools, old sewing machines and awesome tables made from old ironing boards. This place is definitely a trendy spot to check out!

MAKE WORKSHOP, New-York, United States

4-New york Make

Make Workshop based in New-York city since 2002 gives a 2 hour sewing machine intro for every hungry beginner who wants to learn how to sew. For the most curious and creative, they offer a bunch of amazing courses such as shoemaking, soap making, knitting, crocheting, screen printing, upholstering, and more….

THE MAKE DEN, Toronto, Canada

5-Toronto The make den

People working at The Make Den will provide you with some serious sewing skills and amazing support. There are so many interesting workshops available, from quilting classes to making laptop cases and bowties. You can visit their page for more info!

We could have gone on and on, but I resisted so here is a brief list of other interesting sewing workshops around the world:

The Sewing Cafe in Leicestershire, UK

– The Thread Den in Melbourne, AUS

– The Sew FYI creative studio in California USA

Sewing Cafe Luna in Tokyo, JAPAN

Happy sewing! We want to hear from you! Do you think Fabric and more should get going on a Sewing Cafe of it's own?

Is that really Liberty print?

By Bouchra Rebiai
on December 05, 2016
With 0 comments

Fake handbags, fake designer clothing, fake jewellery ... fake fabric?  

Yes, along with just about every other conceivable (fashion) item, fabric and textile counterfeiting is commonplace. It starts right up on the High Street, and goes right the way down to Satwa and Karama.

Counterfeit fabrics

Lilly Pulitzer successfully sued Old Navy for copy write infringement.

Counterfeiting is a form of theft as you well know and thus ILLEGAL.  

Valuable goods are copied to con unsuspecting people into buying inferior imitations, which cannot be made with the same care or offer comparable quality to the real thing.  So, the originators of fine designs have their creativity compromised and customers are cheated.  But who else do we affect by purchasing fakes?

But it's cheap!  Why not buy imitation fabric?

Well besides being illegal (everyone can be a little naughty sometimes, right?) what about these to kill the mood:

1. The quality of the fabric, dying and printing (see those blurry edges) are mostly awful.  The toxic nature of the growing pesticides, printing and dying of cheap fabrics means these often carcenogenic chemicals end up in the environment and ultimately on your skin.   And that is why you can buy "Liberty" print fabrics in Satwa for a fraction of the AED105/m it sells for in London.

2. Child labour is very commonly used to work in these illegal factories so that you can have your fabric for a quarter of the price.  A recent report (pdf) by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO), and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) revealed that recruiters in southern India convince parents in impoverished rural areas to send their daughters to spinning mills with promises of a well-paid job, comfortable accommodation, three nutritious meals a day and opportunities for training and schooling, as well as a lump sum payment at the end of three years. Their field research shows that “in reality, they are working under appalling conditions that amount to modern day slavery and the worst forms of child labour”.

Child labor textile mills

3. The FBI claims that organised crime now runs the world of counterfeit products.  Jeffrey Unger, president of brand protection for OpSec Security confirms this: “Profits from counterfeiting have been linked to underground crime syndicates that use this illegal business to fund drug trafficking and terrorist activity,” he says. “When you purchase a fake, your money becomes a part of this illegal business cycle. In turn, you are supporting activities you would never want to fund. Counterfeiters are masters of fraud who seek to exploit consumers.”    Do you want to contribute to weapons-trading or the next terrorist plot?  

4.  Less tax revenue for the government.  That means in the long run, less money to spend on services for you and I.   One New York City advertisement stated “The sale of counterfeit goods costs New Yorkers $1 billion in lost tax dollars each year,” it reads. “Less money to improve schools, staff hospitals and make our streets safer.”

5. Legitimate businesses are being robbed.  That means profits, hardworking employees are losing their jobs, millions of dollars are being spent trying to catch the bad guys when they just shouldn't have to.   Tiffany Jewellery tried to sue Ebay for allowing the sale of counterfeit items, Louis Vitton reportedly spends AED70million a year organising raids, and now Alibaba is in big trouble for allowing mass quanitity sales of counterfeit items from China.

According to a report published some months ago by Europe’s Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), the counterfeit of apparel and accessories cost European brands €26.3 billion yearly (that is, the 9.7% of their total sales). And, if we translate this into jobs, we learn that approximately 363.000 jobs have been lost across the retail, manufacturing and wholesale sectors of Europe’s fashion industries.

Counterfeit Liberty and Missoni prints Dubai

Counterfeit Missoni and Liberty prints found in Satwa, Dubai.

We have all done it or at least thought about it.    Just one handbag, a fake iphone, perfume copy, counterfeit medicine even?  

Just don't cheat - for the sake of a few more hard-earned dollars, you know you can stand tall and have kept the money in the right side of the economy, in a law abiding and tax paying business.  And no harm can come to little kids over the world.

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