A series of recent tweets: “Where do I find six-ply embroidery thread?” “How about curved tapestry needles?” “And upholstery fabric?”
Each time I sent my cries for help into cyberspace, I received a thorough (140 characters, natch) response from @claudiacreated of one of my new favorite blogs, claudia created. Claudia’s beautiful blog chronicles her year-long resolution to make one thing every week, be it a skirt or a hair clip or a poem or a macaron.
She loves fabrics and loves to sew, so I knew she would be the best person to recommend her favorite resources in Singapore for sewing supplies to me… and you! To Claudia…
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On Orchard Road:
Spotlight. This Australian chain supplies everything for the sewer—textiles, haberdashery, sewing machines, and other craft supplies. Cotton basics, jersey basics, knits, dress fabrics—Spotlight has it all. Also, it’s the only place in Singapore I know of where you can buy patterns by Burda, New Look, and Simplicity.
People’s Park Centre
#02-51: Golden Dragon. Golden Dragon is my one-stop shop for sewing/crafting materials. They stock something for every crafter—yarn, beads, ribbons, appliqués, quilting textiles, purse frames, specialist needles, and tools. The list is endless. In particular, their range of lace is very good. The shop also has a corner-full of folders with knitting/crochet projects where you can sit and work. The staff is always helpful and warm and I’ve never felt lost there.
#02-56A: Shinobeads. My source for crocodile hair clips (large packet of 120 for $24) and other finds in bulk.
People’s Park Complex
Textile shops crowd the 2nd floor of People’s Park Complex (connected by a bridge from People’s Park Centre). You’ll see bales and bales of fabric once you come up the stairs.
Most shops are cash only. There are ATMs on the 1st floor of People’s Park or in the Chinatown MRT. Fabric is sold either by the yard (36 inches) or by the metre (39 inches). Most of the shops close for their annual break during the Chinese New Year.
#02-1018A: Lye Nai Shiong. A haberdasher with an enormous variety of zips (priced much more cheaply than Spotlight) and the usual haberdashery needs. They also stock wadding, batting, interfacing (again, much cheaper than Spotlight), and a good variety of elastic and ribbons. The lao ban niang (boss lady) is quiet but always gives you a hand if you need help finding something. It gets very busy on the weekends and is a small shop, so you may be in for a squeeze.
#02-1122: Malin Textiles. My favourite shop on this floor. Shopkeeper Joanne brings in the best selection of Japanese fabric—cottons, lawns and voiles—and jersey knit in lovely colours. She also stocks Robert Kaufman and Alexander Henry prints, among others. In April, she stocked a series of indigo dyed Japanese cottons with classic Japanese prints. I’ve already snapped up a couple of metres and am trying not to buy more for now.
#02-1138: Nicolexavier. Nicole and Xavier are the husband and wife team behind this shop which sells Liberty cottons, pretty silks, and great occasion fabric. I bought some Chanel-esque cotton tweed from them a couple of months ago. Wonderful fabrics, but expect to pay (upwards of $70 a metre for the tweed, e.g.).
#02-1006: Thye Guan Textile. Henry stocks a variety of cottons and lawns (many imported from Europe and Japan) and supplies the printed jersey knits for my entire wardrobe of dresses!
Elsewhere in Chinatown:
Rose Citron. Stocks a range of oilcloth in pretty prints. Also sells a range of cute accessories and other home furnishings so you can get some inspiration while buying your fabric.
On Arab Street:
102 Arab Street: Teng Joo. Teng Joo is an enormous wholesaler (their stock fills the upper levels of the shophouse as well) and is best for when you need metres and metres of cheap fabric to sew up a mass of uniforms or costumes. Prices here are around the $5 per metre mark and probably the cheapest you’ll find in Singapore.
92 Arab Street: Alta Moda. Like Nicolexavier in People’s Park Complex, Alta Moda stocks a range of designer and occasion fabric. There is some beautiful beaded fabric (staggeringly expensive, of course) in the back and plenty of chantilly laces, silks, and other dress fabrics.
Jalan Sultan Textile Centre (200 Jalan Sultan). Three floors of shops selling textiles and sewing supplies. Ribbons and buttons are a better value in bulk here. Fancy buttons that might cost you $1 each can be bought in boxes of 100 for much less.
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The presence of local haberdasheries has drastically declined in the last decade. Spotlight and Lye Nai Shiong are the most reliably well-stocked ones. Artfriend has a small, standard haberdashery section. I’d love to hear of some haberdasheries elsewhere in Singapore; the ones I knew of in the Bukit Batok/Jurong area have all closed down. I also don’t know the East particularly well (being an uncultured Westie), and would love to find out about shops over there.
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Claudia, so many thanks. I think you’ll see fewer #sewinghelp Tweets from me in the near future.
Dear readers, do you have a recommended shop not on this list?
(Additional credits: Vintage handkerchief texture via Pugly Pixel.)