Monday, 27 February 2012

A Quick Trip to Manchester - So Much For Busting My Stash...

Castlefield Basin, Manchester
A couple of weeks ago, Mr Needles and I took a quick trip to Manchester to visit friends and relatives, and to have our yearly celabration blow-out. We happened to get married on Mr Needles birthday, only 3 days after my birthday, and the day before Valentines - February has become a big deal!

But I also used this occasion to visit one of my favourite fabric shops in the whole world - Abakhan Fabrics on Oldham St. I lived in Manchester in the 90's, and as a poor student who wanted new clothes, Abakhan became one of my favourite haunts.

The main reason I liked it so much was the ground floor, where bales are piled up with offcuts, which are priced by the kilo. You never new what would be in store - there was always an abundance of off cuts from local manufacturers, so there'd be piles of Christmas fabric in July, or an influx of Hawaiian prints in winter. On this visit, they seemed to have an abundance of 'John Deere' branded tractor print! Here's a sneaky photo I took of the bales of joy:

And of course, it's super cheap! I bought 2 pieces of fabric, each roughly 3 1/2 m, so approx 7m in total. The price - £14!!! That's about £2 per metre - BARGAIN! And here's what I bought:

A cotton print of vintage guitars and sheet music. I think this would make a great dress. 

A lovely tropical print; the photo doesn't really do it justice, but the colours are quite subtle, giving it a 40's feel.

Of course, it wasn't all sewing. We visited Rusholme and  stuffed ourselves on Curry Mile (for those of you who've never been to Manchester, it's a bit like Brick Lane, but bigger, better, and cheaper). We spent Valentines night in a 'traditional' Northern Tiki Bar called Keko Moku -

Drinking 'traditonal' Northern drinks like Zombie and Fog Cutter:
A pint of Zombie

We drank enough of those to make us behave like this:

Once we recovered from that night, we explored the sights. We had a look at the old Granada TV building, the home of 'Coronation St':

I love that font!
We explored some of the classier back streets:

Book me an appointment!

We even took in some interesting Chinese art by Chen Man at the Chinese Arts Centre:

Isn't it gorgeous!

And that was Manchester!  See you soon...


  1. Fun post....fabric shop is just up my line

  2. Aww I love how February is such a romantic month for you guys. That is when my parents celebrated their wedding anniversary, although they got married in september. The reconciled on valentines day.

  3. Abakhan is fabulous isn't it, there is one in Liverpool which I go to when I visit my Parents, I could loose hours browsing and rummaging in those bins, I'm glad I don't live nearer or I would never have any money at all:)

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