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DIY Tour Edinburgh
To continue our traditional feature, in this issue, we once again find ourselves on a DIY travel tour. However, our country of choice is not a coincidence. As the checkered pattern is the highlight of our issue, there was hardly anywhere more suitable for our DIY travel feature than the mystical, bursting with green spaces, towering mountains, and vast lochs country of Scotland. Although we are sure that the country is more than nature, bagpipes, and tartan, precisely the fine fabrics and the checkered patterns are what brought us to lovely Edinburgh.
DIY Tour Edinburgh
We are taking you on a journey through the Scottish capital and its DIY hidden gems with the simple hope that you will get inspired by this land of magic, ancient legends, and of course, the checkered patterns.
As lovers of all things handmade, we are constantly in search of beautiful haberdashery and wool stores, craft stores that offer such a good variety that can’t just be left unknown to our readers. Here is a big map with all stores and addresses that we have gathered with the help of Shawna Law, who also happens to be our visual guide, and the sisterMAG team. You can easily download it to your cell phone while touring the Scottish capital.
Have fun exploring!
Situated at the southwest corner of the city center, among the tenement housings of Lochrin, one can spot a mixture of retail shops, leisure facilities, and other businesses. Fabric shops with a wide variety of clothing, ranges of yard options and ties are sold in this part of the city. Our undoubtedly exciting journey through beautiful Edinburgh and its DIY locations starts here.
Looking for some tartan fabric at The Gallery Bead Shop
Our first stop is Lochrin Place and the charming DIY shop located here. The Gallery Bead Shop is Scotland‘s largest independent shop of that kind and a treasure trove filled with over 12,000 different types of beading goods. It has been open for over 14 years and was a childhood dream realised for its lovely owner Annie, who has more than 20 years of experience as a jeweler, making and selling her designs at markets, in department stores and her own shops. As you enter The Gallery Bead Shop, you will be struck by how comforting and welcoming it feels with its soft, warm lighting and wallpapered walls evoking a sense of being in a friend’s living room. As you venture deeper into the store, you will be amazed by the breath-taking selection of beads available. They are lovingly organized by type then color and are displayed on various tables. To give you a flavor of what to expect, there are fabulous freshwater pearls, glass beads, shell beads, glittering gem strands, vintage beads and more. The best bit is friendly staff are always on hand to help! Furthermore, if you are unable to visit Edinburgh, The Gallery Bead Shop operates online as BeadClan and offer lovingly curated jewelry-making bead kits in various color schemes.
Really high on our agenda was to see as much as possible tartan plaid patterns swatches of kilt wool and a wide range of DIY fabric options that would help you, our readers, in your next project. Аnd now we head to the next address. We continue exploring the Scottish capital, the tartans, and our next DIY stop in the area is Pins & Needles.
Pins and Needles
The independent wool and dress woven shop has been on the capital’s DIY scene for more than 19 years. In addition to its bridalwear and eveningwear making, Pins & Needles offers DIY enthusiasts everything needed for their next DIY Project. The variety offered is quite impressive. It consists of literary all one can imagine – from various types of cloth and tartan fabric to cummerbunds bow ties, upholstery materials and even yard selections. After our initial browsing, it becomes quite clear that the shop is a good place for all those who desire to start a new hobby, such as sewing or knitting.
Being one of the most relaxed areas in the Scottish capital, Southside could only be described as the green space of Edinburgh. Mostly made up of the Bruntsfield, Newington, and Morningside neighborhoods, this is the go-to spot for those with a cultural outlook. Among its parks and greenery, it is also home to some local businesses, and in general, it is the part of the city that definitely has a particular eclectic vibe. Here is situated our next DIY fabric store.
