On Friday I went fabric shopping with my Mum. Basically my mum and dad had kept back a portion of birthday money and a portion of Christmas money so I could go out and buy some fabrics. Anyone who regularly reads this blog might have gathered that I don't really spend a lot on fabric [like ever] Instead relying on my stash and up cycling things.
So here's how our day went!
8.10am - mum arrives on doorstep to pick me and Lil man up and take him to nursery.
8.30am - drop Lil man off at nursery and drive to hanley
9.10 - arrive at abakhans, realise it doesn't open until 9.30am, pop to shops for supplies [juice and kitkats]
9.30am wait outside for doors to open! SHOP!
11.00 - mum exists shop for five minutes for fresh air and a quick drink (woman has no staying power)
12.30 - pay for goods, leave shop! Yeah I spent three hours in a fabric shop, you can stop judging me now!
12.31- me and mum scoff chunky kit kats like lions attacking a gazelle, then work out where to actually find lunch.
Anyway that was my shopping experience but I thought I'd do a little review of Abakhan fabrics in hanley.
Finding the store-
The first time I went I got majorly lost! but that was before the days of having maps on your phone. personally though I walk though M and S and then leave M and S through the exist by the food area, up the stairs [this is also where taxis do their pickups] and then walk straight down the street and on your right. As with most things once you've been you can find it again, and to be honest my four year old knows the way to the fabric shop so its not super hard.
Fabric Selection -
Its very good, they have quilting cottons, wax cottons, bridal fabrics, lace , Jersey and everything in between!!! Some of the fabrics are on the roll and you can have as little as 10cm cut or theres big wire cages that are full of by the weight fabrics! Now if you pull a fabric out of the bin and you don't want it all they will cut it for you but they have to have at least a metre left. And if you want to check how much a cage fabric will cost then you can just pop it to the till and they will check for you!
I'd say they have a wider range of fabrics in store than online, [not that they don't have a huge selection online] but If you go in store and they don't have something that's online they can order it for you!
Fabric Accessibility -
A lot of the fabric on bolts is easy to access although if you have difficulty with manoeuvring things or reaching then you might want to take a 'fabric slave' to help, failing that I'm sure if you holler at the staff they'll come and help!
The fabric in the cages is accessible but you might have to go burrowing! Trust me its worth reaching all the way to the bottom theres some real diamonds in there!
The price is what you'd expect for fabric, although I'd say some of the novelty print cottons are slightly cheaper than at other outlets! You can also find some absolute bargains in the wire cages, for example I found two pieces of wax cotton that were just over a metre long and they were under £4.00 each.
There's definitely a fabric for every budget, from the cheaper fabrics to the really pricey! the most expensive I saw was a beautiful and I mean BEAUTIFUL! sob your heart out, write it love letters, lace fabric with the most vivid blue roses embroidered on it. OMG its soooooooo beautiful! I think its the sort of fabric I might consider selling my soul [or whats left of it] for. But £25 per metre just wasn't something I felt comfortable spending. But OMG serious fabricgasm right there..........
The layouts pretty cracking really, I don't tend to visit the wool and pattern end because I'm pretty fabric minded, but the fabric and buttons and trimmings are all in one area which is very good. One thing I really love is that all the bolts are kept on the walls so the middle of the shop is easy to look across. Which is really good if your momma likes to wander off whilst saying "ooooh pretty"
Theres two cutting tables which is good because it means less time queueing, and theres three tills and I think you can get your fabrics weighed at each of these stations.
The Staff -
I have never have any issues with the staff at abakhans in all of the years Ive shopped there [about 8/10 years?]
I didn't have trouble when I commandeered a lady for an hour and a half to help me pick fabrics for a costume I was making, and she helped me look over my sketches.
I didn't have trouble when my sister took measurements in for the fabric she wanted and she'd worked it out in cm square. Instead the lady cracked out the calculator and helped us work it out.
So yeah they are pretty cracking, and very knowledgeable, if you've got an issue or a question then they are some of the most knowledgeable staff I have ever met! [kudos to abakhan for hiring staff who know their stuff!]
And that's about everything I can think off! So here's a picture of me looking very happy at the tills! I'll go through what i actually brought after I've finished prewashing and ironing it!
P.s Although I sound like a massive kiss arse I promise this isn't a sponsored post, I just thought I should give credit where credits due!