Edinburgh Fabrics and their light weight materials
It takes us approximately 20 minutes on foot to reach our next DIY location. We cross The Meadows and arrive at Newington, a vibrant neighbourhood characterized by its bustling main street and close proximity to the University of Edinburgh. Right there, among the Southside’s businesses, at 14 St. Patrick Square is Edinburgh Fabrics. Mostly known as the Edinburgh Institution with the locals, established in 1980, the small family-run business has years of experience under its belt and is passionate about supporting British wool and all tartan cloth and woven products. The store also stocks the largest range of Yorkshire and Scottish wool in Edinburgh! As you approach Edinburgh Fabrics, you’ll spot its lovely window displays which will give you a flavor of what to expect. Inside, the store is a delightful maze of shelves housing a variety of cloth pieces of all colors, patterns, fabric by the yard and textures, including a selection of Liberty and Harris Tweed fabrics that can easily be used as a DIY project for upholstery and, of course, tartan. Edinburgh Fabrics is also home to a haberdashery section which is filled with everything from high quality silk, buttons and ribbons to Scottish Highland speciality items like Highland braid and Highland kilt buckles. It is a paradise for dressmakers, quilters, or crafters of all abilities. If you want to create your next DIY inspired-by-Scotland clothing piece, this shop is the right place.
Located east of Edinburgh’s city center, Abbeyhill is a charming neighborhood known for its lovely cafes and small businesses. This area of Edinburgh hosts the annual Colony of Artists festival, which predominately takes place in the Abbeyhill Colonies, where local artists open their homes and gardens for a day to exhibit their work. Local businesses also take part in the festival. Naturally, a lot of DIY locations could be found in the area.
Tartan Plaid at Ginger Twist Studio
Taking the bus from St. Patricks Square, in the direction of Hunter’s Tryst, we reach Abbeyhill and 11 London Road. Right in front of us is the Ginger Twist Studio. Founded in 2013 by Jess, a passionate knitter who has created a haven for those sharing her passion, from the outside the shop looks as lovely as from the inside. Entering the petite store feels like being embraced in a huge, warm hug. Its walls are lined with floor-to- ceiling shelves filled with a colorful rainbow of yarns, any sort of pattern cloth books one can imagine and accessories. As you browse through their beautifully curated shelves of yarn, you’ll find something for everyone’s budget. There are also uniquely Scottish yarns such as Ginger‘s Hand Dyed which is dyed in Edinburgh, single origin Iona Yarn, which is grown exclusively on the Scottish Isle of Iona, and the Shetland Tweed from West Yorkshire Spinners, which is produced from 100% Shetland Island wool. As well as friendly and helpful staff to give you guidance in-store, Ginger Twist Studio also hosts workshops where you can improve your skills.
This district of Edinburgh centers upon an original village established centuries ago around a ford. With its old stone houses and typical architecture, the area has a defined charm that one would enjoy experiencing. Deciding to explore the city’s aesthetic at its best, we are deciding against public transport in favor of a walk to our following DIY location.
Reaching 131 East Claremont Street, we are facing the glass door of Fabric Focus. The shop first opened its doors in 2014, focusing primarily on dressmaking and patchwork. Since then, however, new ranges have been included. Nowadays, it is a place where those who share a passion for color, texture, and pattern can indulge while being in the company of like-minded people. By entering the shop, one can easily spot the variety of cloth choices and upholstery fabric options. The place could easily be considered a prime center for sewers due to the availability of woven the DIY enthusiasts can choose from.
For our last location, we chose a rather interesting part of the Scottish capital and its surroundings. It could probably more correctly be described as a suburb of Edinburgh. A frequent film set location, the area is a picturesque corner, where, although so close to the hustle and bustle of the capital, tranquility seems to stretch over Newcraighall like a veil.
Here is the home of the last stop on our DIY travel feature agenda — Hobbycraft. In comparison to the shops we visited in Edinburgh, our final destination is rather spacious, mostly looking like the well- known retailers. Founded in 1995, Hobbycraft has since grown to a nationwide business with over 100 stores across the UK, ready to inspire an ever-expanding diversity of crafts. With its different departments, the shop offers everything for art, knitting, and crochet, including haberdashery, and all needed items for jewelry making. Once entering the shop, one can easily be inspired by the significant variety of all things crafty. Hobbycraft is a suitable stop for everyone passionate about crafts and do-it-yourself projects.
Our DIY adventure ends here. We hope you enjoyed our little trip through the tartan fabric world and all the clothing options and that you managed to discover new exciting places in the districts of the Scottish capital. And if we have sold you on DIY stores and what they have to offer, we encourage you to visit them.
As fabric, lovers we had a great time in Scotland and now looking forward to our next destination! You can probably help us and be our next city guide, just like Shawna Law. Do you live in a city that we should explore with you? Then let us know and write to firstname.lastname@example.org We would love to hear back from you